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Is Key Lime Pie A Cheesecake? A Chef’s Guide

Norah Clark
Key lime pie on a marble kitchen counter.

No, key lime pie is not a cheesecake. It is a distinct dessert that consists of a graham cracker crust filled with a tangy and creamy lime-flavored filling typically made with key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and eggs. Cheesecake is made primarily from cream cheese and has a different texture and flavor profile.

Some people consider key lime pie to be a type of cheesecake, while others view it as a separate dessert entirely.

Read on for the history of key lime pie and its similarities and differences with cheesecakes.

Is Key Lime Pie Cheesecake Or Pie?

Key lime pie is not considered to be a type of cheesecake.

The primary difference lies in the crust used. Key lime pie typically utilizes a pie crust, while cheesecake does not always have a crust and may be served on top of a base similar to frosting a cookie.

Although key lime pie is not traditionally a cheesecake, it is possible to create a cheesecake version of key lime pie.

Key lime pie on a marble kitchen counter.
Key lime pie on a marble kitchen counter.

Whereas cheesecake is a dessert that has a rich and creamy filling made from cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and a graham cracker or cookie crust. The filling is typically baked in the oven and then chilled to set.

There are many different variations of cheesecake, including New York-style cheesecake, which is tall and dense, and Italian-style cheesecake, which is lighter and fluffier.

Are Key Lime Pie and Cheesecake Similar?

Both key lime pie and cheesecake have a similar texture and consistency, with a creamy filling and a crumbly crust.

The taste of key lime pie and cheesecake has a sweet and tangy flavor, with the acidity of the lime or cream cheese balancing out the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Cheesecake on a cooling rack.
Cheesecake on a cooling rack.

Both desserts are typically chilled before serving, which adds to their creamy texture.

What’s the difference between Key lime pie and lime cheesecake?

The main difference between key lime pie and cheesecake is the type of filling used. Key lime pie is made with key lime juice and sweetened condensed milk, while the cheesecake is made with cream cheese, sugar, and eggs.

This difference in ingredients gives the two desserts a distinct flavor and texture. Additionally, key lime pie is often topped with whipped cream or meringue, while the cheesecake is typically served plain or with a fruit topping.

Key Lime Pie Cheesecake
Crust Pie Crust Optional
Filling Key Lime Juice, Sweetened Condensed Milk Cream Cheese, Sugar, Eggs
Topping Whipped Cream, Meringue Optional
Texture Creamy Rich and Creamy
Flavor Sweet and Tangy Sweet and Tangy


Does key lime pie contain cream cheese?

No, key lime pie does not contain cream cheese.

What is key lime pie filling made of?

Key lime pie filling is typically made of key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks. Some variations may include meringue as well.

How fattening is key lime pie?

Key lime pie can be relatively high in calories and fat due to the sweetened condensed milk and graham cracker crust. The exact calorie and fat content will depend on the recipe used, but it is generally considered to be a treat or dessert, rather than a health food.


In summary, while key lime pie and cheesecake share many similarities, they are ultimately two separate desserts. While key lime pie may have a creamy texture and tangy flavor, it is not made with cream cheese and therefore cannot be considered a type of cheesecake.

The question “is key lime pie a cheesecake?” can be answered with a definitive no. Both key lime pie and cheesecake are beloved desserts in their own right, and both are worth trying for their unique flavors and textures.

Profile Image Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

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