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Key Lime Pie

This Key Lime Pie recipe is the summer dessert everyone needs in their recipe file. The sweet and tangy key lime filling is like a burst of sunshine.

Key Lime Pie with whipped topping and lime slices

Easy Key Lime Pie Recipe

Is Key Lime Pie made with key limes or Persian limes? There are differences between key limes and Persian limes that are most commonly found in the produce department at the grocery store. Here are a few things to consider when comparing the two:

  • What are Key Limes? Key limes are smaller and lighter in color than regular limes.
  • A bright green key lime will be more tart than a slightly yellow key lime. The yellow hue signifies a more ripe lime as opposed to a “green” key lime. Either will work.
  • Initially grown in the Florida Keys, key limes are grown in other parts of the country and in Mexico, now.
  • They tend to have a flavor that’s tart, but not overly acidic, with aromatic floral notes.
  • Key limes are not only lighter and more yellow in color when ripe, the skin is thinner than Persian limes or the more common grocery store limes.
Step-by-step preparation images and ingredients for key lime pie

How to Make the Best Key Lime Pie Recipe

Key lime desserts are often synonymous with warm weather. Rightly so, they come with the bonus of being island themed and inspired. One bite, and it seems to transport you to a warm and sunny day

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Key Lime Pie? For this recipe you’ll need a homemade graham cracker crust, key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, large egg yolks, vanilla extract and lime zest. You’ll also need fresh whipped cream or Cool Whip for serving.
  • Kitchen tools you’ll need: 9 or 10 inch deep dish pie pan, measuring cups and spoons, citrus juicer, electric hand mixer, measuring cups and spoons.
  • Do you bake this key lime pie? This recipe is baked in the oven until the filling is set.
  • Please note, it takes a good amount of elbow grease to squeeze enough key limes for juice. If you’re not up to the challenge feel free to swap out with the more common limes we use everyday. Expect the pie to be slightly more acidic should you choose to do so.
  • Is there a substitute for key lime juice? You can use equal parts of regular lime juice and lemon juice to mimic the taste of key limes.
  • While key lime juice isn’t green, you may choose to use a few drops of green food coloring to change the hue of the key lime filling, if you’re so inclined. It won’t affect the taste, it’s simply visual, it’s your choice to make. As you can see in the images of the recipe, I like the pale yellow color and serve it naturally that way.
  • You can garnish this pie using Cool Whip or fresh whipped cream. To make homemade whipped cream this is what you do: Place a large bowl and beaters into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to chill. Once chilled, add one pint or two cups of heavy cream and 1-2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract to the bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium high speed gradually adding 1/4-1/3 cup of granulated sugar. You can adapt the sweetness to your taste. Beat until stiff peaks form being careful not to overbeat then chill until serving. Fresh whipped cream is best made and served the same day.
  • How long will key lime pie keep? This pie will keep chilled in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Single slice of Key Lime Pie on a plate

More Lime and Lemon Desserts to Make

The bright fresh flavor of lime doesn’t have to stop with pie. Checkout these other recipes to add to your special desserts rotation:


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Helpful Kitchen Items:

Key Lime Pie

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Chill time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 50 minutes
Course: Dessert, Pie
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: key-lime-desserts, key-lime-pie, key-limes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 485kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds roughly chopped
  • 6 Tbsp butter melted
  • 2 14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup key lime juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek Yogurt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp lime zest plus additional for garnishing
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a 9.5 inch deep dish pie dish with cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, almonds and butter Press crumb mixture into pie dish. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool completely.
  • Key Lime Filling: Preheat oven to 325°F Using an electric mixer, whip together egg yolks on high speed until fluffy and thickened, around 3-5 minutes. Gradually add condensed milk and lime juice. Add sour cream, zest and vanilla on low speed, mixing until fully combined.
  • Pour into baked graham cracker crust and smooth the top. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the center is set when gently shaken. Let pie cool at room temperature slightly before chilling. Chill for at least 4-6 hours.
  • To make whipped cream: (Just before slicing and serving)
    Beat heavy cream and sugar together using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla. Spread or pipe the whipped cream on top of the cooled pie.
  • Top with additional lime zest. if desired.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 172mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 739IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. 5 stars
    Fell in Love love love w/key lime pie upon our move to GA! Tart tangy sweetness all rolled into one bite! TY for sharing your recipe!

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