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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Berry Cheesecake Parfaits {No Bake} Cooking View
Annie's Original

Is everyone getting pumped up for the Fourth?  In truth we don’t really have any big plans, though I am looking forward to a day off with the kids in the middle of the week.  Over the weekend I was brainstorming some fun food ideas for the holiday, but every dessert I came up with was just too involved.  I didn’t feel like spending hours making a fancy cake or cookies.  I have a permanent craving for cheesecake but with the heat we’ve been having I wanted something a bit lighter.  Since I had just finished a fresh batch of greek yogurt, I figured I could probably use it to create something that tasted a whole lot like cheesecake with less effort and less calories.

Turns out my inkling of an idea was right on.  I prepped very simple strawberry and blueberry toppings in advance.  Then I mixed up a simple graham cracker crust and layered it in the bottom of the glasses.  (You could bake the crust if you wish, but I didn’t think it was necessary.  I was going for easy here.)  For the cheesecake filling, I blended cream cheese with greek yogurt, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Still not health food to be sure, but definitely healthier than traditional cheesecake.  I had a bit of graham cracker dough in the freezer (more on that very soon) so I baked up a few stars for a festive garnish.  I was so pleased with how these turned out.  They have the rich, creamy cheesecake flavor I love minus the guilt that comes afterward.  As a bonus, they can be completely made and assembled in advance and pulled out of the fridge for party time.  Now if impromptu plans do arise, I’ve got dessert totally covered.

Berry Cheesecake Parfaits (No Bake)
Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

For the strawberry topping:*
1½ cups chopped strawberries
2 tbsp. granulated sugar

For the blueberry topping:*
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1½ tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. water
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

For the graham cracker base:
¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1½ tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake layer: 
8 oz. cream cheese (reduced fat is fine)
2 cups low-fat greek yogurt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (optional)
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. heavy cream

Cooking View

Directions

  • To make the strawberry topping, combine the strawberries and sugar in a small bowl and toss with a fork to combine.  Let stand at least 1 hour, stirring once or twice, until the berries have released their juices.  Mash the berries a bit with the fork.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

  • To make the blueberry topping, combine the blueberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  In a small pinch bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth.  Stir the berries occasionally when they begin to release their juices.  Once the juices are bubbling, stir in the cornstarch mixture.  Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles and thickens.  Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice.  Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

  • Set out 12 mini mason jars (small glasses will also work).  In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter.  Stir with a fork until evenly combined.  Scoop about 1½ tablespoons of the mixture into the bottom of each jar and tamp down gently with the bottom of a small glass.

  • To make the cheesecake mixture, combine the cream cheese and greek yogurt in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the bowl.  Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix until well incorporated, 1-2 minutes.  Blend in the vanilla and heavy cream on low speed, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes more.  Divide the mixture between the serving jars.  Spoon the blueberry topping over 6 of the servings.  Spoon the strawberry topping over the remaining servings, partially draining of the excess juices before using.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • *The quantities of ingredients listed for the blueberry and strawberry toppings will make just the right amount for this recipe.  If you prefer to make only one type of topping, you will need to make a double batch.

  • http://twitter.com/ilovemealplans Victoria

    Lovely recipe and one that the kids could easily help out with. What biscuits did you use for the star cut outs?

  • Caroline L.

    A wonderful idea! Would love to try this :)

  • http://cookingformykids.com/ Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids

    They look beautiful and delicious…as always. Have a great week!

  • http://twitter.com/ReiniDays Jill

    These look great! Perfect if you’re hosting a 4th party!

  • http://motherrimmy.com/ Motherrimmy

    I love your presentation – the jars are so fun! I have a carton of Greek yogurt and a husband who loves cheesecake. I’ll be off to the store for some cream cheese. Enjoy your 4th!

  • annieseats

    I talked about that in the text of the post :)

  • http://em-and-am.com/ Amanda

    Ooh, so cute! I’m going to have to give this a try once we clear out the jam from the adorable little jars that we got as favors at a wedding recently.

  • http://www.themuffinmyth.com/ Katie

    I love this idea! What a great idea to use Greek yoghurt to lighten up the dessert, and packing them in individual jars is super cute. Thanks for the recipe!

  • http://www.pink-parsley.com/ Josie

    super cute, my dear! :)

  • http://twitter.com/ilovemealplans Victoria

    Thanks, I looked again at the text and found it : )

  • Gina Iampolsky

    I would adore one of those right about now!!!!! Gina

  • Sara

    I really love your blog! I’m from Germany and one of my favorite cakes is similar to your recipe. It almost contains all of your ingredients (cream cheese, sugar, a little bit more heavy cream and curd cheese). But the best part of the cream cheese layer is lemon jell-o (instead of making the jell-o as instructed, you only add a little bit of water to the jell-o powder and add that to the cream cheese). I think its a perfect combination with the fruits on top and makes it so fruity and fresh :-)

  • http://atthepatisserie.wordpress.com/ Ann P.

    Beautiful! There’s nothing better than individual desserts. :) These look like the perfect quick recipe to whip up for a large crowd!

  • http://www.krissys-creations.com Krissy’s Creations

    What an amazing idea! You always come up with the most creative treats :)

  • http://www.acouplecooks.com/ Sonja

    These are so cute — what a great idea! I love that they are no bake too! (Perfect for baking challenged people like myself :) )

  • Rachelle Finck

    SOOO excited!!! I’ll be making this tomorrow for my husband’s company fourth of july party!!! I think I’m going to fold in some lemon curd to the mixture to give it a lemony flavor as well… great with the berries!!

    Keep up the good work! Love seeing your posts each day!

  • http://www.sweatlikemambo.com/ mambo

    Holy moly, I love these!! Adorable & yummy idea!

  • Charlene

    My granddaughters love tea parties. I think these would be such a fun for them to make.
    Might I ask where you purchased the sweet little mason jars? I really
    Enjoy your site. Thank you for sharing this recipe and idea.

  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes

    My apartment is hanging out around 90 degrees this week so I really appreciate all the no-bake dessert ideas I can get! Great job!

  • annieseats

    I bought them at my grocery store. Glad you like them :)

  • http://ashleysweetspot.blogspot.com/ Ashley

    Just finished making these and they are DELISH! I made a half batch of the cheesecake filling and made the crust and fruit topping as written and the proportions were perfect for 4 small glass cups. Thank you so much for sharing yet another fantastic recipe!

  • annieseats

    Awesome! So glad you are enjoying them. I’m happy to have enough to last us for a few more days as well :)

  • http://rileymadel.blogspot.com/ thyme (sarah)

    No big plans for us either….just forward to a break too. We’re thinking of going to this fabulous store in Houston that sells prepared dishes from all over Eastern Europe. We’ll pick out different items and then head home for my cherry tartlets.

  • Jane

    So cute, I’m making them this weekend! I made the blueberry compote today and had it over plain greek yogurt … my grandma used to make it, and I always wondered how she did it. This tastes exactly the same, so now I know! Thanks!

  • Lynda Bay

    Wow! No bake! Awesome…so easy!

  • http://stepbystepinthekitchen.blogspot.com/ Kathleen Richardson

    I’m trying to remember ~ I used to leave the graham cracker package unwrapped and the crackers would soften. If I’d known about your idea way back then, I could have used a cookie cutter to get the shapes from the grahams (and leave the oven off in this heat!).

    Keep writing…

  • happymom

    Perfect! Although, as much as I should have made 12 servings…I found 8 to be the right size for my serving dishes.

  • Aliyia

    This was EXCELLENT!

  • Maureen of Andersruff.com

    Holy yum! Those look amazing!
    Love your site, Annie! Newby here from Anders Ruff.
    maureen@andersruff.com

  • http://cravingthis.wordpress.com/ Cravingthis

    These are the perfect portion sizes! I don’t always have time to make a full sized cheesecake. I have digestive cookies and vanilla wafers on hand, have you tried to use either one (grinded) instead of graham cracker crumbs, and if so, would you still use 1 tbsp sugar?

    Thanks in advance :)

  • annieseats

    I’ve only made the recipe as written here. You’ll have to experiment. Enjoy!

  • Wendy R Campbell

    Just made these–strawberry only. Very yummy. I used 0% FAGE yogurt and reduced fat cream cheese, and they were wonderfully creamy and tangy–very cheesecake-like. I used small plastic cups instead of glasses. Great recipe!

  • loverofgrub

    “I had a bit of graham cracker dough in the freezer (more on that very soon) so I baked up a few stars for a festive garnish.” Am I missing something? I would love to be directed to the recipe for the dough…Thanks!

  • annieseats
  • loverofgrub

    Thank you :) After I posted that I realized I could just search your site, so that’s what I did. Can’t wait to try these.

  • Sarah@ALoveLettertoFood

    Hi Annie! I have been following your site for awhile and am so inspired by it! I made these parfaits and wrote about them on my own food blog: http://alovelettertofood.blogspot.com/2013/07/red-white-and-blue-berry-cheesecake.html
    Everyone at our neighborhood potluck loved them–thanks so much for the fantastic recipe!