Neapolitan ice cream is a combination of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice creams that are all in the same container. You can scoop it so that you get just one single flavor, or so that you get some of each element in every scoop. Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry are flavors that you can’t go wrong with in any dessert and you will also find all three of them here in my No Bake Neapolitan Cheesecake, a rich no-bake dessert that is packed with plenty of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry in each bite!
This No Bake Neapolitan Cheesecake was inspired by the Neapolitan Joe-Joe’s that I picked up the other day at Trader Joe’s. These Oreo-style cookies have a strawberry creme filling sandwiched between vanilla and chocolate wafer cookies, capturing the three flavors that make up the Neapolitan trio. I used the cookies to make the crust of the cheesecake – a no-bake crumb crust – so that I could bring in their Neapolitan flavor, too. The Neapolitan cookies are going to give you the best flavor for this cheesecake, since they already have a great strawberry element to them. If you can only find regular Oreos/Oreo-type cookies, you can use those or add in a couple of tablespoons of freeze dried strawberries to the crust mixture to help recreate that flavor.
A no-bake cookie crust is very easy to make. You will need to start with whole Oreo or Oreo-type cookies – filling and all – and pulverize them into crumbs to make the crust. You can do this with a rolling pin, but I prefer to throw them in the food processor and whizz until they have all broken down. Once the cookies have been reduced to crumbs, add in the melted butter and transfer the mixture to a springform pan. Press it evenly over the bottom of the pan and about 1 1/2-inches up the sides, then chill for at least 20 minutes to help it set before you pour in the filling.
The filling is made with cream cheese, white chocolate and heavy cream. Since this is a no-bake recipe, these three elements are used to create a dense, yet mousse-like filling that sets up in the refrigerator! The cream cheese is combined with melted white chocolate to create the base of the cheesecake. Be sure to use real white chocolate (made only with cocoa butter and not other fats!) and make sure that your cream cheese is at room temperature so that it blends smoothly with the white chocolate. Next, the heavy cream is beaten to stiff peaks and folded into the cream cheese base, along with vanilla extract.
This base mixture is then divided into three parts. One is left plain – the vanilla cheesecake – while chocolate and freeze dried strawberries are added to other portions of the batter. Freeze dried strawberries work very well in this recipe because they bring in a great berry flavor without changing the texture of the cheesecake. The three batters are then spooned into the chilled crust and swirled together, left to set up in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
No Bake Neapolitan Cheesecake with No Bake Crust
No Bake Crust
2 1/2 cups Neapolitan Joe-Joe’s cookie crumbs (or Oreo cookies)
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (7 oz) chopped white chocolate/white chocolate chips, melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla extract
10-oz heavy cream, cold
1/4 cup powdered, freeze dried strawberries
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp hot water
Make the crust: In a medium bowl, stir together Neapolitan Joe-Joe’s/Oreo cookie crumbs with melted butter until completely combined. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan and press the mixture into an even layer over the bottom and 1 1/2-inches up the sides of the pan. Chill for 20-30 minutes while preparing the cheesecake batter.
Make the filling: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until softened. Pour in melted white chocolate and beat until completely incorporated. Stir in vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, beat heavy cream to stiff peaks, then fold into cream cheese mixture in two or three batches.
In a small bowl, combine powdered freeze dried strawberries with 1/3 of the cheesecake batter and stir until berries have been completely incorporated.
In another small bowl, combine cocoa powder and hot water, stirring to combine. Add in 1/3 of the cheesecake batter and stir until chocolate is completely incorporated.
Drop spoonfuls of the vanilla, strawberry and chocolate batters into the prepared crust. Run a butter knife through the batter to help swirl the elements together. Once all the batter has been added, tap the pan gently on the counter to remove any air bubbles, then smooth the top of the cheesecake with a spatula.
Chill cheesecake for at least 3-4 hours, or overnight, before serving.