Homemade Key Lime Pie Recipe [VIDEO]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
4.94 from 16 reviews

Christmas recipes Easter Holiday Food Pies and Tarts Recipes

Cook time Cook time: 15 minutes

Homemade Key Lime Pie recipe from scratch with lots of lime zest and fresh lime juice for a fresh citrusy flavor with the most amazing creamy texture.

This cake is a perfect summer dessert, its fresh, flavorful and citrusy. Like Strawberry Poke Cake, No Bake Lemon Cheesecake and Strawberry Lava Cakes, this delicious homemade dessert would be a great addition to this summer flavor mix!

The Best Key Lime Pie

This is my tried and true Best Key Lime Pie recipe that everyone goes crazy for. The custard filling is so creamy and so full of flavor, your taste buds will explode from happiness. To make the filling extra creamy and tasty I like to combine the condensed milk with sour cream and egg yolks, which will give the filling the silkiest texture.

A good amount of key lime juice and zest are also mixed it, adding the beautiful citrusy flavor that this dessert is famous for. A creamy and smooth combo of sweet and tart! You can make your own crust or you can use a pre-made one to save time.

When it comes to the crust, I like mixing in some ground nuts. The slightly nutty flavor is a nice surprise and works well with the bolder and fresh citrus flavor.

What do you need to make Key Lime Pie from scratch:

You can make your own graham cracker crust or use a pre-made one. If you decide to make your own, here is what you will need:

  • Graham crackers crumbs
  • Melted butter
  • Sugar
  • Walnut – optional, but I prefer to add some for extra flavor.

How do you make Key Lime Pie from scratch?

This is a pretty simple dessert that in my opinion, anyone can make. You can take a few shortcuts, like using a pre-made/store-bought graham cracker pie crust and using store-bought Key Lime Juice or Lime Juice. The steps for this recipe are very simple:

  • You start by mixing the crust ingredients, press it into the pie dish, and refrigerate it. Also, the refrigeration step is important, so please don’t skip it.
  • After that, you whisk together the filling ingredients and add the mixture to the prepared crust.
  • Bake, cool, chill and serve. You are done!

What is the difference between Key Lime and regular Persian Lime?

Key limes are smaller and contain more seeds than Persian limes. Persian limes have a thick, vividly green skin, while key lime skin is thin and yellowish. The Key Limes are harder to find, not all the grocery stores carry them, but regular limes are just as good in this recipe.

Can you substitute Key Lime Juice with Lime Juice?

Yes, you can. You can only use Lime Juice, the pie will taste great or you can mix of 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup fresh lime juice.

How do you store Key Lime Pie?

Freshly baked pie can be kept in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days, cover it loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

How long can Key Lime Pie be left at room temperature safely?

Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F. Therefore it is best to discarded if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.

Can you freeze this Pie?

Yes. To freeze, do not top the pie with whipped cream, and make sure the pie is not warm. Wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Properly stored, it will maintain the best quality for about 1 to 2 months but will remain safe beyond that time.

Recipe Tips and Tricks:

  • Also, you can use either fresh or bottled key lime juice in this recipe.
  • For best result and texture, it is recommended to chill the pie in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours prior to serving. However, it is even better to make it the night before and allow it to chill overnight.

Watch Recipe Video:

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4.94 from 16 reviews

Easy Homemade Key Lime Pie

Homemade Key Lime Pie recipe from scratch with lots of lime zest and fresh lime juice for a fresh citrusy flavor with the most amazing creamy texture.

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 10 slices
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 1 hr


For the Crust:

For the Filling:

Whipped Cream:



Make the Crust:

Make the Filling:



Whipped Cream:


Nutrition information

0 Calories: 324 Carbohydrates: 16 Protein: 3 Fat: 28 Saturated Fat: 14 Cholesterol: 148 Sodium: 82 Potassium: 112 Fiber: 0 Sugar: 8 Vitamin A: 885 Vitamin C: 5.8 Calcium: 62 Iron: 0.7
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Kaye Ream

Delicious pie, but not quite enough Key lime flavor. Next time I will add 3/4 cup instead of 1/2.


Nancy Torrisi

Hi, can this pie be frozen? I am going on a girls trip and am in charge of the birthday girl's dessert and she loves Key Lime Pie!


Yes, just don't top it with whipped cream.



Made this pie for Mothers day and it was a hit! Normally I'm not a lime fan (lemon all the way lol) but my son and daughter-in-law absolutely love it. This was so easy to whip together and even I have to admit that this pie is really good! My daughter-in-law is gluten intolerant so I made a gluten free pie shell - the filling is gluten free too so she was one very happy girl! There wasn't anything more than crumbs left by the time we were done lol. This is a fast, easy and delicious pie I can see myself making again and again. (And that's saying a lot coming from a person that had never liked key lime pie before!)



Do I bake the graham crust before putting key lime filling in ?


no, you have to chill it first.


Hilary Corr

The recipe states, zest of one large key lime for the filling. Can you give me an approximate measurement?


about 1 tablespoon



Can you use a blender instead of a mixer if you don’t have a mixer? Also can I use greek yogurt instead of sour cream? Thank you


The blender may make the consistency a bot too watery. If you want to use a blender, make sure the speed is low-medium. Yes, you can use full fat greek yogurt.


Corrie B

Thanks for the great recipe! Clarification question: After I make the pie crust and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes, do I then need to bake in the oven BEFORE placing the filling into the pie shell?


Hi, no - you don't need to bake the crust BEFORE adding the filling.



I was wondering if you could substitute 8oz of cream cheese for one of the sweetened condensed milks. I realize it won’t be as creamy, but do you think it would work?


Hi Glyn, I have never tried cream cheese in this recipe, I am afraid it may change the texture.


Starr Oberg

I haven’t made this pie yet but was looking for a recipe that used canned milk. Just a note about this type of crust. This is not the “original” key lime pie crust. We moved to South Florida in 1984. There was an extensive article in the Ft. Lauderdale newspaper explaining that there was no such thing as graham crackers when the original pies were first made in Key West. They were only made with regular pastry crusts. Much better flavor with those and not sickening sweet. Try it!!


Starr Oberg

You are absolutely right on about graham crackers. We move from NE to South FL in 1984. Huge article in the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, around that time, explained that there was no such thing as graham crackers when this pie was originally created in Key West. The original recipe used a regular pastry crust. What happened to that? Your other options sound interesting. Thanks for sharing them!



Hi! This looks amazing and I’m going to try it. However I’d like to make individual servings (ie cupcake size) using silicone cupcake liners. Should I still put the graham cracker crust at the bottom or put the filling in first and crust on top? Any other tips for doing this would be greatly appreciated


I would press a few tablespoons of the crumbs onto the bottom of the silicon molds, to make like small well into which you will pour the filling! They will be delicious!


Joyce DuBois

Made this recipe once using combination of lemon & limes (no key limes were available). Used gluten free vanilla wafers for the crust - awesome! I'm thinking of using orange zest and juice in place of the lemon/lime for something different. Have you ever tried another fruit using this basic recipe?


Any citrus works well, I even tried it with bloody oranges and OMG the color is amazing!


Bonnie Frost

Do you bake the crust first before adding the filling


no, you dont bake it.



Catalina! This pie was EVERYTHING!!! Key lime pie is my favorite dessert of all time! I initially made your original version using the sour cream. The next time I made it, I used 8oz of cream cheese and added 3 TBSP of lime zest to the filling just to experiment with the texture. Your original version and the tweaked versions were wonderful. But my family and I had a preference for one with the cream cheese. We chilled it for 6h before indulging in this amazing recipe. Thank you so much for sharing! It's a life changer because it's the only key lime pie we'll eat from know on :)


Thank you Stacy for your comment! Really happy you loved it!



This is a great key lime pie recipe. The crust was perfect & stayed together with slicing. Key lime pie has a nice thick filling. I will keep this one!


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