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Grandma's Best Cherry Cheesecake Recipe

I think cheesecake has to be one of the best desserts. Wouldn’t you agree? The rich creamy flavor is so delectable. Of course in my opinion the best cheesecake recipe comes from my grandma. Her Cherry Cheesecake recipe is like no other. 

Grandma’s cheesecake recipe has a shortbread crust, lemon juice and a hint of almond. Without a doubt, the filling is to die for! 

Grandma always served this cheesecake recipe in February. We have 4 February birthdays, and it was often served on these occasions. But it also makes a great dessert for Valentine’s Day. 

The first time I remember when grandma served her cheesecake to me, I turned up my nose at it. I was very young and I thought, who would want cheese with their cake! 

However, it only took one bite and I was hooked! Clearly, you too will be hooked if you try the best cheesecake recipe ever! It’s the perfect recipe for any special occasion. Give it a try and you will see.

And if you love cherries you’ll love our Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting.

And it pairs so well with our Fudgy Brownie Recipe.

In addition if your looking for a cool and refreshing treat you’ve got to try my dad’s famous Peanut Butter Banana Ice cream!

The combination is fabulous!

And for your peanut butter lovers you’ll want to try our soft and chewy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with M&M Candies.

The Best Cheesecake Recipe Ingredients

The Best Cheesecake Recipe

Ingredients for a quick and easy cheesecake recipe:

  • cream cheese
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • pure vanilla extract
  • pure almond extract
  • lemon juice
  • cherry pie filling
  • Lorna Doone Shortbread cookies
  • Cool Whip (optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

The Cheesecake Filling

To begin, take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator. It will need to be at room temperature before you begin mixing the cheesecake filling.

Don’t try to rush this step and place it in the microwave. Believe me, I’ve tried that before and it usually leads to part of the cream cheese melted. Just prepare ahead of time, don’t rush this step.

Once the cream cheese is softened and at room temperature beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.

For this cheesecake filling I love to use my Kitchenaid stand mixer. In my opinion it is the best mixer around. It can handle anything!

When I was first married, we received a cheap stand mixer as a gift, but within a year, it was giving me trouble. I ‘ve had my Kitcheniad mixer for more than 30 years and it’s still going strong. It’s truly worth the investment.

The Best Cheesecake Recipe

Once the cream cheese is smooth and fluffy add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and almond extract.

Personally, I think that pure vanilla and almond extract have better flavor. Certainly, they are more expensive, but I think it’s worth it. Such a small amount is used in this recipe, it really doesn’t affect the cost of this cheesecake recipe. 

Cheesecake Recipe

As the cream cheese beats, occasionally stop the mixer and scrap the sides of the bowl. You will want to make sure that all of the cream cheese is incorporated with the sweetened condensed milk.

Cheesecake Recipe

While this recipe calls for lemon juice, grandma always insisted that it was fresh squeezed lemon juice. In my experience, I find this true as well.

The lemon juice is an unexpected element in a no bake cheesecake, but it clearly adds a unique flavor to this cheesecake recipe.

Finally add the lemon juice to the cream cheese mixture and beat well.

Grandma’s 2 secret ingredients in her cheesecake filling are the fresh lemon juice and the almond extract. Clearly, this is part of what make this the best cheesecake recipe.

The Best Cheesecake Recipe Crust

Best Cheesecake Recipe

In addition, grandma’s best cheesecake recipe has a unique crust. She always used Lorna Doone shortbread cookies.

Not only does it make a delicious crust, but it’s also so easy. You just line a 9×13 pan with the cookies. That’s it! The cookies soften a little as it chills and make the best crust for this cheesecake recipe.

The Best Cheesecake Recipe

Now, the cream cheese filling is spread over the shortbread cookies.

Best Cheesecake Recipe

Then chill for several hours until the cream cheese filling is set up.

Cherry Cheesecake Topping

No Bake Cheese Cake Recipe

Once the cream cheese is set up, spoon the cherry pie filling over the cheesecake. 

Now if you’re not a fan of cherries, any flavor of pie filling will be delicious. Clearly, you can make it to your own liking.

Steph actually prefers raspberry. She is not a fan of cherries. Cherries always remind her of the cherry flavored medicine she had as a child.


At this time if desired top with cool whip and chill for at least 24 hours.

Personally, I prefer whipped cream on my cheesecake. I add a dollop of whipped cream when I serve it, garnished with a maraschino cherry.

Grandma always topped her cheesecake recipe with cool whip and often chopped walnuts too.

For ease in serving, it’s best to chill for at least 24 hours, 48 hours is even better. This will make it cut beautifully and the presentation will be so much better. 

The Best Cheesecake Recipe

Grandma's Best Cherry Cheesecake

This classic no bake cheesecake recipe is rich and creamy with a delicous hint of almond. Not only is the shortbread crust yummy, but it also makes it oh so easy!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Chill 1 day
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 503 kcal


  • mixer


  • 2 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 10 oz. pkg. Lorna Doone shortbread cookies
  • 1 21 oz. can cherry pie filling or other flavor
  • 1 8 oz. Cool Whip or whipped cream


  • Beat cream cheese in a mixer until smooth and creamy.
  • Add sweetened condensed milk, almond extract and vanilla extract. Beat until fluffy. Scrap bowl often to make sure it's all well incorporated.
  • Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, beat again until creamy.
  • Line a 9x13 pan with Lorna Doone shortbread cookies.
  • Spread cream cheese mixture over the shortbread cookies.
  • Chill until the cream cheese mixture is set.
  • Spoon pie filling over the cheesecake layer. Top with a layer of Cool Whip if desired. Return to the refrigerator and chill for at least 24 hours.
  • Serve with whipped cream if desired, garnish with a maraschino cherry.


This recipe is easier to serve if it has chilled for a minimum of 24 hours. I like to chill mine for 48 hours.
Keyword creamy, dessert, easy, no bake

Have we convinced you to try the best cheesecake recipe ever? Just looking at the photos once again makes my mouth water. I’m definitely looking forward to the next special occasion, when I can serve the best cheesecake recipe ever!

To try another one of grandma’s recipes click here.

What’s your families favorite dessert recipe? Are you fan’s of cheesecake? We are always on the lookout for new ideas!

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