Key lime pie and cheesecake collide in these creamy and tart Key Lime Cheesecake Bars!
Key Lime Pie is A THING in Florida. And I am here for it!
We've been on kind of a quest to find the best key lime pie in the area, so every time we see it on the menu at a restaurant we always order a piece. You know...for research. 😜
Key lime pie is a really refreshing dessert, the citrusy filling is smooth and tangy, and goes perfectly with the buttery graham cracker crust.
So far, our favorite Key Lime Pie is from a restaurant downtown called The Mansion, and there are a couple elements that make it stand out to me as my favorite!
The first is that the filling almost has a little bit of a cheesecake feel to it. Traditionally, key lime pie filling has a curd-like texture but I love the addition of just a tiny bit of creaminess. The other thing I really like about their key lime pie is that it's served with a little drizzle of raspberry sauce (though to be honest I'd usually like a larger drizzle of sauce 😋).
So of course - when creating my own version of this classic Florida dessert, I had to add a little cheesecake element and some raspberry sauce! I also opted to make Key Lime Cheesecake Bars instead of a full cheesecake because Pete and I recently made Classic Lemon Bars and LOVED them!
The raspberry sauce is optional and the bars are still totally delicious without it, but I love the extra flavor and sweetness from the little hit of raspberry. Plus with a quick little shortcut - it's super easy to make!
If you're a fan of citrus desserts, try these Classic Lemon Bars too!
Yummy noises await you!
Key lime pie and cheesecake collide in these creamy and tart dessert bars!
- 2 cups cinnamon graham crackers, crushed (about 14 full sheets)
- 1 stick butter, melted (1/4 lb or 1/2 cup)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp fresh key lime zest (from about 4 key limes)*
- 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice (from about 16 key limes)*
- 1/4 cup raspberry preserves
- 1 Tbsp water
- whipped cream
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and salt. Stir well until the mixture is thoroughly combined and resembles wet sand. Line an 8x8 baking dish with 2 sheets of parchment paper laid perpendicular so that a couple inches of paper drape over each edge of the pan and spray with cooking spray. Pour the crust mixture into the pan and use your hands to spread out and press firmly into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes.
While the crust bakes, make the filling. Add softened cream cheese to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the lime zest and juice. Pour the filling into the warm baked crust and smooth out the surface.
Return to oven and bake until filling is just set, about 16-18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely; cool for 1-2 hours at room temperature and then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for another 1-2 hours.
Use parchment paper to remove from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 two-inch squares, wiping the knife with a damp towel as needed.
Combine the raspberry jam and water in a small microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds. Whisk to combine and pour through a fine mesh sieve to strain out seeds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Before serving, drizzle bars with raspberry sauce and top with a squirt of whipped cream and a small slice of lime, if desired. Enjoy!
Store in the refrigerator and serve cold.
*If you can't find fresh key limes, you can substitute regular lime zest and Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice. I have made them both ways and in a side by side comparison, I do prefer the fresh key lime zest & juice so if you can find them I think it's worth it, but this brand of bottled juice is a good substitute.