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Key Lime Cheesecake with a homemade graham cracker crust, a smooth and creamy key lime cheesecake filling, and topped with sweetened whipped cream. Tips & tricks for making the perfect cheesecake with no cracks on top, and better than the bakery results right in your own home.
KEY LIME CHEESECAKE RECIPE
This key lime cheesecake has completely stolen my heart. Words can’t even describe how good it is and the best part is that it bakes up perfect each time with no cracks on top!
Read below for all my tips and tricks for making a better than the bakery cheesecake right in your own home. Key lime flavor just screams summer to me so this is always on my list to make for a nice summertime dessert.
If you would rather have a plain cheesecake then be sure and try my perfect, no-fail cheesecake recipe.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
This key lime cheesecake is made with fairly simple ingredients but the end result is nothing short of amazing. This recipe has three different steps; the crust, cheesecake filling, and whipped topping.
- Graham Cracker Crust
- Graham Cracker Crumbs
- Granulated Sugar
- Melted Butter
- Key Lime Cheesecake
- Cream Cheese
- Granulated Sugar
- Lime Zest
- Key Lime Juice
- Large Eggs
- Whipped Cream
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Powdered Sugar
HOW TO MAKE KEY LIME CHEESECAKE
Making cheesecake is definitely not a simple, one step process but it is fairly easy to make with not too complicated of ingredients needed. You will need a few bowls and either a stand mixer or you can use a handheld mixer.
Of course you’ll also need a springform pan to make this cheesecake. A springform pan is a pan where the sides detach, which makes it easy to serve and cut this cheesecake.
- Make the Graham Cracker Crust : Add the crushed graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter into a mixing bowl and stir together until combined. The mixture should resemble wet sand. I just use a fork to mix it up.
- Press the Crust into the Springform Pan : You want to tightly push the graham cracker crust into the pan and up the sides an inch or so. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to really get that crust pressed in there. Bake the crust and then let it cool slightly while you are preparing the filling.
- Make the Key Lime Cheesecake Filling : Add the softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and lime zest into a larger mixing bowl and blend together, with a stand mixer or handheld mixer, until it’s combined well and creamy. Add the key lime juice and blend. Add the eggs and just blend until combined. You don’t want to over-mix the eggs as that can cause the cheesecake to crack while baking. Pour into the graham cracker crust.
- Prepare the Boiling Water : The #1 tip to perfect cheesecake is having a pan of hot, boiling water inside the oven while the cheesecake cooks. Pour 3 cups of hot, boiled water into a 9×13 baking dish and place it on the lower rack of the oven.
- Bake the Cheesecake : Bake the cheesecake according to the time in the recipe below. When the cheesecake is done cooking turn of the oven and prop the door open (about 4 inches or so) and let it sit for 30 minutes. Take the cheesecake out, let it cool completely on a wire rack, and then cover it with saran wrap, and refrigerate overnight before serving.
- Serve : After refrigerating it overnight you are ready to serve! Whip up some homemade whipped cream and top each piece with some or you can pipe it on top of the cheesecake to decorate it before serving. Store leftovers, covered, covered in the fridge.
TIPS & TRICKS FOR MAKING CHEESECAKE
There are a few tips and tricks to getting that perfect cheesecake made at home.
- Don’t Over-Mix the Eggs : Once you add the eggs and you beat them in with the blender, over-mixing in this step can cause too much air to be whipped into the cheesecake filling, which can result in cracks on top of the cheesecake while it’s baking. Be sure you are mixing the eggs just until they are fully incorporated into the cream cheese mixture and then stopping.
- Position of Oven Racks : You want to make sure that you have one oven rack above the middle and the other rack just below the middle.
- How Water Bath in the Oven : Pour 3 cups of boiling hot water into a 9×13 baking pan (or something similar sized) and place it on the bottom oven rack. This will help keep the oven air moist which helps in preventing cracks on top of the cheesecake while baking.
- Crack the Oven Door Open for 30 Minutes : When the cheesecake is done baking, crack the oven door open about 4 inches, and let the cheesecake sit in the oven with the door cracked open for 30 minutes. Doing this allows the cheesecake to not go from such a high temperature (the oven) to a lower temperature (room temperature) too quickly.
- Refrigerate Overnight : This is so important! Don’t try to rush and skip this step or reduce the refrigeration time. Plan ahead and make sure you refrigerate overnight.
- Use Full-Fat, Name Brand Cream Cheese : The real, full fat cream cheese will produce the best flavor and best thickness and texture to this cheesecake. I also really do think the name brand cream cheese (Philadelphia) makes a huge difference too.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR KEY LIME PIE CHEESECAKE
There are three ways you can serve this cheesecake. You can dollop each slice with some of the whipped cream. You can pipe the whipped cream onto the top of the cheesecake and then garnish with lime wedges and lime zest. Or you can spread the whipped topping over the entire cheesecake and then cut into slices and serve.
I love to use a piping bag and 1A Wilton tip to pipe the whipped cream on top and then garnish with lime wedges. But either way will work just fine when serving this.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS OF KEY LIME CHEESECAKE
I keep leftovers inside the springform pan and then just cover the top with saran wrap and store in the fridge for several days.
I am pretty sure this key lime cheesecake gets better and better as it sits in the fridge, so leftovers are fabulous for several days after.
You can also take whatever slices are left and place them inside Tupperware type containers with a lid.
CAN I FREEZE CHEESECAKE?
Yes you can! You can freeze the cheesecake whole or in slices.
To freeze cheesecake follow these easy steps :
- Wrap the cheesecake or slice very well in saran wrap and then cover well with tin foil.
- Freeze for up to 1 month.
- When ready to eat or serve allow the cheesecake to thaw at room temperature for 2-4 hours OR you can let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
If you are freezing the cheesecake do not pipe the whipped cream on top or spread it on top. Freeze the plain cheesecake with no toppings on it.
Key Lime Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter melted
Key Lime Cheesecake
- 3 bars (8 oz each) cream cheese softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- zest of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup key lime juice
- 3 large eggs
Sweetened Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- lime zest or slices for garnish optional
- Preheat the oven to 300°. Position the oven racks so one is just above the middle position and the other is just below the middle position. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Mix until the graham cracker crumbs are evenly coated. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides (about 1-inch up) of the prepared springform pan.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely while you prepare the filling.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch and lime zest together until smooth and creamy. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the key lime juice and mix until combined. Add the eggs and mix until just combined. Over mixing can cause the cheesecake to crack while baking because of all the extra air beat into the filling, so be sure to mix just until combined and creamy.
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the crust and spread evenly.
- Place a metal or glass 9X13-inch pan (or similar-sized pan) on the bottom rack of the oven and pour in 3 cups of boiling water. Immediately place the cheesecake on the upper rack and bake for 55-65 minutes until the cheesecake is set around the edges. A slight jiggle in the center of the cheesecake is fine.
- When cook time is done, turn the oven off and prop the oven door open about 4 inches. Keep the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Cover the springform pan with plastic wrap and let it refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to serve, beat the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peeaks form. This will take about 3-5 minutes.Either spread the whipped cream evenly over the cheesecake, pipe it around the edges, or just dollop a spoonful on each individual piece. If wanted, garnish with lime slices or lime zest.