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Summer Cookout Indulgence for a Patriotic Sweet Tooth

Featured Recipe

Commitment to better diet doesn’t have to mean constant deprivation. This no-bake recipe is a shareable dessert perfect for the height of summer.A commitment to better diet doesn’t have to mean a lifetime of deprivation. Special occasions and events are times to congregate, celebrate, and often eat together. During summertime festivities, from cookouts to reunions, planning ahead can make it possible to enjoy some richer foods responsibly, without jeopardizing disease management. For diet-restricted patients with a sweet tooth, this recipe is a special treat that’s easy to make and wonderful to share.

As temperatures rise, we turn to foods that can be prepared without turning on the oven — which is where this delectable cheesecake comes in. Homemade whipped cream gives this no-bake take a lighter density that pairs perfectly with a sunny summer day. The addition of fresh fruit on top, like red and ‘blue’ berries, lends a dose of healthy nutrients and may even inspire you to show a creative splash of Independence Day pride.

Summer Swelter No-Bake Cheesecake

Total Time: About 4 hours | Servings: 12


For crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, finely crushed
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 Tablespoons butter, melted

For filling:
1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
2 cups fresh fruit (e.g. blueberries, halved strawberries), washed and prepped


  1. In a medium bowl, combine all crust ingredients (graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and melted butter) until well-mixed and crumbly.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch by 11-inch baking dish, pressing firmly until the bottom is covered smoothly and evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes, until crust is set.
  3. In a medium-large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine cream cheese and mascarpone cheese. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate metal or glass bowl, whip the 1/3 cup sugar and cream until soft peaks form.
  5. Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and gently whisk to combine, until filling is uniformly soft and fluffy.
  6. Remove the set crust from the refrigerator and spoon the filling over it, spreading and smoothing for even thickness. Tap the dish gently on a counter top or table to settle. Re-cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours, until cheesecake is set.
  7. Arrange fruit halves and pieces on top of the finished cheesecake, cut into squares, and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 380; Fat: 32 g; Saturated fat: 19 g; Cholesterol: 94 mg; Sodium: 192 mg; Carbohydrates: 22 g; Sugars: 15 g; Dietary fiber: 1.3 g; Protein: 4.5 g.


  • For better blood sugar control, patients with diabetes may wish to reduce the sugar content by substituting a zero-calorie sweetener like Splenda for the white sugar.
  • If possible, make whipped cream using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisking by hand takes longer than an electrical tool, and the constant motion can be tiring. If whisking manually, consider enlisting a caregiver, family member, or friend and take turns.
  • This cheesecake pairs wonderfully with many fruits, from mandarin orange sections to banana or kiwi slices. We’ve suggested berries to pair with the pale cheesecake for a great-tasting red, white, and blue theme. Feel free to get creative with patterns, colors, and flavors!
  • If you’re restricting your fat or calorie consumption, or merely hoping to indulge in other rich foods as well, the best way to make this dessert a part of your meal is to take a smaller helping (perhaps half of a piece). Add more fruit to make your portion fuller without fat.