Refrigerator Cheese Torte ~ Old Fashioned Recipe using Springform Pan ~ No Bake Recipe

Slice of Refrigerator Cheese Torte adorned with sliced strawberries.

Slice of Refrigerator Cheese Torte adorned with sliced strawberries.
Slice of Refrigerator Cheese Torte adorned with sliced strawberries. | Source

Olden days


This old fashioned recipe undoubtedly dates back to the days of iceboxes which preceded modern refrigerators. It is another hand-written old recipe from a file of my grandmother's and of which I am going through and testing some of the recipes.

My mother was young enough to remember iceboxes out at her parent's lake cottage. They did have a refrigerator in the City of Milwaukee. But things were still a bit more primitive at their lake cottage which was used during the summertime.

This Refrigerator Cheese Torte is attributed to Alvina who was a great aunt of mine. One of her two sisters was my maternal grandfather's mother...my great grandmother whom we called "Granny."

I remember my Granny and also my Aunt Alvina when I was a child still living in Wisconsin.

Readers can see a photo of the three sisters and my great aunt Alvina is the tallest of the sisters in the middle. It is her dessert recipe that will be featured in this article.


3 sisters - My great grandmother is on the right and my Great Aunt Alvina (the author of this recipe) is in the middle.

3 sisters - My great grandmother is on the right and my Great Aunt Alvina (the author of this recipe) is in the middle.
3 sisters - My great grandmother is on the right and my Great Aunt Alvina (the author of this recipe) is in the middle. | Source

No Bake Recipe


This no bake recipe is a light and airy gelatin concoction made that way with the additions of whipped egg whites and also real whipped cream folded into this lemony flavored dessert. It was a crowd pleaser when served to some of our dinner guests recently, so I am happy to be able to share this sweet heritage recipe of yesteryear with you modern cooks of today.

Hand-written recipe for Refrigerator Cheese Torte

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Hand-written recipe for Refrigerator Cheese TorteHand-written recipe for Refrigerator Cheese Torte on old yellowed with age paper.
Hand-written recipe for Refrigerator Cheese Torte
Hand-written recipe for Refrigerator Cheese Torte | Source
Hand-written recipe for Refrigerator Cheese Torte on old yellowed with age paper.
Hand-written recipe for Refrigerator Cheese Torte on old yellowed with age paper. | Source

Ingredients for Refrigerator Cheese Torte

  • 2 tablespoons Gelatin
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 pound dry cottage cheese, (I used ricotta)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 lemon rinds & juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 pint whipping cream
  • 4 cups corn flakes, >>>This & the last 2 ingredients are for the cornflake crust
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/8 cup sugar

Preparation photos for Refrigerator Cheese Torte

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Softening the gelatin in cold waterGrating the lemon peelEgg yolks in double boiler with salt, milk and sugarCooking until it thickensAdding lemon rindAfter gelatin cools fold in the beaten egg whitesFolding in the whipped creamSpooning the batter into the cornflake crusted springform panTopping it off with remaining cornflake crustReady to be chilled for a minimum of 5 hours or more.  I chilled it overnight.
Softening the gelatin in cold water
Softening the gelatin in cold water | Source
Grating the lemon peel
Grating the lemon peel | Source
Egg yolks in double boiler with salt, milk and sugar
Egg yolks in double boiler with salt, milk and sugar | Source
Cooking until it thickens
Cooking until it thickens | Source
Adding lemon rind
Adding lemon rind | Source
After gelatin cools fold in the beaten egg whites
After gelatin cools fold in the beaten egg whites | Source
Folding in the whipped cream
Folding in the whipped cream | Source
Spooning the batter into the cornflake crusted springform pan
Spooning the batter into the cornflake crusted springform pan | Source
Topping it off with remaining cornflake crust
Topping it off with remaining cornflake crust | Source
Ready to be chilled for a minimum of 5 hours or more.  I chilled it overnight.
Ready to be chilled for a minimum of 5 hours or more. I chilled it overnight. | Source

Instructions to make & assemble the cheese torte

  1. Soften the gelatin in cold water.
  2. Put slightly beaten egg yolks in double boiler with salt, milk and sugar.
  3. Over the heated water, cook until it thickens, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from fire (heat source), add grated lemon rind and gelatin...stirring until gelatin is dissolved. Then cool.
  5. While mixture is cooling, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
  6. In another bowl beat the whipping cream until it is also well whipped.
  7. Before gelatin hardens, beat in cottage cheese, lemon juice and the vanilla using an egg beater.
  8. Next, fold in the beaten egg whites and whipped cream.
  9. Butter a springform pan well and line it with the cornflake pastry. (See how to make cornflake pastry in the text capsule below.)
  10. Pour in the cheese mixture and cover with the remaining cornflake crumbs.
  11. Chill thoroughly for five or more hours.

Preparing the Corn Flake Crust

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Crushing the corn flakesAdded the butter and sugar to the corn flakesMixing the 3 ingredients togetherPressed the cornflake mixture into the springform pan and then chilled it in the refrigerator before adding the filling.
Crushing the corn flakes
Crushing the corn flakes | Source
Added the butter and sugar to the corn flakes
Added the butter and sugar to the corn flakes | Source
Mixing the 3 ingredients together
Mixing the 3 ingredients together | Source
Pressed the cornflake mixture into the springform pan and then chilled it in the refrigerator before adding the filling.
Pressed the cornflake mixture into the springform pan and then chilled it in the refrigerator before adding the filling. | Source

Cornflake Crust


Back when this recipe was hand-written, there were no instructions on how to make the cornflake crust. It was probably well known to the home cooks back in that era, but I had to search to find a recipe.


I found an online newspaper recipe dated September 8, 1950 from the Deseret News that posted the recipe. So I will share my findings with you.


The cornflakes, butter and sugar are already listed as the last three ingredients already posted. Here are the instructions: Roll or grind cornflakes to make 1 cup of fine crumbs and combine with the sugar and the softened butter. Mix thoroughly and press the mixture evenly and firmly around the edges and bottom of the pan. I used the back of a spoon to firmly press the crumbs into the spring-form pan.


Apparently this cornflake pastry recipe was also used for pies as the directions said to press them into a pie pan.


Chill the crust before the cooled filling is added. Thus, this step needs to be done BEFORE the cheese mixture is made.


I crushed the cornflakes but think that next time I will use a rolling pin and make the cornflakes more of a fine dust consistency. I allowed an hour or so in the refrigerator for the crust to set up before starting the cheese mixture. Reserve some of the crumbs for the top of the cheese torte.

John Harvey Kellogg and Adventism (also shows the Battle Creek Sanitarium and some of the famous people who went there for treatment.)

Cornflake History


Did you know that the readily available corn flake cereals of which most anyone reading this is undoubtedly very familiar started out as a result of an accident? Sometimes inventions are purposeful and intended and other times they are unexpected as happened in the case of corn flakes.


In the State of Michigan back in the late 1800's was a sanitarium operated by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. His younger brother, Will Keith Kellogg operated as the business manager at the Battle Creek Sanitarium.


The brothers were both Seventh Day Adventists and believed in treating their patients with a vegetarian diet devoid of not only meat but also things like sugary items, alcohol, tobacco and even stimulants like coffee or tea. Exercise and fresh air activities were promoted.


Wealthy people from all walks of life came to be managed as well as pampered much like going to a health spa today for a week or more of good diet, exercise and treatments.


One day some cooked wheat that had been left awhile turned stale. But hoping not to waste it, they rolled it out thin and upon toasting it, flakes were discovered. The sanitarium patients probably liked the change of pace regarding diet and wanted more. It was decided to try other types of grains and create similar taste treats for the patients.


Lo and behold...a business was born!


A patent was issued in 1896 and Will Keith Kellogg founded the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company in 1906 which later became the Kellogg Company in 1922. Today this huge business conglomerate owns and manufactures all kinds of food items world-wide.

Unmolded Refrigerator Cheese Torte prior to slicing and being served.

Unmolded Refrigerator Cheese Torte prior to slicing and being served.
Unmolded Refrigerator Cheese Torte prior to slicing and being served. | Source

Do you think that you will be making this old fashioned Refrigerator Cheese Torte?

  • Yes...definitely!
  • Perhaps someday
  • Probably not, but it was interesting to see and read.
See results without voting

Refrigerator Cheese Torte


This is a much lighter recipe compared to most cheesecake recipes. It is not an overly sweet dessert, but rather more on the refreshing side with the slight lemony tang. I think that lime zest and lime juice would make for a nice variation if something other than lemon was desired as a flavoring component.


A graham cracker or other crumbly crust...even no crust!...could be substituted for the cornflake crust called for in this heritage recipe in my opinion. It was fun, however, keeping this dessert recipe true to the past.


Hope that you enjoy this recipe from the days of yesteryear.

For those who want another version of a no-bake cheesecake recipe...

To have access to a full library of articles on various subjects by Peggy Woods, CLICK HERE.

Some other truly old fashioned recipes:

Refrigerator Cheese Torte. Wish you could have a slice right now!

Source

Please take time to give this no bake, light and refreshing Refrigerator Cheese Torte Dessert Recipe a star rating. Thank you!!!

4.9 stars from 15 ratings of No Bake Refrigerator Cheese Torte

© 2012 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed! 142 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 16 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi poetryman6969,

My all time favorite cheesecake was made by a great aunt who used Ricotta cheese in it. That was a long time ago and will always remain the best in my memory. This recipe is totally different from hers, but it is good. Hers was a baked recipe. Wish I had the recipe!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 16 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Patty,

Hope you enjoy the recipe. I also have a variety of cookbooks and some of them are vintage. It is fun to try a wide variety of recipes. Thanks for your comment and the ratings, etc.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 16 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Mary,

That is certainly an old recipe! It took some intensive digging to find out how to make a corn flake crust. Someone who created this a long time ago probably only had that in the house and used it as a substitute. Often recipes come about in exactly that manner. Thanks for the share.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 16 months ago

I am not familiar with using cottage cheese in a dessert. It looks yummy and I would like to try it.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 16 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Patricia,

So often the old recipes like this one are really great. When I have more time I should try out some of the other vintage ones in my grandmother's collection. Hope all is well with you and your family.


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