Alright, I’ve got a ridiculously easy dessert here that tastes like summer. That’s all I could think digging into it last night, looking out the back window at all the snow. This is one of the most refreshing desserts I’ve every had, and it’s exactly the pick-me-up this house needed after a lazy weekend spent indoors. It’s just a bonus that it came together in all of 15 minutes (yes, 15 minutes), and that it’s easy to lighten up (I’ve been a slow starter with the new year resolution.. this week though, that changes).
Both the kids love it, and it’s really all due to Oliver that I tried it out. He pointed it out in an ad for cream cheese, but I didn’t like their crust so we made our own. Anna loved swiping the berries from the top into the filling, and Oliver loved trying to dig berries out of the filling like treasure. All you need is 4 cups of mixed berries, 2 packages of cream cheese, some white sugar, a tub of cool-whip, graham cracker crumbs, and melted butter. The cake itself doesn’t bake, it just chills in the fridge for a few hours, but I do like to pre-bake the crust.
Alright, here’s how I like my graham cracker crust. I add sugar to mine, and a little bit more butter than other recipes, but this way it cooks up more like a cookie, and it’ll stay crisp for longer when you have a wetter filling like this one. So, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter with a fork until evenly combined.
Pour the crust into the bottom of a spring-form pan, and press it into the pan using the bottom of a glass. Bake it at 350℉ for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are just starting to brown.
Put the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of your mixer and whip for a couple of minutes until soft and fluffy.
While the cheese is whipping, measure out 2 cups of mixed berries (I used strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries).
Mash the berries down until they’re squished and slightly broken up, but not completely macerated.
Here’s the cheese mixture nicely whipped.
Dump in the squished berries and mix until evenly distributed.
Measure out 2 cups of cool-whip. This is more than 2 cups… those poor kids, they had to eat some off a spoon.
Add the cool-whip to the cheese mixture and fold in until evenly incorporated.
Pour the mixture onto the cooked crust, then use a spatula to even it out. Refrigerate until set, at least 8 hours. Ours went for 6 hours but it was still a little loose around the edges, it’s much better now having been in there over night.
Before serving just top with the remaining 2 cups of berries.
This really is just biting into summer, which can’t get here fast enough these days!
Here’s your printable:
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 7 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 packages cream cheese (regular or light), softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 4 cups mixed fresh berries, washed and stems removed, divided
- 2 cups cool-whip (regular or light)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF with a rack in the middle position.
- Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl with a fork until evenly combined. Press into the bottom of a spring form pan using the bottom of a glass. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges just start to darken.
- Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Take 2 cups of the berry mixture and use a fork to slightly crush the berries. The berries should be softened, and broken up into pieces, with some juice escaping, but not completely macerated.
- Add the crushed berries to the cheese mixture and mix until evenly blended.
- Gently fold in the cool-whip. Pour the mixture onto the cooked crust, using a spatula to even out the filling. Chill for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- Before serving use a hot knife to separate the cake from the edge of the pan before releasing. Top with remaining whole berries.