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Key Lime Pie Cheesecake Bars
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4.8 from 5 votes

Key Lime Pie Cheesecake Bars

Key Lime Pie Cheesecake Bars are a creamy, tangy spin on a perfect key lime pie recipe. Creamy cheesecake filling with a tangy key lime flavor and a graham cracker crust make these easy to make key lime pie bars the perfect easy summer dessert.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 9

Ingredients

Key Lime Cheesecake Filling

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest of 10-12 key limes
  • 28-30 key limes, juiced
  • green gel food coloring .. optional

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs .. about 8 whole crackers
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  • To make Key Lime Cheesecake Bars, start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees and line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Next, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, dash of salt and powdered sugar together in a mixing bowl then pour the crust mixture into the baking pan lined with parchment paper. Using your fingers or a spoon, firmly press the crust evenly on the bottom of the pan to make your crust. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • While crust is baking, prepare the key limes. Zest 10-12 key limes before cutting all key limes in half. Squeeze your lime juice into a separate small bowl and watch for seeds.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese until creamy and then add in sugar and mix well. Add in eggs and beat until each is incorporated before adding in the next one. Drop in the lime zest and lime juice along with sour cream, salt, vanilla, and continue mixing until you have a creamy filling.
  • Transfer 1/3 cup of cheesecake filling into a separate bowl and add a few drops of green food coloring. Mix the food coloring into the batter to combine.
  • Pour the white cheesecake filling on top of the cookie crust crust and smooth until even. Using a spoon, pour lines of green cheesecake filling down the length of the cheesecake. Swirl the colors into the cheesecake filing using the back of knife (or a chopstick!) to create a beautiful swirl pattern being sure not to swirl all the way down the crust. The more swirls, the better..
  • Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or until center is no longer too wobbly. Remove the bars from the oven, and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Use room temperature ingredients like cream cheese, eggs and sour cream.  They mix and emulsify better at room temperature.
  • I use gel food coloring and the color I used for these key lime bars was Neon Green.
  • Be sure to beat your cream cheese until they are creamy and fluffy.  Don’t skip the creaming step, you will end up with large lumps of cream cheese in your cheesecake bars.
  • If your green cheesecake lines are uneven or messy, don’t sweat it .. it’s all getting swirled together anyways
  • Key limes that are more yellow are harder to zest but give more juice. Green key limes are easier to zest but not a juicy. Pick your battles.
  • Zest at least 10-12 key limes for this easy key lime dessert recipe but feel free to zest them all if you want even more tangy flavor.
  • Use a hand held citrus juicer to make your life easier when it comes to juicing these little limes.
  • Give clear vanilla extract a try in light colored batters.  Your batter will not tint due to brown vanilla extract. You can find it in your spice/extract section of most grocery stores.
  • Key limes have more seeds than your regular limes and those seeds are little. When you squeeze out the lime juice, squeeze the juice into a separate small bowl first so that if any seeds find their way into your juice, you are aren’t having to dig them out of your batter.