Today’s recipe is my no-bake mojito cheesecake. This is the easiest summer dessert ever. However, it’s the result of a joint effort. How is that? Keep reading and I’ll tell you how…
A few days ago my dearest friend Leticia —a passionate about food styling and photography— presented her foodie friends, including me, a picture by food photographer Joanie Simons. It was a beautiful light green pistachio tart, decorated with blueberries and blackberries. We all loved it and Leti asked us about how could she reproduce Joanie’s tart. She didn’t care about the flavor, but the look. So I thought it would be a good idea to make a no-bake cheesecake.
She was looking for a pie crust and I recommended her making Beth Le Manach’s Graham crackers crust, which allows you to hold a deep cheesecake. With the crust problem solved, Leti decided to make a key lime pie no-bake cheesecake.
When I saw Leti’s photo, I couldn’t help but start dreaming of a no-bake mojito cheesecake. After all, the decoration included some spearmint sprigs! Making that cheesecake became a sort of obsession… until my son Andres (17) asked me if I could make a lime cake for his friend Chris’ birthday.
Bingo! That was a sign. All I was waiting for to make this glorious fancy mojito cheesecake! Chris is our neighbor, a young soldier working at the Southern Command of the U.S. He was turning 24 and he loves mojitos (and who doesn’t?) So, I had the perfect excuse!
How to make No-Bake Mojito Cheesecake
Besides the 8 minutes to bake the Graham crackers crust, this dessert requires zero baking. This makes it perfect for the hot summer days like the ones we already have in Miami. Now a couple of tricks to make it perfect:
- This no-bake cheesecake can be made ahead and even keep it frozen until serving time.
- To get the beautiful pastel mint color of the filling, add a few drops of the neon green food coloring by McCormick (that was Leti’s suggestion).
- To give the cheesecake its “mojito” flavor, add fresh lime juice and lime zest.
- Since this is a no-bake cheesecake and the alcohol in rum will not evaporate, to make a dessert children can safely have, use rum extract instead of rum.
- For an adult dessert, substitute the rum extract for 2 tablespoons of white rum.
- To get the perfect cut, freeze the cake for at least 30 minutes. This is a piece of advise for which I’ll always be grateful to my dear Angelo Taveras.
- To decorate it, use mint sprigs and fresh dark berries like blackberries and blueberries. The tartness of the berries creates a delicious contrast with the creamy, decadent cheese filling and the crunchy crust.
- If you don’t have a springform pan available, get a set like the one I got, using my Amazon Affiliate Program.
No-Bake Mojito Cheesecake
For the crust
- 2 cups of Graham crackers, grounded
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 7 tablespoons of butter, melted
For the filling
- 2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
- 1 14 oz. can of sweet condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon of rum extract
- 4 teaspoons of fresh lime juice
- the zest of 2-3 limes
- 3 drops of neon green food coloring
For the garnish
- 10 blackberries
- 20 blueberries
- 3-4 mint sprigs
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a bowl, with a fork, combine all the ingredients for the crust, until they look like wet sand.
- Add the crackers mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and distribute it evenly. Make a fist-bump-type motion to create a crumb wall up the side of the springform pan.
- Make sure the crumbs cover the bottom and using a measuring cup tighten up the edges and the bottom to get a tight crust.
- Bake for 8 minutes until golden brown. Set aside until completely cool.
- In the bowl of an standing mixer, cream the cream cheese with the sweet condensed milk, until smooth. Add the rum extract, lime juice and lime zest and beat until everything is well combined. Add the food coloring one drop at a time and beat until well combines and the cream gets the desired color.
- Pour the cream cheese filling into the crust, cover with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Freeze for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with the mint sprigs and the berries.