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Cream Cheese Key Lime Pie

With a buttery graham cracker crust, a creamy cream cheese filling, and a tangy key lime curd on top, this key lime cream cheese pie is heaven on a plate. The filling has a rich, cheesecake-like texture that pairs wonderfully with the tart citrus topping. An easy and delicious no-bake dessert for spring, Easter, and summer!

key lime pie recipe with cream cheese

Key lime pie with cream cheese

Key lime cream cheese pie is citrusy and bright, lusciously creamy, and so delicious. Think of this as a cross between classic key lime pie and no-bake cheesecake.

The pie consists of 3 delicious layers: A crunchy graham cracker crust is the perfect base for the silky cream cheese filling, and the lime curd topping adds the perfect amount of refreshing tanginess.

And not only is the pie delicious and refreshing, it’s also easy to make, as you don’t even have to turn on the oven. The hardest part is waiting for it to set in the fridge.

Take this delicious cream cheese key lime pie to a potluck or serve it to your family for a special occasion or holiday. It’s a sweet, citrusy dessert everyone will love!

If you’re short on time and just want the recipe, tap the Jump-To-Recipe button at the very top of this page, or scroll down to the recipe card.

key lime cream cheese pie ingredients

Ingredients

Let’s chat about the ingredients in this tasty no-bake key lime pie with cream cheese! Please see the recipe card further down the post for exact measurements.

  • Graham cracker crust: You’ll need graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter to make the crust. You can either use premade crumbs or crush a couple of graham cracker sheets in your food processor.
  • Cream cheese filling: The filling is lime flavored and has a cheesecake-like texture. It comprises of cream cheese, key lime juice and zest, powdered sugar, and heavy cream. You’ll need a full-fat brick-style cream cheese for this pie (please see the next section for more info).
  • Lime curd topping: The lime curd is made with sugar, cornstarch lime, juice + zest, and a little butter. I also added a touch of green food coloring to give the curd a lovely green hint.
  • Garnish: The garnishes are fairly simple, with tuffs of whipped cream, a sprinkle of lime zest, and a few lime slices.
no bake key lime pie with cream cheese

I don’t have key limes. Can I use regular limes?

Absolutely! While the taste will be slightly different, regular aka Persian limes will work perfectly fine in this pie recipe.

Can I use soft cream cheese from a tub for this recipe?

No, you need full-fat brick-style cream cheese. The spreadable whipped cream cheese sold in tubs is too soft as it contains more liquid. It will negatively impact the texture and the filling will not set properly.

Cream cheese blocks are hard to find outside of North America. If you live outside the US or Canada, you can still make the recipe work by following these tips.

  • Buy 600 g full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese.  
  • Place the cream cheese into the center of a clean cheesecloth or kitchen towel, and squeeze out the liquid until you have 450 g of cream cheese left.        
  • You’ll notice that the texture is much firmer now and you can go ahead with the recipe.
cream cheese lime pie

How to make key lime pie with cream cheese

This isn’t the simplest key lime cream cheese pie you can make. But the 10 or 15 extra minutes it takes to make the graham cracker crust and cook the lime curd topping are all worth it once you try a bite. Here’s the process step-by-step:

#1: Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Combine ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the crust ingredients until the graham cracker crumbs are well moistened.
  2. Refrigerate. Press the mixture in an even layer into a 9-inch / 23 cm pie pan. Then pop it in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

#2: Cream Cheese Filling

  1. Beat cream cheese. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the softened cream cheese, lime juice, lime zest, and 1 cup powdered sugar until light and creamy.
  2. Whip heavy cream. In a separate mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
  3. Fold together. Fold 1 cup whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and spread the filling evenly into the pie crust. Cover and refrigerate the remaining whipped cream for decorating the pie later.

#3: Key Lime Curd Topping

  1. Beat egg yolks. Place the egg yolks into a medium mixing bowl and beat with a whisk until combined. Set aside.
  2. Cook curd base. Put the water, sugar, lime juice, lime zest, and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes until thick.
  3. Combine lime mixture and yolks. Slowly pour half of the hot lime mixture into the beaten egg yolks, stirring constantly so the yolks don’t curdle. When the mixture is fully blended, return the egg mixture back to the saucepan where the remaining lime mixture is.
  4. Continue cooking. Cook and stir until the curd reaches a slow boil. Let cook slowly for 4 to 5 minutes while stirring.
  5. Add butter. Remove the lime curd from the heat. Then stir in the butter and a few drops of green food coloring (if using) until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to cool.

#4: Garnish & Serve

  1. Apply lime curd. Once the lime curd reaches room temperature, smooth it gently over the cream cheese mixture. Chill for at least 6 hours before serving to set the pie (overnight is best).
  2. Decorate. Garnish with the reserved whipped cream and a sprinkle of key lime zest. Refrigerate the pie until ready to serve.
  3. Serve. Cut the pie into slice slices and enjoy!
key lime pie made with cream cheese

Tips for success

I bet this key lime cream cheese pie recipe is going to become a new favorite at your house. And to guarantee it’s a success, read through my helpful tips and tricks:

  • Soften the cream cheese: Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, so you don’t end up with lumps in your cream cheese filling.
  • Let the lime curd cool to room temperature before you spread it onto the cream cheese filling. If the curd is too warm, the cream cheese layer could melt.
  • Allow the pie enough time to set: This cream cheese lime pie needs plenty of chilling time to set properly. I’d say the minimum is six hours; overnight is even better if you have the time. Once firmed up, you will be rewarded with a smooth, fluffy pie that holds together beautifully.
  • Support a store-bought pie crust: If you opt for a premade pie crust in an aluminum tin, I recommend placing it inside a glass or ceramic pie dish for added stability.
creamy key lime pie recipe

Shortcuts

This easy key lime pie with cream cheese involves many steps, I know, and the result is worth the effort. However, you can take several shortcuts with this recipe to save time and make it easier.

  • Store-bought graham cracker crust: This recipe will work absolutely fine with a store-bought graham cracker crust. It’s so convenient to pick up a premade pie shell to save time on a busy holiday.
  • Bottled lime juice: Freshly squeezed lime is the best, but juicing tiny key limes can take a long time. Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice is a wonderful product and gives this pie great taste. It’s available online and in most major grocery stores.
  • Premade lime curd: Another shortcut is to buy ready-made lime curd. Lime curd isn’t always available at the supermarket, but you can order some online. Mackays, Tiptree, and Mrs. Bridges lime curd are available on Amazon.
  • Whipped topping: While I prefer freshly whipped cream, you can also prepare this key lime crema cheese pie with whipped topping.
key lime cream cheese pie recipe

Variations

  • Swap the crust: Feel free to make the crust with vanilla cookies or golden ores, or opt for a classic pastry pie crust.
  • Lime & white chocolate: Stir 1/2 cup cooled, melted white chocolate into the cream cheese filling.
  • Lemon: Try using lemon juice and zest in place of limes.
  • Citrus mix: You can also opt for a blend of lemon, lime, and even orange juice.
  • Raspberry: For a raspberry version, replace the lime juice in the filling and curd with raspberry puree.
slice of key lime cream cheese pie

Storage & make-ahead instructions

How to store key lime pie with cream cheese

Store the pie in covered or in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 2 to 3 days.

Make cream cheese key lime pie ahead of time

Lime cream cheese pie is perfect to make a day or two ahead of time because it needs time in the fridge to set anyway. It will keep perfectly in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

Can you freeze lime cream cheese pie?

Yes, this creamy key lime pie recipe freezes well for up to 1 month. If freezing, I would suggest holding off on the whipped cream topping until you serve the pie because whipped cream doesn’t thaw quite as nicely.

You can also enjoy the pie semi-frozen. Let it sit out on the counter for 15 to 30 minutes, and then serve. So refreshing on a hot summer’s day!

key lime pie with cream cheese

Cream Cheese Key Lime Pie Recipe

Yield: 12 slices
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 35 minutes

With a buttery graham cracker crust, a creamy cream cheese filling, and a tangy key lime curd on top, this key lime cream cheese pie is heaven on a plate. The filling has a rich, cheesecake-like texture that pairs wonderfully with the tart citrus topping. An easy and delicious no-bake dessert for spring, Easter, and summer!

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups / 200 g / 7 oz graham cracker crumbs (approx. 11 full-sheet graham crackers)
  • 1/4 cup / 50 g / 1.8 oz granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp / 85 g / 3 oz salted butter, melted

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp fresh key lime juice
  • 1 tsp key lime zest (plus more to garnish)
  • 1 1/4 cup / 140 g / 5 oz powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 cup / 240 ml / 8 fl oz heavy cream

Lime Curd Topping (optional)

  • 1 1/2 cups / 350 ml / 12 fl oz water
  • 3/4 cup / 150 g / 5.3 oz granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice
  • 1 tbsp key lime zest
  • 5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • a few drops of green food coloring (optional)

Instructions

    Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Combine ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the crust ingredients until the graham cracker crumbs are well moistened.
  2. Refrigerate. Press the mixture in an even layer into a 9-inch / 23 cm pie pan. Then pop it in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Cream Cheese Filling

  1. Beat cream cheese. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the softened cream cheese, lime juice, lime zest, and 1 cup powdered sugar until light and creamy.
  2. Whip heavy cream. In a separate mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
  3. Fold together. Fold 1cup whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and spread the filling evenly into the pie crust. Cover and refrigerate the remaining whipped cream for decorating the pie later.

Key Lime Curd Topping

  1. Beat egg yolks. Place the egg yolks into a medium mixing bowl and beat with a whisk until combined. Set aside.
  2. Cook curd base. Put the water, sugar, lime juice, lime zest, and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes until thick.
  3. Combine lime mixture and yolks. Slowly pour half of the hot lime mixture into the beaten egg yolks, stirring constantly so the yolks don’t curdle. When the mixture is fully blended, return the egg mixture back to the saucepan where the remaining lime mixture is.
  4. Continue cooking. Cook and stir until the curd reaches a slow boil. Let cook slowly for 4 to 5 minutes while stirring.
  5. Add butter. Remove the lime curd from the heat. Then stir in the butter and a few drops of green food coloring (if using) until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to cool.

Garnish & Serve

  1. Apply lime curd. Once the lime curd reaches room temperature, smooth it gently over the cream cheese mixture. Chill for at least 6 hours before serving to set the pie (overnight is best).
  2. Decorate. Garnish with the reserved whipped cream and a sprinkle of key lime zest. Refrigerate the pie until ready to serve.
  3. Serve. Cut the pie into slice slices and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 542Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 159mgSodium: 283mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 1gSugar: 41gProtein: 5g

More pies to love

If you made this and fell in love with homemade pies all, don’t worry. We have more pie recipes for you to try. All of them are super delicious and pretty simple. Happy baking!

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