Bourbon Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar

Last modified on March 9th, 2020 at 10:15 am

What’s better than Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar? Boozy Cheery Cheesecake in a Jar made WITHOUT baking! Decadent, dreamy and sweet, these no-bake cheesecakes are the perfect and portable picnic or backyard BBQ dessert. Word of warning, they’re definitely for adults only.

Growing up, my family’s go-to dessert of choice was a Cherry Cheesecake. Creamy and rich with a graham cracker base and a cherry syrup sauce on top, it was a classic treat you always made sure there was enough of. For family gatherings and holidays, my grandma was in charge of making the cheesecakes (yes plural). By no means was it fancy – it was a simple, easy and crowd-pleasing dessert that became tradition.

4 bourbon cherry cheesecakes in a jar

When I was old enough, my grandma and I would bake holiday cherry cheesecake together, and when I had learnt the recipe she handed the duty of making cheesecakes over to me. Following her careful recipe, what to look for when it baked (texture, colour, wobbliness) and placing a layer of sour cream and literally the cherries on top, now looking back I had earned my sous chef title with our family chef, and later passed the tradition on to my sister.

“Cheesecake will always taste like love”. – Shonda Rhimes

Like all families, eating the same dessert year after year loses it’s appeal, and eventually cheesecake was phased out. With the years, my grandma’s memory faded, my sister and I stopped baking it, and while I don’t remember the recipe ingredient for ingredient, I do bet that together we could replicate it. But until then, our Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar is a sweet and simple reminder of a beloved family recipe, and if anything, a wonderful memory of my time in the kitchen with my grandma.

Now, this is obviously not my grandma’s cheesecake (although she wouldn’t have minded the booze), our Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar is the perfect, portable and dreamy dessert for picnics, backyards and dining al fresco. With no baking required, the mix of rich mascarpone and fluffy ricotta creates the classic dense and creamy texture with a bourbon cherry twist, adding another level to this family favourite.

How to Make Cheesecake in a Jar

Ingredients Needed to Make Cheesecake in a Jar

Cherries (preferably fresh), maple syrup, orange, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, bourbon, graham cracker crumbs, butter, mascarpone cheese, ricotta cheese, sugar and vanilla.

Soak the Cherries

Add 3/4 cups of water, 1/2 cup of maple syrup, a cinnamon stick, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and a 1/2 inch strip of orange peel to a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1 cup bourbon. Add the 1 pound of pitted cherries and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Removing pits from cherries

Chef’s Tip: To remove the cherry pits, using a narrow spouted bottle, place the cherries on top and push the pit through with a chopstick.

Make the Fillings

Combine 1 cup of graham crackers and 2 tablespoons of melted butter in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of mascarpone, 1/2 cup of ricotta, 1/’3 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until smooth.

Graham cracker crumble mixture in a bowl

Assemble the Cheesecake

Add two heaping tablespoons of the graham crumbs to the jar and press down. Add a layer of cheese and smooth out. Place a single layer of cherries on top, then add another layer of cheese. Sprinkle remaining graham crumbs on top of cheese and add a final layer of cherries. Cover and place in the fridge to get cold.

Holding a spoonful of bourbon cherry cheesecake in a jar

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Helpful Tools and Ingredients to Make Cheesecake in a Jar

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Bourbon Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar

Holding a spoon of bourbon cherry cheesecake in a jar

What’s better than Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar? Boozy Cheery Cheesecake in a Jar made WITHOUT baking! Decadent, dreamy and sweet, these no bake cheesecakes in a jar are the perfect and portable picnic or backyard BBQ dessert, and definitely for adults only.

  • Author: Chef Sous Chef
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Food and Drink, Dessert, Picnic
  • Cuisine: North American


  • 1 lb cherries, pitted
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ inch orange peel
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese (250g)
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese (150g)
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla


No. 1 | Pour water into a saucepan and place the heat on high. Add the maple syrup, orange peel, cinnamon stick and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and stir in bourbon. Add cherries and mix. Allow the cherries to marinate in the liquid until it cools down, about 20 minutes.

No. 2 |  In a small bowl, mix together the graham crumbs and melted butter.

No. 3 | In a separate bowl add the mascarpone, ricotta, sugar, and vanilla. Mix until well combined and smooth.

No. 4 | To assemble, add two heaping tablespoons of graham crumbs to a 2 cup mason jar. Press down with your fingers or a shot glass. Add a spoonful of the cheese mixture and smooth out. Place a layer of cherries on the cheese, then top with a sprinkling of remaining graham crumbs. Top with remaining cherries. Screw on jar lids and place them in the fridge until cold.


  • If you don’t have a cherry pitter, then use a wine bottle and set the cherry on top. With a firm grip on the cherry, use a chopstick to push the pit out of the cherry.
  • Don’t throw out the bourbon mixture. This is great to add into cocktails.

Keywords: cherry recipe, easy dessert, dessert for picnic

Hand scooping cherry cheesecake in a jar with Recipe title text


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  • Reply
    Jenna O
    August 10, 2018 at 8:27 am

    So, so, good. The cherries had a pretty strong bourbon flavor so they are definitely great for an adult dinner party. Can’t wait to try them with other fruits too.

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      August 10, 2018 at 8:31 am

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them. Let us know how the other flavours turn out.

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