I like making cakes, but it’s not something I do very often. Pretty much when someone’s birthday rolls around. And since I don’t do it very often, I take a long time planning them when I do. My husband had a birthday last week and I had a rich, dark, highly caloric (naturally) chocolate number all planned out in my head. When it came time to run to the store last minute for ingredients he admitted he had something else in mind. Hmm…maybe I should have asked the birthday boy for his opinion?? He was right though, it was the middle of August and insanely hot out and he said something cold and citrus-y sounded better. I thought of cheesecake (cold) and my most favorite citrus (if you don’t know that, you need to read this blog more often!) and this beauty was born. It wasn’t until I was actually whipping the cream for the top that I thought to take a cue from my Strawberry-Lime Shortcakes and go with a coconut cream. We served this for birthday guests with rave reviews. It’s a definite new favorite at our house and I promise you will freak with happiness and joy if you make it. Seriously. Love.
The crust starts off like any other cheesecake crust with crushed graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter, only this one has a little secret- coconut.
The batter is an easy mix of cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and eggs,
and then it gets a tangy tropical twist with lime zest,
Also, below is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, the oxo juicer. One of my friends told me I should tell you guys about things I love, so here you go! (I shared another one in this post). For quick juices, I just use this method, but if you’ve got a few limes, lemons, or oranges to juice, this is really handy. The bottom part is a measuring cup so you can measure as you go, and the top flips over with a large side for oranges and grapefruit and bottom is small for limes and lemons. I use it all the time- love it!
Anyway… spike that cheesecake batter with both lime juice and zest. I love the little specks of green floating around in there. Then pour it in the prepared crust.
Now don’t be scared of the water bath- it’s easy! Just make sure the bottom of your cheesecake pan is covered in foil- a few layers. And then put it in a larger pan. All you need to do is pour some hot water in the larger pan and you have a water bath. Now, that being said, if you don’t have a large pan to use, or you have deep fears of the water bath, then it’s honestly not the end of the world if you don’t use one. It helps the cheesecake to cook evenly and keeps the texture soft, and the top crack free. But the cheesecake won’t be ruined if you don’t use it. It will just get a little more cooked around the edge of the pan and the top may not be as pretty. But it will still taste amazing. Just know if you decide to skip it, the baking time will change, so set the timer for about 60 minutes and keep an eye on it.
When the cheesecake comes out it needs to cool completely and then chill overnight. This cheesecake is super creamy so a thorough chill is key!
When it’s ready for the finishing touches, whip up your coconut whipped cream. You’ll notice in the pictures my whipped cream looks pretty stiff. I beat it past the normal soft peak stage so it’s firm enough to pipe. If you don’t want to pipe a decorative edge, then you can whip it however you like and just plop it on there if you want.
If you want to do yours like I have pictured, then just spread out about 2/3 of the whipped cream on top and smooth it out with a spoon.
Put the remaining whipped cream in a piping bag (or a ziplock bag or whatever). I’m using a Wilton 2D tip (the same one I use for my cupcakes, like seen here) and I just went around the edge.
The sprinkle some toasted coconut on top (click here for a how-to. On toasting coconut that is, not on sprinkling coconut. I would hope the latter comes naturally to most of you :)
Garnish with a lime slice or two, or three…
and slice up and enjoy.
I was so happy with the blend of flavors. The coconut is really subtle; it’s more of a lime cheesecake with hits of coconut and it all comes together perfectly. And the inside is SO creamy. Ahhh…it’s perfection.
Make it. Eat it. Love it.
Lime Coconut Cheesecake
Recipe by Our Best Bites
2 C graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C sweetened flaked coconut
2 Tbs sugar
6 Tbs butter, melted
3 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 C sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
2 Tbs lime zest
1/2 C fresh lime juice (about 4-5 medium limes)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 C heavy whipping cream
1/2 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2-2 tsp coconut extract
1/3 C sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (click here for directions)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover the bottom of a 9 inch spring-form pan with a double layer of foil. Set aside.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 C coconut, and melted butter and mix well. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan and about 1″ up the sides. Place pan in oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside until ready to use.
In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla, lime zest, and lime juice and beat to combine. Pour batter into prepared crust. Place spring-form pan into a larger pan, such as a roasting pan and place in center rack in the oven. Carefully pour hot water into the larger pan until it reaches about half way up the spring form pan. Bake cheesecake for 75-85 minutes or until center is set and the edges just barely begin to brown. Leave cheesecake in oven, but turn heat off and crack oven door. Let sit for 30 minutes and then remove and cool completely on a rack. When cool to room temp, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
When ready to serve, place cheesecake on serving dish. Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form and then add powdered sugars and extracts. Beat until medium peaks form. Spread whipping cream evenly over cheesecake and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Garnish with sliced limes if desired. Slice and serve.