Key Lime Cheesecake

Enjoy the best of both worlds.

key lime cheesecake
Photo: Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist:Christine Keely Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
13 hrs 15 mins

We've all been there: You're at a fancy restaurant and you just can't decide between two items on the dessert menu—say, a Key lime pie and the cheesecake. This recipe for Key Lime Cheesecake is proof that, when it comes to dessert, you can have the best of both worlds.

In this genius recipe, Key lime pie and cheesecake join forces to create one of the most epic dessert mash-ups we've seen to date: Key Lime Cheesecake. A graham cracker crust meets a creamy, silky cream cheese filling, spiked with a substantial amount of Key lime zest and juice. A whipped cream topping crowns this decadent dessert, which is sure to be the star of any dessert spread. Garnish this stunning cheesecake with graham cracker crumbs and Key lime wheels. Can't find Key limes? No problem—this recipe calls for bottled Key lime juice. No juicing required.

A few tips from the Test Kitchen: Be sure not to overbeat your cheesecake filling, which will cause it to rise too quickly and fall. Leaving the cheesecake in the oven after baking helps to cool it slowly, which keeps it from cracking.



  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (such as Keebler) (from 1 [13½-ounce] box)

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) salted butter, melted

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • Cooking spray


  • 5 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon grated Key lime zest (from 3 limes)

  • cup bottled Key lime juice (such as Nellie & Joe's Famous Key West Juice

  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Additional Ingredients

  • Graham cracker crumbs

  • Key lime slices


  1. Prepare the Crust: Preheat oven to 325°F. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Press mixture on bottom and 1½ inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool Crust completely in pan on a wire rack, about 20 minutes. Wrap outside of pan in a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

  2. Prepare the Filling: Beat cream cheese with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and flour, beating until smooth, about 1 minute. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Beat in lime zest, lime juice, and heavy whipping cream on low speed just until combined. Pour Filling into cooled Crust.

  3. Place springform pan in a roasting pan. Add hot water to roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake at 325°F until center is almost set but still slightly wobbly, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes. Turn off oven, and let cheesecake stand in oven, with door partially open, 1 hour.

  4. Remove cheesecake from roasting pan, and place on wire rack. Remove foil from outside of pan, and cool cheesecake completely, about 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap (avoid touching top of cheesecake), and chill until very cold, at least 8 or up to 24 hours. Run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan, if needed. Remove sides of pan.

  5. Prepare Topping: Beat heavy whipping cream and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until foamy, about 20 seconds. Gradually add powdered sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form, about 1½ minutes. Place cheesecake on a serving platter; dollop with Topping, and gently spread over top of cheesecake. Garnish with graham cracker crumbs and Key lime slices. Cover any leftovers with plastic wrap, and store in refrigerator up to 5 days.

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