Key Lime Habanero Cheesecake

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 14 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 13 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 8 servings
Share This Recipe



30 chocolate wafers (enough to make 1 1/2 cups of chocolate crumbs)

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted


1 cup water

1 cup sugar

2 key limes, juiced

Candied hibiscus flowers, or dried cranberries


5 egg yolks

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup key lime juice

1 tablespoon key lime zest

1/2 habanero pepper, minced, seeds removed*

2 cups whipped cream cheese, softened

1 cup mascarpone cheese


5 egg whites

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon white vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. To make the crust: Put all the chocolate wafers in a resealable bag and then crush them into fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a medium mixing bowl and add the melted unsalted butter, then mix to incorporate. Mold the crumb crust into the bottom of a springform pan, about 1/4-inch thick. Bring it up the sides a little bit, about a 1/2-inch. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and cool on counter. 
  3. To make the coulis/syrup: Heat a pot over medium heat. Pour in the water, sugar and bring to a boil. Add the key lime juice and candied hibiscus flowers, stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, until slightly reduced. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  5. To make the cheesecake filling: In a large bowl add the egg yolks, brown sugar, key lime juice, lime zest, and habanero pepper and whisk together. Add the cream cheese and mascarpone then mix with electric beater for another 15 seconds. Set aside. 
  6. To make the meringues: Whip the egg whites together with 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and white vinegar. Delicately fold this meringue into the cheesecake mixture. Pour evenly into the springform pan, over the chocolate crust. 
  7. Place 2 layers of wide aluminum foil into a large roasting pan. Put the cake in the middle of the foil. Bring the foil up the sides to create a seal, do not cover cake. Pour water into the roasting pan, half way up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes depending on your oven. Allow the cake to cool completely on the countertop, then refrigerate overnight. Serve each slice of this cheesecake drizzled with a tablespoon or 2 of key lime and hibiscus coulis/syrup.

Cook’s Note

*Use gloves to remove seeds from habanero pepper.