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No-Bake Cheesecake

From Chef Paul Prudhomme
/ Source: TODAY

Makes one 10-inch round cake


  • 13 ounces low-fat graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons nonfat mayonnaise
  • One 12-ounce package nonfat cottage cheese
  • Three 8-ounce packages nonfat cream cheese, softened
  • One 8-ounce package unflavored (or vanilla) nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup White Grape Syrup (see recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Three 1.4-ounce packages vanilla sugar-free instant pudding
  • Eight 1-gram packets artificial sweetener

Pulverize the graham crackers in a food processor. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise, and pulse until blended. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch round cake pan, preferably a spring-form pan, and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Drain off any excess liquid from the cottage cheese, then purée it in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the softened cream cheese, yogurt, White Grape Syrup, and vanilla, and process until smooth and creamy. You may have to do this in batches if your appliance will not hold the entire amount. -With the appliance running, slowly add the instant pudding and the artificial sweetener to the mixture. -Every so often stop and stir in the pudding mix with a rubber spatula, then continue blending. If you’ve done this step in batches, thoroughly blend the batches together.

Pour the mixture into the graham cracker mold and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. If you would like the cake firmer, place in the freezer at least 1 hour, watching that it does not reach a hard freeze. If you used a spring-form pan, carefully remove the side ring before serving.

TIPPlace each slice on 1/4 cup of strawberry purée on a dessert plate; top with a sliced fresh strawberry or a teaspoon of purée. A drizzle of the White Grape Syrup is a delicious alternative.

White Grape Syrup

Makes 1 1/2 cups


  • Two (12-ounce) cans of frozen white grape juice concentrate

Place grape juice concentrate in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over high heat and cook until the juice comes to a boil and foamy bubbles cover the entire surface, about 10 to 15 minutes. Caution
Once the juice starts to foam, the bubbles will rise above the level of the skillet. Immediately reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the juice is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes more. Let cool, then place in a covered container and refrigerate.

Before using the syrup in a recipe, remove it from the refrigerator as you start your preparation, so it will have time to come to room temperature. The syrup will be thinner and easier to pour and measure.