These Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes feature an easy homemade graham cracker crust topped with a smooth and creamy key lime cheesecake filling. The perfect dessert for any time of year!
So many of you loved these mini Oreo cheesecakes I posted a while back and I have to say, I really loved them too! I’ve been working on a few more variations for mini cheesecakes because they’re so darn cute. I mean all desserts are better in mini form, right? I feel like mini cheesecakes are the perfect sized desserts to bring to parties or even just to eat by yourself.
Since March is finally here and I have all things fruit on the brain, I decided to create a mini key lime cheesecake version. Between the buttery graham cracker crust, creamy key lime cheesecake filling, and the homemade whipped cream on top it was almost impossible not to eat the whole batch.
Ingredients for Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes
These mini key lime pie cheesecakes have three components: the graham cracker crust, the key lime cheesecake filling, and the optional whipped cream on top. Here’s what you’ll need to make these mini cheesecake bites:
- Graham crackers: You can pulse full sheets of graham crackers in a food processor to make your own graham cracker crumbs, or you can purchase pre-made graham cracker crumbs.
- Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter since the amount of salt in salted butters can vary between different brands.
- Granulated sugar: Used to sweeten both the crust and the cheesecake filling.
- Cream cheese: It’s best to use bricks of cream cheese and avoid cream cheese spread, which has ingredients added to it to thin it out.
- Sour cream: Breaks up the heaviness of the cream cheese and creates a smoother, creamier filling.
- Key lime juice: You’re welcome to substitute lime juice for key lime juice, if needed.
- Key lime zest: Make sure to wash your lime before zesting it to remove any dirt or bacteria.
- Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Green food dye: You can leave the food dye out of the recipe if you like, but I love to add it so everyone can easily tell they’re key lime cheesecakes.
- Egg: Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before you add them to the cheesecake filling.
How to Make Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes
For the graham cracker crust, you’ll need some graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. You’ll mix it all together, press it into each cavity of your pan and bake it for about 5 minutes.
I baked these in a mini cheesecake pan, here’s the same pan that I own and here’s another one that’s similar. But you can also use a standard 12-count muffin pan, just make sure to line it with cupcake liners for easy removal.
And the key lime cheesecake filling? You’ll start by beating the cream cheese until it’s nice and smooth, then mix in the sour cream and sugar. I suggest stopping to scrape down the sides of your bowl at this point and mixing it again to ensure that everything is well combined.
Next, you’ll mix in the key lime juice, zest, vanilla extract, and optional food dye. The last step is to mix in the egg on low-speed until just combined. You want to avoid over mixing the egg as this can incorporate more air into the cheesecake batter and cause them to collapse.
Then, evenly distribute the cheesecake batter between all of the cavities in your pan and return it to the oven to bake for 15 to 18 minutes. You will know they’re done when the tops are set.
Can I Use Bottled Key Lime Juice?
If you’re wondering if you can use bottled key lime juice, the answer is YES! I love key lime desserts, but I despise having to juice 10 key limes for just a little bit of juice. I’ve tested this mini key lime pie cheesecake recipe with both and they taste just the same, so stick with bottled key lime juice if you want to make these easier.
Can I Prep These Mini Cheesecake Bites in Advance?
Yes! I love to make these the night before, let them cool, and then refrigerate them overnight. The next morning, I just pop them out of the pan and dessert is ready to go!
How Long Do Mini Cheesecakes Last?
- Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before getting started. This will ensure a much smoother, creamier cheesecake filling!
- I’ve only made this recipe as written, but you should be fine to substitute full-fat Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
- Likewise, I think Neufchâtel cheese would be a good substitute for the cream cheese.
- Make sure to only mix in the egg on low-speed until just combined. Over mixing the egg can incorporated too much air in the batter which can cause the cheesecakes to sink.
More Lime Desserts to Try!
- Classic Key Lime Pie
- Baked Key Lime Pie Donuts
- Mini Key Lime Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Pies
- Cherry Limeade Slushies
Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes
For the crust:
- 6 full-sheets (90 grams) graham crackers (or 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs)
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter , melted
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
For the key lime cheesecake filling:
- 12 ounces brick-style cream cheese , softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60 grams) sour cream
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) key lime juice
- 1 teaspoon key lime zest (or regular lime zest)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 drop green food dye
- 1 large egg , room temperature
To make the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray each cavity of a 12-count mini cheesecake pan well with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. You may also use a regular 12-count muffin pan, I suggest lining each cavity with cupcake liners for easier removal.
- Add the graham crackers to a blender or food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Scoop the crumbs into a mixing bowl, add the melted butter and sugar, and mix until well combined.
- Evenly distribute the mixture between all 12 cavities in the mini cheesecake pan, making sure to press each one down firmly into an even layer.
- Bake at 325°F for 5 minutes, remove from the oven, and set aside to cool. Keep oven temperature at 325°F.
To make the cheesecake filling:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sour cream and granulated sugar and mix until well combined. Add in the key lime juice, zest, vanilla extract, and green food dye and mix until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then, add in the egg and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Evenly distribute the cheesecake filling between all 12 cavities of the pan and return to the oven. Bake at 325°F for 15 to 18 minutes or until the tops of the cheesecakes are set.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
- Once the cheesecakes are chilled remove them from the pan, serve, and enjoy!