Cheesecake can be intimidating to the home baker. Water baths, cracked tops, oven time…there’s a lot to worry about when making this dessert in your own kitchen. But fret not: This no-bake version is stress-free and just as delicious as the kind that takes much longer to make. It’s a great make-ahead treat, especially around the busy holiday season.

The crunch of the thin chocolate graham cracker crust is a cinch to prepare and provides fabulous texture, a must for a creamy dessert. The filling is decadent, yet light and velvety, with a pop of peppermint and vanilla. And the addition of hot cocoa makes this treat ideal for winter.

Whereas traditional cheesecake contains eggs, giving it a denser, thicker texture, this no-bake peppermint cheesecake uses whipped heavy cream, resulting in a lighter, mousse-like consistency. And it’s actually not a cake — it’s a trifle. No competing for oven time here.

When making this peppermint cheesecake, it’s important to plan ahead, as you want to chill it in the refrigerator long enough for it to firm up and set. Four hours ought to do it — just enough time to prepare and eat your meal, drink an eggnog or hot toddy, and turn up the Bing Crosby.

You can make this even more fun and festive by adding crushed candy canes, chocolate sprinkles or shavings, peppermint bark, or mini marshmallows. Or, set up a toppings bar and let your guests choose their own adventure.

An easy-to-make, delicious dessert, and an interactive experience? That’s a total holiday win.

No-Bake Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cheesecake

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Resting time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 3 large trifles


  • Food processor
  • Electric mixer
  • Ingredients



  • 1 cup chocolate graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¾ cup candy cane hot cocoa mix

Whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract




  • Using a food processor, blend the graham crackers until fine and no large pieces remain. Transfer to a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix until the butter is well incorporated. Set aside.


  • In a medium-sized bowl and using an electric mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.
  • Next, add the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Mix until well incorporated.
  • Add the hot cocoa and mix until light and fluffy.

Whipped cream

  • In a medium-sized bowl and using an electric mixer, whip the heaving whipping cream, granulated sugar, vanilla, and peppermint extract until stiff peaks form.


  • Add a few spoonfuls of chocolate graham cracker crust to the bottom of a glass or small jar. Next, add a spoonful of the cheesecake mixture. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to a day. Top with homemade whipped cream and toppings of your choice. Enjoy within three days.
Author: Kaitlin Yocom
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cheesecake, trifle
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Janine Nyquist is a chef, recipe developer, and food stylist. She focuses on simple, thoughtful cooking and regularly shares her food and cooking adventures on her Instagram @janinenyquist. Raised Italian-American, food and family have always been at the forefront of Janine's life. In the kitchen, you can often find her dancing while sautéing, usually singing into a wooden spoon, and occasionally making a mess. Her philosophy is: expressing love through the transformation of simple ingredients and gathering together to make memories around the table. Janine lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, with her husband and two rainbow babies. When she is not in the kitchen she enjoys exercising, traveling, and sitting at cafes drinking oat milk lattes.

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