Velvety, rich and deliciously easy, this no bake Black Forest cheesecake is an absolutely show-stopping dessert. Smooth chocolate cheesecake filling, packed with black cherries and a touch of Kirsch liqueur, is sat on a buttery dark chocolate biscuit base, and is topped with whipped cream and more cherries. Cheesecake doesn’t get any better than this!
There’s something about the combination of dark chocolate, cherries and whipped cream that speaks right to my dessert heart.
That sweetness of the cream, with the tartness of the cherries and the slight bitterness of the chocolate; it’s go it all going on.
In my opinion, I don’t think there’s a more classic dessert flavour combo than a Black Forest.
Yes I know it’s a bit retro; I mean who really eats Black Forest desserts now-a-days, it’s all fancy and exotic flavours. But if you saw chocolate, cherries and cream on a dessert menu are you going to turn it down?
And if you are going to say no, I’ll happily take your portion off your hands for you!
So feeling a bit nostalgic for a patisserie in my hometown, and eyeing up a black cherry pie filling when doing the online shop, I decided it was time for me to take on a no bake Black Forest cheesecake.
If you want to skip the essential info and handy tips for making the most delectable Black Forest cheesecake, then head on down to the printable recipe card.
What is a Black Forest dessert?
Traditionally a Black Forest dessert is a cake or gateaux, based on the German dessert, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.
And although it is not named after the Black Forest mountains in Germany, it’s the traditional cherry liqueur of the region that gives the dessert it’s name and it’s flavour.
Over the years, the combination of chocolate, cherries and cream have been adapted, tweaked and reimagined in lots of different styles of Black Forest desserts. And this no bake cheesecake is one of them…
You’ll love this Black Forest cheesecake because…
Well let’s be honest, you’re going to love this because it ticks all the flavour boxes with…
- Silky, creamy chocolate cheesecake filling, packed with tart black cherries and a touch of Kirsch cherry liqueur
- Thick buttery dark chocolate Digestive biscuit base, perfect for cheesecake crust fans
- Sweet whipped cream topping and more plump cherries smothered with a sweet cherry sauce
Not only that, it’s also…
- Super simple and quick to make – less than 30 minutes with some chilling time in between
- Absolutely no baking, no waterbaths, or no gelatine
I told you it was one of the easiest cheesecakes ever!
What you’ll to make this recipe
When it comes to desserts, I’m all about the simpler to make, the better. That doesn’t mean I’m about to crack open the box mix or pre-made fillings. Where’s the fun in that?
What I mean is, let’s get stuck in and make things from scratch, but with simple ingredients, equipment and techniques.
And trust me, if you’ve tried any of my other cheesecake recipes, you will know that I love a deliciously easy no bake cheesecake.
View my Amazon shopping list with equipment and ingredients.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Black Forest cheesecake:
- Full-Fat Cream Cheese – Full-fat is important for the filling set properly and that velvety smooth texture. Use either a block cream cheese or Philadelphia cream cheese and allow it to come up to room temperature, 15 minutes before you use it, to avoid lumps in your filling.
- Dark Chocolate Digestive Biscuits – I go with dark chocolate for that classic Black Forest feel, but you could switch these for a different chocolate biscuit or cookie. Oreos would work perfectly, similar to my Baileys cheesecake.
- Double or Heavy Cream – The high fat content is vital to help the cheesecake filling set. If you can’t find double or heavy cream, then you can use whipping cream instead.
- Black Cherry Pie Filling – I prefer to use canned cherries as they have the sweet and tartness that I associate with Black Forest cakes. You can also use black cherries in light syrup if you can not get pie filling. Fresh cherries will also work, but they will have a firmer texture.
- Kirsch Liqueur– For that true Black Forest flavour a touch of cherry liqueur or cherry brandy is perfect. If you prefer not to use alcohol, you can substitute with some of the syrup, from the cherries or pie filling.
- Dark or Semi-Sweet Chocolate
- Icing or Powdered Sugar
I can promise you that you’ll have everything you need to make this in your kitchen cupboards.
Grab yourself a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer. You could also use a stand mixer or a balloon whisk, if you prefer.
You’ll also need a springform cake pan, this allows you to easily remove the cheesecake once it’s chilled, without damaging it. For this recipe, an 8-inch diameter one works best.
How to make this no bake cheesecake
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card
Just like my other cheesecake recipes, this is a really easy method. Follow the recipe and check out my handy tips, and the most delicious cheesecake will be yours!
The Biscuit Base
First up crush the biscuits for the cheesecake base. You want to crush them as fine as you can. I use a food processor, or you can break them up into smaller pieces, place in a Ziploc bag and bash them with a rolling pin.
Add the biscuits to a large mixing bowl and combine with the melted butter to form a crumb dough. Press this into the bottom of the springform cake pan and smooth down with the back of a spoon.
Chill the base for 30 minutes to an hour, to firm up.
TOP TIP: Clamp a piece of baking parchment between the springform ring and base, this will help the cheesecake slide easily onto a serving plate.
The Cheesecake Filling
While the base is chilling, get ahead and make the filling; it only takes a few minutes.
Start by melting the chocolate using a bain marie double boiler or in 30-second blasts in the microwave. Leave it to cool down slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, gently fold together the cream cheese and the icing sugar. Then with a handheld mixer, beat in the cream until the filling becomes smooth and thick.
Pour in the melted chocolate, black cherries from the pie filling and Kirsch liqueur, then stir together until evenly distributed.
Finally pour the filling on to the chilled base, level off using an offset spatula and pop back in the fridge to set for 7 hours or overnight.
Decorating the cheesecake
When the cheesecake is chilled and set, it’s ready to decorate.
I prefer to pipe whipped cream around the outside of the cheesecake, and then fill the centre with leftover black cherry pie filling and grate over dark chocolate.
Step by step live video
Frequently asked questions
This recipe is best make in an 8-inch round springform pan, and will serve 10-12 slices.
The cheesecake must be kept chilled. Once the filling has set, cover the cheesecake loosely with cling film or plastic wrap, and keep in the fridge.
The cheesecake with keep for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
Yes you can, for up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap the cheesecake with cling film or plastic wrap and a layer of kitchen foil. This protects the cheesecake from freezer burn and reduces the risk of ice crystals forming. Just remember to allow the cheesecake to defrost fully in the fridge before serving.
The recipe uses full-fat cream cheese and double or heavy cream to set the filling. Some recipes suggest using gelatine, but I prefer the simplicity of this recipe and also the smooth and creamy texture it gives the cheesecake.
There could be a number of reasons ranging from the ingredients to the weather but the most common reason is that the filling hasn’t been whipped enough. It’s important that you whip the filling so it is smooth and thick but spreadable Check out my top tips for how to prevent this.
Top tips for the perfect no bake cheesecake
This recipe is super simple and I’ve made it too many times to remember, so I know that if you follow the recipe and these top tips you’ll ace it!
The ingredients & equipment
- Invest in a springform cake pan – Have you ever tried to get a cheesecake out of a normal cake pan? What a mess! However, a springform cake pan let you release the cheesecake without having to turn it out. I also add a layer of baking parchment beneath my biscuit crust so I can easily slide the cheesecake onto a serving plate.
- Start with room temperature cream cheese – Take the cream cheese out of the fridge 10-15 minutes before you want to use it. Cold cream cheese can create lumps in your filling. It will also give have a creamier texture.
- Use full-fat cream cheese – This is important as it helps the cheesecake filling stabilise and set. It’s best to use either a block-style cream cheese if available or Philadelphia cream cheese.
- Use double, heavy or whipping cream – Just like the cream cheese, the fat content is important to set the filling. The higher the fat content, the thicker you can whip the cream which is needed to hold the filling together.
- Don’t overbeat the filling – If you beat the filling too much, the cream will become grainy. You want it to be thick and creamy, but smooth enough to spread easily with a palette knife.
- Don’t under beat the filling – If you don’t whisk the filling enough, the cream will not thicken up which will result in a runny cheesecake filling that will not stabilise and set properly.
- Be patient and chill – It’s vital that you let the cheesecake chill in the fridge for at least 6-7 hours before serving. Remember you can always make the cheesecake the day before, and chill overnight.
No Bake Black Forest Cheesecake
- 100 ml Double Cream or Heavy Cream
- 25 g Icing Sugar or Powdered Sugar
- Make the biscuit base – Add the biscuits into a food processor, and blitz until they form a crumb, then add to a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the biscuit crumbs, and pour in the melted butter.
- Mix together until well combined, and then pour into an 8 inch springform tin. Press down onto the biscuit base with a spoon and smooth out to the edges. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Make the cheesecake filling – Add the chocolate to a small heatproof bowl, place over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure that the bowl does not touch the water. Heat until all the chocolate has melted. Alternatively, melt in the microwave. Set aside to cool.
- Using a stand mixer with the balloon whisk attachment, gently combine the icing sugar and cream cheese.
- Add the double cream and whisk together until the cream thickens and the filling is smooth and thick.
- Add the melted chocolate and Kirsch liqueur, then gently beat into the filling until well combined.
- Alternatively, you can make the cheesecake filling, in a large mixing bowl, by hand or with an electric hand whisk.
- Drain the cherries from the cherry pie filling, reserving the cherry syrup. Gently fold in one third (1/3) of the cherries into the cheesecake filling with a spatula. Keep the remaining cherries to decorate the top of the cheesecake later.
- Assemble the cheesecake – Pour the cheesecake filling over the top of the chilled biscuit base, then smooth over and level with an offset spatula. Chill the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Decorate the cheesecake – When ready to serve, whip up the remaining double/ heavy cream with the icing sugar and pipe on top of the cheesecake. Add the remaining cherries into the centre of the cheesecake and pour over the reserved cherry syrup.
- Decorate with grated dark chocolate if you prefer.
- Use a springform cake pan so you can release your cheesecake without running the risk of damaging it in the process.
- Your cheesecake will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, and up to 3 months in the freezer. When freezing make sure you wrap it well with cling film or plastic wrap, and then a layer of aluminum foil to prevent ice crystals forming in the filling. Remember to allow the cheesecake to thaw before serving.
- Use room temperature cream cheese to avoid any potential lumps that you might get if it is too cold.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.