No bake coconut cheesecake + fresh strawberry pie filling make for the PERFECT summer and Fourth of July dessert! There’s no artificial coloring or flavoring in these No Bake Coconut Strawberry Cheesecake Jars and they can be made gluten free, dairy free and vegan too!
It takes a lot for me to declare something as the PERFECT summer dessert! But I’m not sure how else I can describe these No Bake Coconut Strawberry Cheesecake Jars! 🙂 A gorgeous, simple, layered summer dessert, that’s PERFECT for a crowd, or as an individual dessert that you can take on picnics, BBQs and potlucks? Bring on summer!
Here’s why you SHOULD make these delicious no bake coconut strawberry cheesecake jars!
- This is TWO desserts in one. No bake coconut cheesecake +fresh strawberry pie filling!
- This is made WITHOUT the use of strawberry jello (so no artificial coloring or flavoring), AND the whipping cream is naturally colored with butterfly pea flowers. So NO artificial colors or flavors in this coconut strawberry cheesecake at all!
- Did I mention that this dessert is NO BAKE?
- You can make it in individual jars or glasses or cups, perfectly portioned for a crowd or gathering, which makes them very portable too.
- 6 portions in 8 oz cups
- or 8 portions in 6 oz cups
- or 10 portions of 4.5 oz cups
- The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you like too.
- You can make this dessert gluten free or dairy free.
- Plus, it’s red, white and blue – perfect for fourth of July celebrations (or even memorial day) for all my American readers! 🙂
These no bake coconut strawberry cheesecake jars are so simple to make. The dessert has 4 layers that are both easy to make and assemble.
- Graham cracker and coconut crust
- No bake coconut cheesecake
- Fresh strawberry and jello layer (made with fresh strawberries)
- Vanilla whipped cream that’s colored naturally blue with butterfly pea tea powder (the coloring is optional, since it was intended to be a fourth of July dessert).
The graham cracker coconut crust is just crushed graham crackers, unsweetened desiccated coconut and butter. This crust is all prepared in your food processor.
The no bake coconut cheesecake is simply cream cheese, coconut cream, coconut extract and just the right amount of sweetness. The cream cheese layer is tangy, with delicious coconut flavor and just a touch of sweetness. It’s really cool and refreshing, creamy and delicious! Make sure to use a good quality organic coconut extract.
Instead of using store-bought strawberry jello, I mixed chopped fresh strawberries with strawberry puree and gelatin to make a sweet, fruity and tangy strawberry jello layer. This way you get the best of both worlds, with juicy pieces of fresh strawberries mixed with the strong strawberry flavor in this homemade strawberry jello.
Finally, the whole dessert is topped with a swirl of vanilla whipped cream. Staying in theme for fourth of July celebrations, I infused the whipping cream with butterfly pea flowers to get a natural blue color.
You can color it with food coloring for convenience, but I wanted to keep this fourth of July dessert free of artificial colors and flavors!
Can I make this dessert ahead of time?
Yes you can! This no bake coconut strawberry cheesecake can be made up to 2-3 days ahead of time, and be stored in the fridge. This is because we are using fresh strawberries in the jello layer here. The whipped cream topping on the other hand, is best made on the same day if you’re using regular whipped cream. However, if you use stabilized whipped cream, you can top the dessert about a day ahead of time as well.
Can I make this Gluten Free?
Yes! Simply swap out the graham crackers for gluten free crackers and these no bake coconut strawberry cheesecake jars will be gluten free!
Use fresh strawberries for the strawberry layer. If you have overripe strawberries, these can be used to make the strawberry jello layer, but do use sweet, firm strawberries for the chopped strawberries.
How about making this dessert Vegan?
Absolutely! You can make it completely allergy friendly for those who are lactose intolerant or for anyone who is vegan too.
Instead of the graham crackers, you can substitute with a vegan brand. For the butter, you can use coconut oil or a vegan butter instead.
Swap out the cream cheese for a vegan cream cheese, like the Go Veggie cream cheese. OR you can use a vegan cream cheese recipe like this recipe here.
Also, you can substitute the whipped cream with the thickened part of coconut cream, in order to make whipped coconut cream.
Whipped coconut cream – Place one can of coconut milk (not lite) to rest, overnight, to separate the coconut milk into layers. Then place the can in the fridge and allow the top layer of thick coconut to harden. Then open the coconut can and gently scoop out the hardened coconut layer. This can be whisked to thicken a little more, and used in place of whipped cream. You’re welcome to leave out the gelatin altogether and just scoop the “whipped coconut cream” on top of your no bake coconut strawberry cheesecake instead.
Alternatively, you can find vegan whipped cream canisters in some specialty stores.
As you can see these no bake coconut strawberry cheesecake jars are so easy to customize, and are the perfect summer and fourth of July dessert! Give it a try and let me know how you guys like it! 🙂
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No Bake Coconut Strawberry Cheesecake Jars
No Bake Coconut Strawberry Cheesecake Jars - there's no artificial coloring or flavoring in these mini desserts. The perfect pairing of coconut cheesecake and fresh strawberry pie filling makes these the perfect Fourth of July dessert!
There's a 15 minute chilling time + overnight set time for the jello layer.
- 4 ½ Graham crackers (I used an organic brand) about 20 g
- ¼ cup desiccated coconut about 25 g
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 1 lb cream cheese
- ½ cup coconut milk from a can
- ⅓ cup confectioner's sugar
- 2 tsp organic coconut extract
- 1 lb hulled strawberries divided into half
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 - 2 tbsp lemon juice or ¼ tsp citric acid
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 ½ tsp gelatin about ½ packet
Blue Whipping Cream
- ¼ cup whipping cream
- ¾ tsp butterfly pea powder
- ¾ cup whipping cream
Place the graham crackers and desiccated coconut in a food processor. Process until you have fine crumbs. Add the butter and pulse a few times until the butter is mixed through with the crumbs. Set aside until needed.
- Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl. Whisk until the cream cheese is smooth and creamy.
Add the coconut cream, sugar and coconut extract and whisk until everything is mixed in and smooth. Refrigerate until needed.
Fresh Strawberry Layer
Place the 2 tbsp of water in a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over the surface evenly. Set aside to let the gelatin bloom - about 5 to 10 minutes.
Puree half of the strawberries and pass this through a sieve to remove the seeds. Place the strawberry puree, sugar, lime juice in a small saucepan or microwave-friendly bowl and heat until the sugar dissolves and the puree is hot (but not boiling).
Add the bloomed gelatin and whisk to dissolve. Set aside to cool slightly. If needed, add more lime juice or citric acid to taste.
- While the strawberry puree is heating, chop the rest of the strawberries into small pieces. Place in a bowl and set aside.
Once the strawberry jello is prepared, mix in the fresh strawberries. Set aside.
Blue Whipping Cream - before serving (or the day before)
Place ¼ cup of the whipping cream in a bowl and add the butterfly pea flower powder. Mix until the powder has mixed in well, and there are no lumps. Add the rest of the whipping cream and sugar, and whisk on low speed.
- Pour in the dissolved gelatin while whisking, until you get stiff peaks.
- Place the whipping cream in a piping bag with an open star tip. Use immediately.
Divide the coconut graham cracker crust between 6 x 8 oz serving dishes. Lightly press the crumbs into the bottom to form a layer.
Divide the cream cheese layer between the serving dishes and smooth out the layer on top using an offset spatula. Alternatively, you can place the cream cheese filling in a piping bag and pipe the filling into the serving glasses.
Place the serving dishes in the freezer for about 10 - 15 minutes to firm up the cheesecake layer. (You could even make the strawberry layer at this stage while the individual desserts are firming up).
When the cream cheese layer has firmed up, divide the strawberry layer between the serving glasses.
- Cover the individual portions with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight for the jello layer to set.
When the jello layer is set, prepare the blue whipping cream and swirl it on top of the desserts. This can be done before serving, OR the day before serving.
Sprinkle some confetti stars on top (optional) and serve. Enjoy!
Shortcuts for the recipe
- Use blue coloring instead of the butterfly pea powder. If using butterfly pea powder, take care NOT TO mix it with any acid (such as lemon/lime juice). It will turn purple if you do.
- Instead of making the fresh strawberry jello, substitute with store-bought strawberry jello.
- You will only need 1/2 lb (8 oz of chopped strawberries), which you will chop into small pieces.
- Mix about 1/3 of a strawberry jello packet (2 oz in weight) with 1/3 cup of hot water. Stir until dissolved. Add about 1/2 cup more water and stir well. Mix this jello with the chopped strawberries, and use as stated in the recipe.
For gluten free options -
- Use gluten free graham crackers.
For vegan options -
- Use vegan butter or coconut oil instead of regular butter, as well as vegan graham crackers.
- Substitute the cream cheese with vegan cream cheese.
- Replace the whipping cream with the solid layer of coconut milk. Please note that this will not whip up like regular whipping cream, and will take on the form of dollops on top of the desserts. Therefore a gelatin replacement, like AGAR, is not really needed.