Christmas in the Keys

Christmas in the Keys

A riff on my famous double key lime pie, but better, 'cause it's cheesecake key lime!
Course Dessert


To Make the Crust:

  • 2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 4 tbsp Melted Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tsp Key Lime Zest
  • Pinch Salt

To Make the Batter:

  • 2 lbs Cream Cheese – Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Sour Cream – Room Temperature
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Key Lime Juice
  • 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 4 Eggs – Room Temperature
  • 1 tbsp Key Lime Zest
  • Pinch Salt

To Make Topping:

  • Lime Zest
  • Lime Slices OR Wedges
  • Canned Whipped Cream OR
  • Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe Follows



  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray or grease with butter a 10-inch spring form or removable pan.

To Make the Crust:

  • In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, salt, and lime zest until combined. The mixture should resemble wet sand. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan and a bit up the sides with the palm of your clean hand or the bottom of a clean drinking glass.

To Make the Batter:

  • With a large bowl using a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until whipped-about 3 minutes and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar and mix until no lumps remain, and scrape down the bowl again. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract and key lime juice, scrape down again. Add the all-purpose flour and scrape down. Add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated, scraping down after each egg. Add the lime zest and salt, mix.
    Scrape down, making sure there are no lumps and that the batter is smooth. You can use a hand whisk to ensure smoothness.
    Pour the batter over the crust and smooth with an off-set pastry spatula OR pick up the pan up and drop a few times to set the batter (which also removes the air from the batter providing a more solid cheesecake).
    Bake at 325 for 30 minutes, then turn the cheesecake and bake another 20 minutes. Turn the cheesecake again and bake for about 10 more minutes. Turn off the oven, crack the oven door open and let cool in the oven for about 20 minutes. Cool and then refrigerate for at least five hours.
    Once the cheesecake has cooled and you are ready to serve, remove from the pan and place on whatever serving dish/stand you’d like. Pipe cream cheese frosting or whipped cream in any design/pattern you’d like and then zest lime on top and add lime slices/wedges if desired.


The precise baking time can vary depending on your oven, whether you bake your cheesecake on a baking pan or not, the color of your springform pan (light or dark), and even the precise temperature of your ingredients. Because of this I recommend checking your cheesecake at 50 minutes and adding time as needed. However, it is not uncommon for the cheesecake to take as long as 75 minutes to bake, but it’s better to check sooner.
1/4 cup (or ½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz (1/2 brick) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 cups powdered Confectioner’s sugar
Directions: Place softened butter in a large mixing bowl, add the softened cream cheese and mix until blended. Add the vanilla and salt, mix until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Using a pastry bag with a tip or a gallon plastic bag with a small slit in one corner, you can pipe the frosting onto the cheesecake in any fashion you wish!
Seasonal Adaptation: Wearin’ O’ the Green: Obviously this is a great recipe to make for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Just add some green sprinkles or even green food coloring to the cream cheese frosting. Cheers!

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