Skip to Content

How to Thicken a No-Bake Cheesecake

How to Thicken a No-Bake Cheesecake

Share this post:

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one of these links and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

It can generally go without saying that there are many, many different recipes out there for a quick and easy dessert dish.

After all, it depends entirely on what you are in the mood to eat.

If you are in the mood for something baked, there’s a good chance that you are going to be spending a fair bit of time tending to your baking recipe, measuring out the ingredients, and making sure that everything is baking the way it should.

More often than not, if you have to bake a dessert, you are going to be spending at least an hour dealing with it. Not everyone has that much time to spare in their days.

It could be that you need to prepare this dessert in a quick and timely manner for another event or it could be that you simply aren’t in the mood to dedicate that much time and effort to baking something.

Thankfully, because there are many people out there who feel the same way, people are coming up with more and more variants on traditional baked recipes that don’t rely on baking.

How to Thicken a No-Bake Cheesecake

In fact, there are some recipes that fall under the name of “no-bake” that involve absolutely no baking.

Of course, these recipes are going to taste somewhat different than the traditional baked recipe but for people who are working on a deadline or people who don’t have the patience to bake, these recipes can be the perfect answer to a specific craving.

One of the most popular variants of this recipe is the no-bake cheesecake.

Because cheesecake is often a fickle recipe in the first place and even experienced bakers have trouble getting it to work right, a no-bake cheesecake is right up the alley for people who do not want all of the hassle of dealing with the tough ingredients.

However, if you want your cheesecake to replicate the ones that you are used to eating, there may be a few adjustments that you have to make.

Depending on the ingredients that you have chosen, you might find that the texture of your no-bake cheesecake is completely off the target that you want it to be.

While there are many things that can go wrong when substituting the traditional cheesecake ingredients and methods, there are a few ways that you can try and fix your cheesecake.

For example, if the problem at hand is that your cheesecake is too watery, is too liquid, or simply doesn’t hold its shape very well, you may find that you want to thicken it.

There are a couple ways that you can go about adding thickness to your cheesecake without the need for baking it.

What Can Go Wrong?

Scoop of Cream Cheese

Before you can figure out how to fix your no-bake cheesecake, you will first have to figure out what exactly went wrong.

Do keep in mind that by nature, no-bake cheesecakes are going to have a slightly different texture than standard cheesecakes will and you should account for this.

With that being said, if your cheesecake is too runny to work with in any capacity, then it is time to determine what went wrong.

One common problem with cheesecakes is that the cream cheese being used adds too much moisture to the cake itself, which can cause it to become runny. This is why many cheesecakes are baked, as they include eggs and other ingredients to add thickness to the cake.

If you do not add anything to help offset the cream cheese’s water content, then there’s a good chance that you will have some trouble with the texture of the cake.

This can apply especially to low-fat cream cheese as well as the higher fat content can actually work in your favor to keep the structure of the cheesecake.

When picking out a cream cheese to use, you will want to use a high-fat cream cheese that has reached room temperature so that you can adequately incorporate it into the cake.

Something else that can go wrong is that there are no other ingredients in the cheesecake to help give it some structure. This can happen when following faulty recipes.

When searching for recipes, you should always try to find a review of the recipe or some feedback from people who have tested it out. This will give you a good idea of any changes you need to make and any results that would sway your opinion of the recipe one way or another.

Strawberry Cheesecake

Try this delicious recipe for No Bake White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake.

Now that you have a good idea of what can go wrong in a no-bake cheesecake, you now need to learn the best way to remedy the issue without altering the way that the cake needs to be made too much more.

Fixing the No-Bake Cheesecake

In most cases, the best way that you can fix your recipe for a no-bake cheesecake (assuming that the recipe you are following is not faulty), is adding gelatin to the cheesecake. Gelatin is a natural thickener and it is used in many recipes to help thicken sauces, custards, and other foods.

Gelatin itself is generally flavorless, meaning that you can add it to your recipe without any issue of taste, texture, or flavor.

Instead, you can expect it to help add some solidity to your dish, ensuring that your potentially runny cheesecake is not going to have any more issues with its structure.

There is generally going to be a specific amount that you should add as adding too much gelatin will result in a cheesecake that has a strange, gummy texture, and adding too little will not fix the problem that you are trying to deal with.

The amount of gelatin that you will need to add will depend heavily on the amount of other ingredients that are already in the cheesecake as well as the size of the cake itself.

However, when you add the gelatin to the cake, you will be able to quickly see and make sure that you are reaching the texture that you want to achieve in your cheesecake.

From a runny mess to a firm and tasty no-bake cake, you can rest assured knowing that your no-hassle cheesecake can be saved and you will have a treat to eat for the next several days.

Also see: Substitutes for Gelatin in Cheesecake.

Share this post:


Thursday 7th of July 2022

Can someone please help me?!?! My no back cheesecake is runny and I have gelatin but not sure how I'm supposed to use it. Do I need to still mix it into hot water and then add it to the mixture... or do I add the gelatin straight into the mixture?

Sarah B.

Thursday 14th of July 2022

Hi Bruce!

Yes, you would still mix it with hot water to activate it. This recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring explains how to add it (about a third or so down the page). I hope this helps!

Colin Gee

Tuesday 15th of June 2021

I have followed this No-Bake Cheesecake recipe precisely. After 8 hours in the fridge there is absolutely no sign that this is going to set.Looking at the ingredients I am wondering why it would set. Is there a missing ingredient ? I am now adding gelatine in an attempt to rescue it.


Sunday 6th of March 2022

@Colin Gee, The last two no bake cheesecakes I made were runny. In trying to figure it out I decided that maybe I was mixing my cream cheese too long. I tried it again, but this time only mixed the cream cheese long enough to make it smooth with no lumps, not long at all. Surprisingly it came out perfect. I did not add anything different and it worked.