I have to confess, I’m not a huge cheesecake fan. I loooove graham cracker crust. I loooooove all the kinds of cheese, even cream. But. I usually find cheesecake too thick and, well, cheesecake-y. It’s not at the top of my very long list of dessert favorites. Last year, my sister – who is insanely talented in the kitchen – spent days whipping up little bite-sized treats for the kids for after school. She froze all kinds of pops in little Dixie cups and she dipped lots of things in chocolate. One day, she made a whole freezer full of tiny cheesecakes and I was blown away by how good they were. I think that it must have been the bite-sized quality that sparked my renewed interest in this long-ignored dessert. I am excited to share with you this easy individual-serving idea for No Bake S’mores Cheesecake Parfaits.
Divide the crust mixture between four parfait containers. If you use mason jars and wish to bake the crust, pop them in the oven for about 5-8 min. at 350 degrees. BUT, it is totally not necessary to bake the crusts. Just press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the jar/cup.
WHEN your crusts are ready, follow the package instructions to mix up one small box of Cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix. Follow the measurements for making a pie, so that the pudding will be thicker. Don’t mix this in advance as it thickens too much to divide and spread smoothly between the parfait cups. As soon as the pudding is mixed, spoon it on top of the graham cracker crusts and spread or tap the cup gently to settle the pudding. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Now for the toppings! I have tried a few different topping strategies and they were all gobbled up just fine. For toasted s’mores cheesecake parfaits, I dumped a big pile of mini marshmallows onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Pop the cookie sheet in the oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes until the marshmallows start to get toasted. Pull them out and allow to cool. Use a circle cookie cutter to cut toasted marshmallow “tops” for each parfait cup.
You might instead prefer a fruit topping on your cheesecake parfaits. Mix 1 Cup of frozen raspberries, 1/4 Cup cornstarch, and 1/4-1/2 Cup granulated sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture bubbles. Continue cooking over low-medium heat for approximately 5 minutes until a thickened sauce forms. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Spoon the cooled fruit sauce over the cheesecake parfaits and return to the refrigerator until ready to serve!
Now friends – these parfaits are really simple and fairly quick to make. They’re great for parties or small groups because everyone can just have a little to themselves and you don’t have to slice up a thick cheesecake for which everyone can only manage a few bites. If you want to make these EVEN easier, my store also sells a “cheesecake kit” in the pudding aisle that contains the graham crackers already crumbled (you add butter and sugar) and the cheesecake mixture (you add milk).
Either way, this is such a fun, No-Bake treat! Enjoy!