KitchenTigress: No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake

No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake

oreo cheesecake decorated with heart cookie cutouts
There're only 4 ingredients in my no-bake cheesecake filling: yogurt, cream cheese, icing sugar, and gelatine.

There's no cream in the recipe. Why not?

Because cream cheese plus cream is too heavy for the hot, humid weather in Singapore.

Instead of cream, I use natural yogurt. It's creamy but it has less than 10% of the fat in cream.
oreo cheesecake decorated with heart cookie cutouts
Natural yogurt is quite sour. A fair bit of sugar is needed to balance the sourness. I use icing sugar because it melts easily.

Cheesecake filling made without whipped cream needs some gelatine. There should be just enough to set the liquid ingredients. Too much gelatine makes the filling lose its creaminess and turn into pudding.

The ingredients' consistency also affects how well the filling sets. My recipe uses set yogurt. Thin, pourable yogurt would make the filling too soft.

Cream cheese turns watery when it's mixed too much. The change is irreversible.

Watery cream cheese would make the filling less firm. Overmixing can happen in seconds if you use a food processor. But it's unlikely if you mix manually.

There're two types of cream cheese: block and spreadable. Block is firmer. Spreadable is softer. This recipe works with block cream cheese. It's mixed till smooth without losing its firm consistency.

There're broken Oreo pieces in my cheesecake. I scatter the cookies between 3 layers of cream cheese mixture.

The cream cheese mixture should be thick enough to stop the cookies from sinking. But it may not be if the weather is hot, or if the cream cheese is overmixed.

What to do if the mixture is too thin? Chill it before assembling the cheesecake. After it cools down in the fridge, it thickens up nicely.

What's the right consistency? If the cream cheese mixture is level – like water – after it's poured, it's too thin. If it isn't level, but it is after you shake it, that's just right.

There're air bubbles in the cream cheese mixture. They rise to the surface and leave pockmarks on the cake when the consistency is too thin. That's another reason for getting the cream cheese mixture thick.
assembling oreo cheesecake
Cheesecake crust is made with cookie crumbs and butter. Some people melt their butter before whizzing it with cookies in a food processor. That's not necessary at all. Food processors can pulverise solid butter in seconds. Melt the butter only if you're crushing and mixing by hand.

Using a food processor speeds things up. Doing everything manually, as I show in my video, takes longer but it's hardly hard labour. I don't break a sweat making cheesecake by hand.

How to Substitute Gelatine Leaves with Gelatine Powder

All gelatines have a Bloom number to indicate their gel strength, clarity and taste. Gelatines with a low number give a softer set, they're murky, and they taste awful. Those with a high number give a firmer set. And they're almost transparent, and almost tasteless.
gelatine leaves
The amount of gelatine powder for replacing 3 gelatine leaves varies with the powder's Bloom number:
Bloom 125-155: 9.9 g (3 tsp)
Bloom 160-180: 7.5 g (21/3 tsp)
Bloom 190-225: 6.0 g (13/4 tsp)
Bloom 235-265: 5.1 g (11/2 tsp)

To bloom gelatine powder, put it in a bowl and sprinkle with just enough room temperature water to wet it thoroughly. The powder to water ratio is 1:3 by weight, or 1:2 by volume. Once wet, the gelatine powder may be melted in a hot water bath, as for gelatine leaves in the recipe below.

How to make no-bake Oreo cheesecake

Step-by-step guide

Whipped cream in a cheesecake, in addition to cream cheese, would be too rich. This recipe uses natural yogurt instead, which makes the cake deliciously tangy and light. Gelatine is added to help the filling set without cream.

oreo cheesecake decorated with heart cookie cutouts
  • 18 Oreos without icing (132 g)
  • 40 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 8.5 Oreos without icing, soft
  • 3 gelatine leaves (read update above if using gelatine powder)
  • 500 g full-fat natural set yogurt
  • 250 g full-fat block cream cheese
  • 120 g icing sugar, sift if lumpy
  • 2.5 Oreos without icing
  • scraps from cutouts, or 6.5 Oreos without icing
  1. Bring all ingredients to room temperature unless otherwise stated.

  2. Line 8" x 5" x 2" cake pan with 2 sheets of plastic forming "t" shape, leaving overhang of 1".

  3. TO MAKE CRUST, place 18 Oreos in plastic bag. Bash into fine crumbs. Add butter. Mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into cake pan. Spread evenly. Press hard so that crumbs are compact. Refrigerate.

  4. TO MAKE CUTOUTS, cut 8.5 Oreos with 3 cm and 2 cm heart-shaped cutters.

  5. TO MAKE FILLING, soak gelatine in ice water till just soft, 4-5 minutes. Squeeze hard to remove excess water. Place in bowl. Place bowl in freshly boiled water till gelatine is melted, about 5 minutes.

  6. Add 2-3 tbsp yogurt to melted gelatine. Whisk till even and smooth. Transfer to mixing bowl. Add remaining yogurt. Whisk till even and smooth.

  7. Beat cream cheese till half smooth. Add icing sugar. Beat till just even and smooth. Add about 1/4 of yogurt mixture. Whisk till just smooth. Add remaining yogurt mixture. Whisk till just even. Taste and add more sugar if you like. Scrape down thoroughly and mix through.

  8. If necessary, chill cream cheese mixture till consistency is like softly whipped cream.
  9. making oreo cheesecake filling
  10. TO ASSEMBLE, break 2.5 Oreos into small pieces. Add scraps from cutouts, or 6.5 broken Oreos.

  11. Pour almost 1/3 of cream cheese mixture into cake pan. Sprinkle with half of cookies. Repeat layering as before. Finish with layer of cream cheese mixture. Bang cake pan against worktop 3-4 times. Cover and refrigerate till filling is set, about 8 hours. Keep chilled till serving time.

  12. TO SERVE, remove cake from pan. Discard plastic lining. Transfer cake to cake board. Decorate with cutouts. Cut with chef's knife, wiping knife clean after each cut.