Last updated on June 11th, 2024.

This Israeli cheesecake is a light, creamy cake layered on top of a tender, buttery shortbread dough with impressive cookie crumbs. It is not your classic cheesecake, and it offers a unique flavor and texture combination. 

cheesecake with crumbs on a plate with milk and forks around it.

What is an Israeli-style Cheesecake

Israeli crumb cheesecake, known locally as “Ogat Gvina perurim” (עוגת גבינה), is a beloved dessert that differs from its American-style cheesecakes in its light, airy texture and unique flavor profile. This cheesecake is distinguished by its layer of shortbread dough at the bottom and its crumbs sprinkled on the cake. Combining the silky smooth light filling and crispy, buttery cookie makes this cake a unique culinary experience.

It is customary to eat this cake during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. This holiday is celebrated by eating dairy products and recipes like Biscoff Cheesecake, San Sebastian Burnt Cake, Sponge Cheesecake, Cheesy pastries, and of course, this no-bake Israeli Biscuit cake.

Ingredients for No-Bake Crumb Cheesecake

Crust

Cheesecake Filling

  • Cream cheese at room temperature.
  • Plain Greek yogurt, full-fat at room temperature.
  • Heavy cream, very cold.
  • Powdered sugar and vanilla instant pudding. Most versions of this cake call for regular sugar and a full package of instant pudding to set the cake since this is a no-bake cheesecake. When I tested this recipe, I found that the instant pudding mix gives the cake an artificial flavor. To avoid this, I replaced the sugar with powdered sugar, which contains cornstarch. The cornstarch is a great stabilizer for the cream. In addition, I reduced the amount of pudding by more than half.   
  • Vanilla bean paste. If you don’t have the paste, use extract.

How to Make No-Bake Israeli Cheesecake

Prepare the Crust

  1. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes if using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or 1 minute if using a hand electric mixer.
  2. Mix in the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  3. Mix the flour and baking powder, and gradually mix it into the butter mixture.
  4. Divide the dough into 2/3 and 1/3. Spread the large amount at the bottom of a springform pan and use a fork to prick it. Roll the small portion into a 1/4-inch disk.
  5. Bake until lightly golden, and remove from the oven to cool.
steps to make shortbread crust for cake.

Prepare the Cheesecake Filling

You can make the filling using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, an electric mixer, and even a hand whisk.

  1. In a big bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream cheese and Greek yogurt until fully incorporated.
  2. Mix the pudding powder with the powdered sugar.
  3. Pour the heavy cream and vanilla, then sift over the powdered sugar mixture.
  4. Whip until it reaches stiff peaks and it is thick and smooth.
steps to make filling for no-bake cheesecake.

Assemble

  1. Once the crust has cooled, top it with the cheese filling and smooth the top into an even layer using an offset spatula.
  2. Using your fingers, crush the smaller part of the baked dough.
  3. Sprinkle the crushed crumbs over the top of the cake and refrigerate for about 4 hours before serving.
assembling no bake cheesy cake.

Tips 

  • Cheese Selection: Traditionally, this cake calls for a soft Israeli cheese known as gvina levana, white cheese; here in the United States, you may find it in a kosher market. For this recipe, I replaced it with plain Greek yogurt, but you can also use full-fat sour cream. 
  • At room temperature, the cream cheese and Greek yogurt will whip without lumps, but the whipped cream needs to be as cold as possible.
  • Add two teaspoons of lemon zest to flavor the cake when whipping the cream and yogurt. 
  • Fold 1/2 cup of melted white chocolate to the cream before topping it over the crust.

Storage and Yields

  • Storage: Store the cheesecake in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap or a lid, for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing: You can freeze the cheesecake for up to 2 months. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
  • Yields: This recipe yields one 8-inch or 9-inch cheesecake, serving approximately 8-10 slices, depending on how generously you slice.
a slice of no bake cheese cake.

For More Authentic Recipes

Spanish Cheesecake, Italian Cream Puffs, Fresh Strawberry Tart.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and tag me on Instagram when you make one of my recipes.

israeli no bake cheesecake recipe.
5 from 1 vote
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Israeli Cheesecake Recipe

A creamy and light no-bake cheesecake.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword israeli cheesecake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 people
Author Dikla

Ingredients

For the crust and crumbs

  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted butter at room temperature. (113g)
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar (50g)
  • 1 Large Egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 Cup All-purpose flour (150g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking powder

For the cheese filling

  • 1 Cup Cream cheese at room temperature (225g)
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek yogurt at room temperature (240g)
  • 2 Cups Heavy cream, very cold (480ml)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla bean paste
  • 2/3 Cup Powdered sugar (80g)
  • 1/4 Cup Vanilla instant pudding (40g)

Instructions

Making the crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).

  2. Beat the butter and sugar using the paddle attachment or electric mixer until light and fluffy.

  3. Mix in the egg yolk and vanilla extract.

  4. Add the baking powder to the flour then gradually mix it into the butter mixture.

  5. Mix until you have a smooth dough.

  6. Divide the dough into 2/3 and 1/3 parts. Spread the large part over the bottom of your pan, and use a fork to prick the top. Flatten the smaller part into 1/4 inch disk.

  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden.

Make the filling

  1. Whip the cream cheese and Geek yogurt until fully incorporated.

  2. Pour in the heavy cream and vanilla bean, then sift over the powdered sugar and instant pudding.

  3. Whip the mixture until it rices stiff peaks, and you have a smooth mixture.

Assembling

  1. Once the dough has cooled, top it with the cream filling and use an offset spatula to smooth it.

  2. Using your fingers or a fork, break the shortbread disk into crumbs.

  3. Sprinkle it over the top of the cake and refrigerate for four hours before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • Store the cake in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • To freeze, wrap the can in the pan with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to eight weeks. When ready, place the cake in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Replace the greek yogurt with sour cream as an option.
  • Use 8, or 9 inch springform pan. Another option is to use a Pirex pan.
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