SoNo’s No-Bake Cheesecake

A little while ago, my friend posted on her Facebook Wall a divine photo of an 8 inch cheesecake crusted with pistachio crusts with raspberry toppings.  I immediately started to Google and found out that it is John Barricelli’s (Master Baker) SoNo Cheesecake.  I started to look at different images of this SoNo Cheesecake and found the mini-cheesecake versions (which I found out were no-bake version).  It was quite difficult to find the actual recipe for this no-bake version, but I found the ingredient list here and kind of improvised based on the other no-bake cheesecake recipes.  I had my last pro-photography session so you viewers are lucky to be able to view professional pictures!!

(Photographer: Richard “Dexter” Wuest; Food Stylist: Chris Koch)

This will be a wonderful dessert for any type of gatherings (but I’m thinking a small gathering where people can actually appreciate these little morsels);  and perfect for the upcoming Valentine’s Day!!

Makes about 1 dozen to 1-1/2 dozen mini cheesecakes. 

  • 1 1/2 cup crushed graham cracker
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp powdered gelatin
  • 2 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1 lb cream cheese, room temperature (at least six hours)
  • 2/3 sugar
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • Grated zest of orange
  • Grated zest of lemon
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ sour cream
  • 1 cup pistachios, shelled and finely chopped
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • Apricot jam

Combine graham cracker crumbs with sugar.
Add melted butter and blend until combined.
Press into pan. Set aside

Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler. Sprinkle water over gelatin and let stand for 5 minutes.
Using a spatula scrape the softened gelatin and place it into the top of the double boiler. Set it over simmering water and heat until the mixture becomes liquid. Remove from heat and set aside.
Beat heavy cream until medium peaks form. Set aside.

Add cream cheese, sugar, salt, zests of orange and lemon, lemon juice, and sour cream to a bowl and beat with a paddle attachment until smooth (approximately 3-5 mins). If you do not have a stand mixer or a paddle attachment a hand beater will work as well, but will take twice as long to achieve a smooth consistency.

Add a ½ cup of cream mixture to the gelatin and fold with a rubber spatula. Return the gelatin mixture to the remaining cream cheese mixture and fold together.
Fill chosen pan with a slight mound at the center, as the cheesecake will become slightly sunken at the center.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours to set or overnight for best results.
Remove from refrigerator and smooth top to level with edge.

Brush the top and sides of the cheesecake with the strained jam. Cover the top of the cake with a single layer of raspberries. Holding the cake with one hand under the bottom, and working over a sheet pan to catch the excess, gently press the ground pistachios all around the sides of the cake.


My opinion:  This is a really light cheesecake; you taste a subtle citrus flavor and the pistachios are not overwhelming at all.  With the mini version you definitely will get a “wow” factor, but the 8 inch version is quite impressive too.  You can get the mini cheesecake pans at any fine kitchen ware stores or online, if you’re making the 8 inch version, use the springform. 


4 thoughts on “SoNo’s No-Bake Cheesecake

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