Cheesecake
Slice of nana

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My grandmother's easy cheesecake is a favorite of our family and I know it will become a favorite of yours too! Top this simple cheesecake with your favorite filling or sauce and watch it disappear in an instant.

Nana's easy cheesecake slices topped with cherry pie filling and whipped topping on white plates.Nana's easy cheesecake slices topped with cherry pie filling and whipped topping on white plates.

My grandmother had a few “famous” recipes that she made almost every holiday. They included pumpkin roll, pumpkin crunch pie, and this easy cheesecake recipe.

This cheesecake is something she made for just about every occasion: very often she would fill it half with lemon pie filling and half with cherry pie filling.

I still continue the tradition of making it for the holidays with my Aunt Debbie. While Aunt Debbie keeps it pretty traditional, I often play around with different flavor combinations, like adding lemon zest to the crust or using homemade fruit toppings.

If you're looking for an easy cheesecake recipe to make for your next family gathering or dinner with friends, here it is! I hope you love him as much as my family does.

Top view of Nana's easy sliced ​​cheesecake on a marble board.  The slices are topped with cherry pie filling and whipped topping.Top view of Nana's easy sliced ​​cheesecake on a marble board.  The slices are topped with cherry pie filling and whipped topping.

How to make Nana's easy cheesecake

Nana's easy cheesecake is what I consider to be a “less bake” recipe.

Unlike classic vanilla cheesecake, you don't bake the entire cheesecake. More like a pistachio pudding dessert, you bake the crust and then finish it with a no-bake filling and topping.

It's great to make ahead of time as it needs to chill in the fridge to set, so don't hesitate to whip it up the night before you plan on serving it!

Ingredients for Nana's easy cheesecake laid out on a work surface.Ingredients for Nana's easy cheesecake laid out on a work surface.

Ingredients you will need

Nana's cheesecake doesn't use the traditional graham cracker crust. Instead, the crust is almost more like a biscuit. It may not be what you're used to, but I promise it's delicious!

For the crust you will need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt

Be sure to check out my tips on measuring flour before you get started. This way you will be successful every time.

Nana's Easy Cheesecake Flaky Crust Mix in a white bowl.Nana's Easy Cheesecake Flaky Crust Mix in a white bowl.

For the filling and covering of the cheesecake you will need:

  • 3 packages (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cans (21 ounces) cherry pie filling or other flavor of your choice
  • 1 container (8 ounces) of Cool Whip or TruWhip, thawed according to package directions
Nana's Easy Cheesecake Crust pressed into a pan and ready to pop in the oven.Nana's Easy Cheesecake Crust pressed into a pan and ready to pop in the oven.

See how simple the filling is? Just cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract! It couldn't be simpler.

I love using homemade cherry pie filling to top this simple cheesecake, but I have no problem using canned pie filling in a pinch!

Right tip!

If you run out of powdered sugar, I have a trick on how to make it. You can use that substitute in this recipe.

Baked crust to easily cool Nana's cheesecake on a wire rack.Baked crust to easily cool Nana's cheesecake on a wire rack.

Preparing this recipe

One of the things that makes Nana's cheesecake so easy is that it's made in a 9×13-inch pan instead of a springform pan. Line the pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with nonstick spray to prepare.

Use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment to combine the crust ingredients until crumbly. Use your hands to press this mixture into the prepared pan and cook for about 15 minutes.

Let the crust cool completely before adding the filling.

Nana's easy cheesecake loaf alongside bowls of whipped topping and cherry pie filling.Nana's easy cheesecake loaf alongside bowls of whipped topping and cherry pie filling.

When you are ready to add the filling, beat the cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and beat for another 3-4 minutes.

Spread the filling over the crust, then top with the pie filling and whipped topping.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Alternatively, you can wait to add the cake filling and whipped topping until after cutting the cheesecake for a prettier presentation. It's totally up to you!

Nana's easy cheesecake slices topped with cherry pie filling and whipped topping on a marble plate.Nana's easy cheesecake slices topped with cherry pie filling and whipped topping on a marble plate.

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Recipe variations

As I mentioned before, my Aunt Debbie likes to stick with the classic cherry pie filling when she makes Nana's Easy Cheesecake, but sometimes I switch it up.

Try adding a little lemon zest to the crust or filling and garnishing with microwaved lemon curd or homemade cranberry sauce.

You could stick with cherry pie filling or use homemade strawberry pie filling instead.

Or try raspberry sauce or strawberry sauce! Or forget the fruit altogether and go for hot fudge instead.

Slice of Nana's easy cheesecake on a plate with a bite taken from the corner.Slice of Nana's easy cheesecake on a plate with a bite taken from the corner.

More easy cheesecake recipes

If Nana's recipe makes you want more easy cheesecake recipes, don't worry: I've got you covered! Check out these other no-cook or reduced-cook recipes that are perfect for any occasion:

Four peach cheesecakes assembled on a white countertopFour peach cheesecakes assembled on a white countertop

No-bake peach cheesecake

No-bake peach cheesecakes capture everything there is to love about summer. Sweet peaches, crunchy pecans and no need to cook anything!

View the recipe

No-bake frozen cheesecake slice, served on a white plate, garnished with fresh mixed berries.  In the background there are more slices of cheesecakeNo-bake frozen cheesecake slice, served on a white plate, garnished with fresh mixed berries.  In the background there are more slices of cheesecake

No-bake frozen cheesecake

No-bake frozen cheesecake is the perfect way to celebrate summer. A sweet and savory crust combines with a layer of soft cheesecake filling and fresh berries to create a delicious dessert for summer entertaining.

View the recipe

Assembled lime cheesecakes topped with whipped cream and lime wedgesAssembled lime cheesecakes topped with whipped cream and lime wedges

Lime cheesecake

Coconut graham cracker crust topped with lime cheesecake filling and a swirl of whipped cream creates a simple and delicious dessert for any summer occasion.

View the recipe

Slice of no-bake oreo cheesecake topped with cherry pie filling on a white plate with a second slice and bowl of cherry pie filling in the backgroundSlice of no-bake oreo cheesecake topped with cherry pie filling on a white plate with a second slice and bowl of cherry pie filling in the background

No-bake Oreo cheesecake

No Bake Oreo Cheesecake combines pretty much all your favorite things into one sweet, no-bake dessert. Easy, a real crowd pleaser and hello – Oreo!

View the recipe

No-bake strawberry cheesecake

This no-bake strawberry cheesecake is light and fluffy and the cream cheese filling is filled with fresh strawberries. This cheesecake requires only a few ingredients and is ready to eat in about 4 hours!

View the recipe

Two white plates, each with a slice of Nana's easy cheesecake topped with cherry pie filling and a dollop of whipped cream.Two white plates, each with a slice of Nana's easy cheesecake topped with cherry pie filling and a dollop of whipped cream.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9×13-inch pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, butter, sugar and salt until crumbly. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands to press the dough into an even layer into the pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a rack to cool completely.

  • Once the crust has cooled, add the cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and beat for another 3-4 minutes. Spread filling over cooled crust. Top with pie filling, followed by Cool Whip. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

I recommend removing the cheesecake from the pan before cutting.

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 523kcal, Carbohydrates: 62G, Protein: 5G, Fat: 29G, Saturated fats: 17G, Polyunsaturated fats: 1G, Monounsaturated fat: 7G, Trans fats: 0.5G, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 170mg, Potassium: 182mg, Fiber: 1G, Sugar: 24G, Vitamin A: 1177UI, C vitamin: 3mg, Soccer: 75mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated automatically, so should only be used as an approximation.

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