Try this easy no-bake cherry pie recipe with canned filling and graham cracker crust. Cherries top a decadent lemon cream cheese filling in a prebaked graham crust. Fill and chill this perfect dessert without tying up the oven.
Sometimes you have time to make a homemade pie from scratch. Sometimes you don’t. No problem. If you need something easy, I have the perfect recipe for you.
Try this family favorite no bake cherry pie recipe with canned filling and graham cracker crust. You only need a handful of ingredients, plus a pie tin with a premade graham cracker crust. Get out your trusty hand mixer, and you are ready to go.
Be aware, the pie needs time to chill to set. Even though it is an easy recipe, plan enough time. Running short on time? I have a couple tips that can speed the process.
Canned Cherry Pie Ingredients
These simple ingredients will have you whipping up an entire pie in a matter of minutes. This easy sweet-tart pie will become your new favorite recipe for the holidays.
- 9-inch (6 oz.) or 10-inch (9 oz.) premade graham cracker pie crust. Try Keebler’s Ready Crust. It keeps its shape quite well after a 5-minute bake time. No crumbling pie crust when you need sturdy. Baking the crust is optional, however.
Check out this guide for premade graham cracker crusts. It addresses crust sizes, number of slices, and troubleshooting tips.
- 21 oz. can of cherry pie filling. Chill the pie filling in the refrigerator. This helps speed up the pie setting time. There are several ways to make canned cherry pie filling taste better. Try a few and you will be amazed. Many tips also work for blueberry pie filling.
- 15 oz. can of cherries. The canned pie filling will have lots of thick syrup with not enough cherries. Add as many canned cherries as you need to make a full pie. You want to see cherries, not syrupy gel on top of the pie.
- 8 oz. Neufchatel cheese OR cream cheese. You probably are familiar with cream cheese. Maybe you love cream cheese. However, you may want to consider Neufchatel cheese for this recipe.
Neufchatel cheese looks identical to cream cheese and is sold right next to it in the grocery store. However, it is softer and lighter. Not only in calories but in flavor.
It comes to room temperature quicker than cream cheese. And it sets faster too. I prefer it to cream cheese, and you may too. There are plenty of healthy cream cheese substitutes besides Neufchatel.
- 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip. Cool Whip is usually sold frozen. Frozen Cool Whip does not combine well with other ingredients, so thaw the Cool Whip for 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Can you substitute whipped cream? You can always substitute whipped cream for Cool Whip. It is easy and delicious to make your own whipped cream with a cup of cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- 4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. This is about 2 medium-sized lemons. The lemon juice will change the vanilla-flavored creamy filling to lemon-flavored.
Combining a sweet lemon filling with the tart cherries in the cherry filling is the perfect compliment.
However, you can skip the lemon juice for a sweeter pie. I’ve made it each way, and both recipes have gotten rave reviews.
- ¼ cup of sweetened condensed milk OR 2 to 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Sweetened condensed milk is the best for this recipe. However, if you don’t keep any on hand, you can substitute granulated sugar in its place.
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon of almond extract
You may also be interested in the best pie crusts for berry pie. Learn which type of crust is best for your pie needs.
How to Make the Cherry Pie Recipe with Canned Filling and Graham Cracker Crust
The cherry pie filling tops the simple combination of cream cheese and Cool Whip filling.
Step 1. Soften the cream cheese and thaw the Cool Whip.
- Remove the cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, it can take cream cheese 30 minutes to an hour to soften. Neufchatel cheese takes less time.
- Thaw the Cool Whip in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
Step 2. Prebake the premade graham cracker pie crust.
This step is optional, but I recommend it if you want a nice golden crust.
- Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C).
- Remove the plastic shell from the pie crust.
- Place the pie tin on a baking sheet.
- When the oven is hot, bake the pie crust for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Do not pour the pie mixture into the crust until the crust is completely cool.
Step 3. Make the cream cheese mixture.
- Place the Neufchatel or cream cheese in a large bowl and grab a hand mixer with beaters.
- Beat the cream cheese with the electric mixer on medium speed until it is smooth and creamy.
- Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl.
- Blend the juice, vanilla extract, and sweetened condensed milk into the cream cheese.
- Use a spatula to fold in the Cool Whip. Blend on low speed until the mixture is well combined.
- Taste and sweeten to your liking with sweetened condensed milk or sugar.
Step 4. Prepare the pie filling.
- Open the can of cherries and the can of cherry pie filling.
- Dump the whole can of cherry pie filling into a medium bowl.
- Stir the filling to loosen everything up. Most canned pie filling is a little skimpy on the fruit and heavy on the thick syrupy gel.
- Add the extra canned (sweetened) cherries or maraschino cherries to the pie filling and mix to combine.
DO NOT ADD fresh or frozen cherries. Add enough extra cherries to make the pie filling full of cherries. Skim off some of the goopy gel from the canned pie filling, if necessary.
- Pour in the almond and vanilla extracts.
- Taste. If the filling is too tart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to the cherries to sweeten them up. This step is optional, and I don’t think the cherries need sweetening. But you may feel differently.
Step 5. Assemble the pie.
- For stability, place the pie crust on a plate or tray that can fit into your refrigerator.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture into the COOL graham cracker pie crust.
- Fill until the cream cheese almost reaches the top of the crust. Don’t overfill, or the filling could spill over.
- Smooth the filling.
- Spoon the cherry topping onto the top of the pie. Cover the entire pie, except for a ½-inch border. The pie looks attractive when the cherries don’t quite come to the edge, and you can see the white filling.
Step 6. Chill the pie.
- Wash the plastic pie lid that came with the crust. Then invert the lid on the pie and crimp the foil around the plastic lid to secure it.
- Place the tray with the no bake cherry cream cheese pie into the refrigerator.
- Chill for a couple of hours (2 to 4 hours) until the pie sets. You can also make it ahead and chill overnight.
Step 7. Serve the pie.
- Remove the pie from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before you are ready to serve it.
- Cut the pie with a sharp knife. A 9-inch pie crust can be cut into 8 smaller piece slices. Cut a 10-inch pie into 8 generous pieces or 16 smaller pieces.
This cherry pie recipe with canned filling and graham cracker crust is a great dessert for special occasions.
Because it is a no-bake dessert, your oven is free for other baking needs. It only requires mixing, so it is a job you can assign to an unskilled baker.
How to Speed Up the Pie Setting Time
These are a few tips you might find helpful to speed up the pie setting time.
- Use Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese. It is a softer cheese and is ready to beat in a shorter time.
- Chill the pie crust after baking it to cool it down quicker.
- After smoothing the cheese filling into the pie crust, freeze for 15 minutes. Then remove it from the freezer and top it with the cherry pie filling. Continue to chill in the refrigerator for another 45 minutes to an hour.
How to Store Leftover No-Bake Cherry Pie
If you have leftovers, they will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- Place the plastic lid back on the pie tin. Crimp the foil around the lid so it stays in place.
- Chill in the fridge away from strong smelling food so the pie does not pick up odors.
- Optional: Place the lidded pie tin in a gallon-sized Ziplock bag and seal the bag before placing it in the refrigerator. This is another layer of freshness protection.
How Early Can You Make No-Bake Pie with Canned Cherry Filling?
If you have a lot going on you may wonder how early you can make cherry pie with canned filling and graham cracker crust. You can make the pie two days in advance if you cover it completely and store it in the refrigerator.
However, be aware of two problems that sometimes happen when cherry pie is stored in the fridge for longer than a day.
- The pie may absorb odors of other foods in the refrigerator.
How to prevent odor absorption: Double wrap the pie before refrigerating it. First cover the pie with the plastic lid that came with the crust. Then wrap the whole pie in aluminum foil.
For even better protection, place the double wrapped pie in a Ziplock bag or a large airtight container.
Do not store the pie near strong-smelling foods.
- The cherry pie filling might run off the edge of the pie.
How to prevent the filling from running: The best way to keep the filling from running is to spoon the cherry filling on top of the pie right before you serve it.
Chill the can of pie filling. Then spoon it on top of the pie. This prevents the cherry syrup gel from running.
Easy Variations of Cherry Pie Recipe with Canned Filling and Graham Cracker Crust
If you want peach or blueberry pie instead of cherry, follow the exact directions. But instead of cherry pie filling, substitute blueberry or peach pie filling.
Leftover Cake Crumb Crust
If you have leftover cake crumbs you are trying to use up, make a cake crumb crust.
- Crumble the leftover cake.
- Mix with melted butter.
- Press into the pie pan.
- Bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Cool completely before adding the filling.
Can you make your own graham cracker crust?
It is easy to make homemade graham cracker crust with a few simple ingredients.
- Crumble graham crackers in a food processor.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs with sugar and melted butter.
- Press into a pie plate.
- Place the pie tin on a baking sheet and bake in the oven.
- Cool the pie plate on a wire rack.
Can you make your own filling?
If you prefer homemade cherry pie filling, make your own. All you need is frozen or fresh fruit, sugar, lemon juice, butter, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
- Combine 4 cups of fresh berries with ¼ cup of brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Let it macerate for 30 minutes.
- Combine cornstarch with berry mixture and pour it all into a medium saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat until the fruit mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and stir until it melts.
A cherry pie recipe with canned filling and graham cracker crust is not the traditional cherry pie baked in the oven. However, it is a tasty dessert if you have limited time or are a beginning baker.
It is attractive and tastes great. Choose this recipe next time you are assigned to bring a pie to Thanksgiving dinner. Don't turn your back or everyone will scarf down the delicious pie before you get a slice.
Hungry for More Easy Dessert Recipes?
- Hot chocolate: Make an easy hot chocolate drink with chocolate chips. Ready to serve in just 2 minutes.
- Chex mix recipe: Try festive white chocolate Chex mix for your next holiday party. Easy to customize and no baking involved.
- Ambrosia salad: Ambrosia salad is a dessert-salad. Whip up ambrosia salad with Cool Whip for the simplest version.
- Banana pudding: Got a crowd coming? Make a big batch of easy banana pudding and choose the best cookies for your recipe.
- Hershey chocolate chip cookies: One of our favorite desserts and the easiest chocolate chip cookie recipe out there. No chill, no fuss cookie bliss.
- Cherry fluff recipe without sweetened condensed milk: A cherry fluff salad recipe is the easiest potluck side dish you can make. It blends the flavors of cherry, marshmallow, and Cool Whip to bring out the kid in everyone. Cuz who doesn’t need a bit of pink fluff in their life?
Easy Cherry Pie Recipe with Canned Filling and Graham Cracker Crust
- 9 or 10-inch 6 or 9 oz. Premade graham cracker pie crust (such as Keebler’s Ready Crust)
- 21 oz. can of cherry pie filling
- 15 oz. canned sweetened cherries
- 8 oz. Neufchatel cheese OR cream cheese softened
- 8 oz. Cool Whip thawed
- 4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice about 2 medium-sized lemons
- ¼ cup of sweetened condensed milk OR 2 to 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon of almond extract optional
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- REMOVE the cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, it can take cream cheese 30 minutes to an hour to soften. Neufchatel cheese takes less time.
- THAW the Cool Whip in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
- PREHEAT the oven to 375° F (190° C).
- REMOVE the plastic shell from the pie crust.
- PLACE the pie tin on a baking sheet.
- BAKE the pie crust for 5 minutes.
- REMOVE the crust from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Do not pour the pie mixture into the crust until the crust is completely cool.
- PLACE the Neufchatel or cream cheese in a large bowl and grab a hand mixer with beaters.
- BEAT the cream cheese with the electric mixer on medium speed until it is smooth and creamy.
- SQUEEZE the lemon juice into a small bowl.
- BLEND the juice, vanilla extract, and sweetened condensed milk into the cream cheese.
- FOLD in the Cool Whip. Blend on low speed until the mixture is well combined.
- TASTE and sweeten to your liking with sweetened condensed milk or sugar.
- OPEN the cherry filling and dump the whole can of pie filling into a medium bowl.
- STIR the filling to loosen everything up. Add extra canned (sweetened) cherries or maraschino cherries to the pie filling and mix to combine. DO NOT ADD fresh or frozen cherries.
- MIX in the vanilla and almond extracts.
- TASTE. If the filling is too tart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk or brown sugar to the cherries to sweeten them up. (This step is optional).
- PLACE the pie crust on a plate or tray that can fit into your refrigerator.
- POUR the cream cheese mixture into the COOL graham cracker pie crust.
- FILL until the cream cheese almost reaches the top of the crust. Don’t overfill, or the filling could spill over.
- SMOOTH the filling.
- SPOON the cherry topping onto the top of the pie. Cover the entire pie, except for a ½-inch border.
- WASH the plastic pie lid that came with the crust. Then invert the lid onto the pie tin and crimp the foil around the plastic lid.
- REFRIGERATE the pie for 2 to 4 hours (or overnight) until the pie sets.
- SERVE the pie. Remove it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before you are ready to serve it.
- CUT the pie with a sharp knife. A 9-inch pie crust can be cut into 8 smaller piece slices. Cut a 10-inch pie into 8 generous pieces or 16 smaller pieces.
- STORE leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or keep it in the pie tin. Place the plastic lid back on the pie tin and crimp the edges to seal it.
Ready for More Pie?
- Arizona sunshine lemon blender pie. If you REALLY love lemon, this Arizona sunshine lemon pie recipe is for you. Bursting with fresh lemon flavor, it’s a sweet slice of sunshine in a graham cracker crust.
- Blueberry pie with canned filling. Do you want the taste of homemade blueberry pie without starting from scratch? Create some magic with a can of blueberry fruit pie filling plus a few easy additions. Your canned blueberry pie filling recipe will taste as if you baked for hours.