This no-bake cheesecake parfait is made with alternating layers of tangy cheesecake and quick berry jam. Top with crumbled gingersnaps for spice and crunch. Use your favorite fresh berries for a gorgeous 4th of July dessert!
I came up with the recipe for this no-bake cheesecake parfait specifically with the 4th of July in mind. Every summer for the Fourth my family would take a boat out to watch the fireworks over the water. My mom and I would spend days prepping the perfect meal plan (there were at least 8 of us, after all). We always settled on food that traveled well and could be easily eaten while bobbing around on a boat.
And for some reason, that framework has shaped my thoughts on what is perfect 4th of July food: it must travel well and be easy to eat. As it turns out, a lot of other people travel on the Fourth too. Heading to potlucks, BBQ’s, beach parties is pretty standard. Ditto with venturing into your backyard and wanting to cut down on dishes for the big day.
That’s where this very convenient, very delicious berry parfait comes in. The parfaits can be made the night before, they won’t get squished in the cooler (thanks glass jar!), they don’t require any special serve ware, AND they’re red, white and blue.
These cheesecake parfaits also happen to be incredibly delicious desserts. The rich, creamy, tangy layer of cheesecake is broken up by sweet jam and chunks of seedy mixed berries. I top them off with crumbles of spicy gingersnaps when I’m ready to serve, which keeps the cookies crisp and adds a wonderful layer of flavor and crunch.
These cheesecake parfaits are the perfect dessert for the 4th of July, but honestly, any box of juicy berries is a great excuse to make them too!
how to create different layers of berry jam in this parfait:
You don’t have to make a full batch of jam from one type of berry. If you want to add more color and flavor to your parfait, you can make smaller batches of quick jam from a variety of mixed berries.
In the photos, I made two half-batches of jam: one blackberry and one strawberry.
While you can make as many different quick jams as you want, I don’t suggest making quick jam from less than 6 oz of berries. It cooks down to a tiny amount of jam, your scorching risk is high and it’s a lot of work for a small reward. If you want to make these parfaits with more than two types of berry jams, just make them in 6 oz batches and save the extra for leftover toast.
For each 6 oz batch of berries, mix in ¼ cup sugar, zest of half a lemon and ½ tsp lemon juice.
Do I have to make a quick jam for this berry parfait?
Nope! If you’re looking for an even quicker way to make these no-bake cheesecake parfaits, use whatever mix of jams you have on hand. I can’t think of a better way to use up all of those lingering jams in your fridge!
Use about 1 ½ tbsp of jam for each layer in the parfait.
How to make a no-bake cheesecake parfait:
- Make a quick jam from one or more types of berries. Set aside to cool.
- Whip heavy cream, then set aside.
- Mix cream cheese, sugar and salt until very smooth.
- Mix in sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla.
- Fold in whipped cream.
- In 4 small jars, alternate layers of berry jam with cheesecake filling. Chill for at least 4 hours.
- Top with crumbled gingersnap cookies and enjoy!
more tips on this cheesecake parfait:
Use a pastry bag without a tip to pipe the cheesecake filling over jam layers for a clean look. This will prevent the inevitable smearing that happens when you try to spoon it into a small jar!
Use full fat cream cheese and sour cream! This is key for getting the super creamy texture and rich flavor.
Don't have a stand mixer? No worries! You can easily use a handheld mixer instead.
cheesecake parfait with berries and crumbled gingersnaps
These no bake cheesecake parfaits are made with alternating layers of tangy cheesecake and quick berry jam. Top with crumbled gingersnaps for spice and crunch. Use your favorite berries for a gorgeous 4th of July dessert!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 parfaits
- Category: Desserts
- Method: No-bake
- Cuisine: American
quick berry jam
- 12 oz fresh berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
- 10 oz full fat cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ cup full fat sour cream
- 1 ½ tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 8 small gingersnap cookies, crumbled
quick berry jam
- Place berries (roughly chop strawberries, if using), sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small saucepan and toss to combine. Heat over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves.
- Increase heat to medium high and simmer, stirring often to prevent scorching, for about 10 minutes or until thick, darkened and jammy. Set aside to cool while you make the cheesecake filling.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip heavy cream on medium speed until it reaches stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. Add cream cheese, sugar and salt to the mixing bowl (no need to clean it) and mix on medium speed until smooth. Add sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla and mix, scraping down bowl as needed, until very smooth and combined.
- Remove the mixing bowl and, using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in whipped cream until combined.
- Divide half the jam into the bottoms of four small jars (about 1 ½ tablespoons). Top with a few spoonfuls of cheesecake mixture. Repeat layering with remaining jam and cheesecake batter.
- Cover jars and refrigerate until fully chilled, about 4 hours. When ready to eat, top each parfait with 2 crumbled gingersnap cookies.
Cheesecake parfaits will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.
If desired, make individual batches of jam for layers of different colors and flavors.
Example (seen in photos):
6 oz blackberries, ¼ cup sugar, zest of half a lemon and ½ tsp lemon juice
6 oz strawberries, ¼ cup sugar, zest of half a lemon and ½ tsp lemon juice
- Serving Size: ½ jar
- Calories: 336
- Sugar: 27g
- Sodium: 300mg
- Fat: 22g
- Saturated Fat: 13g
- Unsaturated Fat: 6.8g
- Trans Fat: 0.3g
- Carbohydrates: 34g
- Fiber: 1.8g
- Protein: 3.7g
- Cholesterol: 63mg
Keywords: cheesecake parfait