Meet the mouthwatering pineapple cheesecake pie – a dessert that's as easy to make as it is to devour. It's incredibly delicious. The cookie crust encases a 5-ingredient, no-bake filling that comes together in minutes. It can be made ahead and kept refrigerated or frozen.
This pie caught me by surprise. Even though I knew it would be good, I wasn't expecting such a unique flavor. Truly irresistible.
It's amazing what a can of pineapple and cream cheese can do together!
Being a no bake pie recipe, it's the easiest dessert on a hot summer day, pretty similar to making this cheesecake ice cream.
Why make this recipe
- Easy no-bake dessert: no need to turn on the oven, even though you could if you want to bake the crust for 10 minutes. The filling needs only to be combined and then refrigerated.
- Everybody's favorite: I still have to meet someone who doesn't like it.
- Make ahead: it keeps well for several days in the fridge and can be frozen so that you can plan in advance.
- Simple ingredients: a can of pineapple and other refrigerator staples are needed. You can use a store-bought graham cracker crust for an even quicker assembly.
- Crumb crust: use a homemade graham crust or purchased graham cracker pie crust.
- Canned pineapple: it comes in slices or chunks. I like the first option, like Dole Pineapple slices, and cutting them into pieces myself. But both work.
- Cream: I use heavy or heavy whipping cream. You can also use Cool Whip topping instead.
- Cream cheese: the regular type, full-fat cream cheese is needed for consistency and creaminess. I always use Philadelphia original cream cheese, but other premium brands work fine.
- White granulated sugar.
- Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works and is infinitely cheaper.
See the recipe card towards the end of this post for quantities.
Variations & substitutions
- Fresh pineapple: it can add a vibrant, natural sweetness to the pie. Make sure it's sweet and ripe or it won't have much flavor. Finely chop or crush it to achieve a texture similar to canned pineapple.
- Cool whip topping: use an 8-ounce container instead of the cream for a quicker filling.
- Coconut: add lightly toasted shredded coconut to the cream cheese filling for an extra tropical twist. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top for added texture and flavor.
- Rum: it goes very well with pineapple, adding a more sophisticated flavor. Add a tablespoon of golden rum to the filling, taste and add more if necessary.
- Caramel: another flavor that pairs well. Marble a few tablespoons before you fill the crust or drizzle on each slice when serving.
Should I drain the pineapple before adding it to the filling?
Yes, it's essential to drain the crushed pineapple to remove excess liquid. Excess moisture could make the pie filling too runny and affect its consistency. Press the pineapple against a fine-mesh sieve or use paper towels to remove the excess juice.
Is it necessary to bake the pie crust before adding the filling?
This no-bake pie doesn't require pre-baking the crust. However, if you prefer a crisper crust, you can bake it for 10 minutes and letting it cool completely before filling it.
How long does the pie need to chill in the refrigerator?
It does, and it's recommended to refrigerate the pie for at least 2-4 hours or until it sets completely. The chilling time will depend on how cold your refrigerator is.
How to make cream cheese pineapple pie
- Easy crust: the idea is to have an easy graham cracker crust. But you can experiment with other plain cookies and add a different flavor.
- Pineapple pie filling: it takes 5 ingredients and 10 minutes to assemble.
- Topping: it's encouraged but optional. You can omit it and still have a fantastically flavorful and creamy pineapple pie.
The cream is beaten to medium-firm peaks. This is important for the pie to have structure.
The cream cheese is beaten until smooth with the sugar and vanilla. Then the pineapple chunks are added.
The graham cracker crust can be baked for 10 minutes or chilled until firm. You can also use a purchased crust.
The fruity cream cheese filling needs to be refrigerated for several hours before topping and serving.
Some recipes might include a topping made from whipped cream, shredded coconut, or additional pineapple chunks to enhance the tropical taste.
We use caramelized pineapple pieces that are easy to make, look nice and add another fabulous layer of flavor.
To caramelize pineapple: heat butter or oil in a non-stick skillet and add 3-4 pineapple rings. Sprinkle with a little sugar and cook until caramelized. Flip over and repeat.
Cut into chunks and decorate the pineapple pie however you want.
Vintage Kitchen tip: refrigerate the pie for several hours until firm and add the topping at the last moment. You can have the caramelized pineapple made in advance. The pie should be served cold.
What toppings go well with pineapple cream cheese pie?
Popular toppings include sweetened chantilly cream or whipped topping (cool whip or similar), toasted coconut, extra pineapple chunks (plain or caramelized), maraschino cherries, or a drizzle of caramel sauce.
Can I freeze the pie for later?
You can but it's best to do so without toppings. Wrap the pie tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing. Thaw it in the refrigerator before serving.
Can I make the pie in a different crust?
You can experiment with different crusts like shortbread, coconut or ginger cookies, or a coconut crust to complement the pineapple flavor.
Can I make a low-fat or vegan version of this pie?
You can use reduced-fat or vegan cream cheese substitutes to make a lower-fat or dairy-free version.
- Refrigerator: this is the best way to store leftovers. Cover it with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container.
- Freezer: you can freeze it for a month. I recommend slicing it first and using a freezer-safe container.
- Consume within 5 days: no-bake pies generally have a shorter shelf life than baked pies because they often contain dairy products. Consume the pie within 5 days for optimal taste and quality.
Related recipes you might like:
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For the crumb crust:
- 1 ¾ cups fine graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, melted
For the filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup heavy or heavy whipping cream, cold
- ½ cup sugar
- 20 oz can of pineapple, drained
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 3-4 pineapple rings (use extra or from the total amount above)
- 2-3 tablespoon sugar (if you wish to caramelize them)
- Drizzle of oil or dab of butter (if you wish to caramelize them)
For the crumb crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C if you're baking the crust. You can opt for simply chilling it until firm.
- Have ready a 9-inch pie plate or pie pan with a removable bottom and high sides.
- For the cookie crumbs, the easiest way is to use a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Make sure there are no large pieces or that it's a very coarse crumb mixture as it will prevent the mixture from compressing well. You can also make the crumbs by hand, but it takes a while and some patience. Crush the cookies with a rolling pin. It's easier if you put them in a large plastic bag, like a Ziploc bag, leaving it a bit open to let the air out as you roll.
- By hand: mix crumbs with the sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and combine everything until it resembles wet sand and no dry spots remain.
- Food processor: you can make the mixture directly in the bowl of the processor. Simply process the graham crackers with the sugar and add the melted butter to the bowl of the processor, pulse a few times, and you have your graham mixture ready.
- Press the mixture onto the pan, starting at the edges and the angles where the base and sides join together and make sure it's compacted. This will help when removing the pie from the pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly golden and dry. Let cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
- For a no-bake pie or dessert: simply put the crust in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow the butter to firm up. This will make it less sturdy and might crumble here and there when you cut it but worth it if you don't want to turn on the oven.
For the pineapple filling:
- Beat cold cream in a large bowl until it forms medium-firm peaks. Reserve.
- In another large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with the sugar until smooth, lump-free and the sugar has dissolved a little. You can use an electric mixer for this part.
- Add the vanilla and pineapple chunks and mix to incorporate well.
- Add the pineapple mixture to the beaten cream in 2 parts, mixing lightly the first time and making sure it's fully incorporated the second time. Don't overmix but make sure no streaks remain. Use a spatula to integrate well.
- Fill the prepared crust, smooth the top and refrigerate the pie for several hours until firm.
- Add the topping at the last moment. You can have the caramelized pineapple made in advance or use fresh or canned pineapple slices, chopped. The pie should be served cold.
For the caramelized topping:
- If you're short on time or don't want to caramelize the pineapple, simply chop it, drain it well and top the cold pie.
- If you want caramelized fruit: heat butter or oil in a non-stick skillet and add the pineapple.
- Sprinkle with half the sugar and cook for a few minutes.
- Flip and sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top.
- When the bottoms are caramelized, flip over and let the other side get golden brown. Move them a little during baking to avoid burning.
- Let cool, cut into pieces and distribute on top of the pie.
- Should the crust be baked? This no-bake pie doesn't require pre-baking the crust. However, if you prefer a crisper crust, you can bake it for 10 minutes and let it cool completely before filling it.
- Drain the crushed pineapple: it's an essential step to remove as much pineapple juice as possible. The excess liquid and moisture could make the pie filling too runny and affect its consistency. Press the pineapple against a fine-mesh sieve or use paper towels to remove the excess juice.
- Making the pie in advance: assemble and refrigerate it without toppings. Serve cold with the topping added at the last moment.
- Lower-fat or dairy-free version: you can use reduced-fat or vegan cream cheese substitutes.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Refrigeration time: 3 hours
- Category: Pies & Tarts
- Method: Mixing + Refrigerating
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pineapple cream cheese pie