Key Lime Cheesecake Bars – creamy cheesecake bars filled with key lime juice and fresh lime zest on a graham cracker crust. Top them with whipped cream and a lime slice for the perfect summer dessert.
I am having a week and it’s only Thursday. My week started with having to buy a new tire because my Jeep has been flashing “low tire” for literally ever and I was worried I wouldn’t pass inspection with it flashing. And I was already 3 days late on renewing my car registration because hashtag single mom.
My 7 year old went to the gym with me first thing in the morning (he likes the snacks they have) and I was all excited to get the tire done right after and get inspected and get the Jeep legal again. I was gonna get it all done before 9 am (!!) and have a super productive start to the week!!!
Did not go as planned.
We walked around [insert big box store that has tires] for an hour after being quoted a price for the tire and told they’d have it done right away. And then they call my name and tell me that… they don’t have the tire size I need.
Oh. But…wait. I walked around the toy aisles FOR AN HOUR with a 7 year old boy and there’s no tire?!
Anyway. I got a tire. It took most the day, cost twice as much as the original store had quoted me, and required a trip to a subpar Mexican restaurant because it was the only thing within walking distance of the tire shop.
That was my Monday. It’s fine. At least I have cheesecake bars.
How to Make Key Lime Cheesecake Bars
I just love cheescake bars so much. I say it every time I share a recipe for them but, omg, they are a million times easier than making an actual cheesecake and they never, ever crack on me. I haven’t made a real cheesecake in at least 5 years because they crack every single time for me.
These Key Lime Cheesecake Bars start with a graham cracker crust which is just graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter mixed together and pressed into the bottom of a baking dish.
The cheesecake batter is made with cream cheese, lime zest, key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and an egg. Everything gets beaten together until it’s perfectly smooth. Then the cheesecake batter gets poured over the graham cracker crust and it gets baked for 25 – 30 minutes, or until it’s just barely jiggly in the center.
Refrigerate the key lime cheesecake bars until they are completely set and then you can slice them into bars and top them with whipped cream and a lime slice. Thes would be really cute with maraschino cherries on top, too.
Can I Use Bottled Key Lime Juice?
I don’t (and I cannot stress this enough) recommend squeezing your own key lime juice by hand.
Made that mistake once and I swear it took 17 pounds of key limes to get enough for my key lime pie ice cream recipe. The bottled stuff is actually really good and I have no problem using it in all my key lime recipes now.
Tips for Making Key Lime Cheesecake Bars
- If you forget to pull your cream cheese out of the refrigerator ahead of time, you can soften it in the microwave on low for a few seconds. I usually do 20 – 30 seconds and it gets it soft enough without heating it up too much.
- Cheesecake bars are a pain to cut while they are in the pan so I always line the pan with aluminum foil (you could also use parchment paper) with a little bit hanging over the edge of the pan. That way you can use that to pull the entire pan out before you attempt cutting them into bars.
- If you are making your own graham cracker crumbs, you will probably need about 20 graham crackers to get the amount needed for this recipe. Just pulse them in a food processor until they are crumbs.
- I refrigerate cheesecake bars overnight because they tend to slice prettier when they are really well set. But at least give them a couple hours in the refrigerator before removing from the pan and slicing.
- To store the key lime cheesecake bars, keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Don’t top them with the whipped cream until ready to serve.
More Cheesecake Bar Recipes
Pineapple Cheesecake Bars – my favorite cheesecake bar recipe! Creamy cheesecake filled with pineapple on a graham cracker crust. This recipe turns out perfect every time and the cheesecake bars are so cute with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry on top!
S’mores Cheesecake Bars – summer in a cheesecake bar! Chocolate chip cheesecake in a graham crackers crust that’s topped with marshmallows, chopped graham crackers, and Hershey’s chocolate bars.
Swirly Chocolate Cheesecake Bars – rich and delicious chocolate cheeseake in a crust made with pecans and brown sugar. Right before going in the oven, it gets topped with a bit of reserved plain cheesecake batter and swirled to create a pretty design.
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- 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp butter melted
- 4 8 ounce packages cream cheese softened
- 2 tsp lime zest
- dash salt
- 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup key lime juice
- 1 egg
- whipped cream and lime slices for serving
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil, with ends of foil extending over the side.
In a mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until all crumbs are moistened. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add lime zest, salt, sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, and egg. Beat until well combined.
Pour cheesecake over the crust, using a spatula to smooth the top.
Bake 25 - 30 minutes, until the cheesecake is set. It will jiggle just a little bit. Let cool on a wire rack until room temp. Refrigerate several hours before trying to cut.
Serve with whipped cream and lime slices.