For chef Jeff Bazso at Murrieta’s Bar & Grill in the lovely mountain town of Canmore, holiday meals just aren’t complete without dessert.

But dessert can be a bit of an afterthought, especially when you’ve exhausted all your energy whipping up a masterful main course. That’s why he sticks to simple, quality ingredients, and tries to plan something that can be prepped ahead of time.

“Prep is the key to success,” he says. “Anything you can make or prepare ahead of time to leave you with less to do on the big day will really help lower holiday stress.”

One of Bazso’s new menu items is a deconstructed cheesecake, which is super easy to bake and requires no baking. Try it yourself, and top of your perfect holiday meal with a perfect holiday dessert!

Potted No-Bake Cheesecake


454 g (2 packages) cream cheese

100 g white sugar

½ tsp vanilla paste

1 tsp lemon zest

1/3 cup + 2 Tbs (110 mL) 35% heavy cream

10-15 Graham crackers or gingersnap cookies, crumbled

Pecans, honey, white sugar, cayenne pepper for garnish

Berries, mint for garnish (optional)


  1. Combine the first five ingredients into a mixing bowl. Whip until smooth, and then refrigerate.
  2. To make base, line jars with crumbled graham crackers, or ground gingersnap cookies for gluten-free.
  3. Toss pecans in honey, white sugar, and cayenne pepper. Toast lightly until caramel brown.
  4. Scoop cheesecake mix into jars on top of base layer, and top with spicy honey pecans.

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