I figured it was high time that I satisfied your craving for some Paula Deen recipes. I've got another Paula recipe on my blog, Mama's Pound Cake, that is a definite winner so check that one out if you haven't. I made this cheesecake years ago and remembered it fondly. As the weather warms, I start craving cool, creamy desserts. Plus, my husband loves cheesecake. This recipe came to mind because it satisfies both of those cravings: a cool, creamy cheesecake. This is the perfect dessert to finish off a nice steak dinner. This is from Paula Deen's The Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook, 1998.
Luscious Lime Cheesecake
One 18-1/4 oz. package yellow cake mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. grated lime zest
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 8-oz. container Cool Whip
Lime slices, for garnish
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Reserve 1/4 cup dry cake mix. In large bowl, combine remaining cake mix, one egg, and oil. Mix well (mixture will be crumbly). Press evenly in bottom and 1-1/2 inches up sides of greased 13x9-inch pan. In same bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk until smooth. Add remaining eggs and reserved cake mix and beat one minute at medium speed. Stir in lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla. Pour into prepared crust. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until center is firm. Cool to room temperature. Chill thoroughly. Spread Cool Whip over top. Cut into squares to serve. Garnish with lime slices.
This was my first Paula Deen cookbook. I got it back in the day before she became famous on the Food Network. She was just a local restaurant owner back then. Because I live near and worked in Savannah for years, I've been fortunate enough to visit the restaurant a few times over the years. Since she became famous, the restaurant has expanded and is quite the tourist magnet. I don't like to fight the crowds so I settle for cooking her recipes at home. But, if you ever do come to Savannah, make sure you plan an evening to visit the restaurant. It's quite an experience. And, pick up this cookbook while you're there. Mine is well-worn (if you look closely, you'll see the cracked spine) and well-loved.
First, I do like recipes that start off with a cake mix. I'm sure you're familiar with Paula's Gooey Butter Cakes. They require a cake mix, too. My favorite cake mix is Duncan Hines Butter Golden. I don't mess around with the pudding in the mix cake mixes. There's just a gooey texture to them that I don't like. But, I'm sure that wouldn't affect this recipe if you do have a pudding in the mix cake mix. So use it if you have it.
Set aside half of a cup of the cake mix to use in the batter later.
I actually worked the sides up first, then finished the bottom.
How can you go wrong with this ingredient?
I think this is where the word "luscious" comes from in the title.
Add the remaining eggs and reserved cake mix.
Finally, stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla.
I really enjoyed this crust so much more than a graham cracker crust. It wasn't crumbly at all. The squares came out nicely. I think you could also use the same recipe and substitute lemon juice/zest or orange juice/zest to change up the flavors if you're not a fan of lime. Now, I can't wait for dinner so that I can justify eating this lovely dessert.
Linked to: Joy of Desserts Mmmm Mondays, Lark's Country Heart, Made it on Monday, Alli-N-Son's Sweet Tooth Friday, Prairie Story's Recipe Swap Thursday, Sweet as Sugar Cookies' Sweets for a Saturday, Quit Eating Out's Saturday Swap, Little Ray of Sunshine's So Sweet Sunday, Mom's Crazy Cooking's This Week's Cravings