Microwave Lime Cheesecake

Under normal circumstances, microwave cheesecake would be an ideal summer dessert for the sole reason that it doesn’t require you to turn on your oven.

However, this summer has been anything but normal.

So, instead, I’m going to tell you that these little cheesecakes are ridiculously easy, super tasty and highly transportable and those are three very fine reasons to consider trying it out. And, hey, if the forecasters are right and we’re going to sail through the rest of August on a heat wave, then feel free to use not wanting to turn on your oven as an excuse, too.

The more rationale, the better, I say.

Not that cheesecake should require any rationale.

These ones certainly don’t.

Microwave Lime Cheesecake I

Now, I’m not going to lie. If you’re looking for a silky smooth cheesecake with nary a crack marring the surface, lovingly cooked in a water bath and chilled overnight in the fridge, this isn’t the recipe for you.

If you’re looking for something you can whip up in seven minutes — including cooking time — that sits in the fridge for an hour and then can be devoured, giving you the same tart lime cheesecake taste as the regular kind with almost the same amount of smoothness, then this is the recipe for you.

It was for me.

The hardest part was waiting for it to chill enough.

And the best part was because I used mason jars, I could just slap on a lid and take it with me, which would be ideal for picnicking or making an office lunch a little more luxurious.

I used two one-cup (250 mL) mason jars to make the cheesecakes and had a little bit of batter left over. In hindsight, I can tell you I filled the jars a bit too full.

At some point, I may want to sit down and reexamine the subject of portion control. At the time, though, it seemed like a good idea. After all, the recipe said it makes two to four cheesecakes, so two seemed more than reasonable.

Please take my suggestion and make at least three, for a few reasons: 1: These jars are pretty giant and the cheesecake is, naturally, a bit rich and may be better in a slightly smaller dose. 2: Three or four cheesecakes means you can share more easily with more people. That or you can spread them out over several sittings.

3: You won’t be watching anxiously through the microwave door as the cheesecake mixture souffles up and over the jars’ edges, threatening to spill all over the rotating tray.

As it was, all that fretting was for nothing. They didn’t spill, but I think it would have been better without the panic.

Out of the microwave, they settled nicely into a slightly concave top.

I filled that with whipped cream — purely for esthetic reasons, of course. But later I thought some fresh fruit would have been nice.

I liked the slightly tart taste of limes countering the richness of cheesecake, but suspect this recipe can be easily adjusted to suit other flavours, such as lemon (by switching the zest and juice to that fruit) or a straight-up vanilla cheesecake by omitting the citrus and adding a teaspoon or so of vanilla extract. That would be particularly delicious topped with summer berries or a fruit compote.

After all, it only takes about seven minutes to try a new variation. The tricky part will be waiting the hour to see how it tastes.


Microwave Lime Cheesecake II

Microwave Lime Cheesecake

Adapted from TheKitchn.com

  • 3 tbsp (50 mL) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar
  • 8 oz (250 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) sugar
  • zest of one lime
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh lime juice
  • 1 egg

Combine the graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and 1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar. Divide between two to four 1-cup (250 mL) jars or ramekins and press into the bottom.

Mix the rest of the ingredients until smooth. Divide evenly into jars or ramekins with crumbed bottoms.

Place in microwave for 2 minutes. The top of the cheesecake should appear dry when cooked. If it doesn’t look quite done, microwave at 30-second intervals until the tops appear dry. (For my extremely full jars, I needed 2 minutes and 30 seconds.) If you don’t have a rotating microwave tray, cook for 1 minute then turn the jars or ramekins and microwave for another minute.

Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour. Garnish with whipped cream or fresh berries and serve.

This story first appeared in the Real Life section in the Calgary Herald. For more delicious recipes, visit CalgaryHerald.com/life.

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  1. I made these! With lemon instead of lime and no photos, so no blog. I would rename the recipe to “How to impress your boyfriend’s family in 7 minutes” ;)

  2. these are way too cute. i threw away our microwave last january to make room for more counterspace. i haven’t regretted it since…until now. so, can these be made in a regular oven?

    1. Good question. I don’t see why not, but there seems to be varying suggestions on oven temperature and the length of time cheesecakes in ramekins have to be in there. (I saw temperatures varying from 325F to 400F during a quick search.) I’d also suggest considering a water bath since they will be baking for a lot longer than they’d be in the microwave for and this will be a bit gentler on them.
      Looks like Chez Pim has does done it.

      In fact, I recently had to say goodbye to my microwave (it died after putting in a solid service) and I have yet to replace it. Not sure if I will and knowing I can make baby cheesecakes in jars in the oven helps with that decision.
      : )

      1. I don’t even bother with a water bath – too much of a hassle. Trick of the trade – cornstarch – for the one 8 oz brick of cream cheese you would probably want to use about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch – just mix it in with the rest of the ingredients. This helps stabilize the batter – no guarantee there will be no cracks but it sure does help (as long as you don’t over bake or over mix)

  3. Hello! So glad I found your blog!! the recipes are stunning…cant wait to get making this cheesecake recipe but I live in the UK and not sure what the graham cracker equivalent would be here – any ideas? (PS Making Earl Grey cupcakes for my birthday soiree this weekend!) Thanks! SC

    1. I did some investigating and it looks like digestive biscuits are the closest thing to graham crackers. One site I found suggested using 1/2 digestives and 1/2 “rich tea biscuits” crushed together to make the equivalent of graham cracker crumbs.
      I hope that works!

    1. Andrea, I’m not sure it will work with light cream cheese. If it’s a calorie issue, I’d just make smaller serving sizes by dividing it up amongst more jars or ramekins.

  4. Hi! I came across your great blog and was wondering if you’d be interested in being a guest blogger over at Or So She Says…… (www.oneshetwoshe.com) and sharing your microwave key lime pie recipe with us? If you’re interested, please email Jessica at ladies@oneshetwoshe.com and I will send you the info- we’d love to have you!

  5. these little cheescakes r amazing..my friends thought i put alot of effort in them as i usually do for desserts,my little secret…whoever thought of this is plain genius!!

  6. I made these and they were awesome but I have a question~ Mine took a long time to bake and I’m wondering if I may have overdone it. My microwave only goes up to 700w, so I was wondering if you happen to know what wattage your microwave is at when you do this and what your suggested adjustments are? My tops never really looked dry in the microwave, so I just took them out when I got worried that I was screwing them up.

    1. Sadly, my microwave died shortly after making these cheesecakes. (Unrelated to making them; it was a pretty old microwave.) So, I can’t be entirely sure what wattage it was. It looks like the industry standard is 700w, so it’s possible that’s what I was using at the time.
      How long did you end up cooking them for? I’m sure an extra few minutes wouldn’t have made a huge difference and if they were tasty, then that’s all that really matters.

  7. Love this idea! My kitchen helpers are young and have little patience for long cooking foods. We have made no-bake versions in the past but I long to try a baked variety. Wish us luck!

  8. Thank you SOOOO much for this recipe! I tried a very modified version of it today. I switched out graham crackers with Maria cookies, thought I was using unsalted butter but it was actually salted and unsalted, and didn’t have enough cream cheese so added a little sour cream and a lot of 0% Greek Yogurt. I also used your idea of trying a different flavor, so I added cocoa powder and vanilla. It turned out really well!

    I’ll admit that I should have been less lazy and listened to you about number of ramekins, as I used 4, but I think they’re like 4-6oz each, so I definitely got nervous about them spilling over, like you warned! But, like you also said, it was just fine and there was no problem. They did come out a bit concave, but tasted great:-) I’ll try following your recipe a little more closely next time (and *ahem* plan in advance by having the right amount of cream cheese), but it’s a great idea and perfect for portion control.

    Thank you so very much:-)

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