I´ve made many cheesecakes in my life but this Pistachio cheesecake is special! If you are a cheesecake and pistachio lover and like to make delicious desserts without a lot of fuss, this will be a recipe you will love!
This No bake Pistachio cheesecake recipe is so easy that we might as well call it no effort cheesecake, you don’t even have to turn the oven on. Beside, it’s so pretty, so light and taste so amazing that it should get a “zero effort maximum result dessert” award! Easy peasy!
Crunchy, buttery 2 ingredients crust filled with extra silky pistachio cream cheese mousse is ultimate easy creamy cheesecake, heavenly!
My Top 3 Baking Tips for home bakers
- Read the recipe carefully including my tips and recommendations on how to avoid and fix typical issues during baking. Not much issue expected while making this no bake cheesecake but you will have to pay attention at making the crust and also creaming the cheesecake filling
- Avoid using substitutes and changing the recipe unless you are aware of how to fully reformulate the recipe in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavour. In general, reducing sugar, using poor quality cream cheese etc. will all have an impact on your baking
- For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is provided as an indicative figure only and might be used for less complex and large batch recipes however it is not an appropriate method if you want consistent results
Some important notes regarding the INGREDIENTS of the No bake Pistachio cheesecake
For the crust
- Butter: Use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. While in most of the recipes butter needs to be on room temperature and I always recommend to avoid last minute microwaving this is an exception. The butter needs to be melted. See my notes about the “technique” below
- Biscuit: I am using Digestive biscuits for this Pistachio cheesecake, Graham cracker works too. All you need is biscuit crumbs you can even bake your own biscuit if fancy making it totally from scratch
- Sugar: I honestly don’t think that you need extra sugar for the crust given the biscuit already contains enough sugar plus it will be crunchy anyway
- Salt: An essential ingredient in most of the dessert recipes. Balances flavour and enhances other ingredients. This is a lovely sweet crust and I just love that extra very mild salty kick at the end
Please make sure you read my top 10 tip about the perfect cheesecake crust in this tutorial!
For the pistachio cream cheese mousse
- Gelatin: It´s an odorless, tasteless and colorless thickening agent, very often used in pastries particularly in mousse cakes. Powder or sheet versions are available, in my recipes I always use sheet (1,7 g / sheet), which I found easier to handle. Simple soak the gelatin sheet into cold water for a few minutes before you need them and use it according to the recipe. Please note that gelatin is derived from collagen taken from animal body parts therefore not suitable for vegetarians. Agar agar can be a good substitution for vegetarians however replacing gelatin with agar agar is not 1:1 and can only be done by reformulating the recipe slightly
- Heavy cream: Also known as whipping cream, has a fat content between 36% and 40% , I usually use double cream that contains 36% fat. Use it very cold and do not substitute with vegetable based “whipping cream”. Heavy cream will make the Pistachio cheesecake filling extra smooth and creamy, effectively a mousse like consistency
- Granulated sugar: I use simple, white granulated sugar, nothing fancy . While heating it up with cream make sure the sugar granulates fully dissolve. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here.
- Cream cheese: I always use full fat Philadelphia tub (the one that is available in Europe, not the American version) when I state cream cheese in my recipes. I find it easy to cream (need to bring it to room temperature first) and very pleasant in taste, perfect for this Pistachio cheesecake. I usually beat it with a hand mixer for less than a minute, just until it becomes fluffy and increases a bit in volume to avoid over whipping
- Pistachio paste: Since it is quite an effort to make pistachio paste from scratch, feel free to use store bough 100% pistachio paste / pistachio butter. Please make sure it is 100 % pistachio, no other funny ingredients. If you want to make the pistachio paste it yourself, you will have to toast pistachio then process it in a strong food processor until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. Please note that the quality of the pistachio will define the colour and taste of your paste as well as the colour and taste of your Pistachio cheesecake. Higher quality pistachio paste brings more flavour and depth to this dessert
4 Tips regarding the TECHNIQUE of making this No bake Pistachio cheesecake recipe
It’s a super simple recipe and you don’t have to overthink, however there are some important notes worth considering.
1. How to prepare the perfect cheesecake crust
Please make sure you read my top 10 tip about the perfect cheesecake crust in this tutorial!
Making the crust for this Pistachio cheesecake is literally mixing butter and biscuit crumb however based on your questions from earlier there are a couple of important tips and recommendations:
- You can use a food processor to make the biscuit crumb or do the the old fashion way and crush it in a zipped bag with a rolling pin, this latest one is perfect if doing stress baking
- Mix butter and biscuit crumb while butter is runny (melted). Butter will act like a binding agent in the recipe. Once it is cooled down in the fridge, it will set creating crunchy, but firm crust to hold the filling. You might have bad experience from the past with cheesecake crust being too crumby and not holding its shape, it’s probably due to not enough butter in the recipe
- When butter is melted the mixture might be runny depending on the temperature of the butter but do not add more biscuit crumb. If you feel that mixture is too runny, pop it into the fridge for 5 minutes, it will set very quickly into a consistency you can use making the crust with
- The one and only secret of making firm, neat crust is to press crumbs firmly and evenly into side and the bottom of your cake ring. Start with the side and work your way up then when it looks neat and even, continue with the bottom. Find some equipment in your kitchen like bend a spoon and use it to really press the crust. I spent probably a good 10-15 minutes just focusing on the crust making sure that it is even on the side and really neat. Place your crust into the freezer and let it set while you are preparing the pistachio filling
2. How to prepare pistachio cream cheese filling
Preparing the filling of this Pistachio cheesecake could not be simpler, one thing that can go wrong is over mixing instead of gently folding which results in breaking the fluffy texture. Do not attempt to cut corners and reduce the number of steps, there is a reason why we whip the ingredients separately then fold them together in a particular order.
- Step 1: Prepare the gelatin mixture, boil together cream and sugar then mix gelatin sheets in and pour it over pistachio paste. Once everything mixed, key here is to bring the mixture down to lukewarm temperature before step 2. Too warm? It will melt cream the cheese in Step 2. Too cold? Gelatin will set and will be impossible to mix it with the rest of the ingredients. Do not place the mixture into the fridge to speed up the chilling process as gelatin can start to form lumps
- Step 2: Whip room temperature cream cheese until fluffy, for about a minute. Cream cheese is an interesting ingredient, it won´t get more fluffy or harder if you beat longer, in fact, it will break and become runny. I suggest to use an Electric hand mixer to avoid over beating. Fold whipped cream cheese with pistachio mixture
- Step 3: Whip heavy cream until soft peaks. Make sure heavy cream is full fat (36%) and very cold or it might be difficult to whip up. While whipping heavy cream, remember that it will go through the following stages: runny, soft peak, stiff peak then it will break and few minutes later buttermilk separates and you can make butter . For this recipe, make sure you stop right after soft peaks so it will be easy to fold the mixture together and keep the mixture fluffy without breaking it. Fold whipped cream into rest of the ingredients
- Use cream cheese filling immediately. The filling must be fluffy, airy although it won´t be stiff at this point. Don´t worry, it will set in a few hours due to the gelatin added at step 1
That´s it! Remember, making this cream cheese filling in fact very easy but a step by step process.
Is it possible to make this cream cheese filling without gelatin?
Yes, but you have to use some sort of thickening ingredient otherwise mixture won’t set. Gelatin is very often used by pastry chefs whenever they make a mousse like airy dessert
Is it possible to make this cream cheese filling without Philadephia cream cheese?
Yes, but you need to use another cream cheese then that has a similar consistency and fat content. Philadelphia is brilliant when it comes to texture and flavour but feel free to use any other full fat cream cheese you have available.
How does this pistachio cream cheese filling taste?
It is creamy, airy, has the perfect consistency for a no bake cheesecake. Taste wise, it is not too sweet but nutty and milky at the same time, pls note that the strength of the pistachio flavour highly correlates with the quality of the pistachio paste you are using. Since the recipe is using a fair amount of cream, expect the taste very creamy as opposed to very cheesy, if that makes sense?
3. How to assemble this Pistachio cheesecake
Patient is key when making mousse type cakes, like this No bake Pistachio cheesecake. You just can’t rush certain steps or it will make a mess. It is a super simple recipe, but you have to respect time, concretely leaving enough time in between the steps until each phase sets.
- Make sure you prep your crust properly as per instructions and tips above then freeze crust for 30 minutes while preparing the pistachio cream cheese mousse filling
- Pour or pipe filling into the crust then move cheesecake into the fridge and let it set for minimum 4 hours. Do not attempt to open the cake ring before that. Do not forget to leave some filling for later to decorate the cake, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate
- After 4 hours carefully remove cake ring, move the remaining cream into a piping bag and decorate the cheesecake
4. What equipment is needed to make this No bake cheesecake
You will be pleased to hear that making this Pistachio cheesecake does not require too much equipment!
For assembling the cheesecake I am using a Mousse cake ring (adjustable in size) set to 16cm / 6 inches. I really like the neat tall design of it however it does not have bottom so I made one using kitchen foil. Alternatively, use a spring form. Please make sure you adjust the quantity of the recipe according to the size of your cake tin.
Want to try some of my other No-bake cheesecakes?
- Strawberry cheesecake recipe: Strawberry cheesecake is one of the most popular desserts all around the world and no wonder why! It is phenomenal as the silky ultra cream cheese filling meets the fruity strawberry compote in crunchy, sweet crust. This is an absolutely no fuss recipe, no baking involved, no issue around the water bath, you do not even have to turn the oven on
- Oreo cheesecake recipe: Crunchy, decorative Oreo crust filled with extra smooth vanilla cream cheese mousse with hidden Oreo pieces! This No-bake Oreo cheesecake is super light and taste amazing with just the right amount of sweetness! A dream come true!
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RECIPE CARD – No bake Pistachio cheesecake
- 140 g Unsalted butter
- 300 g Biscuit crumb eg. Digestive
- Pinch of salt
Filling & Decor
- 3 Gelatin sheet 1 gelatin sheet: 1,7g
- 110 g Heavy Cream
- 120 g Granulated sugar
- 260 g Cream cheese full fat Philadelphia
- 230 g Heavy Cream cold
- 180 g Pistachio paste 100%
- crushed pistachio
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Start with melting butter in microwave then let it cool down slightly while preparing the biscuit crumbs
- Biscuit crumbs can be made in food processor or by using a zip bag and rolling pin. Mix crumbs with with the warm but not hot butter and pinch of salt until it comes together
- Line a spring form or Mousse cake ring (adjustable in size) (set it to 16cm / 6 inches) with the mixture and press it flat evenly and tightly starting with the side then moving onto the bottom. If the mixture is too runny, place it into the fridge for a few minutes. Once the crust evenly distributed, place it into the freezer while preparing the filling
- Soak gelatin into cold water
- Heat the smaller amount of heavy cream (110g) with sugar until sugar dissolves and the mixture is simmering
- Squeeze excess water from gelatin and stir into the mixture then pour it over the pistachio paste and stir. Let gelatin mixture come to room temp
- In a separate bowl whip heavy cream until soft peaks and very gently, using a Rubber spatula fold into the cream cheese mixture. It must stay light and fluffy before pouring into the crust
- Pour pistachio cream cheese mousse into the crust and smooth the top with an Offset spatula. Place it into the fridge for at least 6 hours or ideally overnight
- Set some filling aside for the decor and refrigerate
- Once cheesecake set, very carefully remove the ring / spring form
- Decorate with the remaining pistachio cream cheese filling using a french star tip. Hint cheesecake with crushed pistachio