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This Mango Key Lime Cheesecake has a coconut macaroon crust, layers of key lime and mango cheesecake and a mango cream and gelatin topping! There’s no shortage of amazing layers and it’s a labor of love, but it’s full of amazing flavor!
Best Mango Key Lime Cheesecake
This cheesecake is heavily inspired by the version of the same name at The Cheesecake Factory. If you haven’t tried it before, it’s a surprisingly delicious cheesecake. All the layers and flavors are just so great together.
After getting several requests for a copycat and doing LOTS of testing, I finally have a great cheesecake to share with you. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a true copycat, but it’s definitely inspired by it. The flavors in their version are really quite unique and hard to nail down, but I do think I got pretty darn close.
There were two things that I found most notable when tasting their cheesecake and trying to recreate it. One was just how sweet it was. In my first version, I just made some quick flavor adjustments to my classic Vanilla Cheesecake as a starting point and the difference was astounding. Their cheesecake is SUPER sweet. Even though I sweetened things up, it’s still not quite as sweet as theirs.
The other thing was that their cheesecake seems to be full of a good bit of artificial flavor. I initially started my testing with fresh and frozen mango, but the flavor and texture just wasn’t right. After lots of testing and searching, I found several helpful ingredients that gave me the right mango flavor and texture.
Ingredients You’ll Need
This cheesecake actually has several ingredients that you likely won’t have on hand. Most things can be found in the grocery store, but a few mango flavor related items were things I had to purchase online.
The macaroon crust alone isn’t enough stability for the cheesecake, so there’s a thin cookie crust at the bottom.
- Vanilla Wafer Crumbs: The flavor of the cookies was sweeter and closer to the original than using graham cracker crumbs.
- Sugar: For sweetness.
- Butter: To hold everything together.
- Sweetened Shredded Coconut: Be sure to use one that’s moist, not dry.
- Sugar: Regular granulated sugar.
- Vanilla Extract: For flavor.
- Salt: Also for flavor.
- Egg Whites: To hold everything together. Hold onto the yolks for the cream topping later.
The filling starts out as one and then is split into two equal parts that are then flavored accordingly. One with key lime flavor and other with mango flavor.
- Cream Cheese: Should be room temperature so that you don’t end up with a lumpy filling. Be sure to use full fat brick cream cheese for the best results.
- Sugar: The original version from The Cheesecake Factory is super sweet, so this cheesecake is fairly sweet as well. It uses a combination of sugar and sweetened condensed milk for sweetness.
- All Purpose Flour: To help with a creamy consistency and to keep from getting cracks.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: As mentioned above, this adds sweetness to the cheesecake. Increasing the amount of sugar to fully sweeten the cheesecake both didn’t give quite the right flavor and didn’t create the right texture. The sweetened condensed milk adds to sweetness, texture and helps thicken the filling a bit, particularly the key lime layer.
- Sour cream: For added tang and creaminess.
- Coconut Extract: It may seem strange to add this, but it definitely seemed to fit the flavor needed to match the original version.
- Vanilla Extract
- Eggs: Large eggs.
- Mango Puree: I tried making my own puree with fresh mango, but it wasn’t the same. You definitely want to use the canned puree. It has a very unique flavor and smooth texture. I did also try reducing the mango puree to get a stronger mango flavor, rather than using the mango extract and flavors, but the final flavor and texture still wasn’t right.
- Mango Flavor and Mango Extract: Both of these are necessary. Just one or the other didn’t create the right flavor. The mango flavor was too artificial and almost over powering if I used only that. But the mango extract wasn’t enough flavor and didn’t taste artificial enough to replicate the original. The combination of both was perfect.
- Key Lime Juice: I used bottled key lime juice.
Mango Cream Topping
This is basically a mango flavored pastry cream. The Cheesecake Factory version says they use a mango mousse, but this cream is where I ended up. I think it has quite a similar taste and texture, but isn’t necessarily spot on.
- Egg Yolks: To thicken the filling and add richness and flavor.
- Sugar: For sweetness and volume.
- Cornstarch: To thicken the filling.
- Milk: I used 2%, but whole milk would work as well.
- Mango Extract and Mango Flavor: Again, the combination gives the right flavor.
Mango Gelatin Topping
- Water: To allow the gelatin to bloom.
- Granulated Gelatin
- Sugar: For some sweetness
- Mango Puree: Again, you’ll use the canned mango puree.
How To Make Mango Key Lime Cheesecake
For detailed instructions, see the recipe card below. But here’s a quick rundown of how this beauty is made. There are a total of 6 “layers” in this cheesecake, so it’s a fair amount of work. But none of it is really hard.
To start, you’ll make the cookie crust. Combine the 3 ingredients in a bowl until well combined and evenly moistened, then press them evenly into the bottom of the springform pan.
For the macaroon crust layer, add the shredded coconut, sugar, vanilla extract and salt to a large bowl, stir to combine and set aside. Add the egg whites to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold about half of the egg whites into the coconut mixture, then add the remaining egg whites and fold together until well combined. Spread the macaroon mixture evenly over the cookie crust.
Bake the crust layers for 15-20 minutes or until the macaroon layer is lightly browned around the edges. Remove the crust from the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the filling, you’ll make one cheesecake filling to begin with. After adding most ingredients, including the eggs, you’ll divide it into two. Add the mango puree, mango flavor and mango extract to one half and add the key lime juice to the other half. Pour the cheesecake filling to the pan with the key lime layer on the bottom. Drizzle the mango layer over the key lime layer, making sure not to pour everything in one spot but the spread it around as you add it.
Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour 15 minutes. The center should be set, but still jiggly. The outer 2-3 inches should be more set. Then turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook, but slowly begin to cool as well. Finally, crack the door of the oven for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly. This process helps prevent cracking. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath wrapping and allow to cool to about room temperature. Refrigerate the cheesecake until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
The final steps are to make the two toppings for the cheesecake and add them. One is a pastry cream made over the stove and the other is a quick gelatin-based topping. You could add them before or after the cheesecake has cooled, I just find it easiest to remove the cheesecake from the pan and then add the toppings.
Tips for Success
Not too familiar with homemade cheesecakes? The advice below is here to help.
- Stick With Low Speed: Always mix your filling on low speed. Otherwise, you could incorporate too much air into the batter and end up with a cracked cheesecake.
- Don’t Skip the Water Bath: I know the water bath can be a bit annoying, but it’s vital to the success of your cheesecake. It ensures that it doesn’t brown around the edges, sink in the middle or crack.
- Prevent Leakage: Make sure you don’t let the water in the outer pan go above the top edge of the foil surrounding the inner pan. For additional ways to prevent your water bath from leaking, check out my Cheesecake Water Bath Tips and Tricks.
Keep extra cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy it within 4-5 days.
Can I Freeze This Cheesecake?
Sure! Wrap the fully set cheesecake in plastic wrap or foil and freeze it in a heavy-duty storage bag for up to 3 months. Thaw it out in the fridge before adding the toppings and digging in.
More Great Cheesecake Recipes
- New York Style Cheesecake
- Margarita Cheesecake
- No Bake Key Lime Cheesecake
- Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
- Lemon Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
This Mango Key Lime Cheesecake has a coconut macaroon crust, layers of key lime and mango cheesecake and a mango cream and gelatin topping! It’s got no shortage of amazing layers and is full of amazing flavor!
- 3/4 cup (100g) vanilla wafer crumbs
- 2 tbsp (26g) sugar
- 2 tbsp (28g) butter, melted
- 1 3/4 cups (131g) sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup (52g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 24 ounces (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (259g) sugar
- 3 tbsp (24g) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups (360ml) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup (115g) sour cream
- 2 tsp coconut extract
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120ml) canned mango puree
- 2 1/4 tsp mango flavor
- 2 1/4 tsp mango extract
- 1/2 cup (120ml) key lime juice
Mango Cream Topping
- 2 large egg yolks
- 6 tbsp (78g) sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup (240ml) milk
- 1 tbsp (14g) salted butter
- 3/4 tsp mango extract
- 3/4 tsp mango flavor
Mango Gelatin Topping
- 4 tbsp (60ml) room temperature water
- 1 1/2 tsp granulated gelatin
- 3 tbsp (39g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) canned mango puree
To Make The Crust
- Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
- Combine the cookie crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan.
- For the macaroon crust layer, add the shredded coconut, sugar, vanilla extract and salt to a large bowl, stir to combine and set aside. Add the egg whites to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold about half of the egg whites into the coconut mixture, then add the remaining egg whites and fold together until well combined.
- Spread the macaroon mixture evenly over the cookie crust. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the macaroon layer is lightly browned around the edges. Remove the crust from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in (see how I prepare my pan for a water bath). If the sides of your pan have gotten dirty and you don’t want that on the sides of your finished cheesecake, you can wipe the sides with a paper towel and then re-spray with non-stick spray. Set prepared pan aside.
To Make The Cheesecake Filling
- Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour on low speed until well combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Slowly add the sweetened condensed milk and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the sour cream, coconut extract and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
- Divide the mixture evenly into two large bowls. I like to weigh the filling and then divide it evenly that way, but if you don’t have a food scale, you could measure it with cups.
- To one bowl add the mango puree, mango flavor and mango extract and gently stir together until well combined. To the other bowl, add the key lime juice and gently stir together until well combined.
- Pour the key lime filling onto the pre-baked crust and spread evenly. Add the mango filling on top of the key lime filling by drizzling it over and around on top of the key lime filling. Don’t just pour it all into one spot or it won’t create and more even layer.
- Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
- Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. The center should be set, but still jiggly. The outer 2-3 inches should be more set.
- Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook, but slowly begin to cool as well.
- Crack the door of the oven for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly. This process helps prevent cracking.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath wrapping and allow to cool to about room temperature. Refrigerate the cheesecake until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and place on a serving dish. Refrigerate while you make the toppings.
To Make The Toppings
- To make the pastry cream, put the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl and gently beat them together. Set aside.
- Add the sugar, cornstarch and milk to a large saucepan and whisk together until smooth. Cook, stirring continuously, over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken and bubble.
- Add a little bit of milk mixture to the egg yolks and whisk together, then add a little bit more and whisk together. Add the egg mixture to the milk mixture. This process is called tempering and ensures that you don’t scramble the egg yolks. Place the pan back on the heat and bring to a light boil over medium heat.
- Allow to boil for about 1 minute, whisking continuously, until thickened.
- Remove from heat and add butter, mango extract and mango flavor. Stir until smooth and combined, then add it to the top of the cheesecake and spread evenly. Place back in the fridge while you make the final topping.
- To make the gelatin topping, add the water to a shallow dish. Sprinkle the granulated gelatin over the water so that it’s all touching water. Allow it to bloom for about 5 minutes.
- Heat the gelatin in the microwave for 5-10 seconds, until melted. Stir in the sugar, then add the mango puree to the gelatin mixture and stir to combine.
- Let the gelatin mixture sit for about 10 minutes to thicken slightly, then use a spoon to drizzle it over the top of the cream topping and then spread into an even layer.
- Refrigerate cheesecake until the topping layers are cool and firm, about 2-3 hours, then serve. Store cheesecake in an airtight container or well-covered in the fridge. It should be good for up to 4-5 days.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 579
- Sugar: 61.8 g
- Sodium: 309.9 mg
- Fat: 30.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 68.2 g
- Protein: 10.2 g
- Cholesterol: 150.2 mg