No-Churn Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

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Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

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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.

Lime zest in a bowl with an electric mixer.

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


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


For the "Crust"

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, from 8 whole crackers
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ 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
  • ¼ 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


  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 ¼-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

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  • 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, 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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  • I made this dessert for my brother for Father’s Day and it was fantastic! I couldn’t believe I’d made something this delicious. Thanks for another great recipe Jenn!

  • I just made this for my son in law ; his favorite dessert is key lime pie. After tasting it all he kept saying was “OMG” ! LOL ! I think he liked it.

  • This recipe absolutely rocks! Make it, make it now… It’s Key Lime pie in and ice cream bowl… It’s so simple and tastes sooo…. good! Thanks Jen! I will be making this again.

  • This was absolutely amazing!

  • I served this for our Oscars party and it was a real crowd pleaser! Absolutely delicious.
    Jenn Hutchison

    • — Jennifer Hutchison
    • Reply
  • Love this dessert, and so did my company! Made it the second time in a spring form pan so I could cut it and serve it.

  • Hi Jenn, I made these earlier this year and the whole family loved it! Just wondering if you have any suggestions for a gluten free version for a friend’s birthday this weekend? I was thinking of using gluten-free shortbread or some sort of gluten-free sweet biscuit for the base, but not sure whether I would need to alter the amount of brown sugar or not? Thanks for any advice!

    • Hi Melissa, I think a gluten-free sweet biscuit similar to graham crackers would work well, no adjustments necessary. Hope that helps! 🙂

      • This is the one to make for company dinner. They’ll be so impressed and won’t have a clue how easy it was to make.

    • Thanks Jenn, that gives me the confidence to try! Hope you have a lovely day 🙂

  • Really great! I made it with real key limes. Took 25 to get enough juice. Followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect. Had to set it out for about 10 minutes to serve because it was rock hard out of the freezer. Another winner. Thank you!!!

  • How far in advance can I make this. Have made it before and loved it. Having guests and would like to do this a few days before

    • Hi Karen, You can definitely make this 3 to 4 days ahead of time; just cover it well to prevent freezer burn.

  • This is just outstanding. I made it for the 4th of July and it was a huge hit. Everyone wanted the recipe. I used the no fat condensed milk and the 1/3 less fat cream cheese and used a 8 x 8 dish. Going to make it again tomorrow. Love your cookbook too. Thanks.

  • I have had superb success with every single recipe I have ever tried from your website, Jenn. I always go to your website and your cookbook with confidence that I will be making something delicious.
    But yesterday I tried this key lime ice cream and it turned out incredibly sweet, way too sweet. I did double the recipe and put it into two loaf pans but didn’t alter anything. I’m not sure why it was so intensely sweet–is there something about doubling it that would have increased teh sweetness? It was not that the crust was sweet, but the ice cream itself. I took it to a cookout and everyone said they liked it but I knew it was way over the top sweet and won’t be making it again.

    • So sorry this didn’t turn out well for you, Sheila. Is there any chance you forgot to double the lime juice (you would have needed 3/4 cup)? That’s the only thing I can think of that would make this ice cream too sweet, as doubling it shouldn’t make any difference.

  • I love this recipe!
    I have made it multiple times for my parents and we can never get enough! I tastes exactly like regular ice cream and the lemon flavor is perfect.

    I cant wait to make this again.

  • I have made this several times. So good. Was wondering if this could be baked/assembled as a shot glass dessert. Was thinking I could place the crust in the shot glass mold and then fill with the ice cream. If so, how long would the crust bake in the mold.

    • Hi SV, that sounds like a cute way to serve these! I would suggest following the recipe by baking the crust on a baking sheet. You can then break it into pieces that will fit at the bottom of the shot glass and then layer the ice cream on top. Hope you enjoy!

      • All I can say is ,WOW!!! I live in Florida and usually pick up bags of key limes when I see them , juice and zest them , then freeze for later uses. But really wanted to try the Persian limes with this recipe as well. Have to agree that you could hardly tell the difference between Persian limes and keylimes! What takes it over the top is the lime zest which really gives it an extra zip. This recipe is highly requested for get togethers and I have told all my family and friends of your website and cookbook. Your recipes and tips are such an inspiration and I will always be a devoted follower! Thank you Jenn😃

  • THIS recipe introduced me to Once Upon a Chef and Jenn Segal. I’ve made this several times, for the hubby and I, who make pigs of ourselves eating it all. And for parties, where it is a hit everytime! Simple and delish.

    • — Susan Heneghan
    • Reply
    • This is amazing Jenn, the ice cream is so creamy and the lime blends beautifully, made this for my Mum’s birthday and it was a real hit! Highly recommended that everyone tries this recipe, you won’t believe how great it turns out – you won’t even believe that you actually made it once you try it! I made little individual cakes in a muffin tray, and it made 15 little cakes for anyone who’s curious.

  • Oh my goodness this ice cream is delicious! I don’t even like ice cream or key lime pie usually but this is perfect. I’ve made it a few times now and always get rave reviews! It’s so easy to make. It’s difficult to go wrong. Great recipe to make with kids.

    • — Michelle Harvey
    • Reply
  • This was a big hit for a birthday dessert for someone who doesn’t care for cake. I am a huge Key Lime Pie fan. This is a cross between traditional Key Lime Pie and ice cream. Rich, but all the taste of Key Lime Pie. I took someone’s advice to chill and slice vs. scooping. Both would work, but I liked presenting as a slice of cake/pie. Other than that I didn’t change anything

  • Completely delicious. Made this many times this summer.

  • I’ve been meaning to write a review since I first made this three months ago at the beginning of the summer. Followed the recipe exactly; quick, easy and absolutely delicious. I’ve remade this all summer long; sliced and plated with a few berries, took it in a cooler on a birthday picnic (made in ramekins) So versatile.

    Thanks Jenn … not just for this one but for all your recipes. I’ve been using your site for a few years and I’ve yet to try anything that I wouldn’t make again … and give 5 stars to (I’m just not much of a review writer!)

  • This was amazing! I juiced limes from our key lime tree. The texture and flavor of the ice cream was wonderful! Great idea to use cookie crust on top and bottom!

  • Yuk!! Tastes like cream cheese not ice cream, not even close! Thats a million calories dessert way too sweet and too much fat!!

  • it’s absolutely amazing. Very silky and delicious, and the crust is great with it!

  • Delicious but quite rich and a little sweet for my palate. Next time I’d halve sugar in the crumb. Is there a less sweet alternative to sweetened condensed milk?

    • Hi Anne, I’ve only used sweetened condensed milk for this. This article provides some alternatives (though I can’t vouch for them). Please let me know how it turns out if you try one!

  • Made this for co workers. Super simple and super delicious!

  • This is SO easy and just as good (if not better) than the best key lime pie! I made this over the 4th of July weekend along with several other desserts and this one was GONE in seconds. I feared not greasing or lining the pan, but the way the graham cracker crumbs are layered on the bottom as well as the top makes the perfect sticky-free barrier and super easy to scoop out. It’s super creamy and I love the two crusts so you get a bit of crust in every bite!

    I see your cheesecake variation in your new cookbook – what other flavor combinations do you think would work well with this basic recipe? It’s foolproof!

    • Hi Mary, Funny you should ask. I’ve been playing around with a strawberry cheesecake version but it’s not quite there yet. The base is a bit tangy, so I think fruit flavors (especially berries) work well…just haven’t figured out the best way to incorporate them. Stay tuned! (And btw, you can layer the graham cracker crust in the book recipe, too, even though I didn’t show it that way.)

  • Oh MY this is better than pie! I just made this on Saturday for dinner guests. It was so easy and quick. My husband is lactose intolerant so I did substitute lactose free cooking cream (35%) for the heavy cream and tofu cream cheese for the cream cheese. I froze it overnight and let thaw for 5 minutes before slicing. Everyone just raved about it. Thanks Jenn! ! ! !

  • This is a strange question but I’m wondering if I could use fresh blueberries instead of lime? I went to a blueberry farm and I’m looking for different ways to use them. Your muffins were delicious!

    • Hi Tami, I wouldn’t advise replacing the lime with blueberries, but I do think you could mix some fresh blueberries into the ice cream. Hope you enjoy!

  • Unbelievably delicious.I followed the recipe exactly and it was so easy. The texture is perfect and the flavor of lime is perfectly balanced. Instant favorite recipe.thank you!

  • Is this firm enough to be sliceable? I was either going to put it in a springform or line the pan with plastic to invert and serve in slices. Thanks so much.

    • Yes, Rose, I think that should work. Hope everyone enjoys!

  • Hi Jenn,

    I live in New Zealand and Graham Crackers are not a fixture here on supermarket shelves. Can you suggest a substitute? Thanks.

    • Hi Anita, do you have digestive biscuits in your grocery stores? I believe they would be a reasonable substitute for graham crackers.

      • We do have digestives, but I used some plain malt biscuits and it turned out superbly. My kids now want this for their birthday cakes. Thanks so much!

        • Yay! 🙂

  • Fabulous!

  • Just made this beauty last weekend!!! Absolutely fabulous!!!!

    • — janine hundley
    • Reply
  • This is excellent and a big hit at Thanksgiving; not too heavy after a big meal. We liked it a lot better with less graham cracker crumbs. Stays fresh a long time in the freezer.

    • — Marilyn Jackson
    • Reply
  • This was delicious and so easy to make! Super treat for a hot day! Thanks you!

    • — Lora Tchekoratova
    • Reply
  • Loved this recipe! I used a combination of limes which was nice & tart. Also made individual servings using small glass jars. I followed the recipe exactly but the next time I will try using low fat options. My company from Florida said it tasted just like Key Lime Pie that they get in Key West. A real summer cooler!

  • It’s a great dish anytime of year and a great make ahead.

  • Refreshing, delicious and unique!

  • I found you dont need to bake the digestive biscuit crunb butter and sugar.I think its better just as is if making a cheese cake biscuit. Just melt the butter into the crumbed biscuits and then spoon at bottom of loaf tin and then put ice cream on top.

    • — Veronica Bellotti
    • Reply
  • The first time I made this for my family I didn’t have enough limes and used lemons to “bridge the gap” — it was still delicious. Thanks for another easy and tasty recipe!

  • Only one word to describe this recipe. Awesome. How can something so simple and quick taste so good. Made it for myself and some friends for Thanksgiving and everyone raved about it.

  • I made this a few months ago and it’s to die for! Perfect blend of sweetness/tartness. Admittedly, I only ate a little of it because the rest of my family devoured it.

  • I was so pleasantly surprised with this recipe! I’ve tried other no churn ice cream recipes and none of them yielded such a creamy result. I didn’t have dark brown sugar so I substituted light brown and my graham crackers were the honey kind but both of those subs didn’t seem to affect flavor. The recipe was quick and easy and is a total go to for me now. The one thing that I suggest is to line the loaf pan with parchment or plastic wrap before starting to layer the graham crackers and ice cream mixture, it makes a world of difference when it comes to ease of removal.

  • This recipe is delicious and addictive! It’s my favorite warm weather dessert though it’s so good I’ll probably continue to make it all year long. To make it easier to serve, I line my container with a couple layers of plastic film so that I can remove the whole thing as a loaf, unwrap it, and slice it into servings. This makes serving it easy, neat, and ensures good distribution of the crumbs for each plate.

  • I need to make this again. It was so easy and good. Highly recommend this recipe.

  • Jenn, I made this for our Labor Day BBQ and it was amazing! My son who loves Key Lime Pie said he liked this ice cream version even better!. I have tried many of your recipes and love them all but this is the best! I’ve been cooking for over 30 years and I have to say this is one of the best recipes I’ve ever made, thank you!!

    • — Barbara Rehbock
    • Reply
  • Really good. Let it thaw out to refrigerator temp. Tastes better!

  • Wow! This was an amazing dessert. So creamy and full of flavor. This went over so well and will keep in my recipe file.

  • We absolutely love this dessert !

    • — Cheryl Kreiser
    • Reply
  • This dessert is soooooo good that I’ve made it four times since you put it on the website! I make it in little ramekins and sprinkle a little of the crumble on top. It works not only as decoration, but also keeps the plastic wrap from sticking to the ice cream while it’s in the freezer. And I take it out of the freezer about 30 before serving – 10 minutes just weren’t enough.
    It’s another of your easy-yet-oh-so-elegant endings to a meal when you want to impress your guests. THANKS again, Jenn.

  • AMAZING! Served this last night for a Girl’s Night get-together and was a perfect cool, sweet treat on a hot July night!

    I ended up putting this in a glass 8×8 baking dish and it firmed up beautifully in about half the time.

  • So delicious! I used neufchatel, fat free sweetened condensed milk and 1% milk. It was so creamy and decadent, no one realized how many calories were removed! Thank you for another keeper!

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