Jazz Up Your No-Bake Cheesecake With The Fun Colors Of Kool-Aid

Strawberry and cherry cheesecake
Strawberry and cherry cheesecake - Samael334/Getty Images

No-bake cheesecakes are a summer superstar. Creamy, dreamy, customizable, and so crowd-pleasing — all without ever having to turn a dial on your oven and heat up your kitchen. But if you want to give your dessert a delicious and eye-catching glow-up, just grab a pack of your favorite Kool-Aid mix.

Thanks to its roundup of ingredients, you get layers of added value here. For one thing, you get punchy flavor in a range of fruits — from cherry to blue raspberry, grape to lemonade. The tang from cream cheese complements the Kool-Aid tartness, while the cake's creamy quality helps soften and round it all out. The classic powdered drink mix will also contribute a major pop of color. Imagine serving up a purple, pink, or even tie-dyed slice to your guests.

Because you're not adding any liquid or additional ingredients that would require baking, you won't even have to change the process for your revised recipe. That said, it helps to understand what Kool-Aid is bringing to the table, so you can plan your customized, colorful cheesecake accordingly.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

What Kool-Aid Contributes To Your Cake

Blueberry cheesecake with a slice removed
Blueberry cheesecake with a slice removed - Anna_shepulova/Getty Images

Kool-Aid mix features a few crucial elements that make it well-suited to amplify your no-bake cheesecakes. Visually, artificial colors are added to reflect the hue associated with your chosen flavor. This means you can bypass using food coloring if you're looking to jazz things up. Another critical ingredient in Kool-Aid is citric acid — an ingredient found in natural or synthetic forms. The former is a compound naturally found in citrus fruits and is responsible for acidic tang, and the latter is a mass-produced product meant to mimic that element for commercial uses. In culinary applications, citric acid is a powerful flavor amplifier — especially when paired with fruit. In Kool-Aid, it gives your drink mix that intense tartness, and also emphasizes the fruity flavor. And of course, Kool-Aid mix contains sugar.

Those three elements — citric acid, color, and sweetener — are wrapped up nicely in a pack of Kool-Aid. However, if you'd prefer not to add drink mix, there are some creative natural alternatives. You can use fruit juice powder (fruit that is dehydrated and then pulverized, usually with no sugar added in flavors like mango and pineapple), or source some branded drink mixes that feature non-GMO ingredients and sugar substitutes. You can also seek out organic versions of citric acid and plant-based food coloring, and pair them with your choice of sweetener. Regardless of method, you may want to give your mixture a taste as you go to make sure it's not overly sweet or tart.

Kool Inspiration

Lime green cheesecake with strawberries and mint
Lime green cheesecake with strawberries and mint - Izikmd/Getty Images

When selecting a Kool-Aid addition for your no-bake cheesecake, there's a range of products from which to choose. You can draw inspiration from existing recipes and seek out complementary flavors; no-bake banana cheesecake would go well with strawberry Kool-Aid for example, while mini no-bake strawberry cheesecake bite-sized treats would benefit from a tart lemonade kick. No-bake rosé cheesecake is decidedly adult but gets a dose of whimsy with a cherry powdered mix.

Beyond the taste of the cake itself, you can couple it with different crusts, too. A lime Kool-Aid cheesecake paired with graham cracker or crushed Ritz cracker crust gives refreshing vibes. An Oreo crust pairs well with orange Kool-Aid (and the color combo would be ideal for a Halloween celebration). Cornflake crust with blueberry Kool-Aid has breakfast-adjacent flair, as does an oatmeal crust with green apple. You can also top your colorful Kool-Aid no-bake cheesecake: Sprinkle toasted coconut over tropical punch; add slices of fresh fruit or herbs that pair with your flavor, like lime on a cherry cake, or basil leaves on peach mango for a touch of sophistication. With this simple, fun, and familiar ingredient addition, you open up a world of beautifully delicious, easy-to-create cake possibilities.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.