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 with this freshly-squeezed, no-bake version.
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 key lime juice I needed—it was an all out citrus massacre. Following the recipe precisely, I discovered it wasn’t necessarily precise and had a few questions, which were answered and included here in the recipe 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.
Recipe adapted from One Perfect Bite
Key Lime Cheesecake
- 2/3 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar , not packed
- 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (34-2"x2" squares or 17 rectangles)
- 1 (1/4 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
- 3/4 cup key lime juice
- 4 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks , reserve egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups sugar , divided - 1 1/4 cup for lime pudding; 1/4 cup for egg whites
- 2 tablespoons key lime zest , grated fine; 10 limes produce 2 tbsp.
- 16 ounces cream cheese , softened at room temperature
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 egg whites , reserved from separating yolks
- 8 1/2 inch springform pan
- Optional: whipped cream
For the crust:
- Brush bottom and sides of springform pan with a little bit of the melted butter and set aside. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350° degrees. Process graham crackers in a food processor until fine; add 1/4 brown sugar and pulse to incorporate. In medium bowl, add processed crumbs with 2/3 cup melted butter and toss with fork until evenly moistened.
- Empty crumbs into buttered springform pan and press evenly into pan bottom and about an inch up the sides. Using the bottom measuring cup can help to even out the crust. Bake until fragrant and beginning to brown around edges, 6-8 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making the filling.
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For the filling:
- In a saucepan dissolve 1 envelop gelatin in 3/4 cup key lime juice over medium heat, about 5 minutes, remove from heat and set aside. Combine 1-1/4 cups of sugar, 4 eggs, 2 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons lime zest, and pinch of salt in a separate bowl and mix well.
- Gradually add hot gelatin mixture, whisking 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.
- With an electric mixer, beat 16 ounces 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.
- In an electric mixer, whip the 2 reserved egg whites and remaining 1/4 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.
- 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.
- 22-24 key limes will produce approximately 3/4 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.
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Kristen Purcell says
absolutely love this pie! Made it for the first cheesecake I ever made and it was so easy/delicious!
Judy Purcell says
I have loved watching you share delicious homemade cheesecake for your friends and family and it makes me so happy to know these recipes are part of that. 🙂
What a triple yummy looking pie! I MUST make this. Key lime pie has always been one of my favorites. Beautiful pic!
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!!
Maureen (@OrgasmicChef) says
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!
Hotly Spiced 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
The cheesecake looks divine, I can only imagine how good it tasted!
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!
I think it’s a great, refreshing flavor, but let me know what you think 🙂
This looks great!
April @ The 21st Century Housewife 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!
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 boredombustingmommy.blogspot.com
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 🙂
what a delicious sounding cheese cake will add this to the try list for sure.
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
That’s a fabulous cheesecake!
Thanks! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting!
Mmmmmm, that cheese cake looks like another champ that can win you some more stuff
Oh, eating it was reward enough, sooo good! 🙂
Alea Milham 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.
That is a great idea, Alea, I’ve done that myself, just not with key limes as yet.
Jereme's Kitchen says
I luv it! Key limes are a pain to juice, but the payoff is worth it!
Agreed! Thanks for stopping by!
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! 🙂
I can’t believe you managed to blend my two favorite desserts into one! I have to try this!
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. 🙂
That was one of the questions I had too! Glad to know I’m not the only one 😉