This is a fun and delicious dessert, and Strawberry Cheesecake in a jar is no-bake and and easy to put together too. Use the prettiest berries you can find for this favorite summer dessert recipe.
When it comes to cheesecake, there’s nothing worse than biting into one that’s like a block of cream cheese. Ugh.
On my first draft of creating this recipe, the original idea was simple; chunks of fresh rhubarb with perfect spring strawberries cooked into a loose jam with sugar and lemon juice, to use as a topping for individual cheesecakes.
The rhubarb was a lot of trouble for little payoff, so that idea was scrapped. Plan B included:
- Fresh, organic strawberries, which are a MARVEL this time of year. No stove top cooking! Instead, simply cut them into small chunks and toss with good quality strawberry jam. Perfect!
- The cheese layer – which can be heavy and thick, is made lighter and brighter thanks to a quick mixture of cream AND ricotta cheese, flavored with lemon extract and a bump of fresh lemon zest.
- Regular graham crackers work very well in this recipe, but experiment with other shortbread styles of cookies too.
Ingredients You’ll Need for this Recipe
- Strawberries: The freshest, prettiest, organic variety you can find.
- Cream Cheese: Use light cream cheese here for best results.
- Ricotta Cheese: Use the skim variety, which isn’t as heavy in texture as regular ricotta cheese.
- Graham Crackers: Plain works perfectly, and so do other shortbread styles of cookies if you want to change it up.
- Strawberry Jam: I use my fave Bon Maman Strawberry Preserves which is found in most grocery stores, but any good quality strawberry jam will do.
I whizzed up some Biscoff cookies I had on hand for the base layer instead of graham crackers for a test batch, and the results were a subtle spicy caramelized flavor that was SUPER delicious. 🙂 Try chocolate wafer cookies or vanilla shortbread for variation.
See that small juice glass? I used it to lightly pat the crumbs into place for the base for these little cheesecakes and it worked perfectly.
How to Make this Recipe
- Make the crust: Whiz the graham crackers to a fine sand texture in a food processor or blender, or use a rolling pin to crush the crackers inside of a sturdy plastic bag.
- Make the cheese layer: Use a hand mixer or food processor to blend the cream and ricotta cheeses, plus the sugar, lemon extract and zest, and mix just until combined to keep the mixture light.
- Prep the Strawberries: Remove the stems off each strawberry, then cut the berries into small chunks, leaving some whole for garnish. Toss the cut strawberries with the jam.
- Assemble the Cheesecakes: Lightly pat the graham cracker mixture into canning jars, using a smaller glass with a flat bottom to hold the crumbs in place, or just use a small spoon. Divide the cheese mixture into each jar, then scoop the strawberry mixture on top of it. Add whipped cream and enjoy!
Serving Ideas for Strawberry Cheesecake in a Jar
- This is a great single-serving dessert that’s portable enough for a picnic. Disposable cups can be used instead of canning jars.
- Serve this dessert in log-stemmed glasses too! Use a glass with a wide mouth for a really pretty presentation.
- This is a great dessert to have after a substantial salad, maybe something like this Blackberry Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts?
Tips for Success
- You can make this recipe several hours ahead or the day before, just store in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Garnish with whipped cream and a sliced fresh strawberry or two just before serving.
- Use half-pint canning jars for this recipe, or clear, disposable cups.
- You can make this recipe into 6 servings by using smaller containers. Just eyeball this to distribute the ingredients as evenly as possible.
More Recipes to Try:
If you’ve tried this Strawberry Cheesecake in a Jar, or any other recipe on Studio Delicious, please leave me a note in the comment section below!
STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE IN A JAR
- FOR THE CRUST
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- FOR THE CHEESE LAYER
- 1 8 ounce light cream cheese softened
- 1 8 ounce light ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest from one lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- FOR THE STRAWBERRY LAYER
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam
- 1 teaspoon water
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, organic if possible sliced into 1/4" chunks
- whipped cream, for serving
- whole strawberries, cut vertically, for serving
- Crush the graham cracker crumbs by adding to a food processor, you'll need 1 1/2 cups of crumbs, which is approximately 8 sheets of graham cracker, plus a quarter. Alternatively, use a blender for this, or place the graham crackers in a large plastic freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin until it's a sand-like consistency
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and set aside.
- MAKE THE CHEESE LAYER
- Place the cream and ricotta cheese together with the sugar, lemon extract and lemon zest in a food processor. Alternatively, place the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and use a hand-held electric mixer. For either method, blend the mixture together for about a minute or so, just to combine and lighten it until slightly fluffy. Don't overmix or the cheeses will be heavy and dense.
- PREPARE THE STRAWBERRIES
- Combine the strawberry jam and 1 teaspoon water in a medium-sized bowl, stir together to loosen the jam before adding the fresh strawberries. Toss the strawberries in the jam mixture, breaking them up a bit to release their juices until the mixture is combined.
- ASSEMBLE THE CHEESECAKES
- Lightly pat 1/4 cup of the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each jar using your fingers or a small spoon
- Spoon 1/2 cup of the cheesecake mixture on top of the crust
- Divide the strawberry mixture between each cup Garnish with a tablespoon or more of whipped cream, a fresh strawberry sliced in halfAdd some fresh mint, too if you'd like!
- Use half-pint canning jars for this recipe, or small disposable plastic cups
- You can make this recipe into 6 servings instead of 4 by dividing the ingredients equally in smaller plastic cups. Just eyeball this to distribute the ingredients.
- Strawberry Cheesecake in a Jar can be served in long stem glasses too - such as a wide-mouth red wine glass - this presentation looks especially pretty.
- The cheesecakes travel well in the canning jars shown. Great for picnics!
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible
This post was originally published April 2019 and updated with new tips and content in May 2020