Ladyfinger Strawberry Cheesecake Easy Recipe

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No-Bake Summer Fruit Cheesecake

ladyfinger strawberry cheesecake

Ladyfinger strawberry cheesecake is the easiest and quickest no-bake cake to make with fresh fruits in season.

Historically, the Greeks baked cheesecake millennia before New York made famous the non-bake version. Although I am a history buff, I have catalogued this recipe as Italian because the cheeses and biscuits I used were Italian.

A quick Google search will indicate that using ladyfinger biscuits in baking is considered artistry and an elaborate delicacy. That is perhaps due to the one-thousand-year history of these tiny, delicate biscuits and their use at the European royal courts

I use Savoiardi for this strawberry cheesecake because I love the cheese but hate the traditional base of this cake. The combination of crumbled biscuits drenched in fat butter and sugar made me gag the first and only time I tried it. Then, I would eat like a fussy toddler the rest of the time, scraping the cheese and leaving the crusty base in a mess on the plate. Not very lady-like. Not even adult-like!

I have tried many other combinations for the base, like bran and butter (although bran is healthy, it can irritate the stomach lining; besides, there was the butter thing again – not much difference to me!).

Graham crackers did not work for me either, nor did a pistachio crust as they still needed a glueing agent, and the only one I could think of was still butter.

Savoiardi were the best option for which I settled in the end. They are not too sweet (I always scrape the excess sugar coating); they are fluffy and airy and absorb humidity well, making cutting the cake easier.

Besides, they do look impressive, delicate (the name says it all!) and fancy. This is reason enough to use it in the simplest of cakes and still make it look imperial!

For as impressive as it looks, the biscuity base and wall are not the main star of this recipe. Instead, the cheese in combination with fresh strawberries is!

Typically, I use Ricotta and Mascarpone in equal parts. Compared to butter which contains about 80% fats, Mascarpone, although a fat creamy cheese, has approximately half the fats in butter and Ricotta only about 13%. This makes it bearable to me and reasonably fatty, although it still is a very rich cake; perhaps this is why my body cannot take the extra that would make the base and walls for it.

In addition to cheese, I use reduced organic coconut sugar. I usually grind it to make it a hue lighter to help keep the cheese as close to its natural colour as possible.

For flavour, any essence would work. My favourite combinations are either lemon, orange or rum. Of course, if no kids involved in sampling, a couple of alcohol tablespoons won’t hurt; the best are creamy liquors, but it will add to the humidity of the cheese, so there has to be a fine balance if used.

Hardening the cheese has proved quite a task for me. I had many tries until I got the right consistency.

At first, I did not want to use any gelatine to glue the cheese – needless to say, it did not work!

Then I tried vegetable gelatine – it takes too long to set. Besides, the instructions on the sachet were rubbish. I had to make it a few times with different quantities of water (a lot less than instructed), and even so, it just did not work.

In the end, I used pork gelatine sheets, and it did the trick. I had this crazy idea in my head that it was nonsense to use pork in cake, but it is not really like that, and I don’t make this cheesecake that often anyway; I can ignore the weirdness of pork and cake together!

ready-made ladyfinger strawberry cheesecake

The real star of this cheesecake is, of course, the strawberries. A beautiful fruit that makes the fanciest desserts in summer, such as chocolate-dipped strawberries or chocolate cake decorated with oh, so indulgent chocolate-dipped fruits.

Sweet, juicy, aromatic – just goodness nature selflessly offers us. I always use organic strawberries freshly picked from my allotment. 

Conventional strawberries contain over 20 pesticides. Of course, that makes any crop bug-free, helps the fruits grow faster, and produces more money to sustain the greed machine, but what good does that to the human body?

I read somewhere that organic strawberries contain pesticides, too. That defies the meaning of organic and, if it is true, I assume it might apply to larger growers or be down to contamination from nearby conventional plots. 

I never spray or use anything on my plot other than rainwater and fountain water. If that contains pesticides, it’s out of my hand!

This ladyfinger strawberry cheesecake requires only a handful of ingredients, about half an hour to put them together, and a little patience to allow chilling before enjoying it with a cappuccino or a glass of liquor.

Ingredients for ladyfinger cheesecake

Mascarpone cheese (fridge cold)

Ricotta cheese (fridge cold)

Organic coconut sugar

Ladyfingers (Savoiardi)

Essences as desired

Gelatine sheets

Strawberries

Cream liquor (optional)

slice of ladyfinger strawberry cheesecake

Method

Wash and hull the strawberries. Chop them in quarters (or smaller if required). Optionally, sprinkle with the juice of half a lemon to preserve the freshness and colour (it will not change much anyway, because of the immediate use)

Mash a handful of strawberries and leave them aside.

Hydrate four gelatine sheets for five minutes. When the time is up, drain and remove excess water, then place them in a pan in 100 ml water, on low heat. Stir until the gelatine melts, but do not allow the water to boil. When the gelatine has dissolved, then remove it from the heat and leave it aside.

In a large bowl, mix using an electric mixer at medium speed the cheese, grounded sugar, essences (and no more than two tablespoons of liquor if chosen). Batter for about five minutes until you obtain a fluffy cream.

Optionally, you can add some of the chopped strawberries and mix gently with a large spoon.

Add half of the gelatine to the cream, mix well and leave the cheese cream aside until you build the base and walls of the cake.

decorated ladyfinger strawberry cheesecake

Using only the wall of a springform placed on a cake stand, line it with ladyfingers. If the biscuits are too high, you might need to cut off a quarter or third of each. Then, use the leftovers to line the base.

If you have extra hands willing to help during this step, use them as the ladyfingers have a mind of their own and can make your task difficult.

As a tip, I usually fill the base and place a few biscuits on the wall; then, I add a couple of spoons of cream to keep them in place until I continue building the rest of the wall. The base should be covered as much as possible, and there should not be significant gaps in the wall either. The cheese cream is quite thick, but still, for the aesthetics of the final product, take extra care to avoid some of it escaping through the biscuits.

Use all the cheese mixture to fill the shape and flatten it nicely at the top.

Mix the mashed strawberries with the rest of the gelatine and spread it over the cheese cream.

Some bakers prefer to boil the mashed fruit and add sugar, as in a jam. I just used the strawberries with no added sugar at all, and the taste was excellent – the real, natural thing, since gelatine is tasteless (thank God, it is processed enough not to have a pork flavour!)

Sprinkle the rest of the chopped strawberries over the gelatine mixture, and your ladyfinger cheesecake is ready to go to the fridge for at least three hours. The ladyfingers will get moist even better, and the cake will be easier to slice if you leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

If somehow you manage not to devour it in one go (and you probably won’t because it is pretty rich), you can keep the ladyfinger strawberry cheesecake in the fridge for up to three days. However, I do not recommend freezing as the types of cheese used might go funny when defrosted. 

This is a fresh cake made with fresh products, and it is best to eat it fresh.

I make ladyfinger strawberry cheesecake when I have guests. Thus, I know I will not need to worry about preserving it for too long!

Enjoy your delectable, elaborate delicacy!

Strawberry Ladyfinger Cheesecake

Easy to make, no-bake cheesecake with a delicate base and wall – a baker's masterwork in the eye of the beholder!
5 from 29 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Chilling time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • Cake stand
  • Round spring form (wall only)
  • large mixing spoon
  • Measuring spoon/scale

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pcs Mascarpone cheese 250g each
  • 2 pcs Ricotta cheese 250g each
  • 20 pcs Savoiardi biscuits/Ladyfingers
  • 4 pcs gelatin sheets
  • 200 g strawberries
  • 4-5 tbsp coconut sugar organic
  • 2 tbsp cream liquor optional
  • 1 tsp rum/orange essence optional

Instructions
 

  • Wash, hull the strawberries and chop them in quarters or smaller pieces.
    strawberries
  • In a small bowl, mash a handful of strawberries and leave them aside.
  • Hydrate 4 gelatine sheets for 5 minutes. When the time is up, drain and remove excess water, then place them in a pan in 100 ml water, on low heat.
  • Stir until the gelatine melts, but do not allow the water to boil. When the gelatine has dissolved, remove it from the heat and leave it aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix using an electric mixer at medium speed the cheese, grounded sugar, essences (and no more than two tablespoons of liquor if chosen).
  • Batter for about five minutes until you obtain a fluffy cream.
  • If you wish, you can add some of the chopped strawberries and mix gently with a large spoon.
  • Add half of the gelatine to the cream, mix well and leave the cheese cream aside until you build the base and walls of the cake.
  • Using only the wall of a springform placed on a cake stand, line it with ladyfingers. If the biscuits are too high, you might need to cut off a quarter or third of each. Then, use the leftovers to line the base.
  • Use all the cheese mixture to fill the shape and flatten it nicely at the top.
  • Spread evenly the mashed fruits combined with gelatine on top of the cheese mixture.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the chopped strawberries for decoration.
  • Chill in the fridge for at least three hours.

Notes

Store in the fridge for up to three days.
Serve with your choice of coffee or creamy liquor.
Keyword Ladyfinger strawberry cheesecake, no bake cheesecake, Savoiardi biscuits

Do you use ladyfingers for your cheesecakes? What other bases did you try that is not sickly fatty and sweet? I would like to know what different non-squeamish variations people figured out.


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The World Is An Oyster

Working as a journalist during university was pretty exciting. But landing a cruise ship job barely a year in my new graduate career was something else! Overnight, I moved from an already exhilarating job to an even better one. One that would allow me to wake up every morning in a different country. What more can a twenty-something wish for? The fact that I was fluent in a few languages helped. It made it easier to obtain the position I was seeking at the Shore Excursions department. Apart from dispatching tours in the morning and selling tickets in the evening, I would spend nearly every day on different trips. I did this a few years, spending half a year onboard and about two months at home. I enjoyed it immensely. I met fascinating people from all over the Globe and collected memories to last me a lifetime. Not to mention that I received a salary for seeing all those magnificent places the Earth has to offer! In an ideal world, everybody should live as they want. For me, that would translate into travel, then travel some more and keep travelling!

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50 Responses

  1. Nora says:

    5 stars
    This cake looks so delicious! Would love to have a bite right now! Can’t wait to try it out!

  2. Joanna says:

    5 stars
    Another great recipe from you! Looks so yummy! I love how you made it a bit less fatty but still with enough fat from mascarpone to make it delicious and satisfying. I wonder if it would be ok to use monk fruit sweetener instead of coconut sugar?

    • I have heard of monk fruit sweetener, but I haven’t tried it yet. I guess any natural option would be ok as long as you can find the right balance for sweetness. I would avoid all chemical sweeteners, though.

  3. Audrey says:

    5 stars
    This looks amazing!! I’m adding all the ingredients to my grocery order right now!

  4. Mae Alexis says:

    5 stars
    Wow I need this in my life, now!!

  5. Natalie says:

    5 stars
    This cake looks fantastic. Perfect for summer. I’m making this. Thanks!

  6. Toni says:

    5 stars
    Such a delicious dessert! Everyone at my house was impressed!

  7. 5 stars
    It was so delicious! Everyone loved this 🙂

  8. Brianna says:

    5 stars
    Easy to make and my guests loved it!

  9. Leah says:

    This sounds soooo good right now. We just had a nice day in the sun and I’d love to have a slice of this to cool down.

  10. 5 stars
    Amazing! I wanted to reach in and have a few slices. It looks amazing and love all the ingredients which make it decadent in my book.
    Will make it . Thank you for sharing.

  11. 5 stars
    This looks amazing and a great summer treat while strawberries are in season.

  12. Pam Greer says:

    5 stars
    What a pretty cheesecake! I love that it’s no bake!

  13. Sally says:

    5 stars
    The perfect cheesecake for summer!

  14. Kalin says:

    5 stars
    This looks amazing! I love the look of the lady fingers around it

  15. kyleigh says:

    5 stars
    This turned out great and was beautiful!

  16. Addie says:

    5 stars
    This cheesecake is stunning and absolutely delicious!!

  17. Liz says:

    5 stars
    Oh yes, this turned out soooooo well. The family loved it!

  18. Susan says:

    5 stars
    Yes please!

  19. Alyssa Hixenbaugh says:

    5 stars
    Wow, two of my favorite things put together! Strawberries and cheesecake are an irresistible combination to me, and I can’t wait to make this. Thanks for sharing!

    • I hope you still have some time for baking:) Albeit there’s no baking involved here – it is really a quick and easy one! Enjoy if you make it! Thinking of you and waiting for wonderful news soon!:))

  20. Anaiah says:

    5 stars
    I loooove strawberries, cheesecake, and ladyfingers so this is such a perfect combination of all my favorites! It was delicious and fun to make too.

  21. Akshita says:

    5 stars
    That looks yum! Can’t wait to try it

  22. Julia says:

    I love the idea of the ladyfingers for the crust and I’m sure that the mix of ricotta and mascarpone with the fruit is just heavenly. Can’t wait to try this.

  23. Karely says:

    5 stars
    I am not a huge fan of cheesecake but this one was amazing! As someone who does not like gram crackers I love the idea of using lady fingers. Definitely making this again!

  24. 5 stars
    This is so pretty and sounds so delcious I love cheesecake!

  25. Emily says:

    5 stars
    So smart to use ladyfingers for the crust! I love a no bake cheesecake and this one is one of my favorites!!

  26. Sue says:

    5 stars
    Nothing beats a no bake dessert in summer, especially when you can use fresh strawberries – YUM!

  27. 5 stars
    You had me at strawberries and cheesecake! Yes, I would love a big slice. 🙂

  28. Addie says:

    5 stars
    This cheesecake is absolutely stunning and SO delicious!!!

  29. Jeannie says:

    5 stars
    this looks so good! I can finish it I guess in one day

  30. Amanda Dixon says:

    5 stars
    What a stunning dessert! That creamy mascarpone looks so decadent.

  31. 5 stars
    Omg this looks so delicious! My SO is Italian so I am sure he and his family would love this.

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