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Key Lime Cheesecake

5 from 1 vote

posted: 04/02/24

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Key Lime Cheesecake is an easy dessert that you are bound to love. The flavors of cheesecake and key lime pie come together in the most amazing way. If you are intimidated to make a cheesecake, give this one a try!

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to spend a day on Key West, and I was amazed at all the key lime flavored goodies I found. I of course tried the pie, but I found the best shortbread cookies that I still think about.

From my great love of the flavor of key lime comes this delicious key lime cheesecake. It gets the perfect flavor from key lime juice and lime zest and you will be delighted by this creamy perfect dessert.

key lime cheesecake with lime slices surrounding.

How to Make Key Lime Cheesecake

Here is an overview of how straightforward this key lime cheesecake recipe is to make. The combination of key lime pie and cheesecake results in the most perfect and refreshing dessert. For the full recipe including all ingredients and their measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Make the graham cracker crust. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until it resembles wet sand. It works really well to do this step in a food processor. Press it into the bottom of a springform pan and bake until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Make the cheesecake filling. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together. Then add the eggs, flour, key lime juice, and lime zest and mix to combine.
  3. Bake the key lime cheesecake. Pour the cheesecake batter over the hot crust and put the cheesecake back in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes.
  4. Leave the cheesecake in the oven. Turn off the oven, leaving the cheesecake in it for one hour. As the oven begins to cool, it will finish cooking the cheesecake.
  5. Coo the cheesecake. Move the cheesecake to the counter until it cools completely. Then put it in the fridge to chill for four hours. Garnish and serve!

Springform Pan

This 9 inch leakproof springform pan from Nordic Ware works so well. I use it for all of my cheesecake recipes!
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serving spatula lifting a slice of key lime pie cheesecake out of the cheesecake. Lime slices sitting beside.

No Water Bath Cheesecake

I have heard a lot of people say that the thing that keeps them from trying to make homemade cheesecake is having to do a water bath to prevent it from cracking. So, I did a lot of reading and testing to figure out how to avoid water baths to really make this one of the easiest cheesecake recipes.

Following my simple steps will prevent the top of your cheesecake from cracking without the need for a water bath! You will want to whip up homemade cheesecakes for every event because it is so easy and the end result is so impressive.

  • Adding flour: Just a couple tablespoons of flour helps keep the eggs from coagulating (or solidifying), which then prevents shrinking and cracking.
  • A shorter baking time: This cheesecake is only actively baking for 35 minutes, which keeps it from drying out and shrinking, two things that can lead to cracking
  • Leave the cheesecake in the oven: While the hands-on time for this recipe is fairly short, it is extremely important to use patience with the cooling process of your cheesecake. Leaving the cheesecake in the oven after you turn it off helps it continue to slowly cook and slowly cool. This gradual process is what sets this recipe apart. With a little patience, you will have the best homemade cheesecake ever!

Key Lime Juice

Key lime juice is a vibrant, zesty ingredient that adds a burst of tangy flavor to recipes. Derived from the small, aromatic key limes native to the Florida Keys, this juice is known for its intense citrus punch and slightly sweet undertones. It boasts a distinctively tart taste compared to regular limes, which is why it is important to use key lime juice and not regular fresh lime juice in this cheesecake to get that signature key lime flavor.

You can find key lime juice at your local grocery store, or order it online from Amazon.


Key Lime Juice

If you can't find key lime juice in your local grocery store, this option from Amazon is great to keep on hand!
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Slice of key lime cheesecake on a plate with lime wedges sitting beside.

Zesting Limes

The delicious lime flavor in this key lime pie cheesecake comes from the juice of key limes and the zest from regular limes. Lime zest is the concentrated flavor in the peel of limes and gives this reicpe a deeper flavor than the juice does alone.

When zesting a lime, you will zest the green peel just until you hit the white rind. Then, move to a different area of the skin so that you are only zesting the green areas. Choose limes that are firm and bright green. You will need two or three limes to get enough zest for this cheesecake.



This simple zester is perfect for this cheesecake and other citrusy recipes.
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Tips for Perfect Cheesecake Filling

  • Use room-temperature full-fat cream cheese. This makes for smooth blending and the best flavor for your cheesecake. Using name-brand cream cheese like Philidelphia is also important for best results. I have found that it works so much better than the generic brands.
  • Use room-temperature eggs. Eggs that are room-temperature will help the ingredients blend smoothly. Eggs right from the refrigerator can lower the temperature of the cream cheese, making your mixture chunky. To bring your eggs to room temperature quickly, place them in a bowl of lukewarm water for five minutes.
  • Don’t overmix. Mixing until the filling ingredients are just combined will result in the perfect fluffy texture.
  • Let your homemade cheesecake sit. The success of your cheesecake setting correctly relies on your patience in following the steps. It is crucial that you let your cheesecake sit in the oven and then on the counter for the recommended length of time. Trust me, it’s well worth the wait!
  • Start making your cheesecake the day before you want to serve it. Since cheesecake has to sit for quite a while to cool properly and then chill in the refrigerator, it would be smart to start making it the day before so you don’t feel rushed through any of the steps.
close up of a piece of lime cheesecake with a bite out of it

How to Serve

Keep your key lime pie cheesecake in the fridge until you are ready to serve. When you are ready to cut and serve your cheesecake, remove the sides of the springform pan. Garnish with stablizied whipped cream, lime zest, and lime slices. To make your cheesecake look like the pictures, pipe your whipped cream around the outside edge of your key lime cheesecake using a piping set. Then top it with additional lime zest. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Stabilized Whipped Cream

Stabilized Whipped Cream is easy to throw together with just three ingredients. This recipe is perfect for topping cakes, piping, or using as a replacement for Cool Whip!
mason jar full of stabilized whipped cream frosting that has been pipped into it

Storing and Freezing Cheesecake

Leftover cheesecake should be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to four days. I like to store it in the springform pan that it was baked in, covered with foil. This will allow the top to stay pretty while keeping the leftover cheesecake from drying out in the refrigerator. Always use your best discretion with leftovers.

If you want to freeze this key lime cheesecake, allow it to cool completely and cover tightly with foil and plastic wrap. You may want to consider slicing cheesecake before freezing so when you want to eat it you can pull out just the piece you want to eat. Store in the freezer for up to three months. You can enjoy the cheesecake right from the freezer, or allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.


What is key lime?

Key limes are a hybrid citrus fruit known for being tart and aromatic.

How long does cheesecake last in the fridge?

Cheesecake will last covered in the refrigerator for four to five days.

Can you freeze cheesecake?

Yes, you can freeze cheesecake, though it will taste better the fresher it is when put in the freezer.

overhead of key lime cheesecake with lime slices surrounding

Other Key Lime Recipes

If you give this key lime pie cheesecake a try, let me know by leaving a comment. It makes my day to hear from you all!

serving spatula lifting a slice of key lime pie cheesecake out of the cheesecake.
5 from 1 vote

Key Lime Cheesecake

Serves: 8 pieces
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 2 hours 50 minutes
Key Lime Cheesecake is an easy dessert that you are bound to love. The flavors of cheesecake and key lime pie come together in the most amazing way.


For Crust

  • 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs about 13 sheets (200 grams)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (66 grams)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (113 grams)

For Cheesecake

  • 24 ounces cream cheese room temperature (226 gram
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (148.5 grams)
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime zest plus more for topping
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons key lime juice
  • 1/2 cup stabilized whipped cream piped on top


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper and spray the sides of the pan lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar together in a bowl until it resembles wet sand. Press the mixture into the bottom of the spring form pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
    1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the cream cheese and sugar until it is smooth.
    24 ounces cream cheese, 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time, flour, lime zest, and key lime juice. Scrape down the sides as needed until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
    3 large eggs, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons lime zest, 1 1/2 tablespoons key lime juice
  • When the crust is done baking, turn the oven down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the mixture over the hot crust.
  • Bake the cheesecake for 35 minutes. Turn the oven off, without opening it, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Allow it to cool before moving it to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.
  • When ready to serve, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan and pipe the whipped cream on top. Sprinkle with more lime zest, slice, and enjoy.
    1/2 cup stabilized whipped cream
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
serving spatula lifting a slice of key lime pie cheesecake out of the cheesecake.

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Key Lime Cheesecake

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners