If you like key lime pie, you’ll like this key lime cheesecake recipe.  Lime and cream cheese is a delightful combination.  If you don’t have key limes, you can make it with other fresh limes.

This calls for lime zest in the filling and a lime topping on the cheesecake garnished with a little whipped cream.

Key Lime Cheesecake Recipe


For the crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 tablespoons granulated sugar

Purchasing graham cracker crumbs will save you time and cleanup and usually cost less than crackers.  If you use crackers, the easiest way to process them into crumbs is with a food processor.

For the filling:

4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon lime flavor
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the topping:

1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Instant Clearjel
Juice from 1 lime
electric green food coloring


Preheat the oven 325 degrees.

  1. In a springform pan (see notes), mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar together. Press the mixture across the bottom of the pan and up the sides to form the crust. Put the crust in refrigerator while you mix the filling.
  2. With the paddle attachment of your stand-type mixer and using the slow speed, beat the cream cheese, flour, and sugar together until smooth but not whipped. Add the eggs and lemon flavor and beat until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared crust.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 250 degrees and continue baking for another 1 1/4 hours or until the cake is done. The cake should be set but a little jiggly.  The center will still look a little wet but will set up as it cools.  A knife inserted one inch from the center should come out clean.
  4. While the cheesecake is baking, make the topping by mixing the sour cream and lemon juice in a small bowl. In a separate bowl mix the sugar and the clearjel. Add the sugar mixture to the sour cream mixture. Add the food coloring until the desired color is achieved. After the cake is done and cooled to room temperature, spread the topping over the cheesecake.
  5. Let the cheesecake cool on a wire rack. After ten minutes, loosen the sides with a spatula and remove the ring. Refrigerate the cheesecake to cool completely.

Notes about springform pans. 

This cheesecake is baked in a nine-inch springform pan.  You may use a ten-inch pan but, because the batter is not as deep, it will bake in less time.

For a particularly noteworthy cheesecake, make this in a square cheesecake pan.  A silicone cheesecake pan cleans up nicely and easily releases the dessert.

We most often use glass-based springform pans.  You can slip the cake on the glass bottom onto a serving platter for easy cutting and serving.  A glass base avoids the metallic taste that sometimes comes from metal bottoms.

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