Esther the Zester | July 4th Pie: A Patriotic, No-Bake Cream Cheese Treat – Times-Standard

This Cream Cheese Tart is super easy to make – no bake – and makes for an impressive and patriotic Fourth of July dessert. (Esther Kennedy / Contributed)

Summer is officially here, so most kids of all ages are on summer vacation, families are planning and taking vacations, weekend barbecues are in full swing, and we’re all trying to get back to normal after a few long years.

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, which is the perfect excuse to get together with family and friends at parks and beaches, where potlucks abound, filled with delicious savory foods and scrumptious desserts.

I’ve always been a spicy cook. Baking is my Achilles heel. I smile in front of all the home bakers and professional pastry chefs because you are all artists when it comes to creating sweet treats. Since baking isn’t in my wheelhouse, I’d like to share my no-bake cream cheese cake that can be decorated with berries to make a red, white and blue cake perfect for Independence Day.

I was inspired to make a traditional cream cheese cake to make it my own. It’s perfect for non-bakers as there’s no baking involved! Plus, it only takes a few minutes to prepare. And of course I had to decorate the cake with strawberries and blueberries to create a red, white and blue cake for the patriotic holiday.

Have a safe holiday weekend and as always, live merrier!


  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 medium lemons, juiced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
  • 2 teaspoons fresh mint, chiffonade (thin strips)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon or lime zest (about 1 medium lime or lemon zest)
  • Fresh Strawberries: Strawberries (my favorite), blueberries, raspberries, blackberries – pick your favorite berries to top the cake.


In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Slowly add the condensed milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Continue mixing for 2-3 minutes on low-medium until smooth.

Gently stir in the mint and lime zest.

Pour mixture into pie crust and chill for 4 hours or until firm.

Add fresh strawberries, cut and serve.

Esther Kennedy is a Myrtletown resident and recipe creator. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Facebook at

Categories Pie

Leave a Comment