With fresh strawberries, a creamy homemade cheesecake filling, vanilla wafer crumbs, and just a splash of citrus, these Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits are the perfect easy summer dessert.
The best part of the summer months is all of the fresh fruits and vegetables. I love cooking and baking with seasonal ingredients. In the summer months, my kitchen is always full of garden-fresh veggies and freshly picked berries.
These Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits were inspired by a few of my favorite things – fresh strawberries, cheesecake and easy desserts.
These are essentially no-fuss fresh strawberry cheesecake in a cup. From the buttery vanilla wafer crumbs to the cream cheese filling and sliced strawberries, these parfaits have all my favourite qualities of strawberry cheesecake, made way easier.
Another reason I love these strawberry parfaits is that they are made in individual serving sizes. I love to make these for guests, so that everyone has their own beautiful dessert. (And, let’s be honest, the individual serving size stops me from eating it all in one sitting too!)
When it comes to summer desserts, this easy strawberry cheesecake parfait recipe will be at the top of my list this year.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Vanilla Wafer Cookies – Crushed and toasted to add a crunchy crumb top to these parfaits.
- Butter – Melted to combine with the crushed wafers to help with flavour and browning.
- Cream Cheese – What’s a cheesecake without cream cheese?
- Sugar – Adds a little bit of sweetness to the cheesecake mixture.
- Milk – Just a splash of your preferred milk to make the cream cheese creamier and lighter.
- Orange Juice – A surprise citrus twist!
- Cointreau – You can use your preferred orange liquor or simply replace this with additional orange juice.
- Fresh strawberries – Strawberries should be washed and sliced. I don’t recommend frozen strawberries as they will have a different texture and look soggy and soft in this dessert.
How To Make Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits
Heat oven to 350ºF. Crush 10 vanilla wafers using a food processor or blender. Add the crushed wafer cookies and melted butter to a small bowl and mix. Spread on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl add the cream cheese beat the cream cheese using a hand mixer until smooth. Add in the sugar, milk orange juice and orange liquor. Continue to mix with a hand mixer until well combined and smooth.
Divide half the strawberries between 4 parfait cups placing the slices in the bottom of each glass. Top with half of the cream cheese mixture between the 4 glasses. Top evenly with the remaining strawberries and then the remaining cream cheese mixture. Then sprinkle with the vanilla wafer crumble and top with a whole vanilla wafer.
If serving immediately you can also add some vanilla wafer crumble to the middle layer of the parfait. But if making these ahead of time wait to add the cookie crumble just before serving or the crumble will lose its crunch.
Easy Cheesecake Parfait Variations
You can make these cheesecake parfaits with any fruit you wish. I’ve found that fresh berries of any kind work best but fruits like mango, peaches and banana are also an option. For some fruits that brown quickly, you’ll want to make sure you’ll be consuming them immediately.
If you’re preparing these fresh strawberry cheesecakes for a crowd, you can divide the parfait among smaller glasses for a bite-size treat. I have even seen mini desserts made in larger shot glasses. The smaller size being perfect for a larger crowd or as a smaller dessert after a larger meal.
How to Store Strawberry Parfaits
These fresh strawberry cheesecakes can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 day. If you won’t be serving immediately, wait to add the vanilla wafer crumble to the top so that it stays crunchy.
This dessert doesn’t freeze well so best to make and eat within the day. Good news though it only take a few minutes to make and assemble so perfect in a pinch!
More Fresh Strawberry Recipes:
Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits
- Baking Sheet
- Food processor or blender
- Small Bowl
- Large Bowl
- Measuring Spoons
- Hand Mixer
- 4 dessert cups or glasses
- 10 Vanilla wafer cookie extra for decoration optional
- 2 tsp butter melted
- 8 oz cream cheese softened to room temp
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 2 tsp Cointreau or preferred orange liqour, optional
- 3 tbsp milk
- 3 cups fresh strawberries washed and sliced
- Preheat an oven to 350F. Crush the vanilla wafer cookies in a blender or food processor to a crumble. In a small bowl add the cookie crumbs and the melted butter and mix to coat.
- Spread the cookie crumbs evenly over a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 7-8 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile add the cream cheese, sugar, orange juice, Cointreau and milk to a large bowl and beat with a hand-mixer until smooth.
- Fill each of the four dessert glasses evenly with a layer of the cheesecake filling, then a layer of strawberries, another layer of cheesecake filling, more strawberries, a final dollop of cheesecake filling and then sprinkle with the vanilla wafer crumble. Top with an additional cookie or strawberry for decoration. Enjoy!
- Any berries, mango, peaches or bananas can be used to replace strawberries or a combo of these.
- Cointreau is optional and can be swapped for additional orange juice or an alternative orange liquor.
- These can be made a day ahead of time with the cookie crumble being added only right before serving to avoid the crumble from losing its crunch.