Key Lime Pie

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Made with ordinary limes, this “Key lime” pie tastes every bit as authentic as the real deal — plus it’s easier to make.

I use Persian limes, otherwise known as ordinary supermarket limes, to make my “Key lime” pie. Unless you live in the Florida Keys, key limes are near impossible to find. Furthermore, they’re so tiny that you’d need to juice at least twenty of them for this recipe. No thank you! Ordinary limes make an exceptional Key lime pie, and they are a much better alternative to bracingly tart bottled Key lime juice. This pie tastes every bit as authentic as the real deal — plus it’s easier to make.

What You’ll Need To Make Key Lime Pie

ingredients for key lime pie

  • You’ll need 8 to 10 limes total for this recipe. Choose plump limes that give a little when you squeeze them; they will be easier to juice. You should get about 2 tablespoons of juice from each lime. Be sure to zest the limes before you squeeze the juice from them, as it’s near impossible to do afterward.
  • Sweetened condensed milk is canned milk from which water has been removed, and sugar has been added. Be sure not to confuse it with evaporated milk, which is usually sold right alongside.
  • With no eggs, it may be hard to believe that this pie will set, but have faith — it will.

How To Make Key Lime Pie

Step 1: Make The Crust

brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs and butter in mixing bowl

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter in a mixing bowl. Stir with a fork first, and then your hands until the mixture is well combined.

mixed graham cracker crust in mixing bowl

Using your fingers and the bottom of a measuring cup or glass, press the crumbs firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in deep-dish pie pan. The crust should be about 1/4-in thick. (Hint: do the sides first.)

pressing the graham cracker crust into pie pan

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Then let the crust cool a bit while you make the filling.

baked crust

Step 2: Make the Filling

Begin by zesting the limes.
zesting the limes

It’s best to use a rasp grater, which is a long, skinny tool that works well for grating hard cheeses and zesting citrus.
juicing the limesJuice the limes using a citrus reamer, then combine the juice with the sweetened condensed milk, yogurt, and lime zest.

yogurt, lime juice, lime zest, and condensed milk in mixing bowl

Whisk to combine.

whisked key lime pie filling in mixing bowl

Pour the filling into the cooked graham cracker crust.

key lime pie filling poured into crust

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the filling is almost set.

cooked key lime pie

Let the pie cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, about 3 hours.

Step 3: Make the Topping

whipping cream in mixer

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or beaters), beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until medium peaks form. (Alternatively, the cream can be beaten by hand with a whisk.) Top the chilled pie with whipped cream and decorate with lime slices and zest.

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

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Key Lime Pie

Made with ordinary limes, this “Key lime” pie tastes every bit as authentic as the real deal — plus it’s easier to make.

Servings: 8 to 10
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes, plus at least 3 hours to chill

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1-1/2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs, from about 12 whole graham crackers
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling

  • Two 14-oz cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (2% or whole milk)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice

For the Topping

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 8 to 10 thin lime slices

Instructions

For the Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 375 °F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter; stir with a fork first, and then your hands until the mixture is well combined. Using your fingers and the bottom of a glass or dry measuring cup, press the crumbs firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 x 1.5-inch pie pan. The crust should be about ¼-inch thick. (Tip: do the sides first.)
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, until just slightly browned. Let the crust cool on a wire rack.

For the Filling

  1. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, yogurt, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour the thick mixture into the warm graham cracker crust. Bake for 15 minutes, until the filling is almost set; it should wobble a bit. Let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, about 3 hours.

For the Topping

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until medium peaks form. Top the pie with the whipped cream. Decorate with the lime zest and lime slices. Store the pie in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Slice the pie into wedges, wiping your knife clean between slices, and serve cold.
  2. Make-Ahead Instructions: You can make the crust a day ahead of time, but the filling should be added on the day of serving, otherwise the crust will get soggy.
  3. Note: The nutritional information was calculated using 2% Greek yogurt.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Calories: 481
  • Fat: 24 g
  • Saturated fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60 g
  • Sugar: 54 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Sodium: 183 mg
  • Cholesterol: 76 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • This pie is to die for!
    Easy to make and yet so very tasty. I’ve made it twice already and nothing but compliments and people asking me to make it for their birthday :).
    It’ll be my go to for summer pies from now on.

    • — Vanessa on July 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • I recently suggested this recipe to a family member for her monthly dessert club. She reported back that it received rave reviews, and the guests couldn’t believe how simple it is to prepare! I’ve had fun experimenting with different crusts…the coconut cream pie shortbread crust and the addition of gingersnaps with the graham cracker crust… both are pretty awesome! Thanks for these wonderfully delicious recipes!

    • — Kimberly on July 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • I haven’t made this yet, but my sister in law made it as written a few weeks ago and I found it to be THE BEST key lime pie I’ve ever had. Key limes aren’t easy to find in my little corner but I will be making this as soon as I find some. Super yum! And not as sharply tart as some key lime recipes can be. Thanks yet again, Jen!

    • — Judy on July 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! The good news is that you don’t have to search for Key limes — this is made with ordinary limes. 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 29, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this Key lime pie. I had never used brown sugar in a graham cracker crust so that intrigued me. I made this for my DIL’s birthday and everyone loved it! Thank you for a great recipe, and it looked great also.

    • — Patricia on July 29, 2021
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  • Has anyone tried 1/2 lemons and 1/2 limes instead of all limes?

    • — Barbara on July 25, 2021
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    • I’ve made it will all lemon and it was delicious!

      • — Kimberly on July 29, 2021
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  • Hi Jenn
    Love your recipes! Making this tomorrow and noticed that my 4%greek yogurt is not as thick as I have known greek yogurt to be. Do you think this will be a problem with setting?
    Thanks so much!

    • — Jennifer Patzer on July 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jennifer, it should be fine. I’d pour off any liquid that’s accumulated on top of the yogurt or, if you’re really concerned, you can pour the yogurt into a fine mesh sieve and let any liquid drain out. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on July 27, 2021
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  • Hi Jenn— If I use bottled key lime juice for this recipe (already have a bottle), would I still use 3/4 cup? Or reduce because key limes are more tart? I am making this for a terrific cook who loves key lime pie…fingers crossed! Thank you—your recipes are delicious!!!

    • — Nancy on July 24, 2021
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    • Hi Nancy, You’ll get much better results with the fresh limes, so I wouldn’t recommend the bottled version – sorry!

      • — Jenn on July 26, 2021
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  • I’ve been looking for a good key lime pie recipe and this one far exceeded my expectations. It was delicious and so easy to make. Everyone loved it. This is definitely a keeper.

    • — Marilyn on July 24, 2021
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  • I found Key Limes at our Acme in NJ. Pie delicious but too sweet.

    • — Madre on July 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this for my brother’s birthday. It was easy, and came out perfectly. Everyone loved it.

    • — Emily on July 21, 2021
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  • So easy and delicious!

    • — Suzanne D. on July 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • Jenn,

    I want to make this for my friend’s birthday. Is there any way to adjust the sweetness by reducing the sweetened condensed milk and subbing with more yogurt?

    • — Kerrie on July 19, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kerrie, I wouldn’t change the ratios of the sweetened condensed milk and yogurt. If you want to cut the sweetness, you could use a tad more lime juice, omit the sugar from the whipped cream topping, and reduce the sugar a bit in the crust. Hope that helps and your friend enjoys!

      • — Jenn on July 19, 2021
      • Reply
  • This “key lime” pie makes me look way better in the kitchen than I deserve! It has become my signature (😉) dessert! Question – as I perused some of the earlier reviews but couldn’t quite find an answer to mine: I’m thinking of making individual key lime pies in a cupcake pan. Do you think this would translate well? I plan to use cupcake wrappers to keep each mini pie together. Anyway, just curious if you’ve tried or if anyone else has. Thank you so much!!! Love all of your recipes!!

    • — Kelly C on July 19, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you like this enough that it’s become your “signature!” 🙂 Yes, I do think this would work in a cupcake pan and the wrappers will make them easier to handle and remove from the pan. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on July 19, 2021
      • Reply
      • This time, (love this recipe!) I divided this recipe into 11 four oz Mason Jars. Crust used about 1.5 T per jar; baked as directed; used about 4 oz. of filling (2 muffin scoops) per jar; baked for 11 mins. Will dollop with the whipped cream at serving time. With the lids, they are easy to transport too!

        • — BrendaRose on July 24, 2021
        • Reply
      • Follow-up post in case anyone is curious about the “tart/cupcake tin” version: my revised “go-to!” Translated perfectly into little cupcake holders. I would say for both the crust setting phase and the filling phase, I probably shaved 2-3 minutes off the time in the oven. Other than that, absolutely perfect & my new method of serving. Thank you thank you!!!!

        • — Kelly C on July 29, 2021
        • Reply
        • So glad they came out well — thanks for reporting back!

          • — Jenn on July 29, 2021
          • Reply
  • What oven temp

    • — Lauryn on July 18, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Lauryn, the crust should bake at 375°F/190°C, and then the oven temperature should be lowered to 350°F/180°C for the filling. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on July 19, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is one of the best Key Lime Pies that I have ever had and so easy to make!!!!!!!!

    • — Nancy on July 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is the best key lime pie ever. Everyone raved about it. Thank you for this recipe.

    • — Liz Lodato on July 16, 2021
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  • I loved this pie, so easy and everyone in the family loved it.

    • — Susan A Cook on July 16, 2021
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  • I have made this several times, the recipe is easy and the flavor is spot on. My son in law is from North Carolina and said it was the best he ever had.

    • — Pam on July 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made with non-fat Greek yogurt and couldn’t tell. My guests – including a very experienced cook/baker – all agreed this was the best key lime pie they’ve ever tasted! I have to concur. And realized it’s a big win for those with egg allergies, like my niece.

    • — DONNA on July 11, 2021
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  • OMG, this is by far the best Keylime pie ever- I used to think “the original keylime house” in Florida had the best but no more.

    • — Jacquie Miller on July 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this in the pie form and it was fantastic, I was wondering can you make this into a tart??

    • — MK on July 9, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it (and I think this will also work in a tart pan). 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 12, 2021
      • Reply
      • My first key lime pie. I admitted I was skeptical at first as I tasted the filling before baking and felt the yogurt flavor was too strong. Well, that changed when I served it after dinner. The whole family loved it! They said it was the best they’ve ever had! I agree!!

        • — Sue on July 13, 2021
        • Reply
  • I am making this tomorrow (Friday) night for my dads birthday the following day, Saturday. Two questions, I bought non fat Greek you first because it was on sale, and after reading some reviews, should I go back and get the 2% or whole as said in recipe, or could I substitute some sour cream instead (maybe 1/2 then non fat Greek yogurt and 1/2 sour cream)? Read reviews that sour cream works just as well which is why I ask. Second question, I want to make the entire pie Friday evening and leave in fridge overnight to bring to my dad’s birthday the next afternoon, is that ok? If not, how do you suggest I go about making this so it’s ready to serve Saturday afternoon? It’s an hour drive to my parent’s house and I don’t want to have to get up super early just to make the pie for that afternoon, if I don’t have to!

    • — Amber on July 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Amber, I’d just replace the yogurt with sour cream. And to make this ahead, I’d suggest making the crust and the filling a day ahead of time, but storing them separately. (The filling should be added on the day of serving, otherwise, the crust will get soggy.) Hope that helps and that your dad enjoys!

      • — Jenn on July 8, 2021
      • Reply
  • I followed exactly mine never set (was very watery) 🙁 any advice?

    • — Morgan on July 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Morgan, I’m sorry you had a problem with this! What brand of sweetened condensed milk did you use? I find that Eagle brand gives the most reliable results. Also, did you by any chance use nonfat yogurt?

      • — Jenn on July 8, 2021
      • Reply
  • BEST KEY LIME PIE EVER!!! So easy and simple I doubted it at first. Best blend of sweet and tart!!!

    • — Star on July 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’ve never made key lime pie before. This turned out incredible (I used 10% milkfat Greek yogurt b/c that was what I had on hand). I thought the condensed milk flavor was strong at first (though no one else thought so). But the next day, that flavor had mellowed and was just perfect. The texture is amazing… we all marveled over how creamy it was.

    I halved the sugar in the whipped cream and it was perfect for me. Thanks for a super-easy recipe that really wowed everyone this holiday!

    • — kg on July 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made these as bars instead of pie, using biscoff cookies as the base.

    YUM!!!! It was a huge success!

    I now have a favorite!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • — Amaree on July 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • I dream about this key lime pie! I have made it several times to RAVE REVIEWS. I used to only make it once or twice a year….now I look for any occasion to enjoy this delicious pie. Truly the best key lime pie ever!!! The yogurt is a fantastic touch.

    • — Jane on July 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • i decided to make this recipe and was a bit skeptical if it would set since it had no eggs and this was my first time ever making key lime pie but this recipe was honestly a hit. i used actual key limes for this, doubled the recipe but used 3 cans of condensed milk like another comment recommended and i would say that if you have bigger pie dishes do 4!

    • — dm on July 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Tasted so fresh and so good

    • — Vanessa on July 1, 2021
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  • Ok..I was worried this would taste like yogurt but wow was I wrong. This is the BEST key lime pie I’ve ever had and it was so easy to make. It is so rich, creamy, tart, tangy, and decadent! We ate the WHOLE pie. I lucked out and found key limes but added a few regular limes to get enough juice. I used whole milk Greek yogurt and added butter shortbread cookies to the graham cracker crust (I had to make a day ahead of time), which turned out to be an excellent addition and the crust held up beautifully. Keeping this recipe forever. THANK YOU!

    • — Sasha on June 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • I don’t do reviews BUT on this pie – omg love love love. I even had a few ppl buy them from me. I had a southern Florida lady say it’s the best she’s ever had and she’s from the keys.

    • — lisa drinkwine-butterfield on June 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe was delicious, our family considers Key Lime Pie a favorite and this pie was one of the best we’ve tasted. The filling is light and silky, and the crust was the perfect buttery shell for the filling. Even though Persian limes are used, I found the flavor to be better than key limes, much less acidic.
    If you like summer in a pie, this is the recipe!

    • — Judy M. on June 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • A very good-tasting pie. For the first several times I made this, I followed the recipe exactly. However, the last time, I made some adjustments. I find it works just as well with sour cream instead of greek yogurt. I make 2 pies at a time when I make this, as it’s not much extra work. One pie goes in the fridge; the other straight to the freezer.
    I use slightly less condensed milk than it calls for (3 cans rather than 4–remember, I’m making two pies), and less graham cracker. Perhaps my glass pie plates are shallower than hers. The graham cracker crust crumbles apart very easily when dishing a piece out onto a plate. I also found that I can save time and effort by replacing the limes (and zest) with just store-bought lime juice, and I didn’t notice any degradation in taste.
    All in all, a very good dessert. Highly recommended if you like lime pie.

    • — patrickt on June 22, 2021
    • Reply

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