The easiest no bake cream cheese pie in all the land. A crunchy graham cracker crust, a creamy lemony center, topped off with cherry pie filling. It’s SO GOOD! Cream cheese + sweetened condensed milk is magical.

No Bake Cherry Cream Cheese Pie from The Food Charlatan

Originally published July 11, 2017

My daughter Valentine, who is 8 months old now, likes to blow raspberries. All the time. Even when I am feeding her mashed carrots. She will take the bite I offer her (so innocently!), only to spew it everywhere with her tongue, while I try to hide my laughter and pseudo irritation. I’m sure she sees right through it, which must be exactly why my white t-shirt today is spattered with orange.

No Bake Cherry Cheesecake

Yesterday I had her all wrapped up in a blanket and was trying to soothe her with a song before nap time, when she turned her head and zerberted my arm over and over again. So much for quiet time.

Valentine playing - Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

Can you see her tongue sticking out in the left picture? She’s pretending to spray me with sweet potato purée.

Cherry Cheese Pie

No Bake Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

Have you ever had this cream cheese pie? It is delicious by itself and could be paired with any number of sweet or fruit toppings. I wonder where it came from. I can’t remember the first time I had it, but it seems to be kind of ubiquitous. Most of the recipes I looked up were exactly the same (graham crust, mix cream cheese and condensed milk with lemon and vanilla, top with cherry filling) yet almost all the citations claimed “My mom,” ” Grandma Pat,” or “Aunt Sue” as the recipe source.

No Bake Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

Not that citing the person who gave you a recipe is the wrong way to do it; I actually love it. That’s the way recipes travel. One of my most popular posts on The Food Charlatan is this recipe for My Mom’s Fudge, aptly named because my mom LOVES this fudge and has made it every Christmas to give to our neighbors for as long as I can remember. In my mind, this recipe is my MOM’S fudge, even though it’s the recipe they used to print on the back of the marshmallow creme jar. (People on Facebook get very upset about this. “That’s not your mom’s fudge, it’s the one on the jar!”)

Recipe citation is important, yes, especially when you’re publishing. But recipes are personal. I hope YOU become known among your family and friends as an awesome cook when making the recipes you find here on The Food Charlatan.  People will say, “Wow, you’re a great cook!” Not, “Wow, you must have found a reliable blog!” And that’s just as it should be I think. Take the credit! You made it, you deserve it!

How to make this no bake cherry cheesecake

No Bake Cheesecake with Condensed Milk

Anyway, back to the pie. I know I just posted Cherry Pie for 4th of July, but I hope you guys aren’t all cherry’d out. Although they both have cherries and are both pies, I feel like they are in different categories. I mean, this is a no bake. It’s brainless. The other pie requires a little more finesse, what with the stars and stripes and all.

And it is so darn good. Some might consider this as a cherry cheesecake recipe. It has almost all the same ingredients as my No Bake Cheesecake Parfait Bar, which is a super fun dessert to serve at parties, especially if you are feeling lazy. It’s basically a deconstructed version of this pie. Whether you call it a cream cheese pie or a no bake cheesecake, you can’t go wrong with that!

No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Recipe


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No Bake Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

4.67 from 6 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Servings: 8
A crunchy graham cracker crust, a creamy lemony center, topped off with cherry pie filling!


For the Crust::

  • 9 whole graham cracker sheets, or 1 & 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons butter

For the Filling::

  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • zest from 1 lemon, optional
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice, fresh is best
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (21-oz) can cherry pie filling, chilled


For the crust:

  • Prepare the crust. If baking your crust, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a food processor, blend together the graham crackers, salt and sugar until fine and completely ground. (If you don't have a food processor, throw the crackers in a ziplock and crush with a rolling pin.) You can also use 1 and 1/2 cups store bought graham cracker crumbs.
  • Melt the butter in a small bowl. Pour the butter into the food processor and blend well. (Mix together crumbs and butter in a bowl if you don't have a food processor.)
  • Dump the mixture into a pie pan. No need to grease the pan.
  • Use the bottom of a glass or the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
  • At this point you can either refrigerate the crust for 1 hour (do this if you don't have air conditioning!) or you can bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350. Refrigerating results in a more crumbly crust, baking will get a sturdier crust that is a little more crunchy. But both methods work great.
  • Cool the crust completely if you baked it. I put it in the freezer for a bit.

For the filling:

  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Add the sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest (optional*), lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat well, scraping the sides, until everything is incorporated, and then stop.
  • Pour the filling into the cooled crust, and spread smooth on top.
  • Place the pie in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, until completely chilled. Put the unopened can of cherry pie filling into the fridge at the same time so that it gets cold.
  • When you are ready to serve, open the can of cherry pie filling. Spread it over the top evenly. Slice and serve!


*The lemon zest is an untraditional ingredient. It really makes the lemon flavor shine. Without it, the pie will have a more neutral flavor, making the cherries stand out more. I like it both ways! (Don't skip the lemon juice)
Source: I feel like this recipe is all over the place (I saw many sources citing "my grandma so-and-so") but I got the details from


Serving: 1g | Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 344mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 973IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 193mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 524
Keyword: cherry, Cream Cheese, No Bake, pie
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

More fun summer desserts like this one!

No Bake Cheesecake with Caramelized Peaches << use up all those summer peaches!!

No Bake Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Caramelized Peaches


No Bake Cheesecake Parfait Bar << the ingredient for this recipe are almost the same as today’s, but just deconstructed.

No Bake Cheesecake Parfait Bar from


Cherry Pie for 4th of July! <<< Or for anytime really. No one’s going to say no to Cherry Pie :)

Cherry Pie for 4th of July! from The Food Charlatan


Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Parfaits << or you could eat it as a dip, like this photo:

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Parfaits from The Food Charlatan


More cherry goodness from friends:

Black Bottom No Bake Cherry Cheesecake from Melanie Makes
No Bake Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar from Country Cleaver
Sweet Black Cherry Pie Filling from Foodie with Family

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  1. The Heading says ” no bake cherry …… ” First instruction is turn on oven to 350 to bake crust.

    I’m using a box of Honey Maid crumbs . Bake or no bake ?
    I’m confused. [ I’m a 69 yr old male trying to learn how to bake [novice ] – having fun

    1. Hi Michael! You are so right! The “no bake” refers to the fact that the cheesecake mixture is not baked. baked cheesecakes and no bake cheesecakes are two completely different desserts. So bake up that crust if you like! If you really don’t want to turn the oven on, you can skip baking, press it into the pan as usual, and chill it for a few hours before adding the cream cheese mixture. The crust won’t be as crunchy this way. Great question!

  2. I believe that Jello came out with instant cheesecake in a box in the ’60’s. They had a recipe on the back for a presentation with cherry pie filling on the top. I’m so glad someone provided a home made no bake recipe. Avoid the box! Christina P.

  3. I’ve made this recipe for years only I used pre-made graham cracker crust. It’s my favorite desert of all time.

  4. When i make my Cheese Cake I add 1/3c. of Sugar add 1 TB Lemon Juice to the Cream Cheese Than i use whip topping mix with The Cream Cheese than i pour into Graham cracker Crust cool about 30 mins. than i Top with Cherries cool in refr. 30min. before serving can add more sugar if you like it sweeter i don’t …

  5. Hi there, I just cake across your post and loved it.  I’ve been making this pie since 1964, when my mother taught me how.  I was so tickled about your comments about the fudge recipe “on the jar” that happens to all of us at one time or another. Lol. This particular pie we called “Mom’s Cream Cheese Pie” because for my family that’s where it originated for us.  It’s been a while since i’ve made it, so I couldn’t remember the amount of lemon juice. My search brought me here, and you should know your post was delightful. Candi

    1. See, it’s totally Mom’s Cream Cheese Pie! I love recipe titles like that. It means it’s well-loved :) Thanks for sharing your memories Candi!

  6. Cherry no bake cheesecake pie started out 1963 or so in a magazine and was called Cherry O Cream Cheese Pie. We were newly weds…my husband couldn’t get enough of it and it is still a favorite. I saw the recipe at what was then called the Beauty Shop and went straight to the store and bought the ingredients. Two days later, back to get ingredients again and therefore only the two of us! Later Mother in law made it with blueberry pie filling.(add a bit of fresh lemon to blueberry filling. We still prefer the cherry.

    1. Cherry O!! That’s such a cute name! Thanks so much for the history on this recipe Annie! I love hearing where recipes came from, I feel like they are so hard to track down sometimes. I love that you made this twice in one week, it really is that good :) I bet this would be good with blueberry and a bit of lemon! Great idea.

    2. Yes, my grandmother made this as far back as I can remember, at least 45 years ago. The tradition has been passed down through the years and generations. I am now passing it on to my daughter-in-law to make for my son…his favorite.

    3. Yes! Growing up, my mama made this often and called it, ” Cherry-O Cream Cheese Pie!” I have her handwritten recipe that I follow to this day! We’ve had it with blueberry, strawberry and peach topping and, even though they are all delicious, cherry is always a favorite of everyone! I love that this recipe is still around and getting new life , such as this version here! Thank you for reminding me of wonderful memories!

  7. My mouth is watering, this looks delicious. I love the idea of no bake, a quick and simple recipe that I can’t wait to try

  8. Thanks for the recipe. I’m going to try making it from scratch using your recipe as a guide. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Mary!! She is the best! I can’t believe it’s been 8 months. Time flies. (“The days are long, the years are short.” I’m finding this to be more true as I age!)

  9. i have a strawberry one of these bookmarked, but i think i like the cherry better. also? earlier this year i made a cherry pie from scratch and…honestly? i think i like the stuff in a can better! lol! hey, live and learn and do what YOU like, right? and definitely take the credit! that’s one i struggle with – cooking is a hobby for me and whenever someone is like “wow you make all this awesome food!” i’m like “i just followed a recipe.” it’s not like i’m in my kitchen just making this stuff up. THAT would be something. but i realize, not everyone can follow a recipe and have it turn out good. and i know this because there are times when *i* follow a recipe and it doesn’t turn out good! ;) so when it does, and especially if it’s so good it’s a family favorite, share the recipe but also take the credit! even if it’s not ‘your’ recipe, you made it great.

    i do not like to see professional websites taking credit for other people’s work, but if i find out someone’s old family recipe is from a box or it’s really from a local bakery, who cares! makes a good story and fond memories either way :)

    1. Same thing happened to me last time I made a peach pie! I was like, really, this is it?? (I only make peach custard now. So much better!)

      Isn’t it so funny how recipes get passed around? I think it’s so fun. I would love to be able to follow some of them back to their roots. It would be so interesting!

    1. And gone in a flash! I’ve never seen a pie disappear so quickly! What is summer for I guess : )

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