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Easy Classic Florida Key West Lime Pie Recipe

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Indulge in the tangy sweetness of a Classic Key West Dessert with this easy Key lime pie recipe.


Whether you’re a native Floridian or simply craving a taste of the tropics, every bite of this pie is a slice of paradise! 

I have lived in Florida for most of my life and have had so many Key lime pies!

It’s a favorite dessert of mine. 


This delicious Key lime pie has the perfect balance of tartness and sweetness. 

This is probably the Best Key Lime Pie recipe that I have ever had and it’s so simple to make!

Reasons People Love Key Lime Pie

There is a piece of a light yellow pie with a line of whipped cream on the edge and a graham cracker crust, two thin slices of a lime on a white plate. There is a fork resting on the back side of the plate. In the background here is a light brown pie pan with a graham cracker pie crust with a light yellow creamy filling in it. There is a line of white whipped cream circling around the rim of the pie. There is a piece cut out of the pie. There are two whole green limes and a white cloth napkin in the background. Items are on a wood surface.

Key lime pie holds a special place in the hearts of many, and for good reason.

Tangy Citrus Flavor

  • Key limes have a more intense citrusy taste than regular limes which gives the pie its distinctive flavor.

Creamy Texture

  • The combination of egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk gives the filling of Key lime pie its rich smooth and creamy texture.

Easy Preparation

  • With just a handful of key ingredients and simple steps, Key lime pie is quick to make.
  • This easy recipe is perfect for all pie-making skill levels.

Versatile

  • Whether you opt for a classic graham cracker crust, a regular pie shell, or a shortbread crust, Key lime pie can be customized to suit your taste preferences.

A Taste of Tradition

  • Dating back to the late 1800s, Key lime pie has deep roots in Florida’s culinary history, particularly in the Florida Keys. Its association with the region adds to its popularity, making it a symbol of local pride and tradition.

Simple Ingredients

There is a yellow plastic bottle with a bright green lid. There is a can with a white, red, and blue label, There is a medium white bowl with light brown cookie crumbs in it. There are two small clear glass bowls. One of the bowls has white sugar in it and the other bowl has brown sugar in it. There is a white shallow bowl with five brown eggs in it. There is a whole green lime and a stick of butter. There is a very small clear round dish with dark brown ground spices in it. Items are on a white and black terrazzo surface.

What You Will Need To Make Key Lime Pie

Pie Crust

  • Graham Cracker Crumbs – Store-bought crumbs are great to use. If you want to make a homemade graham cracker crust, use a food processor to quickly crush graham crackers into fine crumbs. 12 full-size crackers should yield about 1.5 cups. (see FAQ’s)
  • Sugar – Brown sugar or granulated white sugar can be used. I like to use both in the crust.
  • Melted Butter – Unsalted
  • Ground Cinnamon – (optional) I think it adds just a little bit of spice to the graham cracker mixture.

Pie Filling

  • Lime Juice – Fresh Key limes are tiny in size. It takes about 20-25 limes to yield 1/2 cup of juice. I like to use bottled Key lime juice for convenience and can usually find it at a local grocery store. My favorite is Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice, it has an authentic taste and is made with 100% Key West limes
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – Use regular. I’ve tried fat-free condensed milk in this recipe and the texture is not the same. 

      Tools and Equipment

      • Large mixing bowl
      • ​Medium bowl
      • Whisk
      • ​9-inch pie pan
      • Egg separator
      • Measuring cup
      • Measuring spoons
      • Rubber spatula
      • Cooling rack
      • ​Oven mitts
      • Hand mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment (if making your own whipped cream)

      Main Steps To Make Key Lime Pie

      1. Make the Graham Cracker Crust

      2. Prepare the Pie Filling

      3. Bake the Pie

      There is a clear round shallow dish with a baked light brown cookie crumb pie crust with a baked creamy light yellow filling. The pie pan is on a metal wire rack. The rack is on a white and black terrazzo surface.

      Instructions

      Pie Crust

      • Preheat oven to 375 F.
      • Combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon (optional) in a large mixing bowl. Stir a few times. 
      • Pour in the melted butter and mix until the crumbs are evenly coated.
      • Using your fingers and the bottom of a measuring cup or glass, press the mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan or springform pan. (see Recipe Tips)
      • Bake the crust for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it is light golden brown.
      • Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

      Pie Filling

      • Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.
      • Separate the eggs. 
      • In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks until slightly fluffy. 
      • Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and whisk until combined.
      • Gradually add the Key lime juice, whisking until smooth and well combined.
      • The pie filling will be a beautiful pale yellow color.
      There is a clear round shallow dish with a light brown cookie crumb pie shell filled with a creamy light yellow mixture. In the background there is a large clear bowl with a light gray rubber spatula resting in it. Items are on a white and black terrazzo surface.

      Bake the Pie

      •  Pour the filling into the cooled graham cracker crust. Use a rubber spatula to spread evenly.
      • Transfer the pie to a preheated oven. 
      • Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are set but the center of the pie still jiggles slightly. (see Recipe Tips)
      There is a clear round shallow dish with a baked light brown cookie crumb pie crust with a baked creamy light yellow filling. The pie pan is on a metal wire rack. The rack is on a white and black terrazzo surface.
      • Let the pie cool at room temperature on a wire rack. 
      • Place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly for a few hours, preferably overnight.
      There is a white plate with a piece of light yellow cream pie with a graham cracker crust on it. There is a dollop of white whipped cream and a thin slice of lime on top of the pie. There is lime zest sprinkled over the plate and pie. There is a metal fork with a small piece of pie on it resting on the plate. There is a white cloth napkin laying next to the plate. Items are on a white and black terrazzo surface.

      Garnish Options

      • Top each slice of Key lime pie with a dollop of whipped cream and zest just before serving.
      • Spread whipped cream and Key lime zest over the top of the entire pie.
      • Use a decorative pastry bag tip and trim the pie with whipped cream.

      Recipe Tips

      • The crust should be about 1/4 inch thick. I find it easiest to press the sides of the pie first, and then finish by pressing the bottom. 
      • I don’t worry about trying to make the edges even or perfect. Visually the crust looks authentic and it doesn’t make any difference with the taste of the finished product.
      • Be careful not to overbake the pie, as the filling will continue to set as it cools.
      • You can use store-bought whipped cream or Cool Whip instead of making fresh whipped cream.

      Fresh Whipped Cream

      How To Make Whipped Cream

      I like to use a hand mixer to make whipped cream. Alternatively, a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment can be used. 

      • Whip 1 cup of heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form.

      Variations

      Coconut Key Lime Pie – Add a cup of full-fat unsweetened coconut milk to the pie filling.

      Follow the instructions listed for making and baking the pie. Sprinkle toasted coconut over the top of the pie.

      If you love coconut, you have to try this delicious Coconut Cream Pie by Bunny’s Warm Oven!

      Key Lime Pie Bars – Press the graham cracker crust into a 9×9 baking dish instead of a pie pan. Add 4 ounces of cream cheese to the pie filling.

      Follow the instructions listed for making and baking the pie. Cut into bars once cooled.

      This is a great option for serving at parties and gatherings.

      Key West Key Lime Pie

      There is a light brown pie pan with a graham cracker pie crust with a light yellow creamy filling in it. There is a line of white whipped cream circling around the rim of the pie. There is a piece cut out of the pie. There is a metal triangular utensil laying next to the pan. In the background there is a piecce of the light yellow pie on a white plate. There are three whole green limes and a beige cloth napkin in the background. Items are on a wood surface.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      What is the difference between key limes and regular limes?

      Key limes, also known as Mexican or West Indian limes, are smaller and more aromatic than regular limes. Key limes have a high acidity level and a more intense flavor.

      Can I use regular lime juice instead of Key lime juice?

      While you can substitute regular lime juice in a pinch, it doesn’t have the intense flavor of authentic Key lime juice. Try to use fresh Key lime juice whenever possible. 

      You can find bottled Key lime juice at your local grocery store if fresh limes are unavailable.

      Can you make graham cracker crumbs without using a food processor?

      Absolutely! A food processor makes crushing graham crackers quick and easy but you can achieve similar results by using a resealable plastic bag and a rolling pin.

      Simply place the graham crackers in the bag, seal it tightly, and roll the pin over the bag until the crackers become fine crumbs.

      Can I make Key lime pie ahead of time?

      Yes, you can! Key lime pie actually tastes better when made ahead of time and allowed to chill in the refrigerator for a least a few hours or overnight. It gives the flavors a chance to mesh together for a more delicious pie!

      What’s the best way to store leftover Key lime pie?

      If you happen to have any leftover pie (which doesn’t happen often in my house), just cover it loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also use a pie carrier to store it in if you have whipped cream on the top.

      Can I use a pre-made graham cracker crust?

      Yes, if you’re short on time a store-bought crust can be used. They are sold already patted into disposable aluminum pie plates and pre-baked.

      Like this recipe? Leave a comment and a star rating! I would love to hear from you!

      Yield: 8-10 slices

      Easy Classic Florida Key West Lime Pie Recipe

      There is a white plate with a piece of light yellow cream pie with a graham cracker crust on it. There is a dollop of white whipped cream and a thin slice of lime on top of the pie. There is lime zest sprinkled over the plate and pie. There is a metal fork resting on the plate. In the background there is a clear glass pie pan with a graham cracker pie crust with a light yellow creamy filling in it. There is a piece cut out of the pie. Items are on a white and black terrazzo surface.

      Indulge in the tangy sweetness of a classic Key West dessert with this easy key lime pie recipe.

      This delicious key lime pie has the perfect balance of tartness and sweetness. 

      Prep Time 20 minutes
      Cook Time 25 minutes
      Additional Time 3 hours
      Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes

      Ingredients

      • 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
      • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
      • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
      • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
      • 6.5 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted
      • 5 large egg yolks - room temperature
      • 1 can sweetened condensed milk - 14 ounces
      • 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice
      • For Topping: (optional)
      • 1 cup heavy cream
      • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
      • Key lime zest (optional garnish)

      Instructions

      1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
      2. Crust: In a medium or large mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, both sugars and cinnamon (optional). Stir a few times. 
      3. Pour in the melted butter and mix until the crumbs are evenly coated.
      4. Using your fingers and the bottom of a measuring cup or glass, press the mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan or springform pan. (See Recipe Tips )
      5. Bake the crust for 6 to eight minutes, or until it is light golden brown.
      6. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
      7. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F
      8. Key Lime Filling: Separate the eggs.
      9. In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks until slightly fluffy. 
      10. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and whisk until combined.
      11. Gradually add the Key lime juice, whisking until smooth and well combined. The pie filling will be a beautiful pale yellow color.
      12. Bake: Pour the filling into the cooled graham cracker crust. Use a rubber spatula to spread evenly.
      13. Transfer the pie to a preheated oven. 
      14. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are set but the center of the pie still jiggles slightly. (see Recipe Tips)
      15. Let the pie cool at room temperature for 30 minutes on a wire rack. 
      16. Place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, for at least 3 hours or overnight.

      Notes

      Garnish Options

      • Top each slice of key lime pie with a dollop of whipped cream and zest just before serving.
      • Spread whipped cream and key lime zest over the top of the entire pie.
      • Use a decorative pastry bag tip and trim the pie with whipped cream.

      Tools and Equipment

      • Large mixing bowl
      • Medium bowl
      • Whisk
      • 9-inch pie pan
      • Egg separator
      • Measuring cup
      • Measuring spoons
      • Rubber spatula
      • Cooling rack
      • Oven mitts
      • Hand mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment (if making your own whipped cream)

      How To Make Whipped Cream

      Whip 1 cup of heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form.

      I like to use a hand mixer to make whipped cream. Alternatively, a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment can be used. 

      Nutrition Information:

      Yield:

      10

      Serving Size:

      1

      Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 176mgSodium: 170mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 1gSugar: 40gProtein: 9g

      Did you make this recipe?

      Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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