This No-Bake Mint Chocolate Zebra Cheesecake is just as delicious as it is hypnotically stunning. Be warned: It’s rich, chocolaty, spiked with plenty of mint, silky smooth, and a total ruiner of self-control.
This one goes out to all my fellow mint chocolate chip ice cream lovers, thin mint fanatics, and shamrock shake drinkers.
It’s the ultimate MC (that’s mint chocolate) dessert. Yes, you can quote me on that. The base is made of crushed mint oreos and melted butter, and the creamy filling from alternating layers of mint and chocolate cheesecake batters. Despite the fact that it’s no-bake –which means it takes less time and is practically fool-proof– it’s impressively flavorful and just as nice to look at.
I mean, really, look at that. I don’t want to pat myself on the back too much here but I basically ran around the house for the whole day after making this No-Bake Mint Chocolate Zebra Cheesecake repeating some version of “I’m so happy with this cheesecake” ad nauseam, so there’s not much modesty left to protect here. I’m proud. I said it.
HOW TO MAKE A NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE FILLING
If you’re a little hesitant about the idea of a no-bake cheesecake, I don’t blame you. It seems a little weird to make a dessert that doesn’t ever see the inside of an oven, right? However, no-bake cheesecakes are exponentially easier to make— you don’t have to worry about all of the things that could go wrong with a baked cheesecake. That’s right, no more stressing about whether or not you’re beating the batter too much, or if you’ve baked the cheesecake long enough yet, or if the cheesecake will wind up with a big ol’ crack down the middle.
Instead, what you wind up with is a smooth, silky, light but velvety-textured cheesecake filling every time.
So how do you make it? Well, pretty similarly to how you normally make any other cheesecake. No-bake cheesecake fillings typically use most of the same ingredients as their baked counterparts, but they don’t use eggs to bind them. Instead, many recipes rely on cream, whipped to stiff peaks, to keep everything thick and allow it to set in the fridge. In my experience, gelatin provides a superior hold, so you don’t have to worry about your cheesecake being runny or starting to weep at room temperature.
Simply sprinkle the gelatin over cold water to dissolve it, then microwave for about 30 seconds, or until fully melted. Then you can add it along with the rest of the cheesecake filling ingredients and it will work its magic as it sits in the refrigerator!
WATCH THE NO-BAKE MINT CHOCOLATE ZEBRA CHEESECAKE VIDEO
For the No-Bake Oreo Crust:
- 25 mint oreos
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
- 2 packets (2 1/2 teaspoons each) unflavored gelatin powder
- 6 tablespoons cold water
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature*
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1–2 teaspoons mint extract
- Green food coloring, as needed, optional
- Stabilized whipped cream, andes mints, and fresh mint leaves, to garnish, optional
- In the bowl of a food processor, process the oreos to fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and continue to process until moist and well-combined.
- Dump the oreo crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan. Press the crumbs smoothly and evenly into the bottom of the pan using the back of a spoon. Refrigerate while you make the filling.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin powder over 6 tablespoons of cold water. Allow to sit until dissolved and re-solidified. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until liquidy.
- In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, heavy cream, milk, granulated sugar, and gelatin mixture and mix until smooth. Pour about half of the batter into a separate bowl.
- Add the dark cocoa powder to one of the bowls and whisk until well-combined and dark brown. Add the mint extract and green food coloring, as needed, to the other bowl and whisk until well-combined and light green.
- Use an ice cream scoop to dollop scoopfuls of the batter in the center of the oreo crust, alternating between brown and green. Use a knife, skewer, or toothpick to drag through the rings and create designs in the very top of the cheesecake, if desired.
- Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours, then garnish with whipped cream, andes mints and fresh mint leaves, if desired.
It’s very important that the cream cheese isn’t cold, or it will cause clumping. If your mixture does clump, don’t worry. Microwave the mixture briefly until just slightly warm (not hot!) and then continue to mix. The clumps will liquify!