Celebrate summer with this authentic Key Lime Pie recipe! It’s so easy to make, and the combination of tangy citrus, fluffy whipped cream, and buttery graham cracker crust is the best!

Easy key lime recipe from  scratch

I’m on a pie kick!

Yesterday was Banana Cream Pie, and I’ve got more pie planned for next week too.

Key lime pie is one of the very best kinds of pie, in my opinion. There’s a tie going, between key lime and strawberry rhubarb. I find both completely irresistible!

But there is something so special about key lime pie. The tart, tangy, creamy filling that is so smooth and cool, contrasting with crunchy, buttery graham cracker crust and fluffy whipped cream. It’s a perfect way to end a summer meal, but if I’m being honest, I enjoy it at any time of year.

Authentic key lime pie recipe

WHAT IS KEY LIME PIE?

Key lime pie was born in Key West, a small island off the southern coast of Florida. It’s actually Florida’s official state pie! It can be found on menus all over the south, and beyond.

The star ingredient of key lime pie is the juice from key limes. Key limes are a special kind of lime. They are tiny, and round, much different from the Persian limes we usually find at the grocery store.

Key lime pie is always made with sweetened condensed milk, because the island of Key West was so remote they could not get fresh dairy there.

The custard is smooth and creamy, and it contrasts beautifully with the crust and topping.

HOW TO MAKE KEY LIME PIE

This homemade key lime pie recipe is blessedly easy to make. Just what you need when the weather is warm!

There are only 3 simple ingredients in the filling: sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and key lime juice.

If you can’t find fresh key limes, you can use bottled juice. I used Kermit’s brand for this recipe and it was the best I’ve ever tasted!

The crust recipe is really easy too- just stir the graham cracker crumbs together with brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and melted butter, and press into the bottom and up the sides of your pie pan. Read more about my favorite no-bake crunchy cookie crust recipe here: Graham Cracker Crust.

Whipped cream is the perfect garnish! Whip the cream with a little powdered sugar until it holds soft peaks. Easy peasy! Or, if you need a make-ahead version that’s more stable and won’t deflate or weep, try my easy stabilized whipped cream, made without gelatin!

This key lime pie recipe can also be made into bars. Just press the crust and pour the filling into an 8×8-inch baking pan. The bake time will probably need to be decreased since the bars will be thinner than a pie would be, so start checking it after 10 minutes or so.

Best ever homemade key lime pie recipe

HOW TO STORE KEY LIME PIE

Key lime pie is best served cold, so it makes a great make-ahead dessert. Whip it up in the morning, or the day before, and keep it chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.

It can stay out at room temperature for a couple hours without spoiling, but it tastes so much better when it’s icy cold!

If you have leftovers, they should keep fine in the fridge for a few days.

Or, you can wrap the pie tightly in plastic wrap or foil, slip it into a zip-top bag, and keep it in the freezer for several weeks. Just thaw it in the fridge overnight and it will be as delicious as the day it was made!

Traditional key lime pie dessert recipe

Next time you’re craving a refreshing dessert, look no further than this easy key lime pie recipe! It’s the best you’ll ever taste!


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7 reviews

Easy Key Lime Pie Recipe

Celebrate summer with this authentic Key Lime Pie recipe! It's so easy to make, and the combination of tangy citrus, fluffy whipped cream, and buttery graham cracker crust is the best!

Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Total Time 40 minutes
Serves 8     adjust servings

Ingredients

For the graham cracker crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs*
  • 1/4 cup (loosely packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the key lime pie filling

  • 2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice

For the whipped cream garnish

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Instructions

To make the graham cracker crust:

  1. Place the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Pour the melted butter into the bowl, and stir the mixture together until mixed.
  3. Tip the mixture into the pie or cake pan, and press into the bottom and up the sides.
  4. Chill for 1 hour.

To make the key lime pie filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and key lime juice together until smooth.
  3. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake for 25 minutes, or until set around the edges but still a little wobbly towards the center.
  4. Chill for 2 hours, garnish with whipped cream, and serve cold.

To make the whipped cream garnish:

  1. Whip the cream and powdered sugar together until it holds soft peaks.

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Recipe Notes

*Use boxed graham cracker crumbs, or place about 9 whole graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground.

Recipe adapted from Kermit's.

Find more info on the crust here: Graham Cracker Crust.
Great recipe for make-ahead whipped cream here: Stabilized Whipped Cream.

A few more great pie recipes for summer:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 736kcal Calories from fat 389
% Daily Value
Total Fat 43g 66%
Saturated Fat 25g 125%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 270mg 90%
Sodium 253mg 11%
Carbohydrate 79g 26%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 69g
Protein 13g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

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