Easy No-Bake Molasses Cheesecake with Butter Rum Sauce
February 18, 2021
Let me guess: There’s a half-full jar of molasses in your pantry. It’s been there since the holidays, when you whipped up a batch of gingerbread cookies. The lid is a little stuck, and you’re pretty sure it’s going to sit there until next December. Well no worries. This dessert is the perfect excuse to break back into that trusty molasses jar. It’s an easy no-bake cheesecake, which is sweet and creamy and rich.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission if you click through and buy something, at no additional cost to you! Learn More.
I absolutely love the flavor of molasses. I lean toward dark brown sugar over any other variety. It’s just got this bittersweet richness that tickles my taste buds and pleases my palette like no other syrupy sweetener. But it’s so easy to get into a molasses rut, thinking it’s only for gingerbread.
With this recipe, I wanted to highlight the molasses itself, without letting it play background to heavily aromatic seasonal spices. Instead, I decided to let it be the star in its own right, accenting it only with the subtle tang of cream cheese and a smooth butter rum sauce.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for this easy no-bake cheesecake at your grocery store. You can also order online using Amazon Fresh for grocery delivery.
- Pantry: Graham crackers, Brown sugar, Molasses, Confectioner’s sugar
- Fridge: Butter, Heavy cream, Cream cheese
- From the Bar: Dark rum
- Spice Rack: Salt
- Equipment: Mixing bowls, 8×8 Pan, Parchment paper, Silicone spatula, Stand mixer and/or Hand mixer
Let’s Make an Easy No Bake Cheesecake
This cheesecake takes a little bit of advance planning, so if you want to serve it be sure to get started ahead of time. It can be made in one day, but it needs at least four hours to chill. The longer you let it chill in the fridge, the more firm and set the cheesecake will be.
The first thing you’ll do to make this decadent dessert is work on the crust. Because this is no-bake, you are not able to use regular flour to make a crust. Instead, I went with the classic graham cracker version. It’s super easy to put together.
If you are starting with whole graham crackers, you will need to crush them. I like to put them in a zip-lock bag and use a rolling pin, which makes for a nice variety of sizes. If you want something a bit faster and more uniform, you can grind them in a food processor instead.
Then add the crumbs to a medium bowl with the brown sugar and toss until it’s all combined. Mix in the melted butter. If it’s too warm you can start with a spoon, but I think using your hands is more effective here. To check if it’s ready, pinch some between your fingers, and see if it holds together.
Line an 8×8 glass casserole dish or baking pan with parchment paper hanging over the edges. You can actually use any type of dish that is freezer-safe, since you won’t be baking. But I like to use my trusty Pyrex baking pan. It has nice high sides to hold the filling.
Dump the graham cracker mixture into the prepared pan, and press it into the bottom and sides, creating an even layer. There’s no need to make a side crust here, so just try to make it nice and even throughout. One trick is to use the flat bottom of a measuring cup to do this.
Once the crust is all pressed in, place the pan in the freezer while you work on the filling. Freezing will solidify the butter, helping to hold all the graham cracker pieces together. This creates a nice, crunchy base for our cheesecake.
Now it’s time to start the filling. This is done in two parts and then combined. First, let’s whip up some cream. You can use either a hand or stand mixer for this, but be sure it is fitted with the whisk attachment and you are using a large bowl.
Start on a low speed while the cream is liquid, and then work your way up to high over about thirty seconds to a minute. This will help prevent splatters and splashes as it begins to thicken.
Continue mixing on high until the whipped cream holds its shape. To check, turn off the mixer and lift the whisk out of the cream. If any drips off, it still needs to be whipped. Once it’s ready, set this bowl aside.
The second piece of the filling is the cream cheese mixture. Again, you can use a hand or stand mixer for this step, but you’ll need a new bowl and the paddle attachment or beaters. If you only have one mixer bowl, I prefer to use my stand mixer for this part and a hand mixer for the cream.
Combine the cream cheese, molasses, and sugar and mix on medium until everything is completely smooth. It may be quite tough to start, especially if your cream cheese is very cold. But just be patient and it will come together.
This is the part of the filling where all that rich molasses flavor comes in. In fact, this thick cream cheese mixture reminded me of those old fashioned molasses chew candies. Do you remember those?
Use a silicone spatula to fold the cream cheese mixture into the bowl with the whipped cream until uniform. You want to use a motion where you are scooping up filling from the bottom of the bowl, and flipping it over to be on the top. Don’t stir around in circles, since the whipped cream can be a bit fragile if over processed.
Once this mixture is smooth and uniform, remove the crust from the freezer. It should be nice and solid. Spread the filling on top of the frozen crust, using the spatula to make it even across the pan and into the corners.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill the cheesecake in the fridge for at least four hours. I prefer to chill it overnight so it’s firmer when I want to cut it.
Once chilled, use the overhanging edges of the parchment to carefully lift the cheesecake from the pan and place it on a cutting board. Now, you can either cut it and then drizzle with the sauce, or drizzle first.
Either way, when you are cutting it into squares, be sure to wipe the knife off between each slice. This will help you get clean cuts, and great looking little cheesecake bites.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan, then add in brown sugar and stir until it’s all combined into a thick syrup. Carefully add in the rum and salt. When adding the rum to the hot butter, it will bubble and pop a bit, so stand back.
Cook, stirring frequently until the bubbles subside and the mixture has thickened slightly. Then turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream until it’s smooth. Let this cool about ten minutes before drizzling over the cheesecake.
You can top the cheesecake in a couple different ways. First you could use a spoon and scoop the sauce over top of each piece. Or for more of a spattered drizzle, dip a metal whisk in the sauce, and gently shake it over the entire cheesecake.
Let molasses be the star in this easy no-bake cheesecake! It’s rich and creamy and delicious, plus it’s topped off with a butter rum drizzle.
How to Serve Molasses Cheesecake
You can serve this immediately or make it a few days in advance. Chill the entire cheesecake or individual pieces, topped with the sauce or not, in the fridge for two or three days. You can also store the sauce for the same amount of time, but warm it up before drizzling.
This cheesecake makes a wonderful dessert, and pairs excellently with after-dinner drinks. Try a Cinnamon, Pear, and Rum Cocktail or a Chocolate Turtle Martini to be sweet and fancy. Or if you prefer something bit stronger, serve it with an Apple Brandy Alexander or Amaretto Old Fashioned.
Non-alcoholic drinks can be a fun pairing as well. Try a rich and creamy Chai White Hot Chocolate or a sweet and smooth Hot Pear Cider. If molasses isn’t your calling, but you love cheesecake, you can make a Caramel Apple Cheesecake instead. Or have a unique brunch with a Savory Caramelized Onion Cheesecake.
Use Up Leftover Ingredients
- Use extra molasses to flavor a Pecan Pie Hot Buttered Rum, a sweet dessert beverage.
- Put your dark rum to work for brunch with a batch of Bananas Foster Stuffed French Toast.
- Heavy Cream is always perfect for ice cream! Try this Rich and Creamy Decaf Coffee variety.
- Leftover cream cheese makes the perfect filling for Cream Cheese Oatmeal Cookies, a nostalgic treat.
Easy Molasses No-Bake Cheesecake with Butter Rum Sauce
No Bake Molasses Cheesecake
- 7 Whole Graham Crackers crushed into crumbs, about 1 ¼ cups
- 3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 4 Tbsp Butter melted
- 1 ¼ Cups Heavy Cream
- 12 Oz Plain Cream Cheese
- ¼ Cup Molasses
- ½ Cup Confectioner's Sugar
Butter Rum Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Oz Dark Rum
- ⅛ tsp Salt
- ½ Oz Heavy Cream
No Bake Molasses Cheesecake
- In a medium bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers and brown sugar together. Mix in the melted butter until fully combined, and pieces stay pressed together when you pinch them between your fingers.
- Line an 8x8 glass casserole dish or baking pan with parchment paper hanging over the edges. Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the pan, creating an even layer. Place the pan in the freezer while you work on the filling.
- Using a hand or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream beginning on low to avoid splashing, and working your way up to high, until the whipped cream holds its shape. Set aside.
- In a second bowl, use your mixer on medium to combine the cream cheese, molasses, and sugar until completely smooth.
- Use a silicone spatula to fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream, until uniform. Then spread the filling on top of the frozen crust; cover and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Once chilled, use the edges of the parchment to remove the cheesecake from pan and drizzle with the butter rum sauce. Slice it into 12 pieces (3 x 4 grid), wiping the knife off in between cuts. Enjoy immediately or store 2-3 days covered in the fridge.
Butter Rum Sauce
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Then add in sugar and stir until combined. Carefully add in the rum and salt (note: this may bubble and pop a bit) and cook, stirring frequently until the bubbles subside.
- Turn off the heat and add the cream. Stir until smooth. Let cool about 10 minutes before drizzling over the cheesecake.
- Drizzle over cheesecake and enjoy immediately or store the extra in fridge for 2-3 days. Warm up refrigerated sauce before using.