No-Churn Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Tested & Perfected Recipes
Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

This no-churn key lime pie ice cream has all the bright lime flavor of the pie — even the crunchy, buttery graham cracker crust — and is a cinch to make.

key lime pie ice cream

Delighted with the success of an ultra-creamy no-churn cheesecake ice cream I developed for my cookbook, I’ve been playing around with other no-churn ice cream flavors. This key lime pie ice cream is my favorite thus far: it has all the bright lime flavor of key lime pie — even the crunchy, buttery graham cracker crust — and it’s a cinch to make.

There’s no temperamental custard base to make and chill, no ice cream machine to fiddle with, and no pulling the ice cream out of the freezer every 30 minutes to beat out the crystals. You start by making the 3-ingredient crust (easy!), then you beat the ice cream ingredients together, layer the mixture with the crust in a loaf pan, and pop it in the freezer. The next day you have a creamy, dreamy key lime treat that tastes far better than anything you could buy at the store.

What you’ll need To Make Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

ingredients for key lime pie ice cream

I use regular limes instead of key limes to make this ice cream. Key limes are challenging to find, and regular limes work just as well. (And you always want to avoid bracingly tart, artificial-tasting bottled key lime juice!)

How To Make Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt in mixing bowl.

Begin by making the crust. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt. Using a spoon first and then your fingers, mix until evenly combined, making sure to break up any lumps of brown sugar.

Crust ingredients mixed together in bowl.

Press the crust into an even 1/4-inch layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Crust pressed into a freeform layer on baking sheet.

Bake until golden around the edges, 7 to 8 minutes.

breaking baked graham cracker crust into chunks

Let cool, then use a spoon to break into chunks.

finished chunks of crust

Set the crust aside while you make the filling. To start, zest and juice the limes. (Be sure to zest them first as it’s near impossible to do once they are juiced.)

zesting and juicing limes

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and creamy, about 1 minute.

beating cream cheese in mixing bowl

Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat until completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.

adding sweetened condensed milk to mixing bowl

Add the heavy cream, lime zest, lime juice and salt.

adding lime

And beat until evenly combined, about 30 seconds.

beating cream cheese mixture until smooth

Arrange half of the crust evenly over the bottom of an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan.

creating layer of crust in loaf pan

Pour the ice cream mixture over top.

adding ice cream layer to loaf pan

Then cover with the remaining crust crumbles. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until completely firm, at least 8 hours or overnight.

adding final crust layer

Enjoy!

scooping frozen ice cream from loaf pan

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No-Churn Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

This no-churn key lime pie ice cream has all the bright lime flavor of the pie — even the crunchy, buttery graham cracker crust — and is a cinch to make.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes, plus at least 8 hours to freeze

Ingredients

For the "Crust"

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, from 8 whole crackers
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • Pinch salt

For the Ice Cream

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 packed tablespoon finely grated lime zest, from about 3 limes
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from about 3 limes
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Make the Crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F and set a rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt. Using a spoon first and then your fingers, mix until evenly combined, making sure to break up any lumps of brown sugar. Press the crust into an even 1/4-inch layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden around the edges, 7 to 8 minutes. Let cool, then use a spoon to break into chunks.
  3. Make the Ice Cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat until completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream, lime zest, lime juice and salt, and beat until evenly combined, about 30 seconds.
  4. Assemble: Arrange half of the crust crumbles evenly over the bottom of an ungreased 8-by-4-inch loaf pan. Pour the ice cream mixture over top, then cover with the remaining crust crumbles. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until completely firm, at least 8 hours or overnight.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Serving size: About 1 cup
  • Calories: 542
  • Fat: 32 g
  • Saturated fat: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 59 g
  • Sugar: 50 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Sodium: 342 mg
  • Cholesterol: 98 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

  • Wow…this was DELICIOUS. I followed the recipe except I only had light brown sugar, substituting it 1:1 was fine, but I can see how dark would produce superior color and depth of flavor. I tasted the mixture before freezing and felt it could be a tad less sweet, so I added another 1/4 cup of heavy cream and it was perfect. Next time I will just use 1/2 cup to start. It is realllly rich. I was worried the loaf pan wouldn’t be enough for 6, but it was and probably could have even served 8.

    • — Emily H. on June 22, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your recipes. Looking forward to making this one. Is it possible to substitute mascarpone for the cream cheese?
    (I preordered your new cookbook and am so excited for it!)
    Thank you for the quality and dedication that you put into all you do.

    • — S on June 19, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes and thanks for your support with the book! 💗
      I haven’t tried this with mascarpone so I can’t guarantee how it will come out, but I think it should work. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on June 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • Do you use normal everday limes or key limes? Has anyone used bottled keylime juice?

    • — Jane on June 17, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi June, I use normal limes for this (and I’d recommend staying away from the bottled version). Hope you enjoy if you make it!

      • — Jenn on June 17, 2021
      • Reply
  • I am so excited to make this recipe!! Question about the sweetened condensed milk – The recipe says “1 14oz can” but a typical can is 10oz and the picture showing ingredients looks like just a single, smaller 10oz can. Is it supposed to be “1 10oz can” or is it in fact 14oz that’s needed?

    • — Angela on April 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Angela, It is hard to tell from the photo, but it is definitely a 14-oz can. I know in some places, like Canada, sweetened condensed milk is sold in 10-oz cans, but you need 14 ounces for this recipe. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • Awesome! So easy and a new family favorite!

    • — Angela on April 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Awesome!!! Most incredible dessert ever. I love citrus and this did not disappoint. Took it for Easter and received rave reviews. The creaminess was custard-like and the topping knocked it out of the park. Will be making this many more times. Thank you for this recipe.

    • — Christine Rabidoux on April 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • I made this recipe for our Bible study group after tasting Christy’s. She is right! Everyone raved about it! Thanks!

      • — Angela on April 5, 2021
      • Reply
  • I LOVED this Key Lime Ice cream!! It was very rich and sweet, like another reviewer said. But not too much imo. But I’m wondering Jenn, IF a bit more heavy cream added, would tone that sweetness down?? As I give that more thought, I’m having ME another serving, thank YOU very much!!! Keep’m coming Jenn!

    • — Gigi B on February 21, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you liked it! I think you could add a few additional tablespoons of heavy cream without a problem.

      • — Jenn on February 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • Key lime is my absolute favorite and this doesn’t disappoint! Love this!

    • — Jacqueline Ricard on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is my go-to recipe for summertime when I’m serving Mexican or tropical and I want a refreshing finale. Love that it’s made ahead and so refreshing but the best is all the scraping sounds of guests going for that last bit of flavor in the bowl. Rich enough that the serving size is perfect but with wow.

    • — Leigh Aaron-Leary on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • I was looking for a different dessert and was excited to try this recipe. It was AMAZING! Easy to prepare and delicious.

    • — Rich on December 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • This key lime pie no churn ice cream recipe is simply AMAZING!

    • — Kelly on October 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • Absolutely amazing recipe!! I even substituted reduced fat cream cheese and it was still awesome.

    • — Marilynn Massaro on October 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is absolutely incredible. I’m not an ice cream lover, but I like lime in anything and this was a huge hit. My whole family loved it and my daughter asked if we could have it every day, it’s that good!

    • — Lesley on September 4, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made it for the first time. Absolutely amazing!

    • — LLOYD YODER on August 21, 2020
    • Reply
  • Could I double this and make in a pie pan?

    • — Kristy on August 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Kristy, I don’t think you’ll have enough room in the pie pan to double this. You could try making 1.5 times the recipe.

      • — Jenn on August 19, 2020
      • Reply
  • Oh my, this is amazing. Absolutely delicious.

    Followed the recipe exactly, but whisked it by hand (didn’t have a mixer available) and it was perfect.

    • — KJ on August 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is one of those desserts you bring to a gathering and people think it’s fancy and you worked hard (let them)! It is that good. I am not a fan of store-bought ice cream, so this is a wonderful alternative. The texture is lovely and the lime flavor really shines through.

    • — Jessi on July 21, 2020
    • Reply
  • Wow, this is really good! Very nice balance between sweet and tart. I love key lime anything and this definitely satisfied my key lime sweet tooth even though I used the regular limes as suggested.

    • — Deborah L Morris on July 16, 2020
    • Reply
  • Oh wow, easy, delicious… fabulous all in one am tempted to adapt the recipe to coconut, or maybe ginger!

    • — Mary on July 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is just outstanding and most important, so easy to assemble. Seriously, this stuff is creamy, with zesty lime and graham cracker crust. Mouth watering just typing this review. Thanks for another tasty recipe! Sissy

    • — Sissy on July 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • this was easy and yummy!

    • — Ariella Lena Gastel on July 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • We loved this recipe! The crunch of the crust pieces on the top and bottom really add to the key lime pie feel. You get the great taste with so much less work! We used lemon juice rather than lime (had a ton of juice after making a batch of limoncello with the zest) and it worked great. Added a bit more juice to make up for the lack of zest and it still worked perfectly. Loved it and will definitely make again – thanks!

    • — Linda on June 28, 2020
    • Reply

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