Homemade Key Lime Pie Recipe [VIDEO]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
4.93 from 14 reviews

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!

Key Lime Pie Recipe

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 condensed milk with sour cream and egg yolks, that 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 more bolder and fresh citrus flavor.

Best Key Lime Pie Recipe

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.

Homemade Key Lime Pie from scratch

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:

  • Once you’ve baked the crust, make sure to let it cool for at least 10 minutes before adding the filling.
  • 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:

Save Recipe
4.93 from 14 reviews
Easy Homemade Key Lime Pie
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 10 slices
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 1 hr


For the Crust:

  • 1 cup  graham cracker crumbs 
  • 1/2 cup  ground walnuts  ( (pecans, almonds or macadamia nuts work as well, if you are allergic, just use extra 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs))
  • 3 tablespoons  white granulated sugar 
  • 5 tablespoons  unsalted butter  (melted)

For the Filling:

  • 2  cans  (14-ounces each sweetened condensed milk)
  • 1/2 cup  sour cream 
  • 3  large egg yolks 
  •  Zest of 1 large key lime or lime 
  • 1/2 cup  key lime juice or lime juice  (from about 8 limes)

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 1/2 cup  heavy whipping cream  (full fat and cold)
  • 2 tablespoons  white granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla extract 


  •  Whipped cream 
  •  (Key) Lime zest 
  •  (Key) Lime slices 


Make the Crust:

  1. In a medium bowl, using a fork, stir together the crust ingredients until fully combined and graham cracker crumbs are moist.
  2. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie dish. Using your hands or a measuring cup, press and pat down the bottom and sides.
  3. Chill for 20-30 minutes. I prefer to put it in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Make the Filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, sour cream and egg yolks. Whisk together on medium speed until fully combined.
  3. Add in (key) lime juice, and (key) lime zest. Whisk until fully combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust.


  1. Bake for 15-17 minutes into the preheated oven. Do NOT brown the pie, only the crust should start turning a nice golden-brown color.


  1. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack. When cool, transfer it to the fridge. Chill pie thoroughly in the fridge for 3-4 hours before serving.
  2. Serve cold and do not keep at room temperature for more than one hour.

Whipped Cream:

  1. In a large bowl, beat heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.

  2. Add the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe it on top of the pie or just use a spatula to spread it onto the pie.


  1. Garnish with (key) lime slices, (key) lime zest and whipped cream if desired.
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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Key Lime Pie Slice

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MaryAnn Coy

Your Key Lime Filling sounds especially rich & delish. My plates are 10 inch so I will need to double the filling recipe, no problem. I have used a 9” Spring form pan in the past as well. Key limes are mild & a bit sweeter so subbing regular or lemon/lime ( an excellent idea to approximate the flavor) will be a bit more tart some might want to add a touch more sweetening. Nellie & Joe’s bottled Key Lime Juice from Key West,ln"The Conch Republc" as natives call the Keys. Is the next best thing to fresh Key limes that might be available for 7-10 days in the summer here in NE. But N&j's juice is available in large groceries from spring to late fall when it goes out of stock. Amazon carries it among several varieties but N&J's is worth the bit extra. They carry multiple deals. I just pickup my supply, 3 bottles , we like it even as a pudding dessert in winter. It will give a real key lime flavor even with.standard lime rind. I was picking up my Raspberry Lime Rickey ( including Real lime juice) supplies so it worked out well, can't get Real Lime juice where I shop either, & they continually run out of limes, so Hubs cycles around until he finds limes at one of the local markets.(Summer cocktails!) I use a butter & Shortbread/Almond Crust, that  I bake until set in my little convection oven. It's marvelous for any pastry, crusts never over brown or burn in it. You can used homemade shortbread stored in the freezer. Or packaged Lorna Doones, Pecan Sandies, or Walkers if you fussy. But it’s worth trying for Lemon Merigue, Coconut Cream, or Banana Cream Pies anything with delicate flavor  that graham crackers can overwhelm. Chocolate Graham’s make a nice crust for strawberry or chocolate cream pies, & gingersnaps are tasty for butterscotch or pumpkin. I use my same crust recipe just switch out The crumbs. I can already tell you the filling will be ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️In this house. it sounds awesome!  Regards , MA & Hubs, Boston, MA ❤️?❤️


Crystal Faulkner

I love key lime pie, and this recipe does not disappoint!! Thank you for this!



This pie is so beautiful, I love how you decorated it!


Susan Carol Hardesty

I just made this. It is delish! However, I had more filling than I had room for. Was I supposed to use a spring form pan? I just baked the overflow in a couple of cups so no big problem, but I would like to do it the correct way.



MA & Hubs, Boston, MA, thanks for the different options for crusts. I'll definitely be trying them out along with trying this pie. ?



Mmm this pie looks absolutely stunning! The filling looks perfect!



Wow this cake is insane good! After making it I can easily say this is the best Key Line Pie I had. Its top notch and it looks also great. Thanks for the recipe!


thank you!



Hi there! Want to tell you that I have made this delicious cake this weekend and it was just yummy! We really enjoyed it, refreshing, sweet yet indulging, the crumb also is amazing we did enjoy it!


I am so glad that you liked it!



OMG so yummy. Only recently have a first (EVER) tried key lime pie. And the one I tried wasn't even homemade and probably doesn't hold a candle to this one. But I am in love with key lime pie - gotta make one myself now.


Cindy Gordon

Now that is how I remember having it! I just really love the lime slices!


Tiffany Haywood

What a delicious pie! The recipe seems easy to follow and like something even I could pull off successfully!


Michele Dennis

This Key Lime Pie looks wonderful and so easy to make. I love making all my pie crust from scratch. Especially a good graham cracker crust!


blair villanueva

This is definitely delicious and easy to prepare! Thank you for sharing your key lime pie recipe to us :D


Deborah E. Wollam

Do you really need 3 cans of the milk or is that a typo? All other recipes I have read say 1 can. I'm going to make with 1, I'm sure it will be fabulous! It will be the first pie I make with Key limes from my own tree. ?? Debbie


Yes, 3 cans :) you will not regret it. If you use one can, you will have a thinner pie, not too much filling. OMG its so cool that you have your own key lime tree!



Hi Catalina :) Love your recipe and going to make it this weekend. Could you please advice if I can use my ceramic pie dish from refrigerator to preheated oven? isn`t it goin to explode? Thank you in advance!


Hi Kristina, yes, it will crack most likely. I would advise to make the crust, chill, add the filling and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before transferring to the oven.



Made this pie for a friend for their birthday. Added crushed almonds and 1/4 tsp almond flavor to the graham cracker crust. You could smell the delicious almond aroma coming from the crust. Thinly sliced some lime with the mandolin slicer. Layered the limes in sugar layers and soaked in airtight container overnight. Topped with twisted limes and zest and finely crushed almonds. Friend said that is was delicious and would buy one from me, as this one was a birthday dessert for their birthday.



The recipe calls for 2 cans of condensed milk. Is it 3 cans? (another comment mentioned 3 cans)


It used to be 3 cans, but since many people have a smaller pie dish, we adjusted it to 2 cans.



Did you ever try and substitute cream cheese for sour cream?


Hi, I haven't, but I am sure you can. Make sure the cream cheese is softened.



Wow this cake is sooo amazing, and the best key lime pie we have ever had! It is soo yummy, soft and rich that me and my kids ended up eating it in one day))) it is really a good recipe, and i am definitely making it again!


Hi there, and welcome! Yes, this is one delicious and amazing cake. It is best when refrigerated a bit, and we really love it. Glad you enjoyed it as much as we do!



Wow not sure where to begin. I’ve made this pie last weekend and we really loved it, it was one of the best we have tried plus easy to make. I love that you have the short video it does help a lot with the prep. Thanks for the recipe 5 stars for us!


Hi there! We are glad you have liked this cake, it is one of the best cakes for us as well, we truly enjoy this one, is on top of our list!


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!


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