Key Lime Cheesecake: Freshly Squeezed

Key Lime Cheesecake | Savoring Today

For our anniversary, my husband had one request: Key Lime Cheesecake. For his birthday a few months ago, it was New York-Style Blueberry Cheesecake, and for Thanksgiving he wants Pumpkin Cheesecake … are you noticing a theme here?  He always appreciates my efforts, so it is easy to oblige.

When it is a special occasion, I don’t take short cuts or simplify recipes, so I set my jaw and started zesting and juicing key limes (I suspect it is akin to milking mice).  Twenty-four petite globes later, there was the 2 tablespoons zest and 3/4 cup juice I needed—it was a citrus massacre.  Following the recipe precisely, I discovered it wasn’t necessarily precise and had a few questions, which were answered and included below.

Baked in advance, the crust includes brown sugar for a caramel flavor far superior to no-bake crusts.  This silky, citrus-kissed dessert is everything you imagine a Key Lime Cheesecake should be—tangy, dulcet, velvety, and refreshing—perfect for warm summer evenings or celebrating anniversaries.

Recipe adapted from One Perfect Bite

Key Lime Cheesecake
This silky, citrus-kissed dessert is everything you imagine a Key Lime Cheesecake should be—tangy, dulcet, velvety, and refreshing—perfect for warm summer evenings.
  • ⅔ cup butter -- melted
  • ¼ cup brown sugar -- not packed
  • 2¼ cups graham cracker crumbs -- 34-2"x2" squares or 17 rectangles
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • ¾ cup key lime juice
  • 4 whole eggs -- at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks -- at room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar -- 1¼ cup for lime pudding; ¼ cup for egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons key lime zest -- grated fine; 10 limes produce 2 tbsp
  • 1 pound cream cheese -- at room temperature
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 egg whites -- at room temperature
  • 8½ inch springform pan
  • Optional: whipped cream
For the crust:
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325° degrees. Process graham crackers in a food processor until fine; add brown sugar and pulse to incorporate. In medium bowl, add processed crumbs with melted butter and toss with fork until evenly moistened. Brush bottom and sides of springform pan with butter also. Empty crumbs into springform pan and press evenly into pan bottom and about an inch up the sides. Bake until fragrant and beginning to brown around edges, 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling.
For the filling:
  1. In a saucepan dissolve gelatin in key lime juice over medium heat, about 5 minutes, remove from heat and set aside. Combine 1-1/4 cups of sugar, eggs, egg yolks, lime zest, and pinch of salt in a separate bowl and mix well. Gradually add hot gelatin mixture, whisk to combine. Once all the gelatin and egg mixture is combined pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and is pudding-like, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. While mixer is running, slowly add lime mixture and beat until smooth. Transfer to a large, chilled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled, stirring every 10 minutes, for about 30-40 minutes.
  3. In an electric mixer, whip egg whites and remaining ¼ cup of the sugar on medium high until stiff peaks form. Remove cooled lime pudding from the refrigerator and gently fold egg whites into lime pudding until thoroughly blended. Pour filling into prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 4 to 24 hours.
  4. When ready to serve run a sharp knife along the side of the pan and remove the spring-form. Slice, cleaning knife between each slice, and serve with fresh whipped cream on top, if desired.
Notes & Suggestions
22-24 key limes will produce approximately ¾ cup of juice, however, it is best to buy extra juice for the assurance you will have enough. If you can buy key limes individually, buy the 10 you need for the zest and bottled key lime juice for the rest.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Serves 12-14


Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Hearth & Soul Hop
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
Mom Trends Friday Food
The Saturday Evening Post

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27 Responses to Key Lime Cheesecake: Freshly Squeezed

  1. ChgoJohn August 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    This looks good, real good! Thanks for not only the recipe but for including the number of graham crackers to use. It’s a small thing but i always seem to crumble too much. At least now I’ve got a fighting chance to get it right on the 1st try. :)

    • Judy August 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

      That was one of the questions I had too! Glad to know I’m not the only one 😉

  2. sheelbeel August 22, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    I can’t believe you managed to blend my two favorite desserts into one! I have to try this!

  3. Christina August 22, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    This looks wonderful. I am a huge cheesecake fan and key lime pie comes in second. What a great way to combine two of my favorites! Yummy! :)

  4. Jereme's Kitchen August 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    I luv it! Key limes are a pain to juice, but the payoff is worth it!

    • Judy August 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

      Agreed! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Alea Milham August 23, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    What a great combination! It is really a strinkingly lovely pie too! when limes were on sale for .07 cents, I juiced, zested and froze the product in ice-cube trays, so it will cut down on the owrk of making this pie now. :) Thanks for sharing your delicious recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

    • Judy August 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

      That is a great idea, Alea, I’ve done that myself, just not with key limes as yet.

  6. rsmacaalay August 23, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Mmmmmm, that cheese cake looks like another champ that can win you some more stuff

    • Judy August 23, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

      Oh, eating it was reward enough, sooo good! :)

  7. Angie@Angie's Recipes August 24, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    That’s a fabulous cheesecake!

    • Judy August 24, 2011 at 11:09 am #

      Thanks! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

  8. angie August 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    what a delicious sounding cheese cake will add this to the try list for sure come see me at

  9. Mandi@BoredomBustingMommy August 26, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    Juicing key limes is such a tedious process! Last time I made key lime pie we didn’t even finish it because it was too strong…I think using your cheesecake recipe will change that! This looks perfect! :) Visiting from Friday Potluck! I would love it if you stopped by my blog to say hi!

    Mandi at

    • Judy August 28, 2011 at 7:53 am #

      Thanks for stopping by, Mandi, I think you’ll like this one, it is very well balanced. And juicing the limes was well worth it :)

  10. April @ The 21st Century Housewife August 27, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    I love what you said about juicing key limes – the picture of milking mice really made me smile! We don’t get proper key limes here in the UK, but I love your recipe. Thank you for sharing it with the Hearth and Soul hop. Your cheesecake looks like the perfect thing for a celebration. Hope you had a lovely anniversary!

  11. tamarah August 27, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    This looks great! Please share on my blog

  12. teri@thefreshmancook August 29, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    Oh, this looks so good, and refreshing. I can’t wait to try it. I linked to you from Make a Food E Friday. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Judy August 30, 2011 at 6:29 am #

      I think it’s a great, refreshing flavor, but let me know what you think :)

  13. Trisha August 30, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    The cheesecake looks divine, I can only imagine how good it tasted!

  14. Hotly Spiced July 14, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    It’s so lovely that you cook him his favourites. I’ve heard that in the USA using key limes in desserts is very popular – key lime pie is one that comes to mind. I don’t think I’ve heard of key lime cheesecake but it looks brilliant. I love the sound of the base (I’ve never added brown sugar to a base before) and I think citrus is great in cheesecakes because it cuts through the sweetness. Well done on the juicing. It sounds like you must have developed a few more muscles. I would love to try this. I’ll have to try and source key limes first – I’m not sure that’s a variety we get here xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..The Novice vs JamieMy Profile

  15. Maureen (@OrgasmicChef) July 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    I’ve made this before but it was only lime cheesecake because key limes aren’t down under. It didn’t taste too much different from my Florida days and I was pleased with it.

    I’ll try yours now!
    Maureen (@OrgasmicChef) recently posted..Food Writer Fridays – Charlie Louis from HotlySpiced.comMy Profile

  16. Linda August 28, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    I absolutely love cheesecakes and this is such a perfect summer treat! I have friends who go want nothing other than cheesecakes for the birthdays! I actually do as well, and bake it for myself. They seem to be the most indulgent treat for such a special day!! Your’s looks gorgeous!!
    Linda recently posted..Fresh Peach and Pecan Quick Bread (giveaway winner announced)My Profile

  17. Michael September 24, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    What a triple yummy looking pie! I MUST make this. Key lime pie has always been one of my favorites. Beautiful pic!


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