Slice of cheesecake on white plate sitting on wood. Cake topped with chocolate sauce and raspberries

Bake vs No Bake Cheesecake: Guide To Which Is Better

If you are a fan of cheesecake, I am sure you have heard both of the terms no-bake cheesecake and baked cheesecake. But have you ever wondered what the differences really are? We are going to dive in-depth into the topic of Bake vs No Bake Cheesecake so you can see both the pros and cons of each one.

Slice of cheesecake on white plate sitting on wood. Cake topped with chocolate sauce and raspberries

A lot of the differences will come down to some personal preferences as to the styles of cheesecake you choose to make. We just want to make sure you are fully informed so you know which is the right type of cheesecake for you at the time.

What Is A Cheesecake?

While the Cheesecake History origin is thought to have started in ancient Greece the cheesecake is now an American dessert. It is normally made from a mixture of cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, heavy cream, and sometimes flour, usually baked in a springform cheesecake pan.

A cheesecake can be made with different types of soft cheese, including cottage cheese, cream cheese, ricotta, or even yogurt. Sometimes it is even a mix of different ingredients like soft cheeses and yogurt and sour cream.

The cheesecake crust is traditionally made using some type of cookie crumbs such as graham cracker crumbs and mixed with melted butter then packed into the bottom of the pan.

The cheesecake is sometimes topped with fresh fruit, whipped cream, chocolate, caramel, nuts, or other ingredients. 

This decadent dessert is always a crowd-pleasing dessert!

What Is A No-Bake Cheesecake?

The name “no-bake cheesecake” is exactly what it sounds like. The no bake cheesecake recipe mixture and crust are never baked. Making it a great dessert option when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen when it is warm outside. Or if you just don’t have time to bake dessert.

A no-bake cheesecake is a dessert that is made without the addition of eggs. It’s an easy dessert to make at home and can normally be made much faster than a baked cheesecake. You can normally eat these cakes shortly after they are made. 

With a no-bake, you also avoid the chance of the springform pan leaking when in the water bath.

No bakes can be made in many forms and use different jars and pans such as a springform, push pan, or even made in a normal pie pan. You can even make them using a store-bought graham cracker crust!

Is The Texture Of A No-bake Cheesecake Different From Baked?

The texture of a no-bake cheesecake is slightly different from a baked cheesecake. The cream cheese filling normally has a more light and fluffy texture as there is more air whipped into the cheesecake mixture.

That is because most no-bake recipes use heavy whipping cream or another whipped topping such as Cool whip in the cheesecake batter. If you have ever had a mousse or whipped pudding that is more like what the texture of a no-bake cheesecake is.

Because it is so light and fluffy you can not top it with as heavy of toppings. If you put super heavy or hot toppings on a no-bake cheesecake they will just sink or even melt the cheesecake.

Some no-bake recipes will try and mimic the texture of a baked cheesecake by adding gelation. This helps to thicken and stabilize the whipped cream giving it a slightly firmer texture and making the cheesecake a little denser than a normal no-bake cheesecake.

No Bake Cheesecake Pros:

  • Can be made faster than baked.
  • Does not heat up the kitchen when making.
  • Don’t have to worry about leaking in a water bath.
  • Can be made in many different containers or pans.
  • Does not use eggs.
  • Easy to make even for kids.
  • Can be eaten sooner as does not need as long of a set-up time as baked.
  • Can use a store-bought crust.

No Bake Cheesecake Cons: 

  • Not as rich, dense, or creamy as a baked cheesecake. 
  • You cannot put heavy or hot toppings like hot chocolate sauce on the cheesecake.

What Is A Baked Cheesecake?

The best-known type of cheesecake is baked cheesecake, which is basically just what it sounds like. It is a cream cheese mixture that is normally poured over some type of crust like graham crackers and then baked in some way. Such as a New York cheesecake.

Baked cheesecake is normally baked at low temperatures for a longer time. This helps set/cook the cake’s center without overbaking the top or edges. 

It is also common to bake cheesecake in a water bath. This also helps keep the cheesecake from getting crunchy edges and avoid cracking while baking.

However these days there are many different ways to “bake” or cook a cheesecake. Such as a slow cooker, pressure cooker, air fryer, grill, smoker, or even in a microwave.

After a cheesecake is cooked, you normally need to allow it to cool to room temperature before covering it in plastic wrap and placing it in the fridge to chill or set the rest of the way. So this can take a little longer than a no-bake therefore the cheesecake can not be enjoyed as fast.

You also have to be careful when mixing your cheesecake batter. If you overbeat the eggs it can lead to an extra airy cheesecake and the texture will not be as desirable.

Baked Cheesecake Pros:

  • Rich flavor that has a creamy soft texture that melts in the mouth.
  • Can top in many different ways.
  • Can be cooked in many different options such as an oven, slow cooker, pressure cooker, air fryer, grill, smoker, or even in a microwave.

Baked Cheesecake Cons:

  • May require a hot water bath. 
  • Takes longer to make than no bake.
  • Takes longer to chill or set 
  • Have to be careful about over beating
  • You have to be careful about overcooking or cooking at too high of a temperature.

Bake vs No Bake Cheesecake What’s The Difference?

Baked cheesecake is the most well-known and classic cheesecake. However, it is generally considered to be harder to make and requires more time than no-bake cheesecake. 

The main differences between baked and no-bake cheesecake is its texture. No bake is more light and fluffy whereas baked cheesecake has a superior texture. It has a super creamy, dense but light, and smooth texture. That is a difficult texture to achieve with a no-bake cheesecake. 

After reading all the pros and cons of bake vs no bake cheesecake, which is the perfect dessert for you? Will you choose the more traditional cheesecake of the bake version or the no-bake cheesecake recipes?

Is Baked Cheesecake Stored The Same As No Bake?

Cheesecake is a creamy dessert that needs to be covered or stored in an airtight container in the fridge. That is the same whether it is a baked regular cheesecake or a no-bake cheesecake.

Most of both types of cheesecakes can also be stored in the freezer for longer periods of time. However, it will depend slightly on what they are made of. And normally need to be frozen before adding any toppings to the cheesecake.

If you are not sure how or what types of cheesecakes can be frozen be sure to check out my post on Tips To Freeze Cheesecake.

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