Light, refreshing, and with an embarrassingly easy recipe, the no-bake saffron cheesecake is the perfect dessert for a Holi get-together (or any other day). And yes, it doesn’t look like my usual cheesecakes, but that matters not one whit.
The treat has all the makings of a classic cheesecake, just layered over each other in individual dessert glasses. A crumbly crust topped with a creamy filling bursting with the floral notes of saffron and rose water finished with a crown of velvety whipped cream.
The taste is reminiscent of my Saffron Cardamom Cheesecake, but the recipe is even simpler and made in a jiffy.
For me, there is nothing more joyful than bringing a burst of seasonal flavors and color to my bakes. So, that’s what I did with this cheesecake-in-a-glass. It has a clean flavor profile, with the distinctive earthy saffron marrying the sweetness of cardamon and then living happily ever after with rose water. It’s almost like eating freshly made mithai without all the effort!
Let's talk crust
Step 1: The classic choice is Marie biscuits (or graham crackers), but digestives work just as well. Crush the biscuits.
Step 2: Combine the crumbs with the melted and cooled butter.
Get to the cream cheese filling
Step 3: With a hand whisk or electric beater, beat cream, cream cheese, and icing sugar till you have a nice, thick, creamy mixture.
Step 4: Combine a hefty dose of saffron and cardamom powder to it.
Step 5: And because in my book rosewater completes the trio of flavors, add 2 teaspoons of it. I am completely in love with the combination, but if you find it overpowering, reduce the rose water to 1 teaspoon.
Finally, assemble the no-bake cheesecake
Step 6: Pack the crust into the bottom of your dessert glass.
Step 7: Either spoon or pipe the cream cheese filling on top of the crust base. I prefer a piping bag because it’s faster, neater, and less fussy.
Step 8: I also dolled up the saffron cheesecake with dollops of whipped cream, but this is entirely optional.
Step 9: Let it sit in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour because while you don’t need to bake them, you definitely need to chill no-bake cheesecakes.
- It’s important that all your ingredients are at room temperature. It is easier to whip up a smooth, lump-free cream cheese filling as cold ingredients take longer.
- Taste and check for sweetness before you scoop the filling into glasses.
- If your filling is too thick, stir in cream to reach a soft, dropping consistency.
- The longer you let the no-bake cheesecake chill, the better it gets. Keep them overnight and the crust soaks up the flavors, the filling firms up and sets beautifully, which also means you can make them a day in advance. Always a plus in my books.
- My recipe makes enough for 3 large glasses or 6 medium-sized glasses. I opted for the former, but the decadent dessert was shared between 6 people.
- In case you plan this recipe for a Holi ( or any )party, you can even utilize shot glasses. The saffron cheesecake dessert is pretty to look at and immensely satisfying if you’re a saffron-lover like me.
How do you garnish the saffron cardamom cheesecake?
Right before you’re ready to serve, sprinkle with dried rose petals, slivers of pistachio, cardamom powder, and strands of saffron. Hand over a glass to everyone, and you’re good to go!
Sugar: You can control the amount of sugar you add to the cheesecake. Stick to my proportions, and you’ll have a delicate balance between tangy cream cheese and the sweetness of cardamom and whipped cream.
Flavors: Feel free to play around with spices and aromatics. You can substitute cardamom powder with fennel powder. You can leave both out and try lemon juice and lemon zest in the filling. Saffron pairs deliciously with it, as the citrusy brightness cuts through the richness.
Why try the no-bake saffron cheesecake:
Ultimate make-ahead dessert
Luscious, luxurious, almost mithai-like taste
Not just a feast for the palate, but for all the senses
Quick recipe, ideal to scratch the itch for something sweet on lazy days
More cheesecake recipes
No-Bake Saffron Cheesecake
- 75 gms Marie or digestive biscuits, crushed
- 65 gms Butter, melted
- 200 gms Cream cheese at room temperature
- 75 gms Icing sugar
- 110 gms Cream at room temperature
- 1 heaped tsp Saffron
- 1 tsp Cardamom powder
- 2 tsp Rosewater Optional
- Whipped cream, pistachio slivers, rose petals, cardamom powder, saffron strands
- Combine the melted butter and crushed cookies in a small bowl. This mixture should have the consistency of wet sand.Keep aside.
- With a hand whisk or electric beater, beat cream, cream cheese, and icing sugar till you have a nice, thick, creamy mixture.
- Stir in the saffron, cardamom, and rosewater.
- Taste and adjust for sweetness and flavor.
- Spoon the crushed cookie mixture into the bottom of your dessert glasses. Press it down slightly.
- Either spoon or pipe the cream cheese filling on top of the crust base. I prefer a piping bag because it’s faster, neater, and less fussy.
- Now you can top it with whipped cream, pistachios, rose petals, cardamom powder, and a few saffron strands.
- Refrigerate your dessert cups for at least 1 hour. Serve chilled. Enjoy!