Cheesecake Mousse Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. + chilling
Cream cheese is combined with heavy whipping cream for a bright and rich cheesecake mousse that's ready with no baking and no fuss. Top it with crumbled graham crackers and your favorite fruit, and enjoy!

Updated: Jun. 18, 2024

Want to whip together a decadent dessert but don’t have much time? Our no-bake cheesecake mousse recipe will be ready to enjoy after very little hands-on time. The tangy cream cheese is lightened with whipped cream for a fluffy and rich dessert. Before serving, it’s topped with crunchy, buttery graham cracker crumbs and fresh strawberries, for layers of flavor every family member and guest will love.

Ingredients for Cheesecake Mousse

  • Cream cheese: Rich and smooth cream cheese makes the base of this decadent mousse. Let it soften before starting the recipe.
  • Confectioners’ sugar: The cream cheese is sweetened with confectioners’ sugar to keep it silky without any graininess.
  • Vanilla extract: Heady vanilla extract adds another layer of flavor to this dessert.
  • Lemon zest: You can zest a lemon a few different ways. A zester or microplane are the best tools, but you can also use a fine cheese grater. In a pinch, use a vegetable peeler to slice just the yellow part of the lemon peel, then mince it very finely.
  • Heavy whipping cream: Luxe heavy cream is whipped to add an airy lightness to the mousse.
  • Graham cracker crumbs: This mousse gives a nod to the traditional graham cracker crust with a buttery crumb topping.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar provides the topping with a little additional sweetness.
  • Butter: Melted butter binds the graham cracker crumbs together, adds flavor and helps them bake up nice and crunchy.
  • Strawberries: Juicy strawberries add color and freshness to balance this creamy dessert.

Directions

Step 1: Mix and chill the mousse

In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Fold in the whipped cream, and divide among 12 dessert dishes. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, so it can chill and set.

Step 2: Make the graham cracker topping

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle in the melted butter and mix well. Press onto an ungreased baking sheet, so the mixture is about 1/4 inch thick. Bake it until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let it cool completely.

Editor’s Tip: Easily make graham cracker crumbs by placing whole crackers in a zipper-top bag and rolling them with a rolling pin or drinking glass.

Step 3: Top with graham crackers and serve

When you’re ready to serve, crumble the graham cracker mixture and sprinkle it over the mousse. Top each dish with sliced strawberries, as desired.

Cheesecake Mousse Variations

  • Use whatever fruit is in season: Strawberries are delicious, but if you have backyard blackberry bushes, or the peaches at the market are perfect, any fresh, juicy fruit will work.
  • Flip the flavor profile: You can change up the flavor with subtle additions. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon to the graham cracker crumbs before you add the melted butter, or swap almond extract for the vanilla.
  • Make one large mousse: If you aren’t sure how many people you’re serving or you don’t have enough dessert dishes, spread the mousse into an 8×8-inch baking dish and chill. You can top the mousse in the baking dish, or scoop it into bowls and top individually.

How to Store Cheesecake Mousse

Once the dessert is topped with graham cracker crumbs and fruit, it should be served immediately. But the mousse itself can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days.

Can you make cheesecake mousse ahead of time?

If you want to make this dessert ahead of time, simply store the cheesecake mousse in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it, up to three days. Graham cracker crumbs can be stored at room temperature for three to four days. Slice up the fruit the day of serving.

Cheesecake Mousse Tips

How is cheesecake different from cheesecake mousse?

Cheesecake is denser and typically baked. Cheesecake mousse is whipped until fluffy, and whipped cream is gently folded in to lighten the texture.

What’s a shortcut to soften cream cheese?

Did you forget to take your cream cheese out of the refrigerator? No problem. Place an unwrapped brick of cream cheese in a zipper-top bag. Squeeze out the air and place it in a dish of warm water. Flip the bag every few minutes. Cream cheese should soften up in 10 to 15 minutes.

What are some other options for toppings?

Strawberries and graham cracker crumbs are called for here, but there are a lot of options. Use your imagination and what is in season. Try blueberries and granola, pitted sweet cherries and dark chocolate curls, or sliced peaches and crumbled sweet biscuits (just like a peach cobbler).

Cheesecake Mousse

Prep Time 20 min
Yield 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Sliced fresh strawberries, optional

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until fluffy. Fold in whipped cream. Divide among 12 dessert dishes. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°. Combine cracker crumbs and sugar in a small bowl; add butter and mix well. Press to a 1/4-in. thickness on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. Just before serving, crumble graham cracker mixture; sprinkle over mousse. Top with strawberries if desired.
This cheesecake mousse actually tastes better after chilling overnight. Once chilled, it can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to three days. Berries are optional, but they're a flavorful and festive way to dress up this dessert. —Caroline Wamelink, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Recipe Creator