Nigella Lawson's No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake

May  5, 2021
10 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 8 to 12
Author Notes

"I don’t know if I should apologise for this or boast about it. Either way, I feel you will thank me for it. The thing is, it’s embarrassingly easy to make and is just the sort of count-no-calories indulgence that the season demands. Don’t be tempted to let the cheesecake come to room temperature before serving. It slices and tastes better with a bit of fridge-chill on it." Recipe adapted slightly from Nigellissima (Clarkson Potter, 2013). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Nigella Lawson's No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake
  • 250 grams digestive biscuits (one 8.8-ounce package), or substitute graham crackers or chocolate wafer cookies
  • 75 grams (5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) soft unsalted butter
  • 400 grams (one 371-gram jar is fine) Nutella, at room temperature, divided
  • 100 grams (2/3 cup) hazelnuts, well-toasted and chopped (see note), divided
  • 500 grams (two 8-ounce packages is fine) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  1. Break the digestives into the bowl of a processor, add the butter and a 15-milliliter tablespoon of Nutella, and blitz until it starts to clump. Add 25 grams/3 tablespoons of the hazelnuts and continue to pulse until you have a damp, sandy mixture.
  2. Tip into a 23-centimeter/9-inch round springform and press into the base either using your hands or the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge to chill.
  3. Beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth and then add the remaining Nutella to the cream cheese mixture, and continue beating until combined.
  4. Take the springform out of the fridge and carefully smooth the Nutella mixture over the base. Scatter the remaining chopped hazelnuts on top to cover and place the tin in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight. Serve straight from the fridge for best results.
  5. Editor's note: I like to toast nuts on a rimmed baking sheet at 325° F for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden through the middle. To keep this truly no-bake, you can also toast the nuts in a dry pan on the stovetop over medium low, tossing occasionally. To get any loose skins off, leave them to cool and steam a bit wrapped in a clean kitchen towel for 10 minutes, then rub off as much skin as you can before chopping.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dishlicious
  • mywaterdr
  • BigA
  • Yvette
  • Philip Ault
    Philip Ault
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

24 Reviews

Dishlicious March 3, 2022
Wouldn't using melted butter make a more sturdy crust?
Jo A. May 31, 2021
Did not add any powdered sugar. Nutella is sweet enough. Also used light cream cheese! Turned out delicious!
mywaterdr March 31, 2021
Really happy with this recipe, primarily because I swapped out the graham cracker crust for the Ritz cracker shortbread crust from the shortbread cookies recipe (on here) and whipped the Nutella together with the cream cheese, like another poster suggested, to make it more mousse-like instead of dense. Oh almost forgot, topped it with walnuts, instead of hazelnuts!
emwitt17 July 14, 2020
I don't have hazelnuts; I do have peanuts and cashews. Would you use either of these or omit altogether?
Ron P. July 16, 2019
I made this using boxed graham cracker crumbs. I didn't think the crust would hold together but it mostly did. You could probably add a little more butter or Nutella if you're worried about the crust being too crumbly.

Aside from some frustration in getting the skins off the hazelnuts (I suggest you Google for better techniques), this was a very easy recipe. It was too high in calories and delicious to leave in the house, so I brought it to the local wine bar to share. People were really impressed and it disappeared quickly. One patron took a bite and immediately asked if I was single.
BigA March 4, 2019
I love dessert but I hate turning on my oven in the summer. So I started bringing this to dinner parties; I honestly think I get invited to more BBQs because of this recipe. I made it A LOT last season. I enjoy topping it with whipped cream and toasted slivered almonds. It's always a hit.
Yvette August 6, 2018
I make this every Christmas Eve - it is delicious.
Tim August 6, 2017
Milliliters? Grams? Please save us all having to look up equivalents on Google by including cups, ounces, tablespoons, etc , when listing ingredients. Thanks !
Philip A. November 13, 2016
If you find this cheesecake too dense, try beating the mixture with an electric hand whisk for a few minutes. This will give the cheesecake a lighter, creamier and more mousse-like texture.
mywaterdr March 30, 2021
I just did that and could see how much lighter it turned out...I can't wait til tomorrow when I take it out of the frig. Great suggestion!
Annie F. June 7, 2016
Just made this on a 90 degree day in Portland OR... Was so happy not to turn on the oven! It was a huge hit. Haven't gotten this many recipe requests in a while! I did about 6 T of butter and 1 1/2 T of nutella in the crust, as mine didn't quite come together as easily. I also used only 1/3 cup powdered sugar in the filling as I prefer my desserts a little less sweet.
Marcia L. February 5, 2016
I served this at a Christmas party, and our guests raved about it. I used a 9-oz. package of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer cookies for the crust instead of digestive biscuits, which undoubtedly amped up the chocolate flavor. I froze the small amount that was left over, and it was delicious right out of the freezer.
celmore February 5, 2016
You can find Carr's "Whole Wheat Crackers" in the cracker aisle of many grocery stores. They're good with lots of things! Also, if you don't have a food processor and don't want the mess of crushing the crackers by hand, you can use a blender.
Alyssa December 27, 2015
Not great. This "cheesecake" was incredibly underwhelming. I'm actually really surprised to see this on the Food52 website and I feel silly for having tried it. The nutella flavor is almost impossible to detect through the dense cream cheese. The five people who sampled this cake all agreed that it should not be made again. Common reactions around the table included, too dense, too rich, and lacking in the flavor you might expect from a nutella cheesecake. I will add that I executed this recipe exactly as written. I would not recommend attempting this recipe or even doing a variation of this recipe, there are certainly better no-bake cheesecake recipes out there.
Windischgirl January 4, 2016
I will agree with you that served directly from the fridge, the texture is dense and the flavor muted. I dispute Nigella's suggestion to serve it cold; I found that the flavor and texture were much improved by sitting out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes..creamier and less of the tang from the cream cheese. Made this again for New Year's and happened to use low-fat cream cheese and found the texture was improved. Maybe what passes for cream cheese in the UK has fewer gums and stabilizers than here in the US. You may prefer this will the softer Neufchâtel cheese.
Windischgirl December 26, 2015
This was amazing: raves all around my Christmas table. It serves way more than 8, because it's so rich. I used graham crackers for the crust, added a couple teaspoons more butter to get the crust to clump. Next time I might line the base of my springform with parchment because it stuck a wee bit in the middle. Used the food processor to chop the hazelnuts, then for the crust, AND for the filling (why dirty another appliance?), scraping well to avoid white cream cheese streaks. Cut the confectioner's sugar to 40 grams and it was plenty sweet enough. Was asked to bring it for New Year's Eve...thank goodness I was given the 1 kilo jar of Nutella!
Nicole O. December 14, 2015
Made this on Friday for a friend's birthday. She texted me almost immediately to rave about it. I tasted the batter on the spatula and didn't find it to be too sweet but it did have an amazing texture. Super easy too!
njsusan December 10, 2015
I actually found it too sweet, and I have a serious sweet tooth! (Though the rest of my family disagrees!) Would make it with even less sugar next time.
Wollie December 9, 2015
Digestive cookies? That's a new one on me. What cookies aren't?
Windischgirl December 9, 2015
Digestives are a British cookie, sort of like a whole-grain shortbread (because they are whole grain they were thought good for the digestion). Vanilla wafers or graham crackers make a fine substitute .
Jovan December 9, 2015
What's your recommendation for making the crust if one doesn't have a food processor?
Lauren December 9, 2015
I break up my biscuits or cookies in a zip-top bag with a rolling pin, then put it in a bowl and add my butter and any other additives when I make a crust for cheese cake. The important thing here, to me, is that you get the crumbs tiny, and you thoroughly mix in the butter and Nutella here to make sure everything comes together when you're patting the crust down.
Jovan December 9, 2015
Thanks! Super helpful.
Lauren December 9, 2015
You're welcome!