Yield: 1 loaf key lime cookie dough cheesecake bars // Total Time: 5 hr. 40 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. //
Rich and creamy key lime cheesecake with a graham cracker crust and key lime white chocolate chip cookie dough on top.
key lime cookie dough cheesecake bars
Cheesecake, but take it to the next level by adding cookie dough on top of it, then take it to the NEXT level by making that cookie dough key lime white chocolate chip cookie dough! It’s rich, creamy, and oh-so delicious.
weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. I do provide cup measurements but please note that I test all my recipes in grams and can not guarantee that your bake will turn out like mine. This kitchen scale is super cheap and a great starter scale!
room temperature ingredients
While it’s almost always important to have room temperature ingredients so all your ingredients come together, it’s ESPECIALLY important when it comes to cheesecake. Be sure to take out your cream cheese, heavy cream, and egg at least 1 hour, and up to 2 hours before starting the recipe. Also be sure to take out your butter for the cookie dough.
mix the batter carefully
After adding in the eggs, you’ll want to make sure to only mix the batter until the eggs are fully incorporated. This will make sure we don’t add too much air into the batter, which will help keep the batter dense and avoid cracks forming on top. We can also counteract cracking even more by baking the cheesecake in a water bath.
how to tell when a cheesecake is done baking
Cheesecake is done baking when it’s only slightly wobbly in the center. I like to temp my cheesecake as a more accurate way to tell when it’s done. A thermometer stuck into the middle of the cheesecake should read 170 fahrenheit / 76 celsius.
heat treat the flour!
This step is *super super super* important. You might think that the only problem in standard cookie dough is eating raw eggs, but the truth is that the flour is just as dangerous to be eating raw! There are two ways that you can heat treat your flour to make it safe to eat.
In the microwave. This is the method I use in this recipe because it is fast and easy. Simply spread the flour out on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it in 30 second intervals until the flour reads 165°F / 74°C. This usually takes me about 2 minutes total.
In the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C. Spread the flour out over a clean baking tray and bake until the flour reaches a temperature of 165°F / 74°C. This should take 5-10 min.
ingredients and substitutions
For the graham cracker crust:
Graham crackers: the base of any good graham cracker crust!
Unsalted butter: binds the crust together. Salted or your favorite non-dairy butter stick will work perfectly here as well.
Granulated sugar: for a bit of sweetness.
For the key lime cheesecake:
Cream cheese: the base of the cheesecake and what makes it tangy, rich, and creamy.
Eggs: binds the batter together.
Granulated sugar: for sweetness and helps lock in moisture.
Corn starch: for thickening up the cheesecake. You can substitute in 1 tbsp. of flour in its place if needed.
Heavy whipping cream: for moisture and richness.
Key limes: We’ll need key limes here for their zest. In a pinch, regular limes will work as well.
Vanilla: for flavor.
For the key lime cookie dough:
All purpose flour: gives the cookie dough structure. We will heat-treat the flour so that it is safe to eat! I’ve also tested this with gluten-free flour and almond flour which work perfectly. You don’t need to heat-treat almond flour but you do need to heat-treat the 1:1 gluten free flour.
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness of the cookie dough
Unsalted butter: gives the cookie dough that classic butter-y flavor and helps it hold up at room temperature. If using salted butter, just omit the extra salt from the dough. You can also sub in dairy-free butter sticks!
Light brown sugar: for sweetness and for more depth of flavor
Key limes: we’ll need the zest and juice of some key limes here. In a pinch regular limes work well.
White chocolate chips: for flavor and texture.
how to make key lime cookie dough cheesecake bars
Here’s a little look into the process of making these key lime cookie dough cheesecake bars. The full recipe is at the end of this blog post!
key lime cookie dough cheesecake bars q&a
what size cake pan do I need?
You will need an 8×4″ metal loaf pan for these cheesecake bars. You *can* use a 9×5″ loaf pan but note that your cheesecake will turn out thinner than the pictures, and may need a few less minutes in the oven.
how should I store this cake?
You can store cheesecake in the fridge for 2 days before serving.
why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale.
a note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
tools and ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
did you make these key lime cookie dough cheesecake bars?
If you made these key lime cookie dough cheesecake bars I would love to see and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Key Lime Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ tbsp. unsalted butter
- 45 g graham crackers (scant ½ c.)
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
Key Lime Cheesecake
- 75 g granulated sugar (¾ c.)
- 1 ½ tsp. cornstarch
- zest of 3 key limes
- 226 g cream cheese room temperature (1 brick)
- 1 egg room temperature
- 55 g heavy whipping cream room temperature (¼ c.)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Key Lime White Chocolate Cookie Dough
- 120 g all purpose flour* (1 c.)
- 110 g light brown sugar (½ c.)
- zest of 2 key limes
- 90 g unsalted butter (6 ½ tbsp.) room temperature
- 1 tbsp. key lime juice
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 90 g white chocolate chips (½ c.)
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Butter and line a 8×4" metal loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter. Crush the graham crackers until they're very fine, then mix in the sugar and melted butter.
- Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the loaf pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove it from the oven. In the meantime, make the cheesecake filling.
Key Lime Cheesecake
- Add the sugar and corn starch to a medium sized mixing bowl. (or to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.) Zest the key limes into the mixture.
- Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar and cornstarch.
- Add the cream cheese into the sugar mixture. Use a hand mixer (or stand mixer) to beat the ingredients together for 2 minutes.
- Add in the egg, heavy cream, and vanilla. Beat the mixture on low speed *just* until everything is fully incorporated.
- Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to help remove any air from the filling.
- (Optional but highly recommended) Fill a 9×13 baking dish, or any baking dish that the loaf can fit into, half way with hot water. Place the loaf pan into the pan with water, then place the whole thing into the oven.
- Bake the cheesecake for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheesecake only slightly wobbles and reaches an internal temperature of at least 170°F / 76°C.
- Once the cheesecake is fully cooked, turn off the oven and leave the door slightly ajar with the cheesecake in it for 30 min. before transferring it to the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours.
Key Lime White Chocolate Cookie Dough
- Once the cheesecake is fully cold, make the cookie dough.
- HEAT TREAT THE FLOUR. Place the flour in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F / 74°C.
- Add the brown sugar into a medium sized mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer.) Zest the key limes into the bowl, then use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar.
- Add in the butter, and beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy (~3 min.)
- Add in the lime juice and beat until combined.
- Add in the heat treated flour and salt. Beat until almost all the flour is incorporated, then beat in the white chocolate chips.
- Top the cookie dough with 1 tbsp. cookie dough scoops, extra key lime zest, and white chocolate chips. Slice, serve, and enjoy!