Key Lime Cheesecake
Rich and creamy with just the right amount of tanginess, this Copycat Cheesecake Factory Key Lime Cheesecake is an easy homemade delight. It’s a bright and refreshing sweet treat that’s perfect for spring and summer.
If you’re a fan of cheesecake you’ll want to make this mouth-watering citrus-inspired dessert made with key limes. It’s a no-fuss recipe that you can assemble in as little as 10 minutes. There’s no pre-baking of the graham cracker crust before you top it with the luscious key lime filling, so that’s a time-saving bonus! But you’ll still need to plan ahead because the cheesecake will take almost an hour to bake and then you’ll need to let it chill completely before serving. But the result? Absolutely worth it!
What’s the difference between key limes and regular limes?
Native to the Florida Keys, which is where they got their name, key limes are the smaller, almost golf ball-sized limes that are a cousin to traditional limes. Key limes are known for their punch of tartness and tangy flavor, which is much more intense than regular limes. They also have a more pronounced aroma. Their stronger flavor enhances desserts as well as savory dishes, making them a favorite to cook and bake with.
Where do I find key limes?
Key limes are more easily found during the spring and summer months at your farmer’s markets and grocery stores. You can also look for bottled key lime juice, which is perfectly fine to use. That said, regular limes will work for this recipe if you’re having trouble locating key limes. Just be aware that the lime flavor may not be quite as intense but it will still be rich and delicious!
Do I need to bake this cheesecake in a water bath?
The short answer is no. Water baths are typically used to keep your cheesecake moist and from cracking on top during the baking process. However, this recipe is totally forgiving because you’ll be covering the top of the chilled cheesecake with homemade whipped cream. Any imperfections will be magically hidden under a layer of sweetened whipped topping plus a pretty garnish of lime slices and lime zest.
That said, I do have an awesome hack for those times when you want to be assured of a perfectly smooth baked cheesecake top. Instead of fiddling with wrapping your springform pan in tin foil and submerging it in a pan of water, try this instead. Add a pan of water on the lowest rack in your oven, directly under the rack that your cheesecake-filled springform pan is on. The water from the pan will help keep the air in the oven moist as the cheesecake bakes. Feel free to give it a try with this recipe!
Why you’ll love this key lime cheesecake
This may be the easiest cheesecake recipe you’ll ever assemble. I already mentioned that there’s no baking of the crust. It’s a simple matter of mixing graham cracker crumbs with a little sugar and melted butter and pressing it into the bottom of your springform pan.
You’ll then pour a tangy mix of whipped cream cheese, sugar, key lime juice, vanilla extract, and eggs over the crust and slide it in the oven to bake. This is so easy that you’ll never be intimidated by making a cheesecake again.
But wait, there’s more! After you chill it and top it with homemade whipped cream, be prepared for that first refreshing bite. It will be a tantalizing taste of sweet and tart in a creamy and citrus base. You’ll get that cookie flavor from the graham cracker crust and if you’re lucky, a little more punch of lime from the zest on the top. Oh, my!
Is this cheesecake freezer-friendly?
Yes, it is. Be sure and let it cool completely before removing it from the springform pan. Don’t add garnish or toppings before freezing, though; save that for when you’re ready to serve it.
Use a plate or a parchment-lined piece of cardboard to set the cooled cheesecake on before you wrap it for the freezer. Wrap it in plastic wrap followed by foil, tightly sealed. It will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before adding the whipped topping and garnishes.
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Granulated sugar
- Butter or margarine, melted
- Cream cheese softened
- Vanilla extract
- Key lime juice (or lime juice)
- Heavy cream
- Powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine graham crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and butter; press onto the bottom of the 9-inch springform pan.
- Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing at low speed after each just until blended.
- Gently blend in lime juice.
- Pour over the crust.
- Bake 55 min. or until the center is almost set. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake; cool before removing the rim.
- Refrigerate cheesecake for 4 hours.
- Whip the heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form.
- Spread the whipped cream on top of the chilled cheesecake.
- Top with lime zest and serve!
This easy cheesecake is the perfect dessert option for warmer weather and the change of seasons. With its lovely green lime slices and flecks of zest covering the whipping cream topping, it’s sure to be a refreshing hit whatever the occasion.
Nettie is a wife and mother who is passionate about cooking and baking. With 5 children, Nettie insists that all meals, snacks, and desserts come together quickly! You will find a wide variety of easy yet scrumptious recipes on her very popular website Moore or Less Cooking
Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag #mooreorlesscooking so I can see all the wonderful recipes that YOU make from this site!
Rich and creamy with just the right amount of tanginess, this Key Lime Cheesecake is an easy homemade delight. It’s a bright and refreshing sweet treat that’s perfect for spring and summer.
- 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
- 4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup key lime juice (or lime juice)
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine graham crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
3. Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing at low speed after each just until blended.
4. Gently blend in lime juice.
5. Pour over crust.
6. Bake 55 min. or until the center is almost set. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake; cool before removing the rim.
7. Refrigerate cheesecake for 4 hours.
8. Whip the heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form.
9. Spread the whipped cream on top of the chilled cheesecake.
10. Top with lime zest.
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- Hand Mixer
- Non-Stick Springform Pan
- Domino Powdered Sugar, 32 Oz
- Natural By Nature, 100% Organic Heavy Cream, 16 Oz
- Nellie and Joe's 100% Key Lime Juice, 12oz Glass
- Rodelle Gourmet Pure Vanilla Extract, 8 Oz
- Philadelphia Cream Cheese Brick (8 oz Boxes, Pack of 2)
- 365 Everyday Value, Unsalted Butter, 16 oz
- Domino Sugar, Granulated, 4LB Canister
- Honey Maid Fresh Stacks Graham Crackers, 1 Box of 6 Stacks
Amount Per Serving Calories 275Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 89mgSodium 148mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 0gSugar 22gProtein 5g