Fran’s No-Bake Cherry & Walnut Cheesecake

Fran's Walnut-Cherry Cheesecake - Almost no-bake (just bake the crust!) - a perfect summer dessert! | browneyedbaker.com

My very favorite group of recipes are those that come from family members… whether they were something I grew up eating every week or holiday season, or a recipe my grandma saved from a newspaper clipping, there’s nothing I love more than making something that has made its rounds at our family table.

Over Mother’s Day weekend, my mom made this cheesecake, which originated with her cousin, Fran. My mom has talked about this cheesecake recipe before, but I never remembered eating it (Fran, like most of my mom’s extended family, lived in Chicago, so we only saw her once a year). I was thrilled that my mom made it so I could finally taste the legendary cheesecake with walnuts and cherries.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Fran's Walnut-Cherry Cheesecake - Almost no-bake (just bake the crust!) - a perfect summer dessert! | browneyedbaker.com

With the exception of the 15 minutes that the crust needs in the oven, the rest of this is a no-bake recipe, which I LOVE for summer! The crust is an easy shortbread-style crust that includes ground walnuts; the nutty texture is a fantastic base for the sweetened cream cheese layer. More chopped walnuts are scattered over the cream cheese, then topped with Cool Whip and cherry pie filling.

This is definitely one of those old-school recipes that I’m sure was passed around a million times over among friends and family members. I love the combination of nuts, creamy cheesecake, shortbread, cherry pie… it’s fantastic and it reminds me a little bit of the Russian pound cake made with walnuts and maraschino cherries my mom, grandma and aunt would make every year for Christmas.

Recipes that bring back sweet family memories are my favorite of all.

[For more nostalgic recipes, check out the Family Recipes category in my recipe index.]

Fran's Walnut-Cherry Cheesecake - Almost no-bake (just bake the crust!) - a perfect summer dessert! | browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Four years ago: Fruit Dip
Five years ago: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Fran's [almost] No-Bake Cherry & Walnut Cheesecake

Servings 12 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Chilling time 7 hours 20 minutes
Total 8 hours 5 minutes
Course:Dessert
Cuisine:American
Author: Michelle
An old family recipe for a no-bake cheesecake that includes chopped walnuts and cherry pie filling.

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • cups
    all-purpose flour
  • cup
    ground walnuts
  • ½
    cup
    salted butter
    (at room temperature, cut into cubes)

For the Cheesecake:

  • 11
    ounces
    cream cheese
    (at room temperature)
  • 1
    cup
    powdered sugar
  • 2
    tablespoons
    milk
  • 1
    cup
    coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 8
    ounces
    Cool Whip
  • 21
    ounce
    can cherry pie filling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  2. Make the Crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and ground walnuts. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is crumbly and no pieces of butter remain larger than a pea. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake until lightly brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  3. Make the Cheesecake: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk until smooth and light, 2 to 3 minutes. Spread in an even layer over the cooled crust.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the cream cheese layer, then spread the Cool Whip in an even layer on top of the walnuts. Spoon the cherry pie filling on top of the Cool Whip. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before serving. Leftovers should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes:

Nutritional values are based on one serving

Nutrition:

Calories: 414kcal
Fat: 26g
Saturated fat: 11g
Cholesterol: 52mg
Sodium: 175mg
Potassium: 182mg
Carbohydrates: 41g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 14g
Protein: 5g
Vitamin A: 14.4%
Vitamin C: 2.3%
Calcium: 7.1%
Iron: 6.7%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!