This easy key lime dessert has a delicious cream cheese mixture, a pretzel crust and is topped with key lime pie filling. It’s sweet, tart, salty and makes one fabulous dessert, and most of all, so easy to make.
This key lime dessert, some call it an icebox cake, is such an easy and delicious dessert to make. It’s a classic slice of Americana and there are so many things you can do with this recipe. I love to play with this kind of dessert, turning it into something new every time. That’s what I did with this. Unlike most icebox cakes that are 100% no-bake, my key lime cream cheese dessert has a baked crust. Other than that, it’s that same simple, delicious type of dessert that everyone always loves.
Easy Key Lime Cream Cheese Dessert
This delicious key lime recipe ticks all the boxes. It’s easy, it’s delicious and it’s a real crowd-pleaser. It doesn’t get much better than that! A delicious pretzel crust is topped with the classic sweet and tangy flavor of key lime pie filling along with a layer of cream cheese and whipped topping that further adds a delicious counterpoint to the salty goodness of the pretzel crust. Every bite is a sweet and savory explosion of flavor that never disappoints.
Key Lime Layered Dessert
Like all layered desserts this starts with the baked pretzel crust. Then we add a layer of sweet and tangy cream cheese and whipped topping. Finally, we finish it off with a layer of key lime pie filling to complete the flavor profile. It’s one of the most delicious and EASY key lime recipes you’ll ever make!
Key Lime Pie Bars
One of the best parts of this delicious dessert is how well it holds its shape, making it perfect to serve as bars, if desired. It’s so easy to make and so easy to cut into bars. There’s no need for simply scooping out dollops of this dessert. You can easily transform it into bars, making it exceptionally easy to serve to friends, family, and other guests.
Changing up this recipe is super easy. With just one change, you can create an entirely new recipe every time. The secret is the pie filling! We used key lime for this recipe, but any fruit pie filling will work. Just head to your baking aisle, and choose the filling that looks the tastiest to you! Some of my favorites are:
Frequently Asked Questions
Before jumping right into the recipe, take a moment to read over this FAQ. It answers all the most frequently asked questions regarding key lime and this key lime recipe.
Can you Freeze this Recipe?
Yes! Key lime pie filling and whipped topping both freeze very well. While it’s generally inadvisable to freeze cream cheese, when it’s mixed into other ingredients like it is in this recipe, it freezes quite well, also.
What is Special about Key Limes?
Key limes are more aromatic and have a tarter, more floral juice than regular limes. This unique flavor profile produces lime desserts that are less tart and have more of the core lime flavor than standard limes will deliver.
Do Limes and Key Limes Taste the Same?
Not exactly. While they both have a lime flavor, key limes have a stronger, more intense lime flavor that is less bitter. Their zest is also more flavorful than regular lime zest.
Are Key Limes Sweeter than Regular Limes?
Yes, they are. As they ripen, they become more yellowish than a traditional lime, and their juice loses more acidity and gains a sweeter flavor.
Can you Use a Graham Cracker Crust Instead of a Pretzel Crust?
Yes, you can. Simply crush up the graham crackers and combine them with butter in the same way and bake.
Why This Recipe Works
This recipe works so well because it balances so many wonderful flavors. The pretzel base creates a great, salty undertone. From there, the cream cheese and whipped topping combine to create a tangy and sweet second layer. The final layer of key lime pie filling offers even more zesty and sweet flavor that’s not too tangy. When it all comes together, you get a sweet and salty flavor profile that offers some tang as well to create a flavor that is incredibly delicious as well as interesting on the palate.
Easy Key Lime Dessert Ingredients
It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this delicious dessert. In fact, outside of the key lime pie filling, you might have every single ingredient in your kitchen already.
- Pretzels, crushed
- Vanilla extract
- Brown sugar
- All purpose flour
- Melted butter
- Cream cheese, room temperature
- Powdered sugar
- Cool whip
- Key lime pie filling
- Fresh key limes, for garnish, if desired
(Actual measurements are in the recipe card below.)
How to Make this Key Lime Recipe
Making key lime recipe is just as simple as shopping for the ingredients. It only takes a few simple steps, and only one of them has any cooking at all to speak of. Even that is nothing more than preheating an oven. It’s incredibly simple.
Step 1: Make the Pretzel Crust
Crush the pretzels into small pieces with a food processor. Then, in a medium bowl, combine the pretzels, vanilla, brown sugar, and flour, mixing well until combined. Next, melt the butter and add it to the pretzel mixture. Spread the mixture into an 8×8 square pan or 9×13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Step 2: Make the Cream Cheese Mixture
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until it’s light and fluffy, and smooth, then add the powdered sugar. Beat well until combined and mix in the whipped topping.
Step 3: Finish the Dessert
After the crust has completely cooled, spread the cream cheese mixture in an even layer over the pretzels. Then, top evenly with the key lime pie filling. Top with the remaining pretzel mixture, cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
Try These Delicious Key Lime bars Today
This delicious key lime recipe is easy-to-make and is overflowing with delicious lime flavor, along with a sweet and salty combination that is absolutely amazing. It comes together quickly, and everyone always loves it. With a combination like that, there’s no reason not to give it a try. Make this recipe today, and I guarantee you’ll have it on heavy rotation in your dessert menu.
Here Are A Few More Delicious Fruit Desserts You’ll Enjoy
Peach Pretzel Salad – A delicious Jello salad that is both sweet and salty. Made with fresh peaches, pretzels, a layer of sweet cream cheese filling and a layer of peach Jello with the fresh peaches added. So good!
Frozen Blueberry Dessert – A delicious blueberry cream cheese filling, topped with fresh blueberries and cool whip all on top of a graham cracker crust. Talk about AMAZING!
Cherry Cream Cheese Danish – This Danish pastry is made with a sweet, smooth cream cheese filling, a fresh cherry topping and baked to perfection, then drizzled with glaze.
And, here is a Peach Cobbler Frozen Dessert from Great Grub, Delicious Treats that you might enjoy too!
Easy Key Lime Dessert
- 2½ cups pretzels crushed
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ½ cup butter melted
- 8 ounce cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 8 ounce cool whip
- 21 ounce key lime pie filling
- Preheat oven to 375° and spray a 9×13 with nonstick cooking spray.
- Crush pretzels into small pieces with food processor.
- Using a medium bowl, add pretzels, vanilla, brown sugar, and flour together until combined.
- Melt butter and add to pretzel mixture. Stir until combined.
- Spread mixture into prepared baking dish. Press mixture into a smooth layer.
- Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.
- In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth then add powdered sugar. Beat until combined then add cool whip and mix until combined.
- Once crust has completely cooled, spread cream cheese mixture over pretzel mixture. Top with key lime pie filling and spread evenly.
- Top with any remaining pretzel mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Here are a couple of pics that are perfect to save to your favorite Pinterest boards.