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A summery and delicious strawberry crunch cheesecake made with juicy fresh strawberries. This no-bake cheesecake is delicious, refreshing and topped with a sweet crunchy layer. Decorated with fresh strawberries, the strawberry shortcake cheesecake feels like summer in a cake.
Throughout summer I just can’t get enough of strawberry desserts. This year I’ve been in love with all things strawberry cheesecake, starting with my Strawberry Cheesecake Mochi, Strawberry Cheesecake Cake and Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake Cones. Now I want to continue this delicious strawberry series with the most refreshing and delicious strawberry crunch cheesecake.
This strawberry crunchy cheesecake recipe is perfect for all summer celebrations because it’s light, fragrant and looks picture perfect. The entire strawberry cheesecake crunch cake is made with fresh strawberries for maximum flavour. The recipe is really easy to make with the no bake cheesecake and biscuit crunchy topping.
Why this recipe is great
This is hands down my favourite strawberry cheesecake because all the flavours are entirely natural with no artificial additives. Fresh strawberries all throughout the cheesecake add natural sweetness, and the caramelised biscuits on top add even more flavour.
This strawberry crunch cheesecake is:
- The perfect summer dessert
- Sweet, silky smooth and rich
- Crunchy, with a biscuit base and crunchy crumbles topping
- Light, refreshing and delicious
- Easy to make with the no bake cheesecake
- Natural, using no artificial flavouring
- Perfect for all summer celebrations
- Ideal to make when it’s too hot to bake
Strawberry crunch cheesecake layers
The best thing about this cheesecake is that it’s silky smooth but also crunchy. The creamy strawberry cheesecake works perfectly with the biscuit base and the crunchy crumbles on top. And let’s not forget about the juicy fresh strawberries placed all around the cheesecake and on top of the crumbles!
This strawberry cheesecake crunch cake has four main components:
- Cookie base - made from plain vanilla cookies mixed with melted butter, this is a traditional base of all cheesecakes
- No bake strawberry cheesecake – made with cream cheese, heavy (double) cream and strawberry coulis. Are using all-natural flavours, the cheesecake filling has a wonderful enrich strawberry taste. This layer is fool proof, takes only minutes to make and requires no baking.
- Fresh strawberries – placed around the edges of the cheesecake, the fresh strawberry halves add juiciness and freshness. They also make the cheesecake look beautiful and delicate.
- Crunchy topping – made from caramelised biscuits / cookies, melted chocolate and freeze-dried strawberries. This layer adds crunchiness, but also a lot of flavour. By using freeze-dried strawberries, the flavour of the cheesecake remains natural and rich.
All the ingredients used in this strawberry crunchy cheesecake are as natural as possible without any artificial flavours. There is also minimal added sugar in this recipe, as the strawberries add natural sweetness.
- Plain vanilla cookies – used for the base of the cheesecake and also for the crunchy crumbles on top. You can use Golden Oreos (without cream), plain milk or vanilla cookies, butter cookies or graham crackers.
- Cream cheese - the main ingredient of the cheesecake. Use full fat cream cheese, such as Philadelphia. If you are in the US, ensure you use brick cream cheese, not spread. Low fat versions will not work as well, as they are much softer.
- Sugar - I used light brown sugar, plain granulated sugar and powdered (icing sugar). Their pure can sugar range have a wonderful unadulterated taste.
- Strawberries – used to make the coulis for the cheesecake and fresh strawberry halves placed inside the cheesecake. For the coulis you can use frozen strawberries (thaw and remove excess liquid) or even strawberry jam. The strawberry halves placed inside the cheesecake need to be fresh.
- Gelatine – used in the strawberry coulis. I recommend using powder gelatine, as it’s easier to dissolve in water. Alternatively, use 2 gelatine sheets (1 tablespoon gelatine powder = 4 sheets).
- Freeze-dried strawberries – used for the crunchy crumbles on top. They are a great alternative to artificial flavouring and add a lot of flavour. I recommend using freeze-dried strawberry pieces.
- Chocolate – used in the crunchy topping as a ‘glue’ to hold everything together. I like to use ruby chocolate due to its fruity flavour. Alternatively, you can also use white chocolate. Milk or dark chocolate will not work well in this recipe.
How to make strawberry crunch cheesecake
Before starting the cheesecake, we need to prepare the strawberry coulis. I recommend doing this at least two hours before preparing the cheesecake or preferably the day before.
- Mix the gelatine powder into the lemon juice, then let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it thickens. Separately, add the hulled and cleaned strawberries to a blender, along with the sugar and corn starch. Pulse until you get a smooth paste.
- Sieve the puree to remove all seeds and large chunks, then add to a saucepan over medium heat.
- Mix every now and then whilst cooking to prevent the strawberry puree from sticking to the pan. Once the mixture starts bubbling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes. When the mixture has thickened slightly, remove it from the heat.
- Microwave the gelatine mixture for 5-10 seconds until it becomes liquid again. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn in the microwave. Add the gelatine to the strawberry coulis, mixing well to incorporate. Place in a covered bowl and let the mixture cool down completely. Store in the fridge until you use it in the cheesecake.
Pro tip: In a rush? Use strawberry jam instead of homemade strawberry coulis. Don’t forget to adjust the sugar so it’s not too sweet.
Making the cheesecake base
Making the cheesecake is really easy and takes only minutes. Gather all your ingredients before beginning.
- Start by preparing the cookie base for the cheesecake. Add the cookies to a food processor or blender and pulse until they turn into a powder. Pour melted butter on top, then mix again to coat the cookies in fat.
- Add the biscuits to a springform pan, then flatten them with your palms or a glass. Make sure to press down to flatten the cookie layer well.
- In a large bowl add the cream cheese, vanilla extract and sugar. Mix well until soft and fluffy (around 1-2 minutes). Add in the cooled strawberry coulis, then mix again until fully incorporated.
- Separately, whip up the heavy (double) cream until it reaches soft-medium peaks. Fold the cream into the cream cheese using a spatula.
Pro tip: Lining your springform pan with plastic wrap makes it much easier to remove the cheesecake once set. The same goes for tray without a removable base – this way you can remove the cheesecake in one piece.
Assembling the cheesecake
Before assembling the cheesecake, prepare the strawberries by hulling them and cutting into halves. Depending on the size of your strawberries, you will need between 6-12 strawberries.
- Place the strawberry halves on the outer rim of the springform pan, with the cut facing outwards. Make sure the flesh of the strawberry sits firmly against the pan, without any gaps.
- Pour the cheesecake filling over, ensuring the strawberries stay in place. Level it with a spatula and gently rap the pan on the work surface to even out the cheesecake layer. Set in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- In the meantime, prepare the crunchy crumbles layer by adding cookies and freeze-dried strawberries to a food processor. Pulse a few times to crush the cookies into smaller pieces, but not into a powder. We want some texture in this crunchy layer. Add the melted chocolate over the crushed biscuits and mix to coat the biscuits in chocolate.
- Spread the crunchy crumbles all over the top of the strawberry cheesecake layer. Press down with a spatula or your palm to flatten the layer, then let the cheesecake chill in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours.
Pro tip: I recommend letting the cheesecake sit in the fridge overnight, as this will help the flavours mature and become more intense.
To finish the strawberry crunch cheesecake, remove it from the springform pan and place on a cake stand. Decorate with whipped cream or Cream Cheese Frosting and top with more strawberry halves.
Success Tips & Tricks
- Chill, chill, chill. Chilling the cheesecake is crucial for the success of this strawberry cheesecake crunch cake. Since the cheesecake is no-bake, it needs a few hours of fridge time to set properly.
- Use natural flavours. Artificial flavours will never taste as delicious as the real thing, so please use fresh strawberries. Similarly, for the crumble it’s best to use dried strawberries instead of strawberry jell-o powder.
- Level all layers. The beauty of this cheesecake rests in the distinct layers. Allow yourself enough time to layer the cookie base, cheesecake layer and crunchy layer on top.
- Get creative. Decorate with sprinkles, edible flowers or other berries. It’s all up to you how you want this strawberry cheesecake to look like, so have fun with it!
How to Store Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake
This strawberry crunch cheesecake needs to be stored in the fridge. To do this, place in an airtight container or cake holder and store for up to 4-5 days. Since this cake uses fresh strawberries, they will wilt within 2 days. If keeping for more than 2 days, I recommend storing the cheesecake within the springform pan. Remove and decorate on the day you will be serving it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Due to this cheesecake containing fresh strawberries inside, I do not recommend freezing it. Thawing frozen fruit will release excess liquid, which can spoil the look of the cheesecake. If you want to make it in advance and freeze, it’s best you leave out the fresh strawberries.
This cheesecake contains dairy and fresh fruit, so it should not be left out. Store in the fridge in an airtight container or cake box.
As indicated this recipe is not gluten free because it uses regular cookies. However, it’s very easy to make it gluten-free by switching the cookies with a gluten-free range.
You should only use full fat cream cheese for no-bake cheesecakes. Low fat cream cheese contains more liquid than full fat, so it can make the frosting too runny. Use a cream cheese with at least 33% fat content. You can check the % on the nutritional label of the package.
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Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake Recipe
- 20 cm / 8-inch springform pan
- Food processor or blender
- hand mixer
- 20 plain cookies (biscuits)*
- 70 g butter, melted (⅓ cup)
- 40 g soft brown sugar (3 tbsp)
Strawberry coulis (reduction)*
- 200 g strawberries (1 cup)
- 20 g lemon juice (1 ½ tbsp)
- 30 g sugar by Dixie Crystals (⅛ cup)
- 8 g corn starch (3 ¼ tsp)
- 4 g gelatine powder (1 ¼ tsp)
- 350 g cream cheese (1 ½ cups)
- 50 g icing sugar (⅓ cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 100 g heavy (double) cream (½ cup)
- 6-7 strawberries, halved
- 10 plain cookies (biscuits)
- 50 g white (or ruby) chocolate, melted (⅓ cup)
- 10 g freeze-dried strawberries, pieces* (2 tbsp)
- 100 g whipping cream (½ cup)
- 6 strawberries, halved
Strawberry coulis (reduction)
- Add the gelatine to the lemon juice and let it bloom for 5 minutes.
- Hull the strawberries, then add them to a large blender along with the sugar and corn starch. Pulse until the mixture becomes liquid and there are no lumps of strawberry. Strain the mixture to remove the seeds and larger pieces.
- Pour the strawberry liquid into a saucepan over medium heat, stirring as it cooks. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until reduced by half.
- Microwave the bloomed gelatine for 5-10 seconds until liquid, then add it to the strawberry coulis. Cover and cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge.
- Add the cookies to a food processor and pulse until they become a powder. Pour the melted butter on top and mix again to coat the cookies in fat.
- Place the cookie mixture in a springform pan, patting it down with your palm or the back of a glass. Make sure it's packed well.
- Add the biscuits and freeze-dried strawberries to a food processor. Pulse a few times to get a crumbly texture. Add in the melted chocolate, then mix to combine it well. You can also add sugar sprinkles if desired.
- Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and cream it until soft, then mix in the vanilla extract and sugar. Start adding in the chilled strawberry coulis in 2-3 parts, mixing to incorporate.
- In a separate bowl whip the heavy (double) cream until soft-medium peaks. Add it into the cream cheese and fold it in gently.
- Place the strawberry halves on top of the base, around the edges of the springform pan. Ensure they are stuck to the pan well, without any gaps.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture in the pan, smoothing it out with a spatula. Ensure the strawberry halves stay in place.
- Place the crunchy crumbles on top, packing it gently and ensuring it's levelled. Chill the cheesecake for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Decorate with whipped cream and strawberry halves as desired.
- I recommend using a kitchen scale in grams for more accuracy. The cups used for the conversion are standard US customary cups (1 cup flour = 136g). There are many different types of cups across the globe, which is why I strongly recommend using grams instead.
- For the plain cookies (biscuits) I recommend using either golden Oreos (without cream), Petite Beurre, Leibniz, Biscoff or Graham Crackers. Any other types of plain vanilla cookies will work as well.
- You can replace the strawberry coulis (reduction) with jam to speed up the process.
- Freeze-dried strawberries cannot be replaced with fresh strawberries.