No-baking is required for this perfect summer dessert – Mini Orange Creamsicle No-Bake Cheesecake! Silky cheesecake is brightened with fresh orange juice and zest, then topped with orange whipped cream, and all on top of a buttery vanilla wafer crust.
Summer Creamsicle Dessert for Two
Have you ever had a dessert that was so incredibly good you wish you didn’t have to share it? Or is that just me? 🙂 The good thing (one of many) about this Mini Orange Creamsicle No-Bake Cheesecake recipe is that it makes 2, 4-inch cakes. So you can have one all to yourself. Take that sharing!
And why are creamsicles so fantastic? And why do I now want every dessert I make to be inspired by a creamsicle? They are the best of both worlds – something creamy combined with something fruity.
It also helps that they are popsicles, which is perfect for summer! Needless to say, I wanted to respect the combo and what better way than with a creamy no-bake cheesecake spiked with fresh orange. The be best flavor combo – in my opinion!
Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes
As the name suggests, these mini cheesecakes are 100% no-bake. Even the crust. That said, they do need to be chilled for a few hours for the filling and crust to set. So, how does it all work when nothing is baked?
No-Bake Cheesecake Crust
This Mini Orange Creamsicle No-Bake Cheesecake recipe starts with the no-bake cookie crust. I use Vanilla Wafers for their light flavor and I think vanilla pairs nicely with the citrus cream filling. Plus, when I think of vanilla and orange, I think of an Orange Julius. Ya-Umm!
The wafer cookies are combined with melted butter, honey, orange zest, and all get mixed together in the food processor. Then the crust goes into the refrigerator to allow the butter to set back up and hold everything together.
No-Bake Cheesecake Filling
Until I started baking, I always wondered what makes a no-bake cheesecake thicken and stay firm. There are no eggs or flour, so it must be magic. Not exactly, but I do rely on an extra ingredient to keep the filling firm – unflavored gelatin. You can make no-bake cheesecake without it, but I like to make certain the filling will be firm and easy to cut.
The cream cheese is combined with whipped cream – which also helps to give the filling volume and fullness – plus the unflavored gelatin. The gelatin does have to be dissolved in liquid. This works out well for this recipe since we are using fresh orange juice! And just like the crust, the filling will set up further when it is refrigerated. Think of Jello – and how you have to wait what seems like forever for the dessert to set up! 🙂
The cheesecake filling is also refined sugar-free. I am not going to go as far as to say the entire dessert is refined sugar-free because of the vanilla wafers. If you know me, I do like to swap granulated sugar with ‘healthier’ alternatives when I can, and this recipe is perfect for honey. Honey has floral and citrus notes, which is a natural flavor combo with orange.
Tips For Making Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake
- These are the 4-Inch Springform Pans I use. If you wanted to make this into one larger cake, you could use a 6-inch springform pan.
- Spray the springform pans lightly with cooking spray. This is an extra safety measure to make sure the crust releases from the bottom of the pan.
- Make the cookie crust first. It should have time to chill before you pour the filling on top.
- Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. To make sure it it is silky smooth when you beat it.
- Use unflavored gelatin for the filling. Flavored gelatin would work, but given I have not tried it, I can’t say what it will taste like. Plus, I would be concerned artificial flavors may over-power the fresh flavors.
- Refrigerate for at least 4-hours. Overnight is best – we want the filling to be nice and firm before serving!
More Summer Dessert Small Batch Recipes
- Patriotic Berry Vanilla Cupcakes
- Mini Sweet Lemon Cakes
- No-Bake Key Lime Bars
- Peach Mousse Trifle
- Small Batch Strawberry Cupcakes
Mini Orange Creamsicle No-Bake Cheesecake
- zest of 1 orange (divided into thirds)
- juice of 1 orange
- 1 cup vanilla wafers (approx. 28 vanilla wafers when crushed)
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/3 of zest from the fresh orange
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons honey (divided in half)
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (divided into 1/2 tsp. and 2 tsp.)
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
- juice from the fresh orange
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 of zest from the fresh orange
- Lightly grease 2, 4-Inch springform pans.
- In a food processor, add the vanilla wafers, honey, and 1/3 of the orange zest. Pulse a few times until pea-sized. Pour in the melted butter and continue to pulse until the mixture is fine like sand.
- Using the bottom of a small measuring cup, or your fingers, firmly press the crust into the bottoms of the springform pans. Place the pans in the freezer until you are ready to fill, and for the crust to set up.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of honey and the remaining 2/3 of the orange zest. Use a hand-held mixer and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Divide the whipped cream in half. One half will go into the cheesecake filling, the other half will go on top of the cheesecake.
- In a very small bowl, add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and sprinkle the gelatin over top. Let it bloom, and absorb the liquid, for about 3-5 minutes.
- While the gelatin is blooming – In a small saucepan, add the orange juice and remaining 2 tablespoons of the honey. Simmer until the honey melts and small bubbles form along the sides of the saucepan. Add the gelatin and stir until it melts into the juice. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. You can transfer the juice to another bowl to cool faster.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice. Use a hand-held mixer and beat until the cream cheese is smooth and creamy.
- Once the juice is cooled to room temperature, add it to the cream cheese and beat until combined and smooth. Using a spatula, gently fold in half of the whipped cream to the cheesecake batter. Continue to fold until no streaks of whipped cream remain.
- Remove the springform pans from the freezer and pour the batter on top of the chilled crust, and smooth to the edges of the pans. Top the cheesecake batter with the remaining whipped cream and gently smooth to the edges. Refrigerate the cheesecakes for at least 4 hours, or overnight is best.
- When ready to serve the cheesecakes, gently release the springs and sides on the springform pans. Using a sharp knife or offset spatula, gently lift the cakes from the bottom to release from the bottoms of the pans. Garnish with an orange slice and enjoy!