5 from 2 votes
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Key lime pie is tart, refreshing, and absolutely delicious. My family fell in love with it on a trip to Florida. If you’ve only had key lime pie that is bright neon green, that’s not the real thing. This traditional key lime pie recipe is what I make when I want to bring my family back to Florida. For a spring or summer meal, it is the perfect dessert everyone loves.

Best Key Lime Pie Recipe

This is the best key lime pie recipe because it uses all wholesome ingredients, even down to the crust. You can make your own key lime pie and have a slice of Florida’s state pie any time!

Easy Key Lime Pie Recipe

It only takes 10 minutes of prep time to make a key lime pie. If you make it now, it will be chilled and ready for dinner. You only need 6 ingredients (8 if you count the garnishes) which makes it even easier!

Homemade Key Lime Pie Ingredients

  • Key limes – They’re aromatic and tart, perfect for an authentic key lime pie recipe.
  • Graham cracker crumbs – To make the pie crust. You can use graham crackers for this and simply crush them up in a food processor using the pulse setting.
  • Sugar – Makes the crust nice and sweet.
  • Melted butter – Binds that crust and gives it that buttery flavor.
  • Sweetened condensed milk – Gives this pie that amazing creamy texture.
  • Sour cream – Helps add more tang.
  • Whipped cream or cool whip for whipped cream topping – The final touch of sweet creaminess.

How do you Make Key Lime Pie from Scratch

You’ll start by making the crust. As you do, you’ll preheat the oven, then press the crumbly graham cracker, butter, and sugar mixture into your pie pan and bake it. Let that cool completely and make the filling. Once the filling is in, bake it for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool and then chill it in your fridge for a minimum of 3 hours. That’s all there is to it!

This pie is sublime!

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Key Lime Pie Every Time

  • Don’t skimp on quality. Use the best ingredients you can find since this recipe only has a few of them.
  • Can’t find key limes or key lime juice? Mix ¼ cup of lemon juice with ¼ cup of lime juice to get close to that lovely key lime taste.
  • You can save time by buying a ready-made crust. While it is better to make your own pie crust recipe (and it’s so easy too), if you’re short on time, you can get your pie ready faster by buying a graham cracker crust that’s already ready.

How to Make Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie involves making a graham cracker crust, baking it, making the filling, baking it briefly in the crust, and then allowing it to chill. When it’s time to serve, adding whipped cream on top along with some lime zest or lime slices will make it really stand out.

What is the difference between Key Lime and lime?

Key limes are far more aromatic and tart with a sweetness that is slightly different then regular limes.

What is the difference between key lime pie and lime pie?

A lime pie doesn’t have that signature tang that a key lime brings. Key limes are both sweet and tangy all in one so it has a truly special taste. No wonder it’s Florida’s state pie!

Can you substitute limes for key limes in key lime pie?

Yes, though it won’t taste the same. You’re better off doing a mix of lemon and lime together to balance out the flavors.

Can you use bottled lime juice for key lime pie?

You could, but it won’t have that aromatic flavor key lime is known for. If you can find bottled key lime juice, that would at least be a better fit, though you are far better off using real key limes.

Can I use lime juice instead of key lime juice?

Again, there is nothing like the juice of real key limes. That being said, you’re better off mixing fresh lemon juice and fresh lime juice in equal parts to simulate the flavor a little more.

What can I substitute for key limes?

Use a quarter cup each of lemon and regular lime to make the flavor more similar to that of key limes.

Why is my key lime pie watery?

Don’t overmix the filling. That’s what will cause it not to set up and get that decadent texture everyone loves about key lime pie.

How do I thicken my key lime pie filling?

Using a recipe like this one which uses sweetened condensed milk and full-fat sour cream will ensure you have a rich, thick texture with your key lime pie.

How Long to Bake Key Lime Pie

Once your key lime pie is assembled in the crust, it only needs to bake for 10 minutes.

How do you know when key lime pie is done?

You’ll bake it for 10 minutes at which point the filling should slightly jiggle when you remove it from the oven.

What to Serve with Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie is tart yet decadent. You can serve it with coffee though it’s certainly a treat to pair it with wine. Sauvignon Blanc is perfection though don’t be afraid to have some fun with margaritas and tequila too.

How to Store Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie must be refrigerated. Do not leave it out at room temperature longer than serving for dessert.

How Long Does Key Lime Pie Last?

Key lime pie will last up to 3 days in your refrigerator, assuming you have any leftovers. From there, you can move it to the freezer.

Can You Freeze Key Lime Pie?

Absolutely you can freeze your own slice of heaven known as key lime pie. Wrap it well and put it in the freezer for no more than one month.

How to Thaw Key Lime Pie?

Simply thaw your key lime pie in the fridge overnight. By the time you’re ready to serve dinner, it will be ready to enjoy for dessert.

Watch How To Make Key Lime Pie (Video)

Key Lime Pie Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 429
Hands down the BEST Key Lime Pie recipe ever! Its all about the balance between sweet and tart with a key lime pie and this recipe nails it. This recipe has a delicious homemade graham cracker crust filled with a creamy key lime pie filling that is both sweet and tart. One of my most popular pie recipes!


  • 1 1/2 cups cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 tbsp butter (melted)
  • 28 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup lime juice
  • lime zest (for garnish)
  • whipped cream (for garnish)


  • First, prepare the crust. Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press the crumb mixture into pie dish and bake for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack. While the crust cools, make the filling.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Then, in a medium bowl, whisk or stir together the sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and lime juice. Pour the filling into your prepared graham cracker crust and bake for 10 minutes. Allow the pie to cool before chilling in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Decorate with lime zest and whipped cream.
Calories: 429kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American


Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 298IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 265mg | Iron: 1mg

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Author Megan Miller

I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

1 Comment

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe! I have been looking for a good Key Lime Pie recipe that didn’t use egg yolks for a while now and this is great.

    I made it basically as written except I did substitute Greek Yogurt for the Sour Cream as that is what I had on hand, and I tend to prefer yogurt to sour cream in most things that I make. It has a similar texture and worked very well. I used plain greek yogurt but I wonder if using a key lime flavored yogurt (like Oikos Key Lime Greek Yogurt) would be a nice way to get more key lime flavor in there, or if that would be too much in addition to the key lime juice? What do you think?

    I also could not find Key Limes or juice where I live so I took your advice and used a 50:50 mix of lime juice and lemon juice which tasted great.

    This was so easy to make and very tasty. A wonderful summer pie. I will definitely be making this again and am very glad that I found your website. I’ll certainly be checking out more of your recipes. Thank you very much!

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