Cheesecake is one of those desserts that feels celebratory and special, but it can also seem really intimidating to prepare. Not so with this recipe! This is one of the easiest cheesecakes I’ve ever whipped up—and it’s definitely the most delicious. Made with a creamy filling of cream cheese that’s perked up by lemon juice and vanilla, it’s light, fresh, and totally special occasion-worthy.
My husband’s family has a tradition of making huckleberry cheesecake for all warm-weather celebrations, and as a result, it’s become his preferred birthday dessert. We threw him a party over the weekend and I knew cheesecake had to be on the menu.
I know it might seem odd that I didn’t just use the family recipe, but I really wanted to incorporate the same flavors without all of the sweetened condensed milk. To me, that makes the cheesecake just taste sweet (perhaps I should say SWEET for emphasis—that stuff intense!), and I think you miss out of on the nuances of the rest of the ingredients. I took the inspiration for this dessert from this No-Bake Cheesecake recipe that’s low in sugar and made with real ingredients.
How to make cheesecake ?
It calls for cream cheese and a little gelatin to thicken things up. To make the end result ultra-creamy, I swapped in half milk and half yogurt for the water in the original recipe (I heated the milk to ensure that the gelatin would dissolve) and added the juice of half of a lemon for a hint of tartness. The family classic cheesecake had a graham cracker crust, so that’s what I opted for instead of the gingersnap crust. Before filling, I baked the crust for a few minutes. You absolutely don’t have to, but the crust does get a little firmer if heated, which can translate to prettier, less crumbly slices.
And finally, I simplified the topping by using a small jar of huckleberry jam. This added the fruity flavor that my husband loves, a pretty purple color, and it didn’t require any extra prep time.
We served this no-bake cheesecake to a crowd of friends over the weekend and it was a huge hit. The creamy filling paired perfectly with the just-sweet-enough topping. It delighted me to no end that that everyone enjoyed my new take on the family recipe. I know your family will enjoy it too!
More Cheesecake Recipe
Easy Huckleberry Cheesecake
- 1¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 2 tblsp sugar
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup boiling milk
- 2 8-ounce packages reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup jam
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Transfer crumb mixture to a 9-inch springform pan or a 9-inch pie plate. Press crumb mixture evenly into the bottom and just slightly up the sides of the pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until golden, and remove from oven and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the 1/3 cup sugar, the gelatin, and the yogurt. Stir well for 2-3 minutes to dissolve the gelatin. Add the boiling milk; stir about 5 minutes or until gelatin is completely dissolved. Add the cream cheese, vanilla, and lemon juice; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Pour mixture into the crust.
- Drizzle the jam on top of the cheesecake filling. Draw a toothpick through the puree and filling to create a marbled effect. Chill the cheesecake for about 3 hours or until cheesecake is firm.
- To serve, remove sides of the springform pan; cut cheesecake into wedges.