Key Lime Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust

A creamy and rich key lime cheesecake with a salty and buttery pretzel crust and whipped topping!

key lime cheesecake with pretzel crust 7 pin

I really wanted to make Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting for Valentine’s Day. I had it in my head. I thought they’d be so pretty, maybe clever, and just perfect for the holiday.

I had an issue though – S.O. doesn’t like marshmallow. Come to think of that, I don’t think he’s much of a cupcake person either. He’s never indicated that he isn’t, but if I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him eat one (update: since originally writing that a few days ago, he ate these!).

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So, when I made those cupcakes, I presented myself with a problem: I love them and they were pretty and delicious, but Valentine’s Day wasn’t about me. I guess. I needed (and wanted) to make something for S.O. For him, the answer is always cheesecake. It doesn’t really matter what the question is, the answer is cheesecake. It’s the way to his heart.

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His absolute favorite cheesecake is my Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake. In his mind, that is the apex of desserts. It can’t be topped. I make that cheesecake year-round. It really doesn’t matter what season it is and whether pumpkin is fitting, we make it anytime because we LOVE it. Still, I was determined to make something more seasonally appropriate than pumpkin, and I also had a ton of key limes leftover from when S.O. brought home a big bag of like 30.

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The verdict: it was decided that key lime cheesecake, and key lime dessert in general, are something that we adore, but do not eat enough of. Key lime zest and fresh key lime juice flavor this super rich and creamy cheesecake. Over time, I’ve personally found that my favorite cheesecakes are very dense.  If the mood strikes, I like a light and fluffy cheesecake, but for the most part, I want a really rich and dense cheesecake, but still very creamy.  This delivers.

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With a crushed pretzel crust, you also get that delightful sweet and salty flavor combination. The key lime and pretzels together taste a little margarita-like. Sweet, salty, AND tart. This is a unique cheesecake and one that doesn’t disappoint.

I know that it went over well with my S.O., not just because he told me so, but because this dessert did a partial disappearing act overnight, as cheesecake is so prone to doing in this house. All desserts, actually!

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5.0 from 3 reviews
Key Lime Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A creamy and rich key lime cheesecake with a salty and buttery pretzel crust and key lime whipped topping!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10-12 slices
Pretzel crust:
  • 2½ c. crushed pretzel twists
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • ½ c. unsalted butter, melted
Key Lime Cheesecake:
  • 4 - 8 oz. packages reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1¼ c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ c. fresh key lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. key lime zest
  • 1½ c. heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. key lime zest
For crust:
  1. In a large bowl, combine crushed pretzels, sugar, and melted butter.
  2. Mix until crumbly, and press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, pressing the crumbs slightly up the edges.
For filling:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add in sugar and vanilla, and beat until smooth and well-combined.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Blend well after each addition.
  4. Beat in key lime juice and zest.
  5. Pour into prepared pretzel crust.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 60-70 minutes. The edges will be golden brown, and the center will still jiggle slightly, but will set as it cools.
  7. Allow to cool completely. Refrigerate to chill.
For topping:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
  2. Fold in zest.
  3. Spread topping over cooled and chilled cheesecake. Enjoy!

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So, yeah, it’s good! :)


    • says

      Haha! That’s so funny. Our brains are on the same page lately because I just made blackberry shortcakes with lemon curd this week and then I saw your delicious pie!!!

  1. says

    Oh that’s absolutely beautiful Sarah! I have yet to make an actual cheesecake. I’ve made mini ones, but I’ve never made a full size cheesecake. That definitely needs to change. Especially since you keep showing me pictures of all these amazing cheesecakes that I want to try! And a pretzel crust too. Mmmm.

    • says

      Yes, you definitely should! Mine ALWAYS crack, and I know I could fix that, but I don’t actually care to. I just accept that it cracks, and slather some whipped cream on top!! :)

    • says

      Oh that’s awesome!! We love cheesecake too, and we definitely love key lime stuff, but don’t eat it enough! Gonna have to change that. Thanks, Blair! :)

  2. says

    Cheesecake and me started this new relationship and I am loving it! This looks devine! What a fun twist with the pretzel crust! And I am so happy the hubby loved it and glad he even ate the cupcakes. :) My hubby isn’t a huge dessert person in general which is a bummer cause then I have to eat it all. Of course I don’t have to but…well you know that rest, hehe. 😉 Pinned.

    • says

      Lol! I hear ya! Thankfully, my S.O. does eat sweets because I do need help eating them up around here! I have a sweet tooth too so I could certainly eat them all myself, but I try not to! Haha! :)

  3. says

    I have a love/hate relationship with cheesecake. Love it because it is amazing and tastes so good, but hate it because I can’t ever stop eating it. I am loving how rich and creamy this one looks…and just yes to that pretzel crust!!

    • says

      I know what you mean!!! It’s a guilty pleasure of mine too. I have a hard time ever turning it down. My S.O. goes through it even faster than I do though! Thanks so much, Jocelyn! :)

  4. Barb says

    My mom will love this! She is a big key lime lover, and this is a nice change on the regular key lime pie. I love the pretzel crust idea. I have a family member coming from out of town one of these days to visit her, and we will have to make it then!

  5. says

    This cheesecake looks gorgeous! I love key lime desserts and it sounds amazing with the pretzel crust! This is totally getting me geared up for spring too!

  6. says

    My husband’s favorite dessert is key lime pie. We have a key lime tree that produces lots of key limes. I freeze it in batches for a pie. Works great. I still have lots in the freezer. I think I will try your key lime cheesecake version and see how he likes it.
    Thanks for the recipe,

    • says

      That’s a great idea, Beverly!! We just planted a lime tree last year, we are waiting for it to produce and it seems to be struggling. I *need* to get a key lime tree now that you mention it!! That’s such a good idea. :)

  7. says

    Hi there! This looks so pretty, I don’t know if I would want to even cut it… Nah, I could probably put this whole thing down in one sitting. Maybe two if I had a big lunch 😉 Thanks so much for linking up at Wordless Wednesday- Great job!

  8. Susan says

    I lo-ove cheesecake and the sweet salty combo sound heavenly. Thanks for sharing at the This Is How We Roll Link Party on Organized 31.

  9. says

    I have such wonderful memories to Key West, that whenever I hear ‘key lime pie’ I smile. However, I actually never made it even though I brought a postcard with the recipe on it home with me! Where it is??? Who knows. So thank you for sharing your recipe here. Maybe something to make over Easter… Hugs/kisses, from Rose,

    • says

      That’s so fun, Rose! I have lived in central FL for 7 years now and still haven’t gone to Key West. I really need to go. So glad you like this cheesecake!

  10. says

    Sarah, I love cheesecake, and yours sounds fantastic (and your photography is really lovely!). Perfect for St. Patrick’s day. :) Featuring tonight at Treasure Box Tuesday- we get started at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time! Thank you for partying with us- pinned! :)

  11. says

    I’m loving this! You always bring such amazing things to our party. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you tonight at 7 at our party. I can’t wait! Lou Lou Girls

  12. says

    I just made some key lime bars this looks amazing. Pinned for later!Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party! Hope to see you again soon. Shared…

  13. Cindy burzynski says

    Hi- I made this cheesecake for an end of summer party and it was delicious. I had some problems with the crust. It was dry and crumbly and lots of crumbs remained in pan and made a big mess. What is the correct measurement of the pretzels? Before or after they are crushed? Also, I baked this for 70 minutes and refrigerated overnight but still felt it was a bit soft. Everyone said it was very good but I didn’t think it presented well. I’ll try it again though.

  14. says

    What a great flavor combo!! This sounds divine!! Desserts disappear around here, too, during the night. Darned elves.

    Thanks for sharing this with us at Throwback Thursday this week!


  15. says

    I love the idea of the pretzel crust. Thanks for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday. Pinned and shared! Can’t wait to see what you bring to the party this week.

  16. says

    Oh my goodness, now I want to be your valentine too! Do you have room in your heart for me too? 😉 I definitely need to make this soon! Thanks for sharing at Throwback Thursday!

  17. says

    This sounds so delicious! I love the combination of sweet and salty, and I bet it’s wonderful with the tartness of the key limes. Yummed and Pinning for future reference!


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