What better way to end summer than with a new take on a classic summer dessert, the no bake key lime cheesecake. As I like to call it this is the lazy cook’s version of a key lime cheesecake. Yes, yes, yes the recipe is similar to my Kit Kat Caramel and Mango no bake cheesecakes but before we go into the details here’s how this one came to be. I love anything key lime but the thought of making a no bake cheesecake with that flavor occurred to me only after a recent restaurant visit to celebrate a friend’s birthday. There, we had their signature key lime cheesecake which was so good. It tasted very different from the usual ones, you know almost perfect. Yes, it was the real thing as in a baked cheesecake but something was different about it. The key lime flavor was intense yet not off-putting. After racking our brains for a long time we nailed it, the secret is in the crust!!!! Yes that’s it, there is key lime flavor in the crust! Also the curst was thicker than the usual cheesecake, the sweetness of the graham crackers and that hint of lime balanced off the creaminess of the top very well.
I looked online but couldn’t find a recipe that had key lime flavor in the crust so I improvised my other no bake cheesecake recipes and came up with this. If you cannot get fresh key limes, you can either use key lime juice or regular lime but please note that key limes are more tart than the regular ones and have a fruitier taste. So if using regular lime expect to see a different flavor note.
Usually I combine all the ingredients for the crust in the mixer and pulse it, this one though after pulsing the crackers with butter I hand mixed the rest of the ingredients. The extra liquid in the crust, the key lime juice, will have a tendency to make the crust lumpy when used in the mixer so using a spatula is the safer way to go.
On a similar note, I used the hand mixer to only combine the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk for the no bake key lime cheesecake.
For the next step, I stuck to the spatula as the key lime zest tends to get bitter if over mixed.
Here’s the recipe in detail:
- 50-60 Graham crackers original flavor
- 5 Tbsp Butter melted or room temperature
- 6 Tsp Key Lime Juice
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- 16 Oz Cream Cheese
- ⅓ Cup Key Lime Juice
- ½ Tsp Vanilla
- 1 Tsp Grated Key Lime Zest
- 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- ¼ cup Powdered Sugar
- 8 oz Cool Whip room temperature
- Knox Gelatin 1 pack dissolved in 6 teaspoon hot water
- Key Lime Slices to garnish
- Grease a 9" springform pan with butter or cooking spray.
- In a food processor pulse the Graham Crackers and butter till well mixed.
- Move to a bowl and add sugar and key lime juice.Mix well till combined.
- Spread the mixture into the springfoam pan base and using the bottom of a cup or glass to press down firmly.
- Store in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
- In a large bowl beat the thawed cream cheese until smooth with a hand mixer. You can also use an electric stand mixer for this.
- Add in sweetened condensed milk and mix till well combined.
- Mix in vanilla, key lime juice, key lime zest, and gelatin, with a spatula until well mixed. You do not want to use the mixer for this step as the lime zest will get bitter when over mixed.
- Add the Cool Whip to the bowl and gently fold it in.
- Spread over the Graham Cracker crust and smoothen the top with a spatula.
- Decorate with a few key lime slices.
- Cover the springform pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4-5 hours or overnight.