Summer is coming, and with it, strawberry season. Nothing beats the flavor of fresh-picked berries. And since summertime also means warmer weather, I like to have a few dessert recipes on hand that don’t require heating up the kitchen with the oven. That’s one of the reasons I created these chocolate coconut no-bake cookies.
This no-bake strawberry cheesecake parfait recipe is a perfect summer option. It’s elegant but super easy to make, uses healthy, seasonal ingredients, and is also delicious. I hope you like it as much as we do!
Making No-Bake Cheesecake
The two main categories of cheesecake are the traditional baked kind and no-bake. Most people are familiar with the baked kind of cheesecake.
In fact, most of the recipes on my site are baked cheesecake:
- Crock-Pot Cheesecake – baked in a slow cooker rather than the oven, but the same idea
- Gingerbread Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
While baked cheesecakes rely on eggs and the heat of the oven to thicken and set, no-bake cheesecakes use plain, unflavored gelatin instead. And since gelatin from a good source has some great health benefits, this seems like a win to me.
Gelatin is present naturally in bone broth, but when I’m using gelatin for sweeter recipes, I use this gelatin in powder form made from grass-fed cows.
To use any powdered gelatin, you have to let the gelatin bloom for a few minutes in a cool liquid before adding it to a warm liquid. Otherwise, you might have clumps of gelatin in your finished dessert. For this recipe, use a wide bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over a small amount of cold milk and let it sit for a few minutes before stirring it into some warm milk.
Gelatin is such a great ingredient for digestive, skin, and hair health that I use it in several recipes. Here are some of our favorites:
- Dairy-Free Panna Cotta
- Healthy Homemade Jello – flavored with fresh fruit
- Homemade Fruit Snacks
- Marshmallows – sticky, but so much fun!
- Tangerine Gummies
How to Make Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits
This dessert is honestly so very easy to make. To showcase the signature layers of a parfait, you need to use a clear glass bowl or bowls. Choose whether you want to make individual cheesecake parfaits or one large one, and alternate layers of strawberries and cheesecake mixture in your dishes.
For the strawberry layers, you just chop or slice fresh strawberries. For the cheesecake layers, you whisk together cream cheese, honey, vanilla, and the milk/gelatin mixture. Layer it in your bowl, chill, and that’s it!
I usually make it ahead of time and chill it until I’m ready to serve it. You don’t have to chill it, but the cheesecake will be a little thicker and more set if you do.
These parfaits are delicious exactly as written, but there are a million ways you could customize them.
- Use a different fruit – blueberries, raspberries, peaches, or a combination of fruits
- Add some crunch – mini chocolate chips, chopped pecans, or coconut granola
- Add a citrus burst – fold lemon or orange zest into the cheesecake mixture
- Add chia – this recipe gave me the idea to combine a cheesecake parfait with my blackberry chia seed pudding
Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait
- Pour ¼ cup of cold milk into a wide bowl.
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the milk, and set it aside for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat the remaining ¼ cup of milk until hot.
- Whisk the hot milk into the cold milk/softened gelatin mixture.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the softened cream cheese with honey and vanilla until smooth.
- Whisk in the milk/gelatin mixture.
- Slice the strawberries.
- In one large glass bowl or 8 individual glass bowls, place half of the strawberries.
- Spoon half of the cheesecake mixture over the strawberries.
- Add the remaining strawberries followed by the remaining cheesecake to the bowls.
- Chill until ready to serve.
- Different berries
- Mini chocolate chips
- Chopped nuts
- Coconut granola
- Lemon or orange zest
- Chopped up shortbread cookies
Have you ever made a no-bake cheesecake? What is your favorite flavor?