no-bake strawberry cheesecake w/nutella crust {in jars}

It’s no secret I love photographing food and there’s something about desserts-in-jars that makes it especially fun.  Perhaps it’s the layered side view.

dirt cake

Or the fact they are compact and easy to hold.

fried ice cream w/homemade honey caramel sauce

And so easy to eat!  (Perhaps a little too easy.)  I’ve made it my mission to come up with a new dessert-in-jar recipe for each Everyday Photographer Workshop, in part to give us something fun to photograph.

lemon meringue pie w/thyme infused shortbread crust

And, in part to give us something yummy to eat.  (The real reason.)

© Tina Vega Photography

I was drawn to this No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake because of the Nutella crust.  In fact, I won’t even buy Nutella unless I plan on using it in a recipe because the stuff is just plain dangerous.

© Tina Vega Photography

But in a recipe that includes fresh strawberries, you might even get away with calling it healthy.  I adapted the original recipe to 8-ounce widemouth jars.

custard cups

Custard cups make a perfectly viable option as well.  The printable recipe is below.

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake w/Nutella Crust {in jars}


  • Crust:
  • 7 whole graham crackers
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons Nutella
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Strawberry Topping:
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen strawberries, washed and stemmed (plus extra for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • Cheesecake Filling:
  • 2 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups strawberry topping (see above)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. In a food processor, grind the graham crackers until they are broken into a fine powder. Add the butter, nutella, brown sugar, salt and cocoa powder and process until it is all well incorporated.
  2. Press the crust evenly into the bottom of 8 (8 oz.) widemouth jars.
  3. In a saucepot add the strawberries, vanilla bean, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook over medium heat until the strawberries are quite soft. Use an immersion blender to puree the fruit (be sure to remove the vanilla bean). You can also do this by pouring the strawberries into a regular blender, then return to the pot to finish cooking.
  4. Sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl. Allow it to sit for about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Transfer the gelatin to the strawberries and gently cook over low heat.
  6. Whisking just until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Reserve 3/4 cup of the strawberry mixture for the top layer.
  7. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla extract. Add the strawberry topping, except the 3/4 cup you have reserved for the top layer.
  8. In a separate bowl whip the heavy cream until medium peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the strawberry cheesecake batter until combined.
  9. Pour the cheesecake mixture into crust-lined jars. Let the jars sit uncovered in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or until it is set to the touch.
  10. Once the cheesecake is set, pour the remaining 3/4 cup strawberry topping over the jars, distributing evenly. If the topping has set up in the pot, gently heat it for a minute, just until it is pourable.
  11. Place the cheesecake back into the refrigerator and allow to set uncovered for another 30 minutes. At this point it is ready to serve or you can cover the cheesecake with plastic and it can sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  12. Top each jar with a fresh strawberry.

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