Delight in a slice of these easy Christmas cheesecake bars this holiday season! A cross between an icebox cheesecake and a whipped cream pie, they have a wonderful, creamy filling over a simple buttery cookie crust and topped cookie crumbs with festive sprinkles.
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No-Bake Cheesecake Bars Recipe
There are so many words to describe this incredible holiday cheesecake – rich, luxurious, and utterly delicious. Oh, and did I mention it doesn’t require any baking?!
It’s so easy to make and looks like it came straight out of a cake shop. It’s made with a crunchy, buttery crust, topped with perfectly whipped cheesecake filling infused with peppermint and vanilla, then finished with a crumb and sprinkle topping.
When you share a slice, everyone will want the recipe!
Below is a list of the simple ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this easy recipe. Scroll down to the full recipe card for the amounts.
- Vanilla Wafers: a lightly sweetened cookie gets pulsed into coarse crumbs to act as part of the crust as well as the topping.
- Pretzel Twists: gives a nice salty balance to the sweetness in the crust.
- Butter: Use salted or unsalted, it’s up to you. This binds the crust crumbs together.
- Cream Cheese: he base of the filling, so you’ll want to make sure to use blocks of full-fat cream cheese rather than tubs of spreadable kind that contain too much water. Soften two blocks to room temperature so that it creams easily.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: sweetens and thickens the cream cheese filling.
- Vanilla Extract: gives our favorite warm flavor.
- Peppermint Extract: gives a deliciously bright Christmas-y flavor.
- Whipped Topping: creates an airy, whipped consistency to lighten up the filling.
- Sprinkles: optional but do a good job of adding a little extra festivity.
1. Use a different kind of cookie, like Golden Oreos, Shortbread Cookies, graham crackers or even Gingerbread Cookies for the base and topping. You can even make it without the pretzels if you’d like and just use the cookie crust or graham cracker crust.
2. Make individual mini cheesecakes by filling up ramekins with the crust, filling, and topping, and then letting it chill. Guests will love these individual servings.
3. Leave out the peppermint extract. This will still taste delicious if you use only vanilla extract.
4. Use this recipe for any holiday celebrations or special occasions by swapping out the color of the sprinkles.
5. For even more peppermint flavor, sprinkles crushed candy canes over the topping as well.
How to Make these No Bake Cheesecake Bars
This is one of the best effortless, no-bake holiday desserts! All you do is mix it, layer it in the pan, and then just let it chill in the freezer, and it will be ready when you are!
Step 1: Line a 9 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
Step 2: Make the crust and topping by adding the cookies and pretzels to a food processor and pulse a few times until they become fine crumbs. Then add those to a medium bowl with melted butter to combine.
Step 3: Transfer half the crumb mixture into a prepared pan and use your fingers to press down evenly. You can also use the bottom of a measuring cup.
Step 4: In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract and blend with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. (feel free to use the bowl of a stand mixer if you’d like)
Step 5: Mix in the thawed cool whip until fully blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you blend. Gently stir in the sprinkles until evenly dispersed.
Step 6: Pour the cheesecake batter over top of the cookie crust and spread evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan.
Step 7: Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture and additional sprinkles on top of the cheesecake if desired, pressing down just slightly.
Step 8: Cover the cake with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight. Take it out about 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve and allow it to thaw a bit for easier slicing.
- When lining the pan with parchment paper, leave enough hanging over the sides so that you can use that to carefully lift the cake out of the pan just before slicing.
- For clean edges, be sure to wipe your knife clean in between each slice.
- If you don’t have a food processor, place the cookies and pretzels in a plastic zip closure bag. Then, roll a rolling pin over them until they are tiny crumbs.
- Feel free to use springform pan if you’d like to have a more traditional looking icebox cheesecake.
Store the bars in the freezer covered with plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil for up to 3 months. You can also wrap individual cheesecake squares in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container.
This recipe can be made a day in advance and is best eaten within 1-2 days of being prepared. The longer it is freezer, the topping and crust will start to soften.
This recipe makes about 9 pieces of cake. This of course depends on how generous you are with the servings 😉
Christmas Crunch Cake
- 50 vanilla wafers crumbled
- ½ cup pretzels twists about 10 twists
- ⅓ cup butter melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened, 2 blocks
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk 1 can
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 8 ounces whipped topping thawed like cool whip
- 2 tablespoons holiday colored sprinkles
- Line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
- In a food processor, add the cookies and pretzels and pulse a few times until they are fine crumbs.50 vanilla wafers, ½ cup pretzels twists
- In a medium bowl, add the crumbs and drizzle the melted butter over top and stir to completely combine.⅓ cup butter
- Add half the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and press down evenly with your fingers.
- In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, condensed milk, vanilla extract and peppermint extract and blend with an electric mixer until creamy16 ounces cream cheese, 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Then stir in the thawed whipped topping and then add in the sprinkles and gently stir again.8 ounces whipped topping, 2 tablespoons holiday colored sprinkles
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over top of the cookie crust and spread evenly
- Top with the remaining crumb mixture and additional sprinkles if desired, pressing down just slightly.
- Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and let it sit for 10 minutes on the counter to thaw a little.
- Lift the cake carefully out of the pan with the parchment paper and slice.
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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