Luscious layers of fresh strawberries, cream cheese & whipped cream followed by graham cookie crumbs are a delight in these classic Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits. A simple make-ahead dessert the whole family will love!
These parfaits are just so tasty. I love how quick they are and that they can be prepped earlier in the day and chilled in the refrigerator until you need them. They're the perfect treat after a summer bbq!
YOU'LL LOVE THIS!
- takes only 15 minutes to prepare
- the flavours of strawberry cheesecake without all the work
- simple ingredients and no fancy equipment
INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS
- fresh strawberries are readily available 12 months of the year. If it happens to be strawberry season, then you're in luck! Is there anything better than locally grown strawberries?
- graham crumbs can be found whole and crush by hand or in the food processor. You can also find the crushed ones in the baking section in most food stores.
- cream cheese in this recipe can be the regular cream cheese or light.
- whipping cream is so simple to make from scratch. In a pinch, you could buy the can or container and use that as well.
- heavy cream just a few tablespoons go into the cream cheese mixture. It adds texture and flavour.
Before you begin, assemble all ingredients and supplies needed.
Place a glass mixing bowl in the refrigerator to chill for making the whipped cream. On a day where your kitchen is warm in the summer, this will make a big difference!
PREP THE STRAWBERRIES AND SLICE
Ready in 15 minutes, these are really simple to make and look so pretty in a fluted vintage glass or ramekins.
Start by rinsing the strawberries and hulling them. There are many handy gadget available for doing this or you and simple slice them off the top with a paring knife.
Toss the berries in 2 tbsp. of granulated sugar and set them in the refrigerator. The sugar will sweeten them a little and brings out the juices of the strawberries. You can easily omit the sugar in the recipe and simply slice the strawberries and set aside in the refrigerator.
GRAHAM CRUMB LAYER
If you're using graham crumbs that are already crushed, then you will simply have to combine them with melted butter and set aside.
If you've purchased the cookies whole, then you will either process them in the food processor until they're a fine crumb. Alternatively, you can put them in a zippered bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
CREAM CHEESE LAYER
In mixing bowl or stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix cream cheese, heavy cream and 4 tbsp. sugar.
Mix slowly to combine, then mix on medium-high speed for one minute until well-blended and smooth. Add in lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Beat at medium speed for one more minute. Set aside.
MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM
If using hand mixer, begin the whipped cream in a clean bowl. You can also use a mixer. I like to do it by hand with a whisk. It thickens up pretty quickly.
Combine whipped cream, icing sugar and vanilla in mixing bowl.
Mixing by hand - whisk vigorously with a whisk until medium peaks form.
With electric mixer - beat on medium-high until medium peaks form.
Next, fold the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture.
ASSEMBLE THE PARFAITS
You can use stemless or stemmed glasses, champagne flutes, ramekins. There are so many possibilities on how you can make this pretty dessert.
Do you have old glass vintage dishes in your collection that you never get to use? This is the perfect opportunity!
Start with the whipped cream mixture followed by a layer of graham crumb mixture.
Next, add a layer of strawberries and repeat until the glass is full.
Place strawberries on the top. A garnish of mint leaves can add a nice touch as well.
Refrigerate until ready to enjoy.
The parfaits can be made the night before and store in the refrigerator until the next day. Although they will keep for longer, the texture of the graham cookies and strawberries changes. Best enjoyed the same or next day.