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Easy Key Lime Pie to Make in Advance

This Key Lime Pie is a favorite dessert to make for sharing with others. It’s smooth, creamy, and jaw-dropping delicious. Bonus: You only need 5 ingredients to make AND it can be made in advance.

best key lime pie recipe
Smooth, creamy key lime pie recipe is an ideal make-ahead dessert.

The Best, Easy Key Lime Pie

Whether you already love key lime pie or you’re new to this delightful dessert, put this recipe on your must-share-with-friends list. If there’s not an occasion for entertaining coming up soon, ask a few friends over for a casual pie night, because this pie too good to skip.

  • You only need 5 ingredients to make this luscious key lime pie.
  • Optional super-easy homemade whipped cream takes just 2 ingredients.
  • Key lime pie is not sour-lime tasting; rather, it’s reminiscent of creamy smooth cheesecake with refreshing lime essence.
  • No special equipment is needed; just a hand whisk will do.
  • This easy key lime pie can be made entirely in advance, covered, and chilled until pie night arrives.
best key lime pie with graham cracker crust
This key lime pie tastes like a creamy cheesecake infused with lime

Tips for key lime pie success

  • Use fresh graham cracker crumbs; if the crumbs are stale, it will affect the flavor and not in a delicious way.
  • Go ahead and use salted butter in the crust, as that bit of salt provides perfect balance.
  • Use only freshly squeezed lime juice, as there are only 3 filling ingredients and the limes are key (see what I did there?)
  • Speaking of fresh limes, a bit of zest is beautiful for garnish.
  • Try our super easy homemade whipped cream, which is decidedly better than store bought whipped cream.
  • To keep your finished key lime pie beautiful, invert a second pie pan over the top of the pie and place it in the fridge, far away from little hands.

Homemade whipped Cream is easy

If you want to elevate your key lime pie recipe, just whip together some heavy whipping cream and sugar for the most fluffy-good homemade whipped cream. My favorite way to ensure whipped cream withstands sitting out is to stabilize the whipped cream

Definitely use this recipe if your pie will be hanging out at room temp for awhile. If you’re keeping the pie chilled and don’t plan to have it sitting out long, you can go without stabilizing the whipped cream.

easy key lime pie with whipped cream and lime slices
Top your key lime pie with lime zest and whipped cream

Common Questions and Answers

Q: What exactly are key limes?
A: Key limes (Mexican or West Indian limes) are smaller, contain more seeds, and can be yellower than typical limes. Key limes also have a higher acidity level and more of a fruity-tart flavor. If you see these little guys at the store, definitely pick some up and make this pie.

Q: What if I can’t find key limes?
A: If you can’t find key limes, use fresh regular limes. I’ve used regular limes for key lime pie when I’ve had limes to use up, or when I wanted the bright green zest.

Q: Can I use bottled lime juice?
A: No matter what, fresh limes are way better than anything from a bottle. Bottled juice won’t give you nearly the same quality of flavor.

Also try these easy blueberry pie crumb bars:

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The Best Key Lime Pie Recipe

There’s no better way to cap off the summer than sharing the best Key Lime Pie with your favorite people. This Key Lime Pie is smooth, creamy, and jaw-dropping delicious. Bonus: You only need 5 ingredients to make this pie!

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the Crust:

  • 1 2/3 cups freshly ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 TB salted butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cans (from 14oz cans) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus zest of 2 limes
  • 4 large egg yolks

For the Whipped Cream (optional):

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • 3 heaping TB powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350F, with rack on lower-middle position. Thoroughly combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until it can hold together. Press evenly and firmly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake 6 minutes, remove from oven (keep oven on) and set aside to cool a bit while you make the filling.
  2. Make the Filling: combine filling ingredients in a bowl and hand-whisk until mixture is fully incorporated. Gently pour filling into baked crust.
  3. Bake 20-23 minutes or until center is set. Cool pie completely on wire rack before chilling.
  4. Optional Whipped Cream: Place the beaters of a hand-mixer and a steel bowl in freezer for a few minutes, to get them really cold. Pour cold heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar into cold bowl, and whip until stiff peaks form (some recipes call for soft peaks, but I’ve found that stiff peaks work best for retaining shape)… don’t worry if it seems a little over-whipped. Transfer whipped cream into a piping bag or frosting tool. Pipe whipped cream along edges and center of pie.
  5. Cover pie (a second pie pan, inverted over the top works great) and chill until ready to serve.

Notes

Be sure to use only freshly squeezed lime juice (not bottled juice)

I make graham cracker crumbs by placing whole crackers into a large ziploc bag, seal it, and roll it out with rolling pin. You can also use a food processor, but be careful not to over-process.

If your pie will be sitting out at room temp for a couple of hours during a party or event, I recommend using this stabilized whipped cream recipe to ensure that the whipped cream keeps its shape. That said, this pie is best chilled.

If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 288
  • Sugar: 31.3 g
  • Sodium: 23660.6 mg
  • Fat: 15.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31.5 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 134.6 mg
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: key lime pie, easy key lime pie

Did you make this?

Leave a comment below and tag @chewoutloud on Instagram

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Recipe rating

35 comments

    • elaineebest

    Who knew key lime pie would be so easy?! Citrus flavors are my absolute favorite in desserts, so I’m super excited to find this!

    • twinspirational

    We love Key Lime Pie. We have a good recipe too! Maybe we need to do a taste test of both side by side.

    • Jasmine – LoveLifeLaughMotherhood

    I love a good key lime pie, and this looks yummy! perfect treat during summer!

    • Melissa Sanchez

    Oh my goodness!! Key LIME pie is my favorite! I love it, I love tart things. I cannot way to try to make this recipe. My mouth is watering at the moment. I am craving a piece!!!!

    • Sheena

    Looks and sounds amazing!! Gotta try this some day! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Ellie Plummer

    This looks so gorgeous, I love how you decorated it. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I may have to try it out.

    • scrapbookadventures365

    Wow looks so delicious! I could eat a slice or two now!

    • A Side Of Crunchy

    I can’t wait to try the recipe. I hope it turns out like yours.

    • marciemcheung

    This is super cute with the little lime slices on top! I hadn’t thought to do that! We LOVE Key Lime Pie 🙂

    • healthyfitcouple.com

    Key Lime Pie is one of my favorite desserts. We visit Key Largo frequently just to purchase them as they make the best. I am going to try this recipe to save us a 4 hour drive.

    • Nina Bashaw Photography

    Oh man this look so yummy and now i’m dying for some key lime pie. haha Thanks for sharing the recipe, I’ll have to try this one!

    • GiGi Eats Celebrities

    Key Lime Pie is something I have been wanting to make for the blog for a very long time. I need to figure out a recipe that I can actually eat but I appreciate your leading me in the right direction! 🙂

    • Emily Fata

    This key lime pie looks absolutely divine! This is definitely something I’ll be making for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Preet

    Wow! I would love to try making this recipe! My husband would absolutely love these. This is my kind of weekend treat.

    • Camelia Croitor (@KamellyaKmy)

    Lemon flavor is my favorite, and this pie looks very delicious. I’ll try your recipe too.

    • dearmummyblog

    You are right! bottled juice just isn’t the same! We love Key Lime Pie and like it sharp in taste. This looks delicious x

    • Blogtastic Food

    I am obsessed with lemon meringue pie but I still haven’t had a key lime pie. This one looks so yummy! especially for a recipe that only required 5 ingredients. Awesome work (:

    • tanviidotcom

    Gosh! I LOVE Key lime pie. This sounds and looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it.

    ❥ tanvii.com

    • Sydney | A World in Reach

    I’m always looking for new dessert recipes to experiment with and this looks so good! I’ll have to try to make this for my mom – she loves key lime pie!

    • mrhappywork

    Lovely and delicious looking pie. I can’t believe how pretty this looks!

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