Key Lime Cheesecake Bars with Coconut Macadamia Crust

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars with Coconut Macadamia Crust have a lightened up cheesecake filling with a big pop of key lime flavor, with coconut and macadamia nuts baked right into the crust.  They’re easy to make and are always a crowd pleaser!

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars with Coconut Macadamia Crust are so easy to make, ultra creamy, and bursting with fresh key lime flavor! @FlavortheMoment

I had a big celebration for you on Monday, and there’s another one going on today — it’s been one special week!  I made these Key Lime Cheesecake Bars with Coconut Macadamia Crust to celebrate a Virtual Baby Shower for not one, not two, but THREE lovely ladies!

Virtual Baby Shower

This post is in honor of 3 blogging friends of mine that I’ve come to know the past year.  It’s so exciting that all of them are first time moms — Natalie had her adorable baby boy in the fall, Isadora is expecting a boy, and Jessica is expecting a girl. Some blogging friends and I couldn’t let these three ladies go without a virtual shower, and I’m so happy to be a part of it!  You can find these ladies and their wonderful recipes as follows:

Natalie at Tastes Lovely

Isadora at She Likes Food

Jessica at Flying on Jess Fuel

Congrats, ladies!

In honor of this occasion, we decided to bite-sized food.  I was going to do mini cheesecakes, but quite honestly, I’ve done so many the past few months with the holidays that I decided to give my mini cheesecake pans a rest and use a good old 8×8″ square baking pan instead.  Yes, these bars are a bit bigger than bite-sized….I could have cut them smaller, but I couldn’t help myself. 🙂

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars with Coconut Macadamia Crust are so easy to make, ultra creamy, and bursting with fresh key lime flavor! @FlavortheMoment

One of my favorite ingredients to use is key limes, and I remember several years ago that the thought of juicing tiny key limes was a ridiculous  notion to me.  Why would I do that when I could use regular limes or buy bottled juice?  I thought that because I’d never tried the real thing, and after I used fresh key lime juice in my key lime pie, I noticed the difference right away.  Fresh is best — hands down, and no comparison.  If you can’t find them in your grocery store, you can always use bottled or regular limes in a pinch.

I’m a bit obsessed with key limes which you may be able to tell if you’ve hung around here for a while.  I’ve got a whopping 14 key lime recipes not counting this one, and I’m sure I’ll keep adding more.  Every time I see them in the store I grab a bag, juice them, and stick the juice in my freezer for key lime emergencies.

It really is a thing. 🙂

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars with Coconut Macadamia Crust are so easy to make, ultra creamy, and bursting with fresh key lime flavor! @FlavortheMoment

I’ve got many cheesecake recipes here, but oddly enough, this is the first one that’s key lime flavored.  These cheesecakes are so creamy with loads of fresh key lime flavor to brighten them up, and then there’s that crust.  This crust is no ordinary graham cracker crust….we’ve got some finely chopped macadamia nuts and some finely shredded unsweetened coconut added to make it really special.  If you’re not a fan of either, simply omit them and substitute it with an equal amount of more graham cracker crumbs.

These bars came together so quickly, and even if you have to juice the key limes you’ll have this dessert prepped in no time.  You’ll have them eaten even faster, because yeah…cheesecake!

These Key Lime Cheesecake Bars with Coconut Macadamia Crust are cheesecake without the fuss.  They’re creamy with a key lime pop of freshness and a mild coconut-macadamia flavor that takes the crust over the top.  This could be my favorite key lime recipe ever, but I think I say that about all of them. 🙂

And don’t forget to visit the other amazing recipes for bite-size food from the following wonderful ladies:

Caprese Cups – Pumpkin ‘N Spice

Almost No Bake Pineapple Squares – The Recipe Rebel

Lemon Macarons – Life Made Sweeter

Lemon Lime Bars – Bake. Eat. Repeat.

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Swirled Meringues – Floating Kitchen

Prosciutto-Wrapped Avocado Crostini with Balsamic Glaze – My Sequined Life

Mediterranean Stuffed Mini Peppers – Kristine’s Kitchen

 Mini Chocolate Bundt Cakes – My Kitchen Craze

Pepper Jack and Bacon Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes – A Latte Food

No Bake Baileys Smores Mousse Cups – With Salt and Wit

 Strawberry Shortcake Bread – Maebells

Banana Cream Pie Dessert Nachos – Whole and Heavenly Oven

 Lemon Cream Pie Bites – Bakerita

Balsamic Strawberry Wonton Bites – Sweet Peas & Saffron

 

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars with Coconut Macadamia Crust are so easy to make, ultra creamy, and bursting with fresh key lime flavor! @FlavortheMoment

More key lime recipes to love!

coconut-key-lime-angel-food-cake-roll3 | flavorthemoments.com

Coconut Key Lime Angel Food Cake Roll

Key Lime Cooler Cookies are soft, buttery, and bursting with fresh key lime flavor! @FlavortheMoment

Key Lime Cooler Cookies

no churn key lime pie ice cream2 | flavorthemoments.com

No-Churn Key Lime Pie Ice Cream with Coconut Graham Cracker Crumble

 

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars with Coconut Macadamia Crust
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Key Lime Cheesecake Bars with Coconut Macadamia Crust have a lightened up cheesecake filling with a big pop of key lime flavor, with coconut and macadamia nuts baked right into the crust. They're easy to make and are always a crowd pleaser!
Author:
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
For the crust:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut*
  • ¼ cup finely chopped macadamia nuts*
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
  • (2) 8 ounce packages of ⅓ less fat neufchatel cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons plain low fat Greek yogurt*
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon key lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the whipped cream:
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Instructions
Prepare the crust:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8" square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Place the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, macadamia nuts, sugar, and pinch of salt in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add the melted butter and stir until the crumbs are coated well with the butter. Press the crust into the prepared baking dish evenly and bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.
Prepare the filling:
  1. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the Greek yogurt , eggs, key lime juice, zest, and vanilla, and beat until combined.
  2. Pour the filling over the prepared crust and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is set but still a bit jiggly in the center (the filling will set more as it cools). Cool completely on a wire rack then chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours.
Prepare the whipped cream:
  1. Place the heavy cream and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat at medium high until medium peaks form. Beat by hand a few seconds more until almost stiff. Set aside.
  2. Grab the ends of the foil and lift the cheesecake from the pan. Cut into bars with a very sharp knife, cleaning the knife with warm water in between slices to get a clean slice. Pipe or dollop the whipped cream on top of the bars, serve, and enjoy!
Notes
*The coconut and macadamia nuts may be substituted for the same amount of graham cracker crumbs if you don't have them on hand. Pecans are also a great substitute for the macadamias.
*Sour cream may be substituted for the Greek yogurt.
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars with Coconut Macadamia Crust are so easy to make, ultra creamy, and bursting with fresh key lime flavor! @FlavortheMoment