No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake


🌟Life, Love, and Gastronomy 🍷

Are you in search of a dessert that’s both delightful and easy to make? Look no further than the No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake! This recipe pays homage to the classic Woolworth’s lunch counter where many delicious treats were enjoyed by people of all ages. The best part? No oven required! With its creamy texture and refreshing taste, this cheesecake is a perfect addition to any gathering or a quiet night in. Let’s dive into the ingredients and steps to create this nostalgic dessert.


To bring this delightful cheesecake to life, you’ll need:

  • 1 (3 oz.) package lemon Jello
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk, chilled

How to Make No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake:

Step 1: Prepare the Jello

Start by dissolving the lemon Jello in boiling water in a medium bowl. Allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes slightly thick. This process is crucial as it ensures the cheesecake sets perfectly without the need for baking.

Step 2: Create the Crust

While the Jello is cooling, it’s time to prepare the crust. Mix 3/4 of the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter in another medium bowl. Press this mixture firmly into the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan and set aside. The remaining crumbs will be used later to sprinkle on top of the cheesecake, adding a delightful crunch to every bite.

Step 3: Whip the Evaporated Milk

In a medium bowl, beat the chilled evaporated milk until it’s whipped and fluffy, which should take about 2-4 minutes. Achieving this texture is key for the light and airy filling that makes this cheesecake so irresistible.

Step 4: Combine Cream Cheese Mixture

In a separate, large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. Then, add the thickened Jello to this mixture. Once combined, gently fold in the whipped evaporated milk, ensuring not to deflate the mixture to keep the filling light and fluffy.

Step 5: Assemble and Chill

Spread the filling evenly over the prepared crust, and then sprinkle the reserved graham cracker crumbs on top. This not only adds a lovely texture but also a beautiful finish to the cheesecake. Cover and chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or even better, overnight. This step is crucial as it allows the cheesecake to set properly, making it easier to slice and serve.

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Serving and Storage Tips

Serving Tips:

  1. Chill Thoroughly: For the best texture and ease of slicing, ensure the cheesecake is chilled for at least 2 hours, though overnight is preferred. A fully set cheesecake will hold its shape and make serving a breeze.
  2. Warm Knife for Clean Slices: Before slicing, dip a sharp knife in hot water and wipe it dry. This will help you cut clean and beautiful slices. Repeat this step after each slice for the best presentation.
  3. Garnish Creatively: Elevate your cheesecake with simple garnishes. Fresh berries, lemon zest, whipped cream, or even a sprinkle of powdered sugar can add an extra touch of elegance and flavor.
  4. Serve Cold: This cheesecake is best enjoyed cold, so take it out of the refrigerator just before serving. This keeps the filling creamy and firm.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigerate Covered: Always store the cheesecake covered in the refrigerator. Use an airtight container or wrap the cheesecake tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This prevents it from absorbing other flavors from the fridge and keeps it fresh.
  2. Short-Term Storage: When stored properly, the cheesecake will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Remember to cover it well to maintain its freshness and prevent it from drying out.
  3. Freezing for Longevity: If you wish to keep the cheesecake for longer, it can be frozen. Freeze it without the graham cracker crumbs topping, as they might become soggy when thawed. Wrap the cheesecake tightly in plastic wrap, then again in aluminum foil, and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  4. Thawing Instructions: When ready to enjoy, thaw the cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight. Add fresh graham cracker crumbs on top before serving to ensure they stay crisp.
  5. Avoid Repeated Temperature Changes: Repeatedly moving the cheesecake from cold to room temperature can affect its texture and freshness. Try to avoid leaving the cheesecake out for extended periods and return any uneaten portions to the refrigerator promptly.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure your No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake remains delicious and presentable, whether you’re enjoying it immediately or saving it for a later date. Enjoy the perfect slice every time!


1. Can I use a different type of crust for this cheesecake?

Absolutely! While traditional graham cracker crumbs are used for the crust in this recipe, you can easily substitute them with other options to suit your taste or dietary needs. Crushed digestive biscuits, vanilla wafers, or even a mix of crushed nuts and dates for a gluten-free option can make excellent crusts. Just ensure that the crust is well-pressed into your pan to hold the filling properly.

2. What if I can’t find lemon Jello?

Lemon Jello gives this cheesecake its distinct flavor and helps it set without baking. However, if you’re unable to find lemon Jello, you can substitute it with another citrus-flavored Jello, such as orange, for a different but equally delightful taste. Alternatively, unflavored gelatin can be used, but you may need to increase the lemon juice or add lemon zest to ensure the cheesecake has enough lemon flavor.

3. Can I make this cheesecake vegan?

Yes, you can adapt this recipe to be vegan with a few substitutions. Use agar powder instead of Jello for the setting agent (note that agar needs to be boiled to activate, so follow package instructions). Use vegan cream cheese and a dairy-free butter substitute for the crust. For the evaporated milk, opt for a chilled, full-fat coconut milk that’s been whipped. Keep in mind these substitutions might slightly alter the taste and texture, but you’ll still end up with a delicious no-bake cheesecake.

4. How do I know when the cheesecake is set and ready to serve?

The cheesecake should be firm to the touch and not jiggle significantly when gently shaken. This usually takes at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, but for the best results, letting it chill overnight is recommended. If you’ve followed the recipe and allowed adequate chilling time, your cheesecake should be perfectly set and ready to enjoy.


The No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake is a testament to the simplicity and elegance of vintage desserts. With no need to turn on the oven, this cheesecake is a perfect summer treat or a hassle-free dessert for any occasion. The combination of creamy filling, crunchy crust, and the tangy hint of lemon offers a refreshing and satisfying end to any meal. So why wait? Try this recipe today and transport yourself back to the cherished memories of Woolworth’s, one delicious slice at a time. Enjoy!

📖 Recipe

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No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake

  • Author: Isabella
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes (including chilling time)
  • Yield: Serves 8-10
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Discover the secret to making the classic No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake with our easy-to-follow recipe. This delightful dessert is perfect for those who crave the nostalgic taste of Woolworth’s without the hassle of baking. Featuring a creamy, lemon-flavored filling on a buttery graham cracker crust, it’s a no-bake treat that’s sure to impress. Ideal for gatherings, special occasions, or a simple family dessert, this cheesecake is as delicious as it is convenient. Dive into our recipe and enjoy a slice of history today!


1 (3 oz.) package lemon Jello

1 cup boiling water

3 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk, chilled


  1. Dissolve lemon Jello in boiling water and let cool until slightly thick.
  2. Mix 3/4 of the graham cracker crumbs with melted butter, press into a 9×13-inch pan, and set aside.
  3. Beat evaporated milk until whipped and fluffy, then in a separate bowl, beat cream cheese with sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
  4. Combine thickened Jello with the cream cheese mixture, fold in whipped evaporated milk, and spread over crust.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining graham cracker crumbs on top, cover, and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.


For a firmer cheesecake, allow it to chill overnight.

A warm knife helps in cutting clean slices.

Substitute lemon Jello with orange for a twist.

Vegan alternatives can be used for a dairy-free version.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes (No bake)
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No-bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake, No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe, Easy Dessert Recipe, Lemon Cheesecake, Woolworth Cheesecake, Icebox Cheesecake, No-Bake Dessert, Vegetarian Dessert

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