In Categories, Recipes

Half a lifetime ago I contributed to a wonderful cookbook masterminded by my friend Catherine for the British School Manila.

We were living in The Philippines at the time and our children attended the school. In fact we were there for nearly four years, had an amazing time and met some incredible people, many of whom are still friends 17 years later.

The Manila School Cookbook is a varied recipe book full of delightful, well tested recipes from parents, children and staff of the school reflecting the international community we were part of then. I’m not sure what I contributed, but it was probably something like a “spinach quiche!” as that was my party piece at the time!

Our children drew some amusing illustrations,  there was a bit of a kerfuffle about whose children should be featured on the cover, and the book launched to tropical fanfare.

Easy Cheesecake Recipe

easy cheesecake recipe

The finished result. Don’t you love how the berries have marbled the filling?

The other day I needed a cheesecake recipe for a dinner party, and couldn’t find my usual which I must admit is a bit of a ‘faff’ to make.

Instead, I rustled around my recipe archives and got a little waylaid cantering down memory lane until I found my dear friend Catherine’s recipe (handed down from her Mum) in the school cookbook and thought, “I’ve never made this one. It looks easy enough, let’s see if I can screw it up … err, I mean – if I can give it a go!”

Anyway, to my delight and relief it was a big hit – everyone loved it – and best of all, it was easy-peasy.

So without further ado, when you need something special for ‘that’ occasion, and you don’t want to spend a long time in the preparation here’s the recipe. With big thanks to Catherine and good luck to you dear readers. (Actually you won’t need luck, not if I can make it … honest!)

Mum’s Quick and Easy Cheesecake

Serves 8

2 packets Philadelphia Cream Cheese

1 can condensed milk

1.5 large lemons – juiced

(Optional – half cup crushed pineapple pulp squeezed dry – or Frozen Berries)

Crushed biscuit base made from 1 pkt plain sweet biscuits (250gms) and 80 gms butter.

For the base

Crush biscuits in the food processor.

Melt butter in the microwave and mix together. Press into cheesecake tin and chill.

For the filling

Beat cream cheese until smooth and scrape sides of bowl.

Add condensed milk and beat.

Add lemon juice and mix well.

(Add pineapple pulp if you are using and mix well)

Pour into biscuit crust.

Refrigerate and serve.


Best to use a 20cm springform cheesecake tin although I used a glass flan dish and greased it lightly.

For an even quicker cheesecake you can use a pre-made or bought Tart Shell in place of biscuit crumb base.

I didn’t use the pineapple pulp but defrosted a packet of frozen berries and scattered them on top with a sprig of mint before I served.

Do you have a favourite easy dessert recipe? I’d love to know in the comments what it is because I’m a useless dessert cook and always looking for easy recipes.

Until next time,


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Showing 12 comments
  • Reply

    It’s interesting how the cheesecake has such a popular and varied recipe following. From quick and simple to elaborate and decadent. We have a Cheesecake Factory in our area that has amazing desserts to blow your diet for. Would you believe I found another variation that has a cookie crust. At least the grandkids can eat it without calorie guilt (sigh).

    • Johanna

      It is interesting how popular a dessert it is, hey Neva … and the variety. We also have a cheesecake shop in our area, but I have to say, I prefer homemade 😉

  • Life Images by Jill

    ps – using berries sounds so delicious!

    • Johanna

      Yes, I thought that (for me at least) was a bit inspired, Jill! They are so lovely in season too.

  • Life Images by Jill

    yep! this sounds like the cheesecake recipe that my Mum made and is written into my cookbook, that we all used to make when cheesecakes first came into vogue. I hate to say how many years ago….but probably the early 70s maybe. Yep showing my age – oh well we are all in the same boat, or should I say mixing bowl, here!
    I haven’t made it for years. Perhaps I should next time I want a cheesecake.

    • Johanna

      Ha ha Jill, yes in the same mixing bowl, or out of the same mixing bowl for sure. Seems like this recipe really has been around for a while and still popular. Oldies but goldies are so often the best 🙂

  • Mary Martin

    Ohhh this is a good one. I had this very recipe at a party last week. It was so good, I asked for the recipe. Keep this one handy for cool summer treats.

    • Johanna

      Aha, Mary! That’s a coincidence 🙂 Yes, it’s one to keep handy for special treats (note to self looking at midriff!)

  • Rae Hilhorst

    I to have an easy cheese cake recipe, always a success and so easy to use. I use brandy snaps for the base x

    • Johanna

      Aww, love the idea of brandy snaps Rae – going to try that out 🙂 Is your recipe similar?

  • Catherine Anderson

    Glad you loved the cheesecake recipe. I love the plane lemon cheesecake. Always a favourite at a dinner party or just weekend dessert. I love the Manila School Cookbook I put together back in the late 90s. I love Yum Yums as well, so easy and store in fridge for snacks. Great job Jo. Love your website. Pity you are on the other side of Australia. Love Catherine xx

    • Johanna

      Hi Catherine, Thanks so much for commenting – I’m going to try the Yum Yums as well now you’ve mentioned them. Yes, you did an awesome job with that Cookbook – and it’s something I’ve treasured for a very long time. I wish we didn’t live poles apart too 🙁

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