Do you remember the mom in “Leave It To Beaver?”

I don’t even know her name.

All I remember about her….was that she was perfect.

She had cute hair that bobbed up on the side and tidy starched dresses and shiny earrings and a smile on her face…..all while cooking and cleaning and dusting and making lunches and entertaining her husband and keeping the Beaver and Wally out of trouble and away from Eddie Haskell.

All while wearing a single strand of pearls.


When I was younger…..I watched those re-runs and I wanted to be just like her.


And starched.

And smiling.

Then I grew up.

And realized that no one really wears pearls while dusting and that cooking was hard work and she must have used a lot of hair gel to get her hair just so and that the Eddie Haskells of the world are still alive and well.

And most days, I’m lucky to get a frozen pizza in the oven.

Cherry Cheesecake Recipe

But today.

For one brief moment.

I felt like I had the starring role in “Leave It to Beaver.”

I wasn’t wearing pearls or a starched dress or a perfect set of matched pumps or an apron.

But today…..I put on my red lipstick with my head held high……

…..and made  Cherry Cheesecake In a Jar.


Cherry Cheesecake In a Jar


1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 tub of Cool Whip

1 stick of butter, melted

1 cup of sugar

1 can cherry pie filling

8 oz. cream cheese

1 cup of chopped nuts (optional)

4 mason jars

Cherry Cheesecake Recipe

Cherry Cheesecake In a jar

This dessert has a graham cracker crust with cheesecake and cherries combined together in a mason jar. Perfect for parties or get-togethers because it can be made ahead.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tub Cool Whip
  • 1 stick butter melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup chopped nuts optional


  • Mix cracker crumbs and melted butter.
  • Press mixture onto the bottom of each of the mason jars.
  • Mix cream cheese and sugar.
    Spread over crumbs in jars.
  • Fill rest of the jar by layering cherry pie filling and Cool Whip.
    Alternate layers.
    On the last layer add a cherry on top and sprinkle extra graham cracker crumbs on last layer of whipped cream.
    Or nuts.
    Chill before serving.


Butter and Graham Crackers

1.  Mix cracker crumbs and melted butter.


2.  Press mixture onto the bottom of each of the mason jars.

First Layer

3.  Mix cream cheese and sugar.

Spread over crumbs in jars.

Cherry Pie Filling

4.  Fill rest of the jar by layering cherry pie filling and Cool Whip.

Alternate layers.

On the last layer add a cherry on top and sprinkle extra graham cracker crumbs on last layer of whipped cream.

Or nuts.

Chill before serving.

Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar

I know it’s no Golden Opulence Sunday with Tahitian Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Madagascar Vanilla and Venezuelan Chuao Chocolate topped off with a leaf covered in 23 K edible gold.

But it’s easy.

And so delicious.

And I know Mrs. Beaver’s mom would be so proud…..

….she might even let me wear the pearls 🙂



PS PS There are tons more recipes here and one of my favorites farmhouse pecan pie here.

PPS  My taste testers said next time they wanted me to double the recipe and add more graham cracker crumbs.

PPPS  You know the only reason I make these recipes… just to photograph them.

And because “Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar” makes frozen pizza taste so much better 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Laura Laura

    Her name was June Cleaver. Okay, now you have gone and done it. I am going to be forced to picket outside your house to object to you sabotaging my diet. Sigh!!!!! I guess I will just have to hide the Ball jars for now. :)

  2. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    What? you mean I need to take my pearls off when I make your beautiful Cheesecake in a Jar?.......Well, maybe I will just leave my pearl earrings on....Oh, the simple days of Leave It To Beaver....great dessert Kari....June would be proud...even if you weren't wearing pearls...

  3. Image for kirby carespodi kirby carespodi

    Here's the deal: if you need to know useless trivia, e-mail me. Mom's name was June, Dad's name was Ward, and the Beaver's real name was Theodore. Then, there was Wally--the hunky older brother. They were all in black & white. Parts of the set for "Leave it to Beaver" was used later in "Desperate Housewives." Which June could have been, if you really think about it.

    1. Image for Ian Beyer Ian Beyer

      If your issue with the crumbs is gluten, I recently found some GF graham-style crumbs at Natural Grocers/Vitamin Cottage, but I don't have the box anymore, so I couldn't tell you the brand. They were really tasty, though, and made a great pie crust.

  4. Image for Trish @TheOldPostRoad Trish @TheOldPostRoad

    I might try that in the 4oz jars ! How delicious that looks! But can you really go wrong with butter, cream cheese, whipping cream, and sugar? My family in want of June Cleaver thanks you for the recipe! -Trish

    1. Image for Ian Beyer Ian Beyer

      How can you go wrong? By using Cool Whip. Every time someone equates that garbage to whipped cream, I want to slap them.

  5. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Hi Karianne, Listen June Cleaver "May" have been perfect, but in almost a stephford wife kind of way. I mean who can act like that all the time...or dress like that ALL the time. Kinda creepy. But she did seem to keep Ward, Wally and the Beaver fed well. But YOU are so much more the kind of girl we would all want to hang out with. On the porch with iced tea. Or in the kitchen watching you put together this lovely little jar of perfection. You would never see June do anything so clever. She would be too busy polishing the silver, or dusting all the books in Ward's den, or making the bed's in Wally and Beaver's room. And why did those two boys share a room...seriously with a house the size of theirs are you telling me that it only had 2 bedrooms....Anyway, I would choose you for a friend any day!

  6. Image for Pam Pam

    These would be perfect tucked into a vintage picnic basket for the holiday weekend. Then I could wear my high heels and pearls to the park and get my June Cleaver on! BTW, whoever invented foods in a jar was a genius. I just love that idea.

  7. Image for Gee Gee

    My attention was grabbed with the work 'cheesecake' . No more needed to be said. ohmygosh! Adding to my list of things to accomplish this weekend. Karianne's cheesecake in a jar. A must. I can see it now... me tan linen shorts, red lipstick (ala Karianne) and pearls (ala Beaver's Mom) and it's a given that ti will come out perfect! Hahahahaaaa.. Thanks for sharing. ((HUGS)) Gee

  8. Image for Gina Gina

    I am so going to make this! I guess this recovering perfectionist has been influenced by June Cleaver more than I realize. This is the first week my son has ever walked home from school and I decided to make brownies today as a surprise. I want him to walk in the house and say, "Wow, that smells soooo good!" I will say, "Sit down, Dear, and I'll get you a nice glass of milk and a warm fresh brownie! Now tell me, how was your day at school?" I've actually never called him Dear before. :) Last summer I tried to get him to watch the reruns on TV and he protested saying, "Dad, Mom tried to get me to watch TV in black and white! The episodes seem even more hilarious to me now. One time I even did a marathon....alone.

  9. Image for Kary Kary

    The recipe doesn't specify qt jar or what size but I think 1/2 pint jar would be precious because it's a picnic size serving. We had banana pudding with Nilla wafers & bananas served like that at a reunion picnic. Love this recipe because our family has a big love for cherry cheesecake pie!!

  10. Image for Claudia Claudia

    June Cleaver...ah I remember her well. Oops! showing my age hear. But geez, she was always so cool, calm and always perfect. My favorite was Eddie Haskell...he wouldn't have said this once he came across these cheesecakes in your kitchen: Eddie Haskell: Gee, your kitchen always looks so clean. June Cleaver: Why, thank you, Eddie. Eddie Haskell: My mother says it looks as though you never do any work in here.

  11. Image for Bliss Bliss

    Mrs. Cleaver shared the same name as my mother, and now my grand daughter. And there is a better chance my soon to be 2 yr. old grand baby would make cheesecake in a jar with pearls and apron than ever having my mom do that! ~Bliss~

  12. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Oh my goodness, girl, you are so pretty and so talented that you don't need to wear pearls when you cook! Your recipe sounds scrumptious! Hugs, Cindy

  13. Image for Kim Kim

    OMG, that looks so good. I bet you could layer the graham cracker crumbs too between each layer for more added crumbs that they want. June would be proud.

  14. Image for Carolynn "Chenille Cottage" Carolynn "Chenille Cottage"

    Oh...I'm drooling! Thank you for the delicious tutorial. Company's coming this weekend and I think this would be the perfect treat! Smiles, Carolynn

  15. Image for Atta Girl Amy Atta Girl Amy

    Lady, you just have the knack. I make a similar recipe that we call "Cherry Yum Yum" but with Dream Whip instead of Cool Whip. But I always just make it in boring Pyrex. Never in a jar. I've never called it something so creative, so pin-able as Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar. This grasshopper is bowing at your feet, oh bloggy guru. And now I will give you a tip. Cherry Yum Yum or Cheesecake in a Jar is great for breakfast. And it's fruit and dairy. So it's healthy.

  16. Image for Claudine Claudine

    Dear Karianne, I also want to be perfect... And in days like these I do! I am so glad you wrote this post and shared this recipe. it looks wonderful and yummy! Cheers,

  17. Image for Eva @ RiverCliffCottage Eva @ RiverCliffCottage

    You are much better than June...I'll bet she served Wally and Beav mostly red meat. Are you speaking at the Southern Bloggers Conference? I believe I saw that you were. I am attending! I can't wait to hear your story.

  18. Image for Kathy :) Kathy :)

    Hear that noise (?)........that was my pants SPLITTING !!!! Oh my i can't wait to try this !!! The fam is going to LOVE it !!! Kathy :)

  19. Image for Chanel Chanel

    Hi there, would LOVE to try this recipe but I'm a bit confused as to some of the ingredients. See I come from South Africa and our ingredients and measurements are different to yours. I was hoping you could tell me how big is your tub of cool whip and how much oz. is your stick of butter then I would be able to convert and use the stuff we have available here. Hope to hear from you soon, thanks!

    1. Image for Ian Beyer Ian Beyer

      I share your disdain for use of non-standard measurements referring to packaging. In the US, a stick of butter is typically 4oz (also referred to often as a "quarter") Skip the Cool Whip. Use real whipped cream.

  20. Image for Sarah Sarah

    I'm been saving the wonderful little jars that Bonne Maman jams come in. The ones with the red and white checked lids and beautiful paneled sides. I've saved dozens of them for a special "pie in a jar" recipe or a "salad in a jar" anything for the picnic basket. But yet they sit in the box waiting. I think their wait may be over. This Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar would be such fun for valentine's gifts. I'll let you know..........Sarah

  21. Image for Ian Beyer Ian Beyer

    Why does the picture show whipped cream, and then you list Cool Whip in the recipe? (and why on earth would you ruin something like this with Cool Whip???)

  22. Image for April April

    Omg!! I am so making this :) Thank you so much. I was wondering if you can freeze them when you are done?? I know probably a dumb question but I thought I would try. LOL!! Thanks again.

  23. Image for Jennifer Proctor Jennifer Proctor

    I saw this and it looks wonderful! My family is not big cherry eaters so I was wondering if anyone had tried a different fruit like strawberries instead???

  24. Image for Elizabeth Elizabeth

    June (Mrs. Cleaver--it's a dead giveaway of my age that I know her name) would absolutely let you wear the pearls. Thank you for sharing your creativity!

  25. Image for Name Name

    Sorry loved the intro.... No to margarine , no to coolwip. Not vegan not anti anything. Just moderation and this is a heart in a jar.

  26. Image for NDCAS NDCAS

    I keep thinking about using the jars that are empty right now to do things like this with (because I LOVE cheesecake in most forms...) but then I stop. The portion size is way too big. Instead I've started making them in the glasses that BF gets at Christmas in the Crown Royal Set (his mom buys him one every year...has for several years so we have quite a collection of them...). They are almost the perfect portion size for me and are great for when I have company over for individual servings...then the glasses also get used instead of just sitting on a shelf collecting dust...haha...I can't wait to try your version!

  27. Image for michele michele

    You had me except for Cool Whip. Who feeds that stuff to their loved ones? Real whipped cream is best. Not that hard to make. Otherwise I think it's wonderful.

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