Key Lime Cheesecake

Three ways. Mini with nut crumbs, on a plate, and with raspberry sauce

Cheesecake Factory sells the most decadent key lime cheesecake, and we were so in love, once I was able to finally nail down the ultimate cheesecake recipe, I decided it was time to perfect this one, too.
Just tart enough to make you pucker,  at only 3.5 effective carbohydrates per slice, you should give this one a shot!I really love adding the freshness of my raspberry sauce on top. If you can score some fresh or frozen raspberries, give it a shot! You won’t regret it, and the colors of the two combined are like Christmas in your mouth.

Recipe thoughts and ruminations:

  • Consider thickeners like arrowroot or amaranth. They are gluten free, and while not particularly low in carbohydrates, they do the trick. Other options include corn starch, guar or xanthan gum (use less of guar or xanthan. A little goes a long way), or a low carb thickening blend like Hold the Carbs.
  • Can’t find key lime juice? No worries. Regular lime juice will suffice.
  • Why the three kinds of nuts for one crust? For this flavor profile, the complexity of the various flavors and attributes of each made the combination perfect for the tart sweetness of the key lime. If you can’t find the nuts or are in a pinch, go with almonds.
  • Have issues with portion control? Once dessert cools and hardens, cut into slices and freeze individually-wrapped portions.
  • Frozen portions travel well, too! Place a frozen, wrapped slice in your lunch to thaw and help keep other food items chilled.
  • You could lower the fat in this recipe by using a lower fat cream cheese, but those tend to contain more in the way of sugar. I would stick to quality, full-fat cream cheese in this instance.
  • This recipe is not Atkins Induction friendly (nut crust), but is low carb, gluten free, sugar free, and vegetarian friendly.


Key Lime Cheesecake

5 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1.5 cups sugar equivalent substitute
1 Tbsp thickener (amaranth or arrowroot)
3 eggs
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup Key Lime juice

For the crust
1/3 cup macadamia nuts
1/3 cup cashews
1/3 cup almonds
2 Tbsp sugar equivalent substitute
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup butter, melted (1/2 stick)

Making the crust:
Process nuts together until resembling coarse crushed graham crackers. Mix flour, butter and sugar substitute. Press in bottom of a 9” springform pan. Place in fridge.

Making the Filling:
Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a mixer, beat cream cheese with sugar substitute on medium for about one minute. Add thickener until just combined (10-30 seconds). On low, add eggs, one at a time, until just blended. Finally, add sour cream, lime juice and vanilla and beat just until blended (10-30 seconds). Pour into crust. Bake until set, 75-90 minutes. Cool on rack for 15 minutes before moving to refrigerator.

Makes 16 servings.

Nutritional Information for one serving: Calories: 345, Carbohydrates: 4g, Fiber: .7g, Net Carbs: 3.3g, Protein:7.8g, Fat: 34g

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  1. I’ve seen Xylitol before, but i’ve never heard of erythritol…can you tell me what it is and where to buy it?

    • Hi there! I buy the erythritol at the same store as the xylitol (usually at Kroger and other stores that carry sugar alcohols in the baking section). If you don’t find it there, you can order it online through or amazon (price for shipping + cost for the best deal). I buy the Now brand, which is my favorite.

  2. Dixie Belle says

    Where’s the flour amt for the crust ? ? ?

    Can’t wait to try this !


  3. Dixie Belle says

    NM, my duh moment for the day . . .I now realize the nuts are the flour !

    • I live every day like that. Today, I just published a recipe that wasn’t ready yet, so… welcome to my world.

  4. What can I use other than erythritol?

    • Hi there! I removed erythritol from ingredients and replaced with the ratio of sugar equivalent. This way, you can use anything you’d like!

  5. It’s like you’re in my head! I need to make this STAT. Thank you!!! <3

  6. Darlin D says

    Oh, this came at a perfect time, since I’ve been hunting for a great tasting lc key lime recipe. I am on Induction right now, but was thinking of omitting the crust & just having the yummy innards. Would you recommend this?

    • If you can stick to a serving, it’s all right, since cream cheese and sour cream are allowed in induction. You just don’t want to go over your limits for the day.

  7. Suzanne says

    I reaallly want to make this, but way too many carbs for me. I’m diabetic and sugar alcohols act just like sugar in my body and raise my BG.

    In looking at the recipe, though, where are the 21 g. of sugar alcohols coming from? It looks like the carbs come from the nuts? I’m a fairly new diabetic, so I don’t have this all figured out yet. LOL

    • Hi, Suzanne! You can use other sweeteners for this recipe. Just sub in the equivalent amount replacement for sugar and you’ll be perfect! A few carbs come from the nuts. Sugar alcohols comprise a large amount for erythritol and xylitol, but those tend to be preferable to sweeteners like maltitol, which tends to cause the most intestinal distress. You could also use Ideal sweetener, Truvia, or other sweeteners.

  8. Doesn’t the vanilla belong under the cheesecake filling rather than the crust. I am assuming that’s correct???
    You make such wonderful LC Food. I made the Oopsie Rolls yesterday and I am thrilled to have “bread” on Induction. Thanks a million for that recipe.

    • As goofy as it sounds, in that case, I added to the crust because I wanted the crust to have more of a vanilla taste! I’m glad you asked, though, just in case!

  9. Deniseregina says

    I question the 75 calories. Haven’t added it up, but I think it would be a lot more.

  10. I added up the calories, and it is over 300 per slice (even with the 16 servings)! Am I missing something? Also, I made this yesterday for Mother’s Day and it was amazing – but had no key lime taste! You are only supposed to add 1/4 cup lime juice, right? Again, Am I missing something?

    • Hi, Sarah! Yeah, 75 seems low, even for 16 servings. I’ll have to re-run the numbers on that. In cream cheese alone, one should have roughly 200 calories per serving…

  11. . . . oops! Just saw the 3/4 cup lime juice. Sorry! But what about the calories?

  12. Have made this twice in the last month and both time it is a huge hit! No one can believe it is a low-carb dessert! The crust is the best, can’t help myself to a spoonful of that while cooking! This freezes and travels very well, I usually bake it and when cool put the whole thing (springform pan included) inside one of the Christmas cookie tins and freeze it. When we’re ready to go (the last two have been out of town), I put the whole tin in the cooler and it stays almost completely frozen for the whole trip. When ready to server, the springform pan make it easy to pull out of the tin and it is sliced up for serving. Delicious with whipped cream and strawberries, for those who can indulge a little bit more. Thanks for the great recipes!

    • Thank you, Netsie, for taking the time to write and let me know what you think of the recipe! I love your cookie tin/freezing tips, too. I always have trouble transporting cheesecakes. What a great idea!

  13. Dear Jamie, after having tried the rainbow one a few weeks ago I’m gearing up to make this one today 🙂 (I have diners coming both tonight and tomorrow) I am rearing to try the base as I’ve read it has good results … Having never had a key lime and so not knowing what it should taste like, would it be total sacrilege to add the cocoa in the bottom as I’ve seen in another recipe?? Also, I am a bit flummoxed by the amount of cream cheese: 8 ounce packages (according to google) translate to about 227 grams, my philly only comes in 125 gram packages so I’ll have to get like NINE or so…!!! Sheesh, I hope I’m not miscalculating 🙂 Thanks again for your wonderful site and awesome recipes, I’ll let you know how I got on, especially with the crust as that was soggy last recipe and you advised to use this in stead. xxx from autumnal Amsterdam (bring on Halloween!! I love getting dressed up)

    • Hi, Nikki!

      I am not going to fib; I make gourmet cheesecakes. These feed a lot of people and are exquisitely rich and decadent. That said, you could certainly add a bi of cocoa to the crust to tame the acids.

      • okay, never mind: very weird but the odd structure that it had when fresh is now just dandy, in fact, I’m going to bring what’s left to my mum’s birthday do tomorrow. x

        • Sometimes those cheesecakes need time to set up. I think the added acids in this one mean definitely ‘aging’ time. I am so glad you like it!

  14. Hey there, looking forward tomtrying this one. Can I confirm the amount of cream cheese, is the total 40oz (eg 5 x 8oz )?
    Thanks, Mark

  15. Just wondering how you could sub in the cornstarch. I have zero experience with the other thickeners and don’t want to mess up this awesome sounding cheesecake.

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