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No-Bake Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

“I know I should let go, but it never really leaves me.
Every morning, I wake up and forget just for a second that it happened. 
But once my eyes open it buries me like a landslide of sharp, sad rocks.
Once my eyes open, I’m heavy, like there’s too much gravity pressing on my heart.”
Sarah Ockler (Twenty Boy Summer)

Yesterday was really so hard for me to get through. "Why?", you might ask. You see, it was my Mom's death anniversary. She passed away 5 years ago, and it truly has left an emptiness in my life. Everyday, I miss her terribly. I think of her all the time and feel sad for every special event she has missed. There are so many situations in my life when I wonder what she'd do or how she'd handle it. But every July 19th, it's even harder for me...and yesterday was no exception, I felt too much grief as if it just happened. I woke up in extreme sadness! I called my Tatay (dad) in the Philippines, hoping that it would somehow ease the pain I feel. Oh well, it didn't! It just made me miss my mom even more. I knew I have to find something to do so I told the girls we'll go to the pool for a swim, but Cherlin said she didn't want to coz she's too tan already from our Florida vacay. (What??? A 6 yr-old concerned of how tan she is! Oh my!!!) She suggested that we just eat breakfast together and then watch something on Netflix, and maybe bake something. Clarise agreed saying that she'd rather stay home than go out and feel the intense Texas heat, 103°F that is. So that's what my daughters and I did...we stayed home, enjoyed some good family movies on Netflix and made this No-Bake Dulce de Leche Cheesecake in the afternoon...
With the help of my daughters, I managed to survive the day. But just by the amount of time I spent in the kitchen yesterday, my family could tell that it was not an ordinary day for me. On a regular summer day, I only cook for dinner, and sometimes when I'm too lazy, I just prepare Costco bought frozen dumplings or chicken wings, or simply heat up left-overs. But yesterday, I cooked seafood ramen for lunch, made the dulce de leche cheesecake in the afternoon and cooked stir-fried bean thread noodles with sardines for dinner. I was in the kitchen half of the day just to keep myself from sad thoughts. Just as always, it worked. Though I have that heavy feeling in my heart, I made it through the day without being too miserable. But I tell you, it was hard! The pain of losing my mother was bugging me the whole time...and at the end of the day, I realized that everything I cooked (the ramen, the stir-fried bean thread noodles and the cheesecake) kinda symbolize long life. As you know, noodles and round cakes in the Philippines are served for birthdays because they symbolize longevity. I guess at the back of my mind, I am really wishing that my mother is still with us and what happened on July 19, 2007 didn't actually happen. :(

Anyway, so much for that! It's Friday and I don't want to ruin your good mood, so let me go to the recipe now...

Our friend, Wikipedia says that Dulce de Leche is a sweet prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a product that derives its taste from caramelised sugar. Literally translated, it means "candy of milk" or better "candy made of milk", "milk candy", or "milk jam". It is popular in South America, notably in Argentina and Uruguay. In Chile and Ecuador, it is known as manjar. In Peru, Colombia and Venezuela, it is referred to as manjar blanco or arequipe, depending on regional variations. In Brazil, it is known by its Portuguese name doce de leite.

Dulce de Leche is used to flavor candies and other sweet foods like cakes, cookies and ice cream. My daughters just love its sweet caramel and milky taste...especially in Dulce de Leche Cheesecake. That of Cheesecake Factory is their favorite...and of course, this homemade no-bake version that I make for them. I got this recipe from Nestle and I tell you that it's super easy to make. It's another one of those no-bake recipes that make my life easier! My daughters and I enjoy making this together! You should try it. 

For the crust:
  • 10 pcs. graham crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
For the cheesecake:
  • 1 envelope (7g) unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream + 1 Tbsp more
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 package (8oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 can (13.4 oz.) NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Dulce de Leche
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the crust:
1. Combine crust ingredients in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Using a rice cooker spoon, press onto the bottom and halfway to the sides of a 7" springform pan. Chill in the refrigerator while preparing the cheesecake.
For the cheesecake:
1. Mix gelatin and hot water in small bowl until gelatin is dissolved. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, whip cream and 2 Tbsp sugar using whisk attachment of mixer until soft peaks form. 
3. Beat cream cheese and 1 cup dulce de leche in a large bowl until creamy. 
4. Stir in gelatin mixture and vanilla extract. Fold in whipped cream, saving about 1 cup for topping.
5. Pour into prepared graham cracker crust. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until set. Run a thin knife around the cheesecake before releasing the springform pan. Transfer to a cake stand or serving platter.
To decorate:
1. In a small bowl, mix remaining dulce de leche and 1 Tbsp whipping cream. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until well combined. Allow to cool down then put in a piping bag (or sandwich bag and cut the corner off).  Pipe on top of the cheesecake as desired.
2. Put remaining whipped cream in another piping bag and use to decorate the cheesecake according to your liking. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


  1. Wowza! I love this. It's decadent, yet it's no-bake! I must try this one. Bookmarking it and then will try soon. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for sharing this terrific recipe!

  2. Yummooo! I need to go shopping for two ingredients, then will be set to try this beauty out. I'm saving all the No bake cheesecake recipes I can put my hands on. I'll try yours soon :)

  3. Looks amazingly delicious! And so nicely decorated!

  4. Good for your girls to know when Momma needs some emotional support! The cake y'all made looks amazing and I'm sure it was absolutely delicious! Hugs Tina!

  5. Love this! definitely will try this one. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hahaha! I enjoy reading your post, Tina! And of course, the cake is beautiful :)

  7. simply beautiful and Yummy cheesecake,I always have dulce de leche,,YUM :)

  8. This cake looks amazing!!! Great post. Definitely will try it:))

  9. This cheesecake looks perfect my friend :D


  10. Loosing your mother must be really devastating Tina, but you have a lovely family to support you and give you hope for the future. This cake looks beautiful and I am sure your mom would be so happy to see that you have so many people who love you around you!

  11. Nice post Tina...and the cheesecake looks great...I love the idea of no bake...I can sure see the nice texture of the cheesecake...yum!
    Have a wonderful week ahead :)

  12. I am sorry to hear about your mom. Such days are always tough to pass through .. no matter how many years pass by. The cake looks stunning and the last picture clearly says how perfect it must be!

  13. My favorite part of this is that it's no bake! (and decorated so pretty!). Also, I am sorry to hear about your mom. Sending you positive energy.

  14. Tina, I can understand how hard it is to go thru that day when you lost your mother and you are lucky to have a family who are emotionally supportive . Your mother would be very happy to see this cake if she was alive. The cake looks beautiful. You should be proud to have such daughters.

  15. Hi Tina, your non baked cheese cake look awesome. The decoration is very pretty too.

    Have a nice day, regards.

  16. We can't let go of our sweet the memories with the people are so important and part of our life, what more the closest being our mum. I think your daughters make it up by being there. And there you have the beautiful cheesecake with a wonderful finishing.

  17. Amazing and very beautiful presentation :) Als oeasy to understand by seeing the pictures :) Loved it :) Do visit my blog once you are free.Happy to follow you and also very happy to be part of the baking partners team :) Good luck :)

  18. wow. just wow. that looks so amazing. i'm going to definitely try this.

  19. Your cheesecake is beautiful! It looks so creamy and delicious. I know how difficult it is to lose a mother (mine has been gone 26 years), but I KNOW your mom would want you to be happy and make new happy memories with your own daughters:) It sounds like you are.

  20. Tina, like you, I miss my mom everyday especially on special occasions that she's not around. I'm the youngest in the family and the closest to my mom, my sisters tease me a lot that I'm my mom's favorite when she was still with us. My mom passed away 4 years ago on July 18th. But I very much feel her presence whenever I feel low and having difficulties in life. Like your mom, I know my mom is always here to guide me and her spirit never left me. Praying for you, to feel better each day without your mom. By the way, we used to live in Houston, Texas.