Rich and creamy cheesecake parfaits with layers of crumbled vanilla wafers and blackberry sauce. This is a great make-ahead dessert that’s great any time of the year.
When I first started the blog I often wrote about my cooking fails, but now I like to share what works. We’re all busy and posts about what went wrong don’t help us get dinner on the table. Makes sense, right?
But sometimes mistakes and challenges lead to something wonderful and so today I need to share the fail so you know how I got to these beautiful no-bake cheesecake parfaits.
It all started with Martha Stewart’s no-bake cheesecake recipe.
Long story short, I followed the recipe and ended up with a thick crust that didn’t do much to hold the cheesecake filling in place. When I cut into it, after it spent the night in the fridge, the filling oozed out. It was delicious, but it had no structure. I want my slice of cheesecake to stand tall and proud, not collapse and ooze over the edges of the crust like it’s given up on life.
When I reviewed the recipe to find the error of my ways, I noticed a side note suggesting an alternative way to serve the dessert: parfaits.
So I started over.
Serving the no-bake cheesecake parfait-style made all the difference. All that creamy cheesecake goodness contained in a serving glass. No oozing filling. The perfect amount of cookie crumble crust. No nail-biting anxiety wondering if it will all collapse.
So a kitchen fail turned into a decadent win this time thanks to Martha and her helpful side-note suggestion and her not so helpful original recipe. I’ve switched things up by adding a super simple blackberry sauce and trading out traditional graham crackers for vanilla wafer cookies crumbs (you know the ones I’m talking about — I opened the box and it smelled like my childhood, artificial flavors and all). These no-bake cheesecake parfaits are an easy make-ahead dessert that looks like you slaved away making it, but takes less than thirty minutes start to finish.
That’s my kind of dessert.
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Adapted from Martha Stewart’s No-Bake Cheesecake recipe these easy no-bake cheesecake parfaits have layers of blackberry sauce and vanilla wafer cookie crumbles. Make them up to a day in advance to allow time for them to set and chill.
For the Cookie Crumble Crust
- 6 ounces vanilla wafer cookies (about 1/2 of 11 ounce box)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake Filling
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon
For the Blackberry Sauce
- 6 ounces fresh blackberries
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon
- Make the Cookie Crumble Crust: First, place the cookies in a resealable bag. Using a rolling pin or meat mallet, pound on the cookies until they have crumbled into very small pieces. You can also use a food processor for this step. In a separate bowl, drizzle the melted butter over the crumbled cookies and stir to combine.
- Make the Cheesecake Filling: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese on medium speed until it’s creamy and smooth. Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and lemon juice and continue mixing on medium speed until combined, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Make the Blackberry Sauce: In a food processor or blender, puree the blackberries with the lemon juice. Strain the blackberry puree using a fine mesh sieve catching all the juices in a bowl. Discard the seeds and pulp.
- Assemble the Parfaits: Divide the crumbled cookies, filling, and sauce evenly among serving glasses layering each.
- Keep the parfaits in the refrigerator for at least four hours before serving. Serve cold.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Category: Desserts
- Method: No Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
- Calories: 574
- Sugar: 46.5g
- Sodium: 349.8mg
- Fat: 35g
- Saturated Fat: 19.9g
- Unsaturated Fat: 11.9g
- Trans Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 57.6g
- Fiber: 1.4g
- Protein: 10g
- Cholesterol: 95.6mg
Keywords: no-bake cheesecake parfaits, dessert parfait recipe