My Ginger Garlic Kitchen

Thandai Cheesecake

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No-Bake Thandai Cheesecake is a rich, creamy, delicious dessert which makes it an ideal treat for Holi! This eggless, flavor-bursting Indian style cheesecake is made with cream cheese, whipped cream, sugar, saffron, cardamom, and thandai masala (spice nut mix).

No Bake Thandai Cheesecake on a brown plate over a cake stand

This gorgeous cheesecake with an Indian twist is perfect for Holi or your next party. It is a no-bake, eggless cheesecake made without gelatin or agar agar. Yes, NO EGGS, NO GELATIN, NO AGAR AGAR, and yet you can make the most delicious and sturdy cheesecake right in your kitchen.

You should definitely try this cheesecake if you are a fan of Indian fusion desserts! Because this thandai cheesecake or desi cheesecake is packed with impressive flavors coming from the sweet-fragrant cardamom, floral saffron, and thandai powder (a unique aromatic Indian spice blend made with nuts, spices and seeds).

About Thandai Cheesecake

It is a beautiful, colorful and delightful sweet dish to enjoy during the festival of Holi! Well, I make this dessert any time of the year, because I just love this.

This Eggless Thandai Cheesecake has a digestive biscuit crust and is topped with fresh berries. This outstanding Indian spin on the regular cheesecake is just beyond the word delicious!

With Holi, begins the thandai season that goes throughout the summer. Thandai spice blend or drink itself is known for its cooling and hydrating properties, so is the name Thandai (which means cooling). Thus it is made and enjoyed throughout the summers.

Not only traditional thandai drink itself, I also love to enjoy all the fusion thandai flavored dishes such as thandai milkshake, thandai shrikhand, thandai halwa, thandai ladoo, thandai burfi, thandai mousse, thandai kulfi, etc.

Other than thanadi fusion dishes, there are more Holi Snacks, sweets and drinks that are very popular. My favorites are Mawa Gujiya , namak Para, Besan Paara, Gulkand Lassi, Gulkand Pista Kulfi, Gulkand Shrikhand Recipe, and Chana Dal Namkeen .

Overhead shot of No Bake Thandai Cheesecake deocrated with berries kept on a brown plate over

What is Thandai Cheesecake?

Thandai cheesecake is a fusion dessert recipe which is a classic combination of melt-in-mousse traditional cheesecake flavors with an Indian spin. This Creamy cheesecake is filled with classic Indian thandai masala flavors, saffron, and cardamom to make it a brilliant and refreshing dessert for Holi, Diwali or other special occasions.

To make this cheesecake, you will only need to soak some saffron in milk and make thandai masala powder by just blending some nuts and spices. I have already shared the thandai masala powder recipe earlier on the website.

For making this thandai cheesecake recipe, I have used homemade thandai masala powder which is a mix of nuts, saffron, spices and seeds such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, fennel, saffron, poppy seeds, dried rose petals cardamom, and black peppercorns etc.

You can either use thandai paste or thandai masala powder - they both work great for this thandai cheesecake. If you don’t want to make thandai masala powder, then you can also use store-bought thandai masala powder. That works too.

This Thandai Cheesecake

✔ makes a wonderful dessert to serve to your guests

✔ tastes like a gourmet dessert

✔ is no bake, and can also be made gluten-free

✔ is simple, fuss free and easy to make

✔ is perfect for festivals and celebrations

✔ can also be made for summer parties

✔ can be made ahead of time

Thandai Cheesecake Ingredients

To make the thandai cheesecake, you will require some easily available ingredients. Below are the ingredients you will need:

Digestive biscuits - I have made a crust using digestive biscuit crumbs. You can also use other graham crackers, or other biscuits of your choice. If using graham crackers, then add about 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar to the crumbs.

Melted Butter - It is used for the base. Using unsalted butter is recommended here.

Cream Cheese - You can use any of your favorite cream cheese brands here. You can also use homemade cream cheese for this recipe, but make sure that you don’t use light cream cheese. Or this cheesecake won’t hold the shape.

Whipping Cream - Any type of whipping cream which has more than 35% percent fat can be used here. Just remember to use it chilled.

Sugar - Icing sugar or powdered sugar is needed for making this cheesecake.

Saffron Soaked Milk - To make saffron infused milk, you will need some crushed saffron strands and about 2 tablespoons of hot milk.

Cardamom - Some freshly ground cardamom gives the best sweet-smelling flavor to this cheesecake. But you can also use store-bought cardamom powder.

Thandai Masala - This masala is made by toasting and blending some spices, seeds and nuts. You can get a homemade thandai powder recipe here.

Topping - To make this cheesecake vibrant and festive, I decked up this cheesecake with some fresh strawberries, blueberries, dried rose petals, some badam ladoo, thandai masala powder, and edible pearls. You can choose any toppings of your choice.

Eggless Thandai Cheesecake on a brown plate with some strawberries and blueberries on the side

How to make Thandai Cheesecake

Making thandai cheesecake is very simple and easy. This is how you can make it at home using these easy and quick steps:

Step 1 - Add crushed saffron to hot milk and set aside to infuse. Also make the cheesecake crust by crushing digestive biscuits in a ziplock bag. Then mix the crumbs with melted and pour this mixture into a lined springform pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 2 -  Whip cream cheese until light and creamy. Add saffron infused milk, cardamom, thandai masala powder, cardamom and sugar to it. Whisk again.

Step 3 - Whip the chilled whipping cream to stiff peaks, and carefully fold it with cream cheese mixture. Pour it into the cake pan. Cover and chill for overnight (at least 8 hours) or until set.

Step 4 - Once cheesecake is chilled, simply decorate it with the desired decoration. Slice and enjoy chilled!

Topping Variations

You can top your thandai cheesecake the way you want. I have topped my thandai cheesecake with fresh berries, dried rose petals, badam ladoo, thandi masala powder, and edible pearls.

Other toppings that go well with this thandai cheesecake

Rose syrup drizzle, gulkand (rose petal preserve), thandai kulfi, badam burfi, kaju katli, badam halwa and rasmalai.

a female holding a brown plate with No Bake Thandai Cheesecake

Tips, tricks and variations to make the best No-Bake Thandai Cheesecake

  1. I used badam ladoo for decoration, but you can use any other sweets which are available at home. Or you can completely skip topping cheesecake with mithai.

  2. Grease the base of the cake tin before and after using the parchment paper. This helps in easy removal later on.

  3. I recommend chilling the thandai cheesecake overnight. However, if you don’t have much time, then the minimum recommendation time is 8 hours.

  4. When making thandai cheesecake, make sure that the cream cheese is completely at room temperature before you start whipping it. This way you won’t end up with lumps. If you don’t have a hand mixer then you can also use a wired whisk. You need to whisk it until it is completely smooth and creamy without any lumps.

  5. Easy removal: For an easy cake removal, simply run a knife all around the cheesecake to loosen the edges. If possible, use a springform pan for this cheesecake recipe. This helps in easy removal.

  6. Use heavy cream:  Make sure to use chilled whipping cream or heavy cream which has at least 35% fat or more. The higher fat content allows the cream to whip up thicker, which is required to hold this cheesecake filling together.

  7. This cheesecake recipe doesn’t have the stabilizer. Powdered sugar works as a stabilizer so be sure to use the full amount of powdered sugar recommended for the filling. It stabilizes the cheesecake. Also, do not use thandai syrup in this recipe as it already has sugar, and we want powdered sugar for stabilizing, so we can’t cut down the sugar.

  8. Thandai Flavor: This recipe used thandai powder, but you can also use thandai paste.

Thandai Cheesecake on a brown plate and a female holding a plate with cheesecake slice

FAQ

How to store Thandai Cheesecake?

Thandai cheesecake keeps well for about 4-5 days when stored well covered in the refrigerator. So you can make this in advance if you are planning to serve it to a gathering.

Can I Freeze this  Cheesecake?

You could certainly freeze this no bake thandai cheesecake. If you are planning to freeze it, then my recommendation is that you freeze it without the toppings. This way, the cake will thaw easily without any mess. To freeze, let the cake set in the fridge, then freeze it until frozen. After that, wrap the cake and freeze for up to 2-3 months.

When you want to eat it, thaw this thandai cheesecake in the fridge overnight. And top the way you like it, your cake is ready to use.

How to make gluten-free Thandai Cheesecake?

To make gluten-free cheesecake, use gluten-free digestive biscuits, gluten-free graham crackers, or any other gluten-free biscuits.

No Bake Thandai Cheesecake slice on a black plate and cheesecake in the background

Thandai Cheesecake (Step-by-step photo instructions)

Making saffron milk

  1. Add saffron strands to a bowl, and crush it using fingers. Now add 2 tablespoons of hot milk to it and set it aside to infuse for 20 minutes.
  2. Image of the cooking step-1-1 for Thandai Cheesecake

Making crust for thandai cheesecake

  1. Brush a springform pan/tin base with some butter. Top with the parchment paper and brush again. Keep it aside. Melt the butter in a microwave.
  2. Image of the cooking step-2-1 for Thandai Cheesecake
  3. Place digestive biscuits in a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin until it resembles coarse crumbs. Alternatively, you can also process them in a food processor.
  4. Image of the cooking step-2-2 for Thandai Cheesecake
  5. Add the melted butter to the bag and mix well until combined. I mixed in the Ziploc bag itself, but you can also transfer biscuit crumbs to a bowl and then mix it with the melted butter.
  6. Image of the cooking step-2-3 for Thandai Cheesecake
  7. Next, pour the biscuit crumbs mixture into the prepared cake pan. Press down evenly with the back of a spoon to make the crust. Once the crust is ready, place the pan in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes to let the crust set.
  8. Image of the cooking step-2-4 for Thandai Cheesecake

Making thandai cheesecake filling

  1. Add cream cheese to the mixing bowl and whisk for about 5-6 minutes or until fluffy, using a handheld/stand mixer. Now add in thandai masala powder, saffron-soaked milk, cardamom powder, and powdered sugar. Whisk again until well combined. Set it aside.
  2. Image of the cooking step-3-1 for Thandai Cheesecake
  3. In another bowl, whisk whipping cream until stiff peaks (do not to over-beat it). Now, add whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and gently fold everything together, using a spatula. Do this in 2 parts.
  4. Image of the cooking step-3-2 for Thandai Cheesecake

Assembling thandai cheesecake

  1. Pour the prepared cheesecake filling into the prepared springform pan. Smoothen the top. Run a towel along inside of the cake tin, all the way around, and clean the edges off with a paper towel. Gently tap the pan a couple of times. Cover the cake tin with cling wrap. Chill for about 8 hours (overnight) or until fully set.
  2. Image of the cooking step-4-1 for Thandai Cheesecake

Removing thandai cheesecake from the pan

  1. Once set, remove the cheesecake from the fridge, and uncover the cake pan. Run a knife all around the cheesecake to help loosen it up. Release the spring and remove the ring.
  2. Image of the cooking step-5-1 for Thandai Cheesecake
  3. Lift up the cheesecake using a spatula and place it on a serving plate. Smooth out rough edges, and decorate the cake. I decorated mine with berries, dried rose petals, badam ladoo, thandi masala powder, and edible pearls.
  4. Image of the cooking step-5-2 for Thandai Cheesecake
  5. Slice and serve!
  6. Image of the cooking step-5-3 for Thandai Cheesecake


Thandai Cheesecake [Recipe]

Recipe Image
Thandai Cheesecake is a creamy, delicious no-bake dessert which makes it an ideal treat for Holi! Made without egg, gelatin, and agar agar.
★★★★✰
(Rating: 4.9 from 4 reviews)

Prep time 🕐 Cook time 🕐 Total time 🕐
25 mins
Category ☶ Cuisine ♨ Serves ☺
Dessert Indian, American 8
Nutrition Info ⊛ Serving size ⊚
408 calories 1

INGREDIENTS

For Saffron Milk
  • 28-30 saffron strands
  • 2 tablespoons hot milk
For Cheesecake Crust
  • 10 (150 grams) digestive biscuits
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter (can be replaced with the same amount of cold milk)
For Cheesecake Filling
  • 400 grams full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 55 grams (a little more than 1/2 cup) powdered sugar
  • 118 ml (1/2 cup) whipping cream, min 35% fat, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons thandai masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
Decoration (optional)
  • Fruits or berries
  • Badam ladoo (sliced)
  • Thandai masala powder
  • Dried rose petals
  • Edible silver/golden pearls
Equipment
  • 6 inch or 16 cm springform tin/pan
  • Electric mixer
  • Knife, offset spatula, cake spatula, flat spatulas, spoon, bowls
  • Parchment paper
  • INGREDIENT_2

INSTRUCTIONS:

Making saffron milk
  1. Add saffron strands to a bowl, and crush it using fingers. Now add 2 tablespoons of hot milk to it and set it aside to infuse for 20 minutes.
Making crust for thandai cheesecake
  1. Brush a springform pan/tin base with some butter. Top with the parchment paper and brush again. Keep it aside. Melt the butter in a microwave.
  2. Place digestive biscuits in a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin until it resembles coarse crumbs. Alternatively, you can also process them in a food processor.
  3. Add the melted butter to the bag and mix well until combined. I mixed in the Ziploc bag itself, but you can also transfer biscuit crumbs to a bowl and then mix it with the melted butter.
  4. Next, pour the biscuit crumbs mixture into the prepared cake pan. Press down evenly with the back of a spoon to make the crust. Once the crust is ready, place the pan in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes to let the crust set.
Making thandai cheesecake filling
  1. Add cream cheese to the mixing bowl and whisk for about 5-6 minutes or until fluffy, using a handheld/stand mixer. Now add in thandai masala powder, saffron-soaked milk, cardamom powder, and powdered sugar. Whisk again until well combined. Set it aside.
  2. In another bowl, whisk whipping cream until stiff peaks (do not to over-beat it). Now, add whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and gently fold everything together, using a spatula. Do this in 2 parts.
Assembling thandai cheesecake
  1. Pour the prepared cheesecake filling into the prepared springform pan. Smoothen the top. Run a towel along inside of the cake tin, all the way around, and clean the edges off with a paper towel. Gently tap the pan a couple of times. Cover the cake tin with cling wrap. Chill for about 8 hours (overnight) or until fully set.
Removing thandai cheesecake from the pan
  1. Once set, remove the cheesecake from the fridge, and uncover the cake pan. Run a knife all around the cheesecake to help loosen it up. Release the spring and remove the ring.
  2. Lift up the cheesecake using a spatula and place it on a serving plate. Smooth out rough edges, and decorate the cake. I decorated mine with berries, dried rose petals, badam ladoo, thandi masala powder, and edible pearls.
  3. Slice and serve!

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NOTES:

  1. I recommend chilling the thandai cheesecake overnight. However, if you don’t have much time, then the minimum recommendation time is 8 hours.
  2. When making thandai cheesecake, make sure that the cream cheese is completely at room temperature before you start whipping it. This way you won’t end up with lumps. If you don't have a hand mixer then you can also use a wired whisk. You need to whisk it until it is completely smooth and creamy without any lumps.
  3. Easy removal: For an easy cake removal, simply run a knife all around the cheesecake to loosen the edges. If possible, use a springform pan for this cheesecake recipe. This helps in easy removal.
  4. Use heavy cream: Make sure to use chilled whipping cream or heavy cream which has at least 35% fat or more. The higher fat content allows the cream to whip up thicker, which is required to hold this cheesecake filling together.

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