No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake


Satisfy your sweet cravings without the need for baking with the delightful No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake. This classic dessert, once found in the Woolworth lunch counters, combines the creamy goodness of cheesecake with a luscious topping, all without ever having to turn on your oven. In this SEO article, we’ll delve into the irresistible appeal of this easy-to-make dessert, sharing its history, ingredients, and step-by-step preparation instructions.


  • 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. 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.
  2. While the Jello is cooling, its 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 913-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.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the chilled evaporated milk until its 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Serving Tips:

  1. Chill Before Serving: For the best texture and flavor, ensure that the No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake is thoroughly chilled before serving. This allows the cheesecake to set properly and ensures a creamy consistency.
  2. Slice Carefully: Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to slice the cheesecake cleanly. Wipe the knife clean between each slice to achieve neat and smooth cuts.
  3. Garnish Creatively: Enhance the presentation of the cheesecake by garnishing each slice with additional toppings, such as fresh berries, sliced fruit, or a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce. This adds visual appeal and extra flavor to each serving.
  4. Serve with Whipped Cream: Accompany each slice of cheesecake with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a decadent touch. The creamy topping complements the richness of the cheesecake and adds an extra layer of indulgence.
  5. Pair with Coffee or Tea: Serve the No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake alongside hot beverages like coffee or tea for a delightful dessert experience. The contrast between the creamy cheesecake and the warmth of the drink enhances the overall enjoyment.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigerate Properly: Store any leftover No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake in an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness and prevent it from drying out.
  2. Consume Within a Few Days: While the cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, it’s best to consume it within 2-3 days for optimal taste and texture. Over time, the cheesecake may lose its creamy consistency and become less appealing.
  3. Avoid Freezing: Due to its creamy texture, No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake is not suitable for freezing. Freezing can cause the cheesecake to become watery and lose its smooth consistency when thawed.
  4. Protect from Odors: To prevent the cheesecake from absorbing any unwanted odors in the refrigerator, store it away from strong-smelling foods or ingredients. Keep it in a designated section where it can remain undisturbed until ready to serve.
  5. Cover Well: When storing the cheesecake in the refrigerator, ensure that it is tightly covered to prevent it from drying out or picking up any off-flavors. Use plastic wrap or aluminum foil to seal the container securely.


  1. Can I use a different type of crust for this cheesecake?
    • Yes, you can customize the crust according to your preference. While graham cracker crust is traditional, you can also use cookie crusts such as oreo or vanilla wafer crusts for a different flavor profile.
  2. Is it necessary to use whipped topping, or can I use whipped cream instead?
    • While whipped topping like Cool Whip provides a stable texture and holds up well in the refrigerator, you can use whipped cream as a substitute. Keep in mind that whipped cream may not hold its shape as long as whipped topping and may need to be stabilized with gelatin or powdered sugar.
  3. Can I make this cheesecake in advance for a special occasion?
    • Yes, No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake is a great make-ahead dessert. You can prepare it up to 24 hours in advance and store it covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Adding the topping just before serving helps keep it fresh and vibrant.
  4. Can I freeze leftovers of this cheesecake?
    • It’s not recommended to freeze No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake as the texture may become compromised upon thawing. The creamy filling can become icy and lose its smooth consistency. It’s best enjoyed fresh or stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
  5. Can I use different fruit toppings besides cherry pie filling?
    • Absolutely! You can customize the topping to suit your taste preferences. Popular alternatives to cherry pie filling include blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, or mixed berry toppings. You can even use fresh fruit slices or a fruit compote for a lighter option.


The No-Bake Woolworth Icebox Cheesecake is a simple yet indulgent dessert that captures the essence of classic American diners. With its creamy texture, buttery crust, and fruity topping, it’s sure to delight dessert lovers of all ages. Whether served at a family gathering, potluck, or special occasion, this no-bake cheesecake is a timeless treat that’s easy to make and impossible to resist.