Creamy and Delicious Key Lime Pie Recipe

This tart, sweet and simple to make super creamy key lime pie is perfect for summer afternoons. If you are a lime-lover, like I am, it is a welcome dessert year round! It pairs perfectly with a graham cracker crust, a dollop of whipped cream and, of course, a freshly brewed espresso.

the perfect key lime pie from

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What is a key lime? A key lime is a citrus hybrid fruit that is significantly smaller than its Persian cousins (a key lime is about the size of a ping pong ball). Regardless of their size, they pack a ton of flavor and are more acidic, aromatic and sweeter than other limes.

I suggest making the dessert a day in advance of serving it. This allows the filling time to set up properly and the flavor will be enhanced. Each component of this recipe only takes a few minutes to make so take the time to make the pie in advance and you will thank yourself!

creamy key lime pie with condensed milk

Tips for Making the Perfect Key Lime Pie

Making the graham cracker crust:

  • Key lime pie is traditionally made with a graham cracker crust pressed into a pie tin. If you are looking to save a step you may certainly use a store bought crust..
  • This recipe calls for 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs. If making your own crumbs in a food processor you will need about 15 full graham crackers.
  • I like to save a bit of the graham cracker mixture to put on the edges of the pie prior to baking. It enhances the look and the extra crust is a great texture with the creaminess of the pie.

Ingredient tips for this creamy key lime pie:

  • Do you need to use key limes? No, but key limes are my preference. You will need approximately 12 - 15 key limes to achieve the 5 fluid ounces of juice needed in this recipe. Not everyone wants to spend time squeezing a dozen key limes. You will still get a spectacular pie using regular limes or my favorite lime juice from Nellie and Joe's.
limes for key lime pie

Mixing, baking and serving the pie:

  • The secret to the perfect key lime pie is in the mixing and baking of the pie. When combining the three ingredients for the filling (egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and lime juice), whisk the filling slowly and completely until the filling is homogenous.
  • If air bubbles form during the mixing, simply tap the bowl on the counter to allow the bubbles to escape.
  • This pie needs to bake slowly at a low temperature to allow the custard to set evenly. After baking for 16 - 18 minutes the middle of the pie will still be a bit 'jiggly.' This is what you are going for and you don't want to overbake or you will have a a cheesecake texture.
  • Serving:
    • As tempting as it may be to serve the pie shortly after baking, don't! Let the pie cool completely on a cooling rack then place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (overnight is preferable). This will allow the flavors to meld and the filling to set properly.


Can you freeze a key lime pie?

Yes! I have frozen quite a few key lime pies at the bakery with great success - there is no difference between my fresh baked pies and the ones which were frozen. To defrost, place the frozen pie in your fridge for 3 - 4 hours and allow to defrost completely before serving.

Can you use regular limes for a key lime pie?

Yes, but key limes are my preference as they pack a lot of flavor! If you don't want to squeeze a ton of little key limes - purchase a key lime juice (my preference is Nellie and Joe's).

Is key lime pie gluten-free?

The filling for this pie is gluten-free but the crust is not. Gluten-free graham crackers are available and may be substituted for the crust.

slice of key lime pie

The Perfect Key Lime Pie

A tangy, creamy key lime pie with a graham cracker crust.
4.98 from 79 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Course Dessert
Servings 8



Graham Cracker Crust

  • 240 Grams Crushed Graham Crackers (2 Cups)
  • 66 Grams Granulated Sugar (⅓ Cup)
  • 90 Grams Unsalted Butter, melted (6 Tablespoons / 3 ounces)

Key Lime Pie Filling

  • 4 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 ounces)
  • 5 Fluid Ounces Lime Juice


Graham Cracker Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Melt butter in microwave or over stovetop.
  • Place graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Add melted butter to bowl and toss the mixture until the butter is evenly distributed.
  • Gently press the graham cracker mixture on the bottom and sides of the pan.
  • Bake for 6 minutes. Cool completely before using.

Key Lime Pie Filling/Baking

  • Preheat oven to 300°
  • Whisk egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk together.
  • Pour lime juice into bowl whisking slowly so as not to create air bubbles.
  • Pour filling into cooled pie crust.
  • Bake for 16 - 18 minutes, or until pie is set. The middle of the pie filling will still be jiggling, do not overbake.
  • Cool completely then place in refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.



If making your own graham cracker crumbs in a food processor, you will need approximately 16 graham crackers to make 2 cups of crumbs.
Keyword easy key lime pie, easy pie crust, how to make a key lime pie, key lime crust, key lime pie recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. Kitty P.


    5 stars
    I often order key lime pie while dining out but have never made it before. This recipe was spot on and equals some of the creamiest, tangiest key lime pies I've had in restaurants.

    • dessertswithstephanie


      Hi Kitty, thank you for your feedback on my Key Lime Pie recipe!

  2. Monidipa


    5 stars
    Your Key Lime Pie recipe is amazing! The instructions were easy to follow, and the end result was a delicious and creamy pie that my family couldn't get enough of. Thank you for sharing this recipe, it's definitely going to be a staple in our household from now on!

    • dessertswithstephanie


      5 stars
      Nancy, thank you for the feedback on the key lime pie. So pleased you enjoyed this recipe.

  3. Melinda


    5 stars
    This was so easy to make. Great recipe for key lime pie! I ended up using a store bought crust since I had one in the freezer. Thanks for suggesting that as an option. Delicious dessert!!

  4. Emily


    5 stars
    I really enjoyed how quick this recipe was to put together. I mean what’s not to love in a 10 minute key like prep?! Thank you for such a quick, easy, and delicious recipe!

  5. Giangi Townsend


    5 stars
    Creamy and super delicious. We love everything about this key lime pie. We ate the whole pie in one sitting, my husband and I.
    Thank you.

  6. Charles


    5 stars
    This has everything I like about a key lime pie. I used the zest from one of my limes in addition to this recipe.

  7. Colleen


    5 stars
    This is indeed the Perfect Key Lime Pie recipe. I cannot wait to make this in the Holidays! It's a great people-pleaser!

  8. Andy T


    5 stars
    This was as good as ever! I like the idea of adding the extra graham crumbs to the top sides of the pie.

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