This is my award-winning version of a Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie, made with my special walnut shortbread crust. The simple, tangy cream cheese layer is topped with juicy, ripe strawberries covered in a sweet glaze that makes a beautiful dessert that you just can't resist! This is a much-loved family favorite recipe pulled from the worn, splattered pages of a tattered family cookbook created for a family reunion decades ago!
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Growing up I knew this recipe as "Strawberry Delight". My aunt Renita submitted it in a family cookbook that was made one summer for a family reunion and it was always a favorite of mine. Although she always made it in a square baking dish, I turned it into a pie a few years ago to enter it in a pie baking contest where it won first place!
This light, fruity dessert is perfect for all sorts of Spring and Summer holidays and occasions like Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, or just potlucks and family reunions when you want something refreshing to serve. It's great to make-ahead since the crust and filling can be made 2-3 days in advance and topped with the strawberries and glaze the night before you want to serve it.
Ingredients in Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie
- Strawberries: I much prefer using fresh strawberries in this recipe, but you can get away with frozen (thawed and drained first) strawberries if you are in a pinch.
- Danish Dessert: This is a packaged mix usually found in the Jello aisle that creates a wonderful strawberry glaze. If you have any trouble finding it, try making a homemade version yourself using cornstarch and strawberry or cherry flavored Kool-Aid instead.
- Cream Cheese: Be sure to pull the cream cheese out of the fridge and let it soften while you are making the crust. It's much easier to beat the cream cheese until it's smooth when it isn't super cold. I recommend using full-fat cream cheese, although Neufchatel will also work.
- Heavy Cream: In the version of this dessert from my family cookbook it calls for Dream Whip, but I have found it's just as easy to use real whipping cream instead. It helps lighten the cream cheese layer a bit so it's nice and fluffy.
- Powdered Sugar: This helps sweeten the cream cheese layer to offset the tanginess of the cream cheese.
- Flour: Rather than using a graham cracker crust or a traditional pie crust, in our family we like making a sort of walnut shortbread cookie crust instead. Regular all-purpose flour provides the base for this crust.
- Brown Sugar: This sweetens the crust and adds a wonderful almost caramelized flavor, as well as helping to bind the crust together.
- Walnuts: This is my favorite part of the crust! I love the toasty, almost slightly bitter flavor of the walnuts in the crust. They really stand up to the cream cheese and strawberry layers and are my secret to this award-winning pie! Pecans would be a great alternative if you prefer them to walnuts.
- Butter: I use melted, salted butter to bind the crust and give it a deliciously buttery taste!
- Cinnamon: Just a hint of cinnamon adds warmth without dominating the other flavors in this pie.
How to Make Strawberry Cream Pie
- Make the Crust: Combine flour, brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in a bowl with the melted butter. Press into a pie plate and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown, then crumble with a fork. Press the warm crumbs back around the edges of the pan to form a crumbly crust.
- Make the Filling: Use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat the heavy cream separately, then combine with the cream cheese mixture and spread into the crust.
- Make the Topping: Prepare the glaze by whisking the packet of Danish Dessert with cold water in a medium pan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until it comes to a boil for 1 minute. Let this cool for 15-20 minutes before stirring in the strawberries and spooning over the cream cheese layer.
- Chill: The glaze needs to set up in the fridge for about 3 hours before slicing and serving the pie.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, this pie doesn't freeze well. The strawberry glaze tends to separate and get watery when frozen. You could freeze the crust and cream cheese layers though and just make the strawberry topping when you are ready to serve it.
- Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie: Try swapping out the strawberries for raspberries for a tart twist that is just as delicious! You can use either strawberry or raspberry Danish Dessert with fresh raspberries.
- Graham Cracker Crust: Although I love the walnut shortbread crust, you could use a graham cracker crust if someone has nut allergies or you just want to try something different. Biscoff cookies would make a delicious crust as well.
More Strawberry Recipes
- Strawberry Mousse Jello Parfaits
- Strawberry Pretzel Icebox Pie
- Strawberries and Cream Sheet Cake
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Homemade Strawberry Milk
- Summertime Strawberry Shortcake
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup salted butter, melted
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 package Danish Dessert
- 1 ¾ cups cold water
- 1 pint fresh strawberries washed, hulled, and quartered
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, and melted butter. Mix to combine, then press into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until light brown, then crumble with a fork. Press the warm crumbs back around the edges of the pan to form a crust. Set aside to cool.
- Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl until creamy and smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and stir to combine. Spoon over the crust and spread into an even layer.
- Combine the Danish Dessert with the cold water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat and cool for 15-20 minutes.
- Stir in the strawberries and spoon over the cream cheese layer. Place the pie in the fridge to set up for 3 hours or overnight.
- If you have nut allergies, you can leave them out or try replacing them with old-fashioned oats.