Neapolitan No-Bake Mini Cheesecake

This Neapolitan No-Bake Mini Cheesecake is set on a waffle cone crust to give you all of the flavors of an ice cream cone treat!  The mini cheesecake is made in a 6-inch springform pan with layers of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry no-bake cheesecake filling.  Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings for your own version of an ice cream sundae!

Neapolitan mini cheesecake on a platter

Neapolitan Mini Cheesecake

I love Neapolitan Ice Cream.  Always have.  It was my ice cream flavor of choice as a kid, and when I have a craving for ice cream as an adult, I always wind up with a gallon.  Maybe it is because you get three flavors in one.  Or, it could be that when you get a bite of all three flavors it is such a diverse mix of sweetness.  Whatever the reason, I had to replicate the ice cream classic into a dessert.

So, I thought a cheesecake was a great vessel to deliver the trifecta of flavors.  The base flavor of cheesecake typically starts with vanilla.  From there, adding additional flavors works well since vanilla is like a blank canvas.  Not to mention, vanilla goes with chocolate and strawberry just like peanut butter goes with jelly.

This is a mini cheesecake and we make it in a 6-inch springform pan.  And while it may be diminutive in size, it is massive in flavor.  With the inherit Neapolitan ice cream flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, I thought it was only fitting to make an ice cream cone crust. 

Think of a drippy ice cream cone treat, but in cake form.  I opted for waffle cones to make the crust because they have a robust flavor.  Sometimes, the regular ice cream cone, or sugar cone, can get a little lost when competing with the ice cream.

Side close-up view of a neapolitan cheesecake slice

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No-Bake Summer Cheesecake

Even though this mini Neapolitan cake is a cheesecake, that doesn’t mean it needs to be baked.  And actually, I find a no-bake cheesecake to be more creamy and luscious than a baked cheesecake.  Though, I may be biased right now because it’s 95 degrees outside and I don’t want to turn on the oven.

This Neapolitan No-Bake Mini Cheesecake is 100 percent no-bake.  Sometimes no-bake cheesecake recipes will want you to bake just the crust to get it set.  Not this cheesecake.  We pulse waffle cones with brown sugar and melted butter, then set it in the freezer to chill until ready to use.  

So we have our ice cream inspired filling flavors, a waffle cone crust, and a no-bake dessert.  This sounds like all of the makings for a quintessential summer dessert!  And without all of the sugary, melted ice cream cone mess.

What You Need To Make Neapolitan No-Bake Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • Waffle Cones – Or regular ice cream cones.
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Light Brown Sugar – I recommend light brown sugar because the flavor won’t overpower the waffle cones.
  • Cream Cheese
  • Sour Cream – I use sour cream in no-bake cheesecake for a creamy and tangy flavor.  You can omit, or substitute 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to achieve the tangy flavor.
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Unsweetened Canned Coconut Milk – I use whipped coconut cream because I prefer the creamier texture.   You can substitute dairy whipped cream.  A 1/2 cup of heavy cream will whip to approximately 1 cup. 
  • Fresh Strawberries – Always fresh, especially if the strawberries are in season.  Otherwise, frozen strawberries will work.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – I like to use Dutch process cocoa powder because it has a strong cocoa flavor without being too acidic.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • More Whipped Cream – Optional to top the cheesecake.  You can make more Whipped Coconut Cream, or use store-bought or dairy-whipped cream.
  • Chocolate Shavings – Optional to top the cheesecake.

Baking Equipment

  • 6-Inch Springform Pan – Or a 6-inch cake pan lined with a parchment paper sling.
  • Hand Held Mixer or Stand Mixer – See the Notes in the recipe for using a stand mixer.
  • Mixing Bowls – You need at least 3 to divide the cheesecake filling into the 3 flavors.
Single slice of neapolitan cheesecake

Tips For Making No-Bake Cheesecake

  • Prep the ingredients – Because there are 3 flavor layers to the cheesecake, you will want to make sure you have everything out and ready to use.  
  • Mixing bowls – Along with the first tip, make sure you have all the mixing bowls you will need (at least 3), to mix the cheesecake flavor layers.
  • Room temperature cream cheese – Room temperature cream cheese whips smoother and creamier.
  • Sour cream for tang – I like to add a little sour cream for that cheesecake tang.
  • Unsweetened canned coconut milk – I find whipped coconut cream to be creamier than dairy whipped cream.  It sets up creamier as well.  Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight to allow the solids and liquids to separate in the can.  We only use the coconut solids to make the whipped cream.
  • Fresh strawberries – I will always recommend fresh fruit when it is in season for a vibrant fruit flavor.  
  • Dutch process cocoa powder – Dutch process cocoa isn’t as acidic as natural cocoa, and it has a smooth cocoa flavor.
  • Sweeten to taste – Since this is a no-bake recipe, you can taste test every layer.  Add more sweetener to any of the layers if you prefer a sweeter cheesecake.  Keep in mind, too much sugar can overpower the main flavors.
  • Line the springform pan – Lining the removable bottom of the springform pan makes getting the cheesecake off the pan easier. 
  • Allow to chill – While it may be tempting to cut a slice right away, allow the cheesecake some time to chill and set up in the refrigerator.
  • Top with whipped cream – This is totally optional, but adding a little whipped cream and even chocolate shavings will make this cheesecake reminiscent of an ice cream sundae!
Small cheesecake on a platter

FAQ’s To Make No-Bake Mini Cheesecake

Can this no-bake cheesecake recipe be doubled?

Yes, you can double the recipe. You will probably want to use a 9-inch springform pan.

Do I have to use canned coconut milk to make the whipped cream for the filling?

No, you do not have to use canned coconut milk. You can substitute dairy whipped cream. Either store-bought or homemade. A 1/2 cup of heavy cream will yield about 1 cup when whipped.

Why do you use canned coconut milk for the whipped cream in the cheesecake?

I find that whipped coconut cream is creamier than dairy whipped cream. It also sets up firmer, and adds a luxurious texture to the no-bake cheesecake filling.

What kind of canned coconut milk do you use?

I have a preference to the store brand at Target, or Thai Kitchen. I have had success making whipped cream, and even frosting, with these two brands. With all of my testing, I find that canned coconut milk that includes guar gum works best. The guar gum acts as a stabilizer so the cream whips and sets up creamy.

Can I make this no-bake cheesecake dairy-free (or vegan)?

I have not tried this, but I don’t see why not. There are dairy-free cream cheese options available. And for the sour cream, I would add a couple teaspoons of lemon juice – or omit all together. For a vegan version, double-check your powdered sugar to make it is vegan.

Will regular ice cream cones work as the crust, instead of waffle cones?

Yes, ice cream cones can work great too!

Can I use frozen strawberries instead of fresh for the strawberry filling layer?

You can use frozen strawberries with a 1:1 substitution. Though, if in season, I highly recommend fresh strawberries for a fresh and robust strawberry flavor.

I don’t have a springform pan. Is there another pan I can use to make the no-bake cheesecake?

You can use a 6-inch cake pan if you don’t have a springform pan. Line the pan with 2 strips of parchment paper, long enough to hang over the sides of the pan. This way, you can use the parchment overhang to lift the cake out of the pan.

Does the no-bake cheesecake need to chill in the refrigerator that long?

I highly recommend you allow the no-bake cheesecake to chill for 6 hours, or overnight. This allows the filling layers to set. You can test for firmness at about 4 hours.

I can’t get the no-bake cheesecake off the bottom of the springform pan. Any suggestions?

If you didn’t line the removable bottom on the springform pan, I would recommend just serving the cake from the bottom piece. If you try to ‘shimmy’ the cake off the removable bottom, you may risk breaking the cake, or leaving most of the crust behind.

More Mini No-Bake Cheesecake Recipes

Slices of cheesecake on a plate
Mini neapolitan cheesecake on a platter
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Neapolitan No-Bake Mini Cheesecake

This Neapolitan No-Bake Mini Cheesecake is set on a waffle cone crust to give you all of the flavors of an ice cream cone treat!  The mini cheesecake is made in a 6-inch springform pan with layers of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry no-bake cheesecake filling.  Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings for your own version of an ice cream sundae!
Prep30 mins
Chill6 hrs
Total6 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 1 6-Inch Cheesecake
Author: Erin | Butter and Bliss

Equipment

  • 1 – 6-Inch Springform Pan

Ingredients

Waffle Cone Crust

  • 4 waffle cones - approx. 3/4 cup
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Vanilla Cheesecake Filling

  • 1 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk - only the coconut solids from the can; refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight
  • 7 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream

Chocolate Cheesecake Filling

Strawberry Cheesecake Filling

  • 1/4 cup strawberry puree - approx. 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Instructions

Waffle Cone Crust

  • Line the removable bottom of a 6-inch springform pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Assemble the pan and wrap any extra parchment or foil up the side of the pan. Lining the bottom of the pan will make getting the cake off pan bottom easier.
  • Break up the waffle cones and add them to the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse 3 – 5 times to grind down. Add the brown sugar and melted butter and pulse until ground fine.
  • Pour the crust into the prepared springform pan. Use your fingertips, or a small measuring cup, and press the crust firmly into the bottom of the pan. Put in the freezer until ready to assemble the cheesecake.

Vanilla Cheesecake Filling

  • Make the whipped coconut cream first (dairy whipped cream can also be substituted – see Notes) – In a small mixing bowl, add the coconut solids from the can, 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Use the whisk attachments on either a hand held mixer or stand mixer, and beat the cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form – about 3 – 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • This is the base for all 3 of the cheesecake layers – In a medium mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, sour cream, and powdered sugar. Beat on medium speed until the filling is smooth and creamy.
  • Add the whipped coconut cream to the cream cheese filling and beat on medium speed until incorporated and smooth. Taste, and add more sweetener if preferred. Keeping in mind the chocolate and strawberry layers will also have extra powdered sugar.
  • Divide the cheesecake filling between 3 bowls. Note: The strawberry filling will be a larger quantity because we are adding 1/4 cup of strawberry puree. If you want to make more equal layers, reduce the vanilla filling in the strawberry bowl by 2 – 3 tablespoons.

Strawberry Cheesecake Filling

  • In a blender or food processor, puree at least a 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries along with 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar. I prefer fresh strawberries when in season. Optional – Strain the puree to remove the seeds.
  • Fold 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree into one of the bowls with the vanilla filling. If you have any extra puree, you can save it to drizzle over the top of the cheesecake. Taste, and add more sweetener or strawberry puree if preferred.

Chocolate Cheesecake Filling

  • In the last bowl of the vanilla filling, sprinkle the cocoa powder and powdered sugar over the top. Fold until no dry streaks of cocoa remain. Taste, and add more sweetener or cocoa if preferred.

Assemble the Cheesecake

  • Remove the crust from the freezer. Spoon the chocolate filling on top of the crust. Spread evenly to the edges. Follow with the vanilla layer on top of the chocolate. Spready evenly to the edges. Finish with the strawberry layer, smooth evenly to the edges, and drizzle any remaining strawberry puree over the top of the strawberry layer (optional). Note: Your cheesecake layer order is entirely up to you!
  • Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate to allow the cheesecake fillings to set. 4 – 6 hours, or overnight.
  • When ready to serve the cheesecake – Carefully remove the cheesecake from the pan, and place on a serving platter. Top with whipped cream chocolate shavings (optional), and Enjoy!

Notes

  • Mixer – You can use a hand held mixer with whisk attachments, or a stand mixer with whisk attachment.  If using a tilt-head Kitchen Aid stand mixer, 3-quart mixing bowls are available to make mixing smaller batches easier.  The smaller bowls still work with standard attachments.
  • Line Springform Pan – Lining the removable bottom from the springform pan makes getting the cheesecake off the bottom easier.
  • Whipped Coconut Cream – I like using coconut milk to make the whipped cream because I find it creamier.  You can substitute dairy whipped cream if you prefer.  1/2 cup of heavy cream will make approximately 1 cup of whipped cream.
  • Cocoa Powder – Dutch process cocoa works great in this recipe because it has a strong cocoa flavor and is not as bitter.
  • Flavor to Taste – Feel free to add more strawberry or cocoa powder to get a stronger flavor.  Keep in mind too much cocoa powder can come off as bitter.
  • Sweeten to Taste – Taste test the fillings as you go.  Add more powdered sugar if you prefer the filling sweeter.
  • Chill the Cheesecake – The cheesecake does need time to chill so the filling can set.  
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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