Layers upon layers of fresh key lime, luscious cream cheese, and shortbread cookies make for a delicious no-bake cake with a show-stopping presentation. A thin layer of pistachios adds a crunch to each creamy, bright bite. The taste is light and sweet, making it the perfect ending to a large holiday meal. If you can't find Key limes to juice, try Nellie & Joe's brand. 

Recipe by MyRecipes


Credit: Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Blakeslee Giles

Recipe Summary

55 mins
2 hrs 55 mins
Serves 8 (serving size: 1 slice)


Key Lime Curd
Cream Cheese Filling
Additional Ingredients


Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare the Key Lime Curd: Whisk together lime juice, sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, and eggs in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high, and cook, whisking often, 1 minute. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until melted and fully incorporated after each addition.

  • Pour lime juice mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl. Fill a large bowl with ice. Place bowl with strained lime juice mixture in ice. Using a rubber spatula, stir to cool.

  • Prepare the Cream Cheese Filling: Beat heavy cream in a bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until medium peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. In another bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons lime zest on high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add whipped cream to cream cheese mixture, and beat on medium until just combined, about 1 minute; set aside.

  • Assemble the cake: Place 1 layer of the shortbread cookies directly on a cake stand, arranging in a 8-inch circle. Top with a thin layer of Key Lime Curd. Sprinkle with a thin layer of pistachios; spread with a thin layer of Cream Cheese Filling. Repeat layers with remaining shortbread cookies, Key lime Curd, pistachios, and Cream Cheese Filling, ending with Cream Cheese Filling and reserving 2 tablespoons of the pistachios for top of cake. Chill until set, about 2 hours. Sprinkle top of cake with reserved chopped pistachios and desired amount of lime zest.