Crazy for Crust

Jul 29

Key Lime Cheesecake

Did you know that July 30th is National Cheesecake Day? *Best Day Ever*

Thanks to PHILADELPHIA, I’m starting the celebration early with my new favorite: Key Lime Cheesecake. Creamy, sweet, and just a little bit tart, this cheesecake is the perfect way to celebrate the best day of the year!

The perfect Key Lime Cheesecake - perfectly smooth, sweet and a little tart!

Reasons why I love cheesecake:

*It has a crust. I mean, that should be the obvious one.

*It reminds me of my wedding. We love cheesecake so much, our wedding cake was made of it!

*The texture and denseness of cheesecake makes me feel like I’m eating a lot, even when I just have a small sliver.

(Er, I usually don’t have a small sliver. Does anyone only eat small slices of cheesecake? Besides my husband, of course?)

*The flavor combinations are endless! Chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, brownie…key lime.

*In fact, it’s my favorite way to make a dessert mash-up. I know all about dessert mash-ups – I wrote a book full of them. (Out this fall!)

My favorite cheesecake mash-up? Ever since I went to Miami, I’ve been crushing on Key Lime. Now? Now I’m crushing on Key Lime Cheesecake.

The perfect Key Lime Cheesecake - perfectly smooth, sweet and a little tart!

This cheesecake recipe is one of my favorite ones. It’s creamy and smooth and perfectly dense, just like a cheesecake should be.

The perfect cheesecake flavor and texture comes in part from the cream cheese. Cream cheese is, obviously, the base of any good cheesecake. I use PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese because it’s my absolute favorite brand. It performs well every single time – and when you’re baking you want a dependable product.

Key Lime Cheesecake (1 of 1)

PHILADELPHIA is such a good product because it’s made of fresh local milk and real wholesome cream. PHILADELPHIA Original Cream Cheese goes from farm to their fridge in just six days, it has no preservatives, and it’s made with real ingredients. Bottom line: It’s dependable, which is exactly what you want in a cheesecake.

You also want amazing flavor…and this Key Lime Cheesecake gives you that, in spades!

The perfect Key Lime Cheesecake - perfectly smooth, sweet and a little tart!

Like any Key Lime Pie, I used a graham cracker crust for this cheesecake. The base of the cheesecake includes not only cream cheese, but sour cream as well. I love the combination – it makes a perfectly smooth and rich cake.

A few tips about making cheesecake at home:

*ALL your ingredients MUST be room temperature. Cream cheese, sour cream, eggs. Leave them on the counter for at least an hour before making your cheesecake. The texture of the cream cheese mixed with cold eggs will give you lumps. You do not want lumps – you want a perfectly smooth, velvety cheesecake. It’s worth adding a reminder to your phone to take out the ingredients early.

*Bake it in a water bath. I know a water bath might be daunting, but it’s really simple. You need to be sure to wrap your pan in foil so no water seeps in, and you need a large roasting pan to place the cheesecake in. Using a water bath helps the cheesecake cook evenly and there will be less chances of it cracking. Here is my water bath tutorial, if you need it.

*Once the cheesecake is done baking (about 50 minutes) you have to turn off your oven and leave it for 1 hour. A little more is fine, but make sure not to skip this step. Moving a just baked cheesecake too much is just asking for cracks.

*Then, once it’s finally out of the oven…you have to wait overnight to eat it. I know, right? But it’s worth the wait. Cheese gets better with age…and so does cheesecake. Be patient!

This Key Lime Cheesecake is good plain, or you can garnish it with homemade whipped cream (ala The Cheesecake Factory).

The other thing I love this served with?

The perfect Key Lime Cheesecake - perfectly smooth, sweet and a little tart!

Homemade Lime Curd. OBVIOUSLY.

How will you celebrate National Cheesecake Day tomorrow? Be sure to check back…I have yet ANOTHER cheesecake for you…and it’s no bake!

Key Lime Cheesecake

Yield: 12 slices

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 9 hours 20 minutes with chilling

Your favorite key lime cheesecake form! Rich and creamy and filled with key lime flavor, this cheesecake will become a fast favorite!



  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 12 whole graham crackers)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • 2-8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons key lime juice (fresh or bottled if you can’t get key limes)
  • Zest of two key limes (or regular limes if you can’t find key limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh whipped cream and/or lime curd for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Wrap the bottom of a 9” or 9 1/2” springform pan in two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. You will be baking your cheesecake in a water bath and you want to make sure no water gets into the pan from the seam at the bottom.
  3. Make the crust: If you’re using whole graham crackers, finely crush them in a food processor or place them in a ziploc bag and roll with a rolling pin.
  4. Stir graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Add melted butter and stir with a fork.
  5. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides (about 1”) of your pan. Press hard to compact. Chill until ready to fill.
  6. Place a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath.
  7. Make the cheesecake: Beat cream cheese with a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Beat in sugar and sour cream until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Mix in flour, lime juice, lime zest, and vanilla extract. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl during mixing to get any clumps of cream cheese stuck to the sides or bottom. Pour into crust.
  8. Place the cheesecake in a large roasting pan. Place pan in the center of your preheated oven. Pour the boiling water carefully in one corner of the pan, until it reaches about a third to halfway up the cheesecake.
  9. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the cheesecake is just slightly jiggly in the center. Turn off the oven and let it sit for one hour. Remove from oven and let it cool completely, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  10. When ready to serve, carefully remove ring of the springform pan. Top with whipped cream. Serve with lime curd, if desired. (If your cheesecake happens to crack, frosting it with lime curd will cover any blemishes!)

Mini Fruit Tart Cheesecakes

Fruit Tart Cheesecakes (2 of 6)w

Cookies and Mint Chip Cheesecake

Cookies and Mint Chip Cheesecake (14 of 17)w

Apple Cheesecake Bars

apple-cheesecake-bars (3 of 4)w

Sweets from friends:
No Bake Samoa Cheesecake by Life, Love, and Sugar
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars by Shugary Sweets
NY Style Cheesecake by Something Swanky


This post was sponsored by PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, but that doesn’t matter. I love their product so much, I’d use it for free. All opinions are 100% my own.

65 comments on “Key Lime Cheesecake

  1. Key lime pie meets cheesecake, wow. LOVE. I love how silky smooth it looks, too. Like just so awesome to dig into! And loving your lime kick lately! (even more than your lemon love) :) pinned

  2. Your wedding cake was cheesecake?! Rock ON!
    This looks incredible. How can your husband eat just one small slice?

  3. I have a deep love for cheese cake and key lime pie, so this is heavenly! Can’t wait to make it!

  4. What an amazing cheesecake girl! Delish!!! I adore anything with key lime flavor so this is a winner.

  5. Wow, a cheesecake for your wedding cake? Brilliant! I am so glad you are whipping up some cheesecake recipes for this week. This key lime one sounds amazing, especially with that irresistible crust!

  6. I’m amazed at how perfect and crack-less your cheesecake is – it’s gorgeous Dorothy! Love the flavor too! Pinned! Also that is so fun that you had a cheesecake for your wedding cake – totally wish I’d done that!

  7. Oh how I wish I had a slice of this key lime cheesecake right now. It looks amazing, and your photos are gorgeous! The only problem with cheesecake is having to wait a day to eat it! Pure torture!

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever made a cheesecake that didn’t crack! Thanks for the tips, I will have to try the water bath.

  9. I had some key line yogurt this morning, yummy. This looks delish!

  10. This looks lovely…my husband is a huge key lime fan, I’m sure this would be perfect for him! :)

  11. I didn’t know the 30th is national cheesecake day, so thank you for telling me! This is the cheesecake of my dreams, especially with that key lime curd smothered over the top. Delicious!

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  13. This sounds perfect for a hot summer day!

    We had a cheesecake for our wedding cake too. A thin layer of chocolate cake, topped with raspberries and cheesecake. Easiest thing to get my hubby to agree to in the wedding planning process :) Not a crumb left at our wedding.

  14. Your cheesecake looks perfect Dorothy! Love the key lime flavor! My husband is a cheesecake lover and he would be over the moon for this – pinning :) Your wedding cake was beautiful!

  15. Now why didn’t I think of cheesecake for our wedding, that’s brilliant! I love this cheesecake recipe too, anything key lime is simply amazing. Pinning this one, hopefully I can find a good reason to make this soon :)

  16. Key lime always reminds me of Summertime! This cheesecake looks dangerously good.. might go back for more than one piece. 😉

  17. Hello, I recently found your blog ,and I really enjoy it! Q: When making a cheesecake, have you ever used ricotta cheese in place of (or along with) cream cheese/sour cream? I have a recipe (apparently its an Italian style cheesecake) but I’ve never tried it. Let me know.

  18. I am an absolute sucker for key lime pie! Loving this. And especially love the beautiful piped cream on the edges!

  19. Beautiful…your pics are great!

  20. Can’t wait til your book comes out!

  21. This looks so delicious! I would love to try this recipe! I’ve made regular cheesecake but a limey one with a lime custard sounds and looks amazing!

  22. No way! A cheese cake wedding cake!! That’s awesome!!

  23. This looks incredible. I have to chuckle because your tips are so similar to mine. Guess we both know how to make cheesecake perfect 😉

  24. Oh. my. word. I am always so sad that we are not neighbors. I neeeeed your leftovers! Well maybe I don’t need them, but I waaaant them! Gorgeous pics and I can’t wait for your cookbook to come out!

  25. The hubs loves like anything, and cheesecake, so I feel like this is in our future! <3 Saving this one!!!

  26. Yay for key lime in Miami! I love this key lime cheesecake! It looks absolutely perfect!

  27. Small slices of cheesecake exist? Really?? I had no idea — I never eat small slivers! When it comes to cheesecake, go big or go home… And then just make sure you exercise the next day. 😉 Pass me Mel’s slice of this key lime cheesecake; it looks phenomenal!

  28. Hi Dorothy,
    I really love your blog and all your recipies.
    But I always have problems with the amount of a cup.
    As in how much is 3/4 cup sugar or 1 cup sour cream. Is there a translating tool into grams? Or do I always use the same cup?
    Here in Germany we always use gramms.
    I would be super happy if you could give me some advice on the matter, so I can use all your lovely recipies and make my family happy… and me of course :-)
    Thank you so much and have a great day, Angela

  29. These are 2 of my faves!!!

  30. Looks beautiful AND delicious!!

  31. I need this cheesecake in my life, like yesterday! :) It looks incredible!

  32. Key lime is a favorite of mine. This looks wonderful, I can’t wait to try it!

  33. Hi Dorothy, I’ve been making cheesecakes since I was a little girl! I just wanted you to know that your cheesecake recipe was a hit with everyone! I did a post on my blog about it.

    This is my new blog about everything Housewifery. I’m not new to blogging at all, I have another blog as well, but this blog is specifically for this topic. I also love this Lime Curd; it really is something to write home about! Everyone in my family down south wants me to Fed-Ex them this cheesecake after reading this blog post.


    I really do enjoy your blog and I would love to feature you on my blog as well if possible!


  34. Pingback: 25 Cheesecake Recipes - Hello Nature

  35. I have EVERYTHING to make this now but I have 2 ?s. 
    1. I don’t have a Springform pan, just a pie pan and a 9″ baking round pan. Do you have any tips to adjust to what I have? 
    2. Does the filling mix well in the food processor?


    • You can make the filling in a food processor, yes, but I highly recommend getting a springform pan before making the cheesecake. A springform pan holds more than both of the pans you mentioned, so you’d fill it less. Also, the springform pan allows you to remove the sides and release the cheesecake. You wouldn’t be able to remove the cheesecake from a regular pan – you’d have to slice it like a pie and I cannot guarantee you’d be able to get it out.

  36. Pingback: The Missing Lokness | Individual Key Lime Cheesecakes

  37. Hi Dorothy… As I do not bake my cheesecakes, do you have a Key Lime no bake recipe? Bernie

  38. This looks and sounds amazing.  Key lime is my husbands favorite. Key lime gelato is sold right across the street from our home!  So now we can have this amazing flavour in a cheesecake? Fantastic! 

  39. I made this for my dad’s birthday and he loved it! Why didn’t you prebake the crust? Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  40. Wendy Van den Bergh Reply

    Hi Dorothy

    I’m sooo looking forward to making this cheesecake!

    A quick question: I usually bake my water bath cheesecakes using a regular 9″ loose-bottomed pan but I’d like to make two smaller ones (maybe 6 or 7″) and I was wondering if you could advise me about the difference in baking time.

    Thanks a mill for all you lovely, lovely recipes!

    Wendy (Cape Town, South Africa)

  41. Hello, love this recipe! Just baked it yesterday & tasted it this morning! My only issue was it didnt have much of a key lime taste :/ I used 3 Tbs of fresh key lime juice. Should i just add more Tbs of juice to fix it next time around? T.I.A

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