Cheesecake Factory Key Lime Cheesecake

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Cheesecake Factory Key Lime Cheesecake is just so tart and tangy that it keeps your mouth watering from the first bite to the last! It has a tender graham cracker crust, a smooth cream cheese center, and fluffy whipped cream topping. 

If you love citrus, cheesecake, and indulgent desserts, then this is one easy baked cheesecake recipe that you can’t afford to skip!

slice of cheesecake factory key lime cheesecake


Cheesecake Factory® key lime cheesecake is a splurge when eating out, but it’s a cinch to make at home! 

All you need are a couple of common ingredients, a little bit of time for the cake to bake and set up in the fridge, and boom! This is one easy key lime cheesecake the whole family will love!

Cheesecake Factory Key Lime Cheesecake

I’m a huge fan of Cheesecake Factory, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I have tons of copycat recipes that I can make whenever I want! And now you can, too.  

This easy baked cheesecake is as simple as it gets, but what if you prefer a no bake dessert? I’ve got you covered there, too! Check out all of my no bake recipes, from pies and regular cakes, to cheesecakes, cookies, and other simple treats.

key lime cheesecake ingredients on counter

Ingredients Notes

  • Graham Cracker Crumbs – You can buy the crumbs ready to go, or get a couple of crackers and crush them yourself with a rolling pin.
  • Butter or Margarine – The purpose of this ingredient is to help form the crumb crust, so you can really use either butter or margarine.

    You could even use melted coconut oil!
  • Key Lime Juice – In my opinion, nothing compares to key limes when it comes to flavor and aroma! Regular lime juice works, too.

    And if you’re struggling to find fresh citrus in the winter months, concentrate is a perfectly suitable substitute.
  • Cream Cheese – Don’t forget the golden rule of cheesecake baking: let your cream cheese soften to room temperature before whipping!
  • Heavy Cream – For heavy cream, it’s the opposite! The colder it is, the easier it’ll be to whip. 
cream cheese cake batter in a bowl

Essential Kitchen Tools for a Baked Cheesecake  

  • Springform pan – This is basically required for cheesecake. The ring sides pop off to make removing the cake easy and clean.
  • Stand mixer or large mixing bowl with hand mixer for whipping up your cheesecake filling.
  • Sharp knife – The best way to cut through a soft cheesecake is with a sharp knife that’s been run under hot water. Perfect slices with little mess!
  • A sturdy silicone spatula can be used for scraping, stirring, and smoothing and is easy to clean too! 
graham cracker crust in a springform pan

Cheesecake Factory Key Lime Cheesecake Recipe Tips and Notes 

Substituting Lime Juice for Key Lime Juice

You can substitute lime juice for key lime juice equally, at a ratio of 1:1.

Keep in mind though, lime juice tastes a bit different than key limes, so the dish may not taste quite the same.

If you’re using regular limes and want to improve the flavor, you could add a teaspoon or so of lime zest as well.

Is key lime cheesecake sour?

It isn’t sour, but it is a bit tart! If you prefer a sweeter flavor, you might want to add a bit more sugar to the cheesecake filling and/or to the whipped topping.

How to Prevent Baked Cheesecake from Cracking

If you find your cheesecakes are constantly cracking, crumbling, and coming out dry, then you are likely baking them too long. 

It’s pretty easy to overbake a cheesecake. To properly conduct a “jiggle test,” gently tap or shake the springform pan.

When just the center wobbles, then the cheesecake is done! If you wait till the whole thing is firm, then it’s almost always going to be too dry. 

Another way to prevent cracks in your Cheesecake Factory key lime cheesecake is to bake it more slowly and evenly, by using a water bath. 

Check out my lemon cheesecake recipe post to learn how to set up and use a water bath for baked cheesecakes.

cheesecake batter in pan, before baking

Prep Ahead Instructions 

  • Prepping the Batter: You can make the batter up to 2 days in advance. Just give it a good stir before baking!
  • Prepping the Whipped Cream: Whipped cream can keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

    Since this is the final ingredient, wait until the last minute to fluff it up with your mixer before serving!
  • Prepping the Crust: You can basically make the crumbs as early as you want!

    Stored properly in an airtight container, they shouldn’t get stale for at least a month.

How To Store Cheesecake Factory Key Lime Cheesecake 

  • In the Fridge: Keep lime cheesecake in the fridge for a maximum of 3 days. After that, the crust will fall apart.
  • In the Freezer:  You can freeze leftovers for up to a month!

    Be sure to freeze slices individually (unless you’re freezing the whole cake to thaw later) and wrap them snugly in a double layer of plastic before storing.
  • To Thaw: Let individual slices, or a whole cake, thaw in the fridge instead of at room temperature: that’s just begging for bacteria!

    Plus, the parts that thaw first start to get mushy when they sit at room temp, while the center stays frozen.
cheesecake factory key lime cheesecake, unsliced

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slice of lime dessert on white plate

slice of key lime baked cheesecake on white plate

Cheesecake Factory Key Lime Cheesecake

Donna Elick
Cheesecake Factory Key Lime Cheesecake is a zesty treat that screams summer dessert. This copycat Cheesecake Factory recipe is easy to make!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 8 – 12


  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, or margarine, melted
  • 32 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup key lime juice, or lime juice

Whipped Cream

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and butter. Press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  • Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla extract on high speed until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each, just until combined. Add and blend in lime juice.
  • Pour cheesecake filling over the crust.
  • Bake for 55 minutes, or until the center is slightly jiggly, but almost set. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake, but do NOT remove the rim yet.
  • Refrigerate the cheesecake in the pan for 4 hours. Remove from the fridge and set pan on a serving platter. Unlatch and remove the springform pan.
  • In a tall bowl (I use an 8-cup liquid measuring cup) or bowl of stand mixer, use a hand or stand mixer on high speed to whip the heavy cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Whip until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread the whipped cream on top of the chilled cheesecake.
  • Top with lime zest, slice and serve!

Donna’s Notes

Substituting Lime Juice for Key Lime Juice
You can substitute lime juice for key lime juice equally, at a ratio of 1:1.
Keep in mind though, lime juice tastes a bit different than key limes, so the dish may not taste quite the same. If you’re using regular limes and want to improve the flavor, you could add a teaspoon or so of lime zest as well.


Serving: 1 slice | Calories: 820cal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 39g | Cholesterol: 267mg | Sodium: 496mg | Sugar: 44g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled pinterest image for cheesecake factory cheesecake recipe

Originally published May 2022.

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  1. 5 stars
    Key lime pie is a household favorite, so I was so excited to try this one out ! Cheesecake and Key lime together are perfect. This will be a summer staple!

  2. I’d love to try your recipe but I am utterly useless in using cup measurements. I tried a few times and failed. It would be great if you would have a metric option as well. 🙏

  3. Tried this recipe, and lately I have been making a lot of cheesecakes.
    This recipe is super easy, fast and delicious! It came out of the spring form easily, and the crust was impeccable. Thank you for this recipe.

  4. Haven’t tasted it yet, but I’m very frustrated that you didn’t say to bake the crust by itself first. I thought that you should, based on my experience with pie, but you didn’t say to and I’ve never made cheesecake before, so how would I know? Now I went over to your lemon cheesecake recipe and it says to bake the crust first. Now I went through all this trouble and the crust is going to be terrible. I noticed some other inconsistencies between the 2 recipes too. Please correct this so no one else makes this mistake.

    1. I didn’t bake mine before and it still turned out great. Got wonderful results and am baking my second one for someone who requested it after first. No worries.

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