I am obsessing over summer coming. Yesterday, I was in such a summery mood, so I decided to make Shrimp Summer Salad because it has so many of my favorite foods of the season. Last night, I was REALLY craving some dessert, but it also needed to be something that I associate with summer. Key lime pie screams summertime to me, but I didn’t want just regular key lime pie. I realized that I had a bunch of cream cheese that I bought to test out another recipe so I decided to combine two of my favorite desserts: key lime pie and cheesecake. The only thing that would make these bars better would be eating it IN Key West.
I love to make my favorite cheesecakes as bars. They require less baking time and they are easier to store and serve. These bars have a basic graham cracker crust, which I feel like is a necessity with all things key lime. I went a little heavy on the lime juice, because I did not want that flavor to be lost with all of the cream cheese. If you want to use fresh key lime juice, go for it, but squeezing all of those tiny little limes was a job that I was not in the mood for, so I used the bottled stuff, and the taste is just as amazing!
Feel free to top these bars with some whipped cream, and garnish them with a slice of lime. Please let me know how these turned out for you and please enjoy!
Key Lime Cheesecake Bars
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 3 8oz packages cream cheese softened
- 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup key lime juice fresh or bottled
- zest of 1 lime
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350º and grease a 13 x 9 baking dish.
- Make the crust: combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and granulated sugar and mix well. Press the mixture into the bottom and about an inch up the sides of the baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- While the crust is in the oven, prepare the filling. In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with your mixer until smooth. Add in the sweetened condensed milk, eggs, vanilla, lime juice and lime zest. Beat until well combined and smooth. Add in the sugar and flour and mix well.
- Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the crust and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until the center is nearly set. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter for 20 minutes then place it in the refrigerator to cool for at least 4 hours before slicing and serving.
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