Key Lime Cheesecake: Freshly Squeezed

So refreshing and light, this no-bake key lime cheesecake recipe is dreamy and delicious for holiday gatherings and special occasions. We love the tangy cheesecake filling and thick crust.

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. While the crust does need to go in the oven for a few minutes, the filling does not. 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.

An exquisite no-bake Key Lime Cheesecake Recipe is a refreshing make-ahead dessert for any celebration.

Recipe adapted from One Perfect Bite

Key Lime Cheesecake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves / Yields: 8-10
  • 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

This silky, citrus-kissed dessert is everything you imagine a Key Lime Cheesecake recipe should be—tangy, dulcet, velvety, and refreshing—perfect for warm summer evenings or celebrating special occasions.
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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  1. says

    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. 🙂

  2. says

    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.

  3. says

    That’s a fabulous cheesecake!

  4. says

    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

    • says

      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 🙂

  5. says

    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!

  6. says

    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!

  7. says

    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
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  1. […] About Judy & Savoring Today: The main piece of wisdom to take from Judy’s blog is to slow down and enjoy yourself. Unfortunately, many people rush through experiences that should be relished and appreciated. What does this have to do with food? Everything! Allow eating to be an experience of the senses, in which the focus is entirely on the meal and people at hand. The next thing to take from Savoring Today is a wealth of recipes and cooking tips! Try Judy’s Pancetta-Gruyere Burger and Key Lime Cheesecake! […]

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