The perfect blend of tangy, creamy indulgence! This key lime cheesecake is a zesty dessert that just screams sunshine. With a burst of citrus in each bite, this key lime pie cheesecake recipe will have your taste buds begging for more!
A refreshing twist on a classic dessert. This key lime cheesecake is a delicious balance of tangy citrus with velvety cream cheese all wrapped in buttery graham cracker crust. Makes for the perfect dessert!
It’s the perfect recipe to bring to any summer gathering. And though full cheesecake seems like a lot of work, I’ve broken down the instructions to be beginner-friendly for anyone making this as their first cheesecake.
You’re going to fall in love with this dessert because:
- It’s a classic
- It comes with a tangy, uplifting flavor.
- It has all the richness of cheesecake but the lightness of lime.
If you are looking for other cheesecake recipes to try, here are a few to check out.
- The Best Pecan Pie Cheesecake Recipe
- Blueberry Crumble Cheesecake Recipe
- Best Farm Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe
Ingredients You’ll Need:
Though the ingredients list seems long, once you get going it’s really very simple! For the most part, you probably have everything on hand to make the base of the cheesecake.
Graham Cracker Crumbs: though technically you can use graham crackers and crush or pulse them yourself, it’s better to just buy the crumbs. This way the base comes out even with every bite.
Sugar: plain old white sugar pairs best with the zesty lime and blends better into the crust too.
Butter: opt for regular butter instead of salted. You’ll want to have it melted prior to starting.
Eggs: make sure to grab larger eggs as you need them.
Egg yolk: for best results use a freshly separated egg yolk in place of the store-bought cartons.
Cream cheese: make sure to use plain, full-fat cream cheese so that the filling comes out thick. You’ll want to let it soften at room temperature as well so that it mixes better.
Key lime juice: key limes tend to be smaller and a bit tarter than their counterparts so opt for those. They give this cheesecake recipe it’s classic pop of key lime flavor so make sure to opt for fresh lime juice in place of store-bought key lime juice.
Lime zest: don’t throw away the limes you juiced! Grab the zest from the skin to really bring home the lime flavor.
Sour cream: don’t skip adding both the cream cheese and the sour cream. These cream cheese and sour cream combined are what make the filling so smooth.
Cornstarch: this is what will bind the filling together. Arrowroot powder would work in a pinch.
Vanilla extract: the purer the vanilla the richer the flavor will be.
How To Make This Key Lime Cheesecake Recipe:
- If you haven’t already, crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs and mix them with the melted butter and sugar. I find a food processor works great for this!
- Grease a springform cheesecake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Pour in the crumb mixture and pack it tightly on the bottom of the springform pan and so that it’s coming up the sides a bit. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch until fully blended.
- Add in the sour crème, lime juice, key lime zest, and vanilla. Beat until ultra-smooth.
- Finally, add the eggs and yolks and beat until just mixed.
- Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust and tap the pan to release any air bubbles.
- Bake cheesecake in a water bath at 357F for an hour.
- Remove from the oven, cover, and pop it in the fridge overnight.
Important Teaching Tips:
Really make sure not to overbeat the eggs when mixing. If you do, they will have too much air and chances are your cheesecake will fall a little flat instead of holding up lightly. Beat them until they are just combined.
Don’t overlook popping parchment paper into the springform pan. It makes it far easier to remove. Just greasing the baking pan will cause more trouble when serving.
After pouring the filling, tap the pan on the counter a few times. This gets the air bubbles out and helps the mixture settle evenly.
When cooking, the edges should be firm and the center a bit jiggly. It’ll firm up more in the fridge.
How To Serve Key Lime Cheesecake:
You’ll be serving this key lime pie cheesecake right out of the fridge as it holds its texture best when chilled.
Before slicing it up though, run a knife around the rim of the pan to ensure not too much is stuck. Then very slowly, remove it the springform pan.
On the serving dish, garnish with extra whipped cream, fresh berries, and key lime slices as preferred. Then, slice it into pieces and have everyone enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions About Key Lime Pie Cheesecake:
Q. What is cheesecake made of?
A. Traditional cheesecake is the perfect blend of a buttery graham cracker crust with a light filling of cream cheese and sour cream to thin it. From there, you can flavor the cheesecake with any fruit you wish.
Q. How long will cheesecake last in the fridge?
A. This key lime cheesecake should last 3-4 days in the fridge. Make sure to store it in an airtight container as a whole or sliced.
Q. Can I use regular lime juice instead of key lime juice for my key lime pie?
A. Yes, however, it will not be as tasty. Bottled lime juice will never taste as zesty or refreshing as freshly squeezed key lime juice. If you want to wow your guests, you’ll want to use fresh key limes. Plus, with fresh lime juice, you can easily use the zest from the limes both in the mixture and as a garnish.
Q. Are key limes better than regular limes?
A. Though key limes tend to be smaller than regular ones, they pack a flavor punch. They tend to be more tart than regular limes which makes them ideal to use in baked goods like pies and cheesecakes. If you want a pop of flavor, opt for fresh juice from a key lime.
Best Baked Key Lime Cheesecake Recipe
- 6 Tbsp Butter melted
- 2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 3 Tbsp Sugar
Cheesecake Batter Ingredients:
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 16 oz Cream Cheese room temperature
- 1 1/4 Cups Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Key Lime Juice
- 1 Tbsp Lime Zest
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tbsp Corn Starch
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- lime wedges, raspberries or strawberries, whipped cream, etc. optional
- Using a rolling pin or in a food processor, crush graham crackers into crumbs. Then add in the sugar and melted butter. Mix well.
- Lightly grease a 7-inch springform pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared pan. Pack it in tightly on the entire bottom of the pan and slightly up sides of the pan. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or in a bowl of a stand mixer, mix cream cheese with sugar and corn starch. Mix until fully blended.
- Add the sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Next, add the eggs and the egg yolk. Beat as little as possible just until they are fully combined.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture over the prepared crust. Lightly tap the pan on the counter several times to release any air bubbles.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Bake cheesecake in a water bath at 375F for 1 hour. The edges should be firm and the center of the cheesecake should still be slightly jiggly.
- Turn off the oven and crack the oven door. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for about an hour.
- Then remove from oven and cover and refrigerate overnight.
- You can serve as is or before serving the cheesecake, decorate it with whipped cream, berries, and key lime slices.