No Bake Lime Cheesecake | The Golden Girls

It’s International Women’s Day this week and I say that calls for a celebration of a show like The Golden Girls, with all of the powerhouse women that were in it. My no bake lime cheesecake celebrates Florida and each pillar of a woman that made up this golden quartet. Can’t sleep? Grab the cheesecake and pull up a chair.

About the TV show:

I have a few recipes on Flavour of the Film that feature powerful female characters. My Blue Eye Samurai Japanese butter cookies recipe is the first to spring to mind. Then there’s my Hocus Pocus pumpkin pie and my Barbie two tiered cake

Not to mention my Everything Everywhere All at Once bagels or my Wednesday brownie slab

But, I wanted to do something extra special for the occasion.

The Golden Girls was a smash hit sit-com that I happened to fall into watching last year. 

I was looking for something funny; something easy-going that I could put on and actually relax to. Thankfully, I found The Golden Girls whilst scrolling through Disney+. I haven’t looked back.

Honestly, coming up with this recipe has made me want to go back and rewatch every episode. I watched it most days until I finished the very last episode and was left simultaneously laughing and ugly crying.

The Golden Girls is an absolute joy to watch. It was ahead of its time; not only putting four women in the lead roles of a sit-com, but also four women who happened to be above the age of 50. 

This gem of a television show continued to prove that not only can women be genuinely funny, but that women of a certain age can be fantastic to watch. 

Hollywood had always (and still does) given female performers an expiration date, but The Golden Girls showed the industry that such a date doesn’t and therefore shouldn’t exist. The Golden Girls also proved that women are extremely talented creators! This entire show was the brainchild of a woman!

Shows like I Love Lucy (1951) paved the way for women in comedy, showing the world that women are more than housewives and mothers. A show like I Love Lucy coming out in the 1950s and turning out to be incredibly popular? What a turning point.

The Golden Girls continued to pave that path for more female-led television; for more funny women working on and in TV. 

For superbly funny women like Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders; Victoria Wood with works like dinnerladies (1998), Michaela Coel with Chewing Gum (2015), the entire cast of Derry Girls (2018). 

Not forgetting incredibly funny talent like Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Fumero and Chelsea Peretti in Brooklyn Nine-Nine; Amy Poehler, Retta and Aubrey Plaza in Parks and Recreation; and Mindy Kaling, Jenna Fischer, Phyllis Smith and more in The Office (US)!

I am so pleased to be able to say that the list goes on. That’s just some of the names in TV, too. Film is a whole other gloriously funny beast.

Before I digress completely, let’s get back to the golden subject at hand.

Picture it: Miami, 1985. Creator Susan Harris storms the world with a hilarious comedy featuring some of the (now) most iconic women on TV.

Forming this wondrous quartet were Bea Arthur as the sharp-as-a-whip teacher, Dorothy; Rue McClanahan as the alluring and confident Southern Belle, Blanche, and Betty White as the airy fairy with a heart of gold, Rose. All under the watchful eye of Estelle Getty as Dorothy’s mother, Sophia, the most intimidating short-statured lady you’d ever wish to meet.

Sophia has some of the best one liners in any existing television show. Some of the things she said were timed so perfectly, they had me literally wheezing. Then, I’d talk about the specific lines with my Mum, who had watched The Golden Girls when it originally aired in the U.K. It’s a bonding moment.

The premise of the show is wonderfully simple: the four women become friends whilst living together in Blanche’s house, all either divorced or widowed. Their time together is filled with some real hilarity, as well as some truly heartwarming sentiment. 

They really are the best of friends. More so, even. They’re family. 

People say that you can’t choose your family, but I believe that you can. The Golden Girls fuels that belief. 

These women living together in the one house at their ages is a rare thing. An unusual thing, some would say. But it just goes to show how such strong friendship bonds can morph into bonds as strong as – if not stronger – than familial bonds.

Even despite contrasting personalities, beliefs and ideas. Even a twenty year age gap isn’t something that could negatively affect a friendship. Just like Sophia with Rose and Blanche.

Now, friends. There were so many directors, writers and producers on this show that I genuinely can’t list them all. But, each and every one of them added their own flavour to The Golden Girls and it wouldn’t have been the same without them.

No copyright infringement intended.

The Golden Girls ran from 1985 to 1992. Not once did it ever have a dull point.

You often find with television shows that they have a dip, or there is a creative lull at some point. The show loses its sparkle, and audiences really feel it. This is especially true when there are shows that have been continually renewed despite their time having passed. 

After all, some shows have a natural end and should stop there as a well rounded, well executed piece. Yet, they are renewed repeatedly, leaving audiences tired of them. Meanwhile, decent television is being cancelled. I will stop there as that is a whole other discussion.

The Golden Girls never really had a dip. 

There are episodes that you love, episodes that you like, but never episodes that were a waste. 

No wasted production, no wasted script, no wasted airtime. Because in truth, every episode had a purpose. Whether that was to simply entertain and lighten, or to continue an ongoing arc in the story.

Whatever the purpose, it was always led with humour. It’s one of the many strong qualities of The Golden Girls

About the bake:

My The Golden Girls inspired recipe did not need much in the way of pondering time. I knew exactly what I wanted to do for it moments after I realised that I wanted to create this celebratory recipe in the first place.

A common theme throughout the show is the quartet not being able to sleep. Sometimes due to dilemmas they may be facing, sometimes due to guilt. Other times due to joy or excitement. Whatever the reason for these bouts of insomnia, the solution usually lies with a collective midnight serving of cheesecake around the kitchen table.

This midnight cheesecake is the basis of my The Golden Girls bake: a no bake lime cheesecake.

The cheesecake in the show usually looks like plain vanilla or possibly a New York-style cheesecake. I also think it was more likely to be a baked cheesecake. I opted for no bake because it’s less faff and takes a lot less on-hand time than a baked cheesecake.

As the show is set in Miami, I chose to look into the state’s dessert to link to the brief, rather than to directly recreate a cheesecake from the show. Similarly with my Forrest Gump chocolate selection, I found flavour inspiration from this research.

Though the official state dessert of Miami has recently changed to strawberry shortcake, it was key lime pie for a very long time. Key lime pie is a dessert that has often been associated with Florida, so it made sense to take inspiration from it.

I use a mix of condensed milk and double cream with full fat cream cheese in my lime cheesecake. This is partly because condensed milk is used in key lime pie, but also because it provides an even creamier texture when mixed with a standard no bake cheesecake mix. 

The condensed milk is also the only sweetener in the mix, no other sugar is added. It really doesn’t need it, friends. Plus, a cheesecake with condensed milk is a big win.

If you can get a hold of key limes, definitely use them when making this cheesecake. 

It adds more authenticity to the key lime pie element of this no bake lime cheesecake. Key limes can be pretty difficult to find in the U.K, so if you can’t get a hold of key limes specifically, use the limes that you can find. They’re more common in the U.S, so go for it if you can. This is why my recipe isn’t specifically called a key lime pie cheesecake.

For the base, I used a biscuit and butter mix which chills in the fridge once made.

It really is a no bake lime cheesecake, friends! I also added lime zest into the biscuit base for some flecks of colour and extra flavour. I was first introduced to this method by Jane’s Patiserrie’s vanilla cheesecake recipe and haven’t looked back. I’ve simply adapted the ingredients and ratios to fit my preference.

* For my American friends, feel free to use graham crackers and add a couple of tbsp of confectioners sugar along with the butter for the base. The amounts should be roughly the same as my recipe using biscuits below. If you find that the base is too wet, add more crushed graham crackers. If it’s too dry, add some more melted butter to bring it together.

The amount of lime juice that you use in the mix can be down to personal preference. I’ve provided an amount that I know is delicious, but you can alter it as you go, adding more if needed. Just avoid pouring loads in as your cheesecake could struggle to set.

To finish, I garnished my lime cheesecake with four swirls of whipped cream to represent the four lead women of The Golden Girls

I then sprayed them with edible gold glitter. Why not? It makes complete sense to make a glittery cheesecake in this context, friends.

Top Tips:

  • Make sure to make this a day in advance. This lime cheesecake is best once having been set overnight in the fridge.
  • You don’t need an electric whisk to make the mix – it just needs combining and a quick mix which you can do with a standard hand whisk.
  • You do need a springform tin! This is the easiest way to get a cheesecake out of a tin before serving, as they unclip and open up. The size needed for my recipe is a 20cm / 8 inch deep springform tin.
  • Make sure to use full fat cream cheese in this recipe. A cream cheese with reduced fat content won’t set fully!
  • The amount of lime juice that you add to your cheesecake mix is up to you. You can go by taste after adding small amounts, adjusting until it suits you.
  • The biscuit base doesn’t take long to set in the fridge, so make your cheesecake mix straight after, then chill the whole thing overnight before decorating.
  • For my four swirls, I used a 2D closed star piping tip in the end of a biodegradable piping bag (much better for the planet, not affiliated).
  • The cheesecake is best eaten within three days after making it.
  • To serve, dip your cutting knife into boiling hot water. Leave it for a few seconds to heat up, then wipe dry before cutting into your cheesecake.

This no bake lime cheesecake really is incredibly creamy, deliciously citrusy and wonderfully sweet. It’s the perfect dessert to enjoy while watching reruns of or streaming The Golden Girls. Plus, it represents some of the best elements of this female empowered comedy. No oven required. I loved making this easy treat, and I hope you do, too. 

Happy International Women’s Day to you all, friends. We’re all equal and we’re all special, so let’s keep working towards a world where everyone feels accepted and celebrated every single day. Big love.

Happy baking (chilling), happy eating!

Ingredients:

No bake lime cheesecake base:

  • 300g digestive biscuits [or graham crackers]
  • 175g [6.25 oz] unsalted butter    melted, plus more for greasing
  • Zest of 3 limes

No bake lime cheesecake mix:

  • 390g [13.75 oz] full fat cream cheese or mascarpone
  • 500ml [18.75 oz] double [heavy] cream
  • 200g [around 7 oz] condensed milk
  • Juice of 5 – 7 limes    amount dependent on personal preference

Decoration:

  • 100ml [3.75 oz] double [whipping] cream
  • ½ tbsp icing [confectioners] sugar
  • Edible gold glitter

Serves: 10 +

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Chilling time: 5 + hours, preferably overnight

Decorating time: 15 minutes

Method:

No bake lime cheesecake base:

  1. Lightly grease the base of your 20cm / 8 inch springform tin with butter. Set aside.
  2. Using a food processor, blitz the digestive biscuits into a fine crumb. Alternatively, place the biscuits into a food bag and carefully bash them with a rolling pin until they are completely pulverised into crumbs.
  3. Melt the butter in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds or until melted.
  4. Pour the melted butter over the biscuit crumbs in the food processor and blitz again until combined. Alternatively, place the biscuit crumbs into a large bowl and pour the melted butter over them. Mix together until completely combined. The mixture should resemble something slightly drier than wet sand.
  5. Using the fine edge of a cheese grater, zest your limes into your biscuit base and mix in until more evenly distributed.
  6. Press the butter and biscuit mix into the base of your springform tin, using a spatula/palette knife/spoon to even the layer out. Make sure to push the biscuit evenly into the edge.
  7. Chill the base in the fridge while you make your cheesecake mix.

No bake lime cheesecake mix:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese to loosen it slightly. Using an electric whisk here is preferable, but you can hand whisk if needed.
  2. Pour the double cream over the cream cheese and whisk again until smooth.
  3. Add the condensed milk and whisk again. Taste the mix now – feel free to add a little more condensed milk if you want it sweeter.
  4. Squeeze your limes, allowing the juice to pour into a small bowl or jug so that you can catch any rogue pips.
  5. Whisk the lime juice into the cheesecake mix. Taste the mix again here and add more lime juice -a little at a time – if desired.
  6. Continue whisking the mix until it has thickened and can hold its shape in stiff peaks.
  7. Retrieve your biscuit base from the fridge as it should now be set and firm.
  8. Pour or spoon the cheesecake mix over the biscuit base. Use a palette knife to smooth the top of the mix, gently pressing it into the tin to fill any gaps.
  9. Chill the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 5 hours before serving, but for best results, chill your no bake lime cheesecake overnight.

Decoration:

  1. When your cheesecake has fully set and you are ready to serve, whip your cream. In a large bowl, whisk the cream and icing sugar together until the mix has reached stiff peaks.
  2. Spoon into a piping bag or sandwich bag with the corner cut off and a 2D closed star piping tip in the end. 
  3. Pipe four large swirls on the centre of your no bake lime cheesecake to form a diamond shape. 
  4. Generously spray the whipped cream swirls with the gold edible glitter. Feel free to spray a little glitter over the entire cheesecake, too!
  5. When you’re ready, gently unclip and slowly open up the outside of the cheesecake tin. Then, carefully lift the outer part of the tin up and over the cheesecake. Leave your cheesecake on the base part of the tin and serve from it.

This deliciously creamy no bake lime cheesecake is absolutely golden when wanting a citrus treat. It pays homage to the state flavours of Florida and celebrates the iconic, powerful and hilarious women of The Golden Girls. This cheesecake is best eaten within 3 days after it has set. Enjoy!

Recipe card:

No Bake Lime Cheesecake | The Golden Girls

Laura – Flavour of the Film
Deliciously creamy and light key lime pie inspired no bake lime cheesecake, celebrating The Golden Girls.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Chilling time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10

Equipment

  • 1 springform tin 20cm / 8 inches in size

Ingredients
  

No bake lime cheesecake base:

  • 300 g digestive biscuits [or graham crackers]
  • 175 g [6.25 oz] unsalted butter melted plus more for greasing
  • Zest of 3 limes

No bake lime cheesecake mix:

  • 390 g [13.75 oz] full fat cream cheese or mascarpone
  • 500 ml [18.75 oz] double [heavy] cream
  • 200 g [around 7 oz] condensed milk
  • Juice of 5 – 7 limes amount dependent on personal preference

Decoration:

  • 100 ml [3.75 oz] double [whipping] cream
  • ½ tbsp icing [confectioners] sugar
  • Edible gold glitter

Instructions
 

No bake lime cheesecake base:

  • Lightly grease the base of your 20cm / 8 inch springform tin with butter. Set aside.
  • Using a food processor, blitz the digestive biscuits into a fine crumb. Alternatively, place the biscuits into a food bag and carefully bash them with a rolling pin until they are completely pulverised into crumbs.
  • Melt the butter in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds or until melted.
  • Pour the melted butter over the biscuit crumbs in the food processor and blitz again until combined. Alternatively, place the biscuit crumbs into a large bowl and pour the melted butter over them. Mix together until completely combined. The mixture should resemble something slightly drier than wet sand.
  • Using the fine edge of a cheese grater, zest your limes into your biscuit base and mix in until more evenly distributed.
  • Press the butter and biscuit mix into the base of your springform tin, using a spatula/palette knife/spoon to even the layer out. Make sure to push the biscuit evenly into the edge.
  • Chill the base in the fridge while you make your cheesecake mix.

No bake lime cheesecake mix:

  • In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese to loosen it slightly. Using an electric whisk here is preferable, but you can hand whisk if needed.
  • Pour the double cream over the cream cheese and whisk again until smooth.
  • Add the condensed milk and whisk again. Taste the mix now – feel free to add a little more condensed milk if you want it sweeter.
  • Squeeze your limes, allowing the juice to pour into a small bowl or jug so that you can catch any rogue pips.
  • Whisk the lime juice into the cheesecake mix. Taste the mix again here and add more lime juice -a little at a time – if desired.
  • Continue whisking the mix until it has thickened and can hold its shape in stiff peaks.
  • Retrieve your biscuit base from the fridge as it should now be set and firm.
  • Pour or spoon the cheesecake mix over the biscuit base. Use a palette knife to smooth the top of the mix, gently pressing it into the tin to fill any gaps.
  • Chill the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 5 hours before serving, but for best results, chill your no bake lime cheesecake overnight.

Decoration:

  • When your cheesecake has fully set and you are ready to serve, whip your cream. In a large bowl, whisk the cream and icing sugar together until the mix has reached stiff peaks.
  • Spoon into a piping bag or sandwich bag with the corner cut off and a 2D closed star piping tip in the end.
  • Pipe four large swirls on the centre of your no bake lime cheesecake to form a diamond shape.
  • Generously spray the whipped cream swirls with the gold edible glitter. Feel free to spray a little glitter over the entire cheesecake, too!
  • When you’re ready, gently unclip and slowly open up the outside of the cheesecake tin. Then, carefully lift the outer part of the tin up and over the cheesecake. Leave your cheesecake on the base part of the tin and serve from it.

Notes

This deliciously creamy no bake lime cheesecake is absolutely golden when wanting a citrus treat. It pays homage to the state flavours of Florida and celebrates the iconic, powerful and hilarious women of The Golden Girls. This cheesecake is best eaten within 3 days after it has set. Enjoy!
Keyword 1980s, cheesecake, empowering women, empowering women in comedy, key lime pie, midnight cheesecake, no bake lime cheesecake, the golden girls

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