Lime-Scented Cheesecake

Lime scented cheesecake Lime-scented? Well, what in the world does that even mean? Good question.

Naming a recipe you make up is one of the more difficult steps in recipe development, at least for me. You’d think it would be the fun part, and it is. But you also want to make sure you quickly and clearly communicate expectations about the dish in question. 

For example, if you name a cocktail Midnight Espresso Martini, then I expect it to be one of the more chocolatey things I taste that day (and maybe week). If it tastes like mostly gin or vodka with just a hint of coffee or chocolate, then the name just doesn’t really make sense. It should have been named Weak Cup of Coffee Martini. Which no one would want to drink.

I had a Midnight Espresso Martini last weekend, so it’s on the brain, I guess. And yes, it was uber chocolatey.

Lime scented cheesecakeLime scented cheesecake Back to this cheesecake. This is NOT a key lime pie. Key lime cheesecake would make a lot of sense for a title (and it’s probably very Google-able), but it just isn’t quite right.

This cheesecake is a balance of creamy with subtle but bright pops of citrus. It doesn’t set your teeth on edge with copious amounts of sugar or lime juice. (If you like that sort of thing, like I do, I highly recommend trying these tarts.) 

It’s good, but it’s not in-your-face citrus. Hopefully you sort of already got that from the title, and I’ve been babbling on needlessly. As usual. 

My goodness, you all are very patient friends. Let’s make some cheesecake together, yes?!

Lime zestLime-Scented Cheesecake, makes 5-6 mini cheesecakes*
*I used my Zenker ring molds pan to bake my cheesecake batter. You could also bake this in a traditional cheesecake (spring-form) cheesecake pan, but the final cake will be slightly less tall than the mini versions you see pictured in this post. No need to adjust the bake time.

1 cup crushed vanilla wafers (if using a traditional pan, increase to 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup melted butter

Three 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon flour
3 eggs
1/3 cup lime juice
1/2 tablespoon lime zest

In a food processor, pulse the vanilla wafers until crumbly. Stir in the butter and press into your pan(s), creating an even layer. Bake at 325°F for 5 minutes before filling with the cheesecake batter.

Best cheesecake recipeIn a bowl, stir together the softened cream cheese and sugar until well combined. Then stir in the flour, eggs, lime juice, and zest. Pour batter into prepared (and slightly baked) crust(s).

Bake at 325°F for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. There should only be a very slight jiggle in the middle of the cake when it’s done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Lime scented cheesecake Serve chilled, topped with a little whipped cream and a lime wedge (or additional zest).

Lime scented cheesecake (click through for recipe)These are pretty easy to make and a super delicious dessert. I love that you can easily make cheesecake a day ahead of time and have a super impressive dessert ready for a weekend dinner party with friends. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. 

  • Can i make these in a cupcake tray? I looooooove cheesecake and lime but dont have the molds to make them and i don’t want to make a big one! Thanks in advance. 🙂

  • I looooooove lime, so I love everything lime-scented!

  • Drools! I love the portion control of these cheese cakes! I am sad that I’ve suddenly become lactose intolerant after a n illness. I hope I’ll be able to enjoy this someday!

  • I’m going to try and make these this week they look so delicious, just wondering… I’m from New Zealand and here ‘Vanilla Wafers’ are layers of wafer with icing inbetween, but when I google them the American version looks more like a solid biscuit. Which is the right one for this recipe? Thanks 🙂

  • Oh yeah! This is my kind of dessert! I love me a cheesecake. Page bookmarked to try these out! 🙂

  • I can totally relate to the naming issues, sometimes I want to give my recipes a 20 word title! Lime scented calls out to me, you did good!A love a subtle flavour.

  • Hi! 🙂 I think what A Beautiful Mess is saying that rather than completely tasting like a lime cheesecake, there’s only the hint of a taste. I believe they used “scented” to mean “just a tad/smudge”, rather than just say “lightly lime flavored cheesecake” since it’s shorter and sweeter (no pun intended).

  • I love cheescakes and these little deserts look adorable! I definitely need to make these sometime. I was confused by the title when I first read with the “lime-scented” part, but after the first couple sentences I knew what you were talking about. 🙂 You use scented to mean “just a tad” instead of the literal form. I now love the name of these cheesecakes, it sounds perfect. 🙂 Your photography is also gorgeous.

  • these are so delicious.. and so beautifully captured! the perfect little sweet treats!

  • Do you think this would work with agave nectar in place of sugar? I suppose I could just experiment myself, but thought I’d ask in case you have experience using agave in your cheesecake adventures.

  • You’re funny, Emma 🙂 I think your title totally makes sense <-- pun intended I can't wait to try this combination, it sounds delicious!

  • These cheesecakes look perfect for a summer inspired dessert. Perfect ending to a nice meal. Blessings, Catherine

  • Yes, it still contains all lime juice as the main liquid and quite a bit of zest. You’ll for sure taste the lime, but it’s much more subtle than something like key lime pie.

    Happy baking,

  • Is there any lime flavour IN the cheesecake, or does it just smell like it?

  • mmm! Delicious! I’m definitely making these soon.


  • No broken record, I did read the post over twice before I posted and still had questions – hence my comment.

    I think I will try it. I’m a bit confused why it can’t just be lightly lime flavored, over “scented”, and why key lime pie apparently has to taste like key lime cheesecake in order to be called “lime cheesecake”.

  • OMG perfect – love me some cheesecake! Your explanation of the title cracked me up because your’e totally right – if it were any other title I’d be expected lime explosion but lime scented lets me know exactly what I’m in for. 🙂

  • Hi Emma! It seems like your recipes have been showing even more personality than usual lately, and I love it! The whole “patient friends” bit in this recipe and the “thanks to all the photos above, I don’t need to write directions” bit in the tuna roll recipe cracked me up. The beautiful photos and fun commentary are what set your recipes apart from the food-intensive websites. Keep ’em coming!

  • Sound like ‘Vaguely lime cheesecake’ would have been a good title. 😉

  • Yuuuuuum. I have been craving lime EVERYTHING lately. can’t wait to make these!

  • I love that this cheesecake isn’t too citrusy. I like personally prefer to taste the cheesecake and just have a hint of citrus 🙂

  • this looks absolutely delicious. my sweet tooth is going to have a field day! thanks for sharing!

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  • These are too adorable. I love just plain cheesecake but I little taste of lime could totally be refreshing. I’ll have to try this.

  • Wow. These look so beautiful. I’m going to have to make some so I can eat them!

  • These are so cute! I LOVE cheesecake and tried to make it once and it turned out horrible. This looks easy enough so I will give it another try.

  • Looks super pretty and delicious.. awesome photography 🙂

  • Omg these sound so light and delicious! Sometimes key-lime is too much for me so I think these might be perfect! And adorable! Yum.

    xx Bee

  • Cheesecake is one of Trey’s (my husband’s) favorite desserts as well. So, I make them a lot. I’m always trying to impress him. 🙂


  • Fun! It would be perfect for that. You could totally make it a day ahead so you can spend more time with guests. 🙂


  • Yes, I tried to choose a title that gives you the idea right away that this cheesecake has a soft lime flavoring, unlike key lime pie which is usually pretty in-your-face. I talk about this in the post some, so you’ll have to forgive me if I’m being a bit of a broken record here.

    Try it. See what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the flavor. 🙂


  • these are adorable!! One look at the title and I already knew I need to make these soon. I’ve never seen that baking pan before- must put it on my wish list.

  • yum! I love cheesecake and I really love anything lemon or lime. these pics are absolutely beautiful and mouthwatering. cant wait to try this recipe! xx. gigi.

  • Oh wow so adorable – Love that they are bitesize!!

    Josie xoxo Fashion Mumblr

  • …. except the title you chose makes it sound like the cheesecake just smells like lime, and doesn’t taste like it. I’m confused.

  • Cheesecake is my favourite dessert ever. Will definitely be giving these a go soon!

  • I have a MEGA weakness for cheesecake, so my family will probably be seeing these soon!

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