Refreshing and delicious No Bake Peppermint Cheesecake is an easy make-ahead dessert that requires minimal effort and tastes like Christmas! A thick and sweet Oreo cookie crust is loaded up with a light peppermint cheesecake filling, topped with whipped cream, and garnished with crushed peppermint.
Obsessed with peppermint? Or does a little goes a long way for you? Either way, the good new is this cheesecake’s peppermint is easy to scale up or down. For more peppermint treats, be sure to check out these peppermint snowball cookies and these peppermint bark brownie cookies.
During the busy holiday season, I am always searching for shortcuts or prep-in-advance dishes. And No-bake Peppermint Cheesecake is both — it’s a scrumptious short-cut dessert and it can be prepared in advance.
This cheesecake is so much easier to make than a regular cheesecake — in fact, there isn’t even any baking required. It’s also a frozen dessert, which means it can be made and stored in the freezer days before serving.
The base for No-bake Peppermint Cheesecake is none other than an Oreo crust–and you can’t get tastier than that! We pulse or blend Oreos, mix those crumbs with sugar and butter, and press it all into the pan.
A few quick tips:
- Make sure the Oreos are completely broken down: Large chunks will make it hard to slice and serve this yummy treat.
- Let the melted butter cool a bit: Don’t add hot melted butter to the Oreo and sugar, because it will melt the sugar and make for a greasier crust.
- Press the crust down firmly: I like to use the bottom of a metal measuring cup to evenly press the crust down and up the sides of the pan.
- Line the pan with parchment paper for easy removal: This helps makes the cheesecake easier to slice and look better. I use this parchment paper.
How to make No-bake Peppermint Cheesecake:
The descriptions below correlate with the photos.
- Start with room-temperature cream cheese: Beat until smooth and creamy with a hand mixer.
- Pour in the sweetened condensed milk; I recommend Eagle Brand® for this No-bake Peppermint Cheesecake (this is a not sponsored endorsement–it’s just that I’ve found this to be the best).
- Mix in the sweetened condensed milk until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the food coloring and peppermint extract. Food coloring is optional, so you can leave it out and have a pink-speckled cheesecake (from the crushed peppermint) or you can have red-swirled cheesecake if you don’t blend the food coloring thoroughly.
- Blend in the crushed peppermint: Candy canes or hard peppermint candies are perfect for this recipe, and the easiest way to evenly crush the candy is with a mini food processor. I like this one in particular.
- Gently fold in whipped cream: I use Cool Whip® to keep things quick and easy, but feel free to use 2 cups whipped, heavy cream in place of the Cool Whip (how to make whipped cream tutorial).
- Transfer mixture to the prepared crust: And then all that’s left is the waiting! Allow at least 8 hours in the freezer and then this cheesecake will be ready to eat!
No-bake Peppermint Cheesecake tips:
- Be sure to use peppermint extract, not mint extract: Mint extract has more of a “toothpaste” flavor. It goes without saying that nobody wants toothpaste-flavored cheesecake!
- Make sure the cream cheese comes to room temperature: If you use cold cream cheese or microwave it to speed it along, you will end up with unpleasant chunks in your No-bake Peppermint Cheesecake. Allow the cream cheese to sit at room temperature (or in a warm environment) for at least an hour.
- Allow plenty of time for the filling to set up: The filling takes a good 8 hours to completely freeze; don’t try to rush this. Also, make sure you return any leftover cheesecake to the freezer promptly. This cheesecake is a lot like ice cream and softens very quickly at room temperature.
- Use a sharp knife for slicing: I like to run the knife under hot water, dry it off, and then make a cut. Repeat for each slice; this cheesecake is dense and a bit gooey.
- Choose full-fat products: Low-fat cream cheese and low-fat, fat-free, or sugar-free Cool Whip will cause a wet and melty cheesecake that probably won’t set up properly; I don’t recommend any of these products for this recipe.
More Christmas desserts:
- Peppermint Sugar Cookies
- 5-ingredient Peppermint Bark Cookies
- Microwave Fudge
- Christmas Snack Mix no baking required
- Santa Cookies
Delicious No-bake Peppermint Cheesecake is an easy make-ahead dessert that requires minimal effort. A thick and sweet Oreo cookie crust is filled with a light peppermint cheesecake filling and topped with whipped cream and crushed peppermint.
- 25 regular Oreo cookies
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 package (8 ounces) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 and 1/2 to 2 teaspoons peppermint extract (do not use mint extract)
- Red food coloring (optional for richer color)
- 1/16 teaspoon salt (tiny pinch of salt)
- 6 candy canes or peppermint candies crushed
- 1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Whipped topping and additional crushed candy for topping, optional
OREO CRUST: Blend or pulse the Oreos (no need to remove the filling) until they resemble fine crumbs. Mix the crumbs with the sugar and melted butter. Spray a pie pan or springform pan (I use a 9-inch) with nonstick spray and press the cookie crust evenly along the bottom and slightly up the sides. Place in freezer while preparing the filling.
FILLING: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. (Make sure it is at room temperature first.)
FILLING CONT.: Once the batter is smooth, slowly add in the sweetened condensed milk while continuing to beat the mixture. Beat until smooth. Beat in the peppermint extract, food coloring if desired, pinch of salt, and crushed candy canes (you can crush them in a food processor or powerful blender). With a spatula, fold in the whipped topping to the mixture gently until completely combined. Taste the mixture and increase any of the peppermint flavors if desired. Make sure to not over mix once the whipped cream has been added in.
ASSEMBLE: Pour the cheesecake mixture over the Oreo crust, smooth into an even layer with a spatula, and freeze for at least 8 hours.
SERVE: When ready to serve, remove cheesecake from the freezer and cut into slices. See Note 1 If desired, garnish individual slices with whipped cream and crushed peppermint.
LEFTOVERS: Cover any leftovers rightly and return to the freezer promptly.
Note 1: Run a sharp knife under hot water, quickly dry it off, and then make a cut. Repeat for each cut; this cheesecake is dense.