Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie

Jeremy Liebman / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Chill: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 pie
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
412 Calories
17g Fat
57g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 412
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 136mg 45%
Sodium 186mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 47g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 8mg 41%
Calcium 221mg 17%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 329mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Key lime pie is famous the world over and for good reason. The simple custard pie is the perfect mixture of tangy, sweet, creamy, and crunchy. It also happens to be very easy to make at home.

Key limes are a variety of lime that is small, tart, and aromatic. They can sometimes be found in the grocery store, especially when in season and in citrus regions like Florida and California. While you can technically make this pie with regular limes, it will lack that special flavor that Key limes provide. Use freshly squeezed juice if at all possible, but bottled Key lime juice is an acceptable backup. Look for it in the juice aisle next to the bottled lemon juice.

You'll just need a few ingredients to make this recipe. Egg yolks give the pie richness and allow it to set up in the oven. Sweetened condensed milk makes it nice and creamy and sweet, an ideal counterpoint to the tart Key lime juice. A graham cracker crust provides sweet crunch—you can use a store-bought crust in a pinch to save time.

Topping the pie with a little whipped cream makes it extra special. Serve Key lime pie at your next barbecue, family gathering, or anytime you're craving a cool and creamy dessert. It's great for making ahead, too.


  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 1/3 cup (2 2/3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 2/3 cup key lime juice, freshly squeezed, from 24 to 30 key limes

  • 1 cup whipped cream, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Stir together until all of the crumbs are saturated with butter.

  3. Add the mixture to an 8- or 9-inch pie pan. Spread out and press the mixture into an even layer in the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool while you make the filling and leave the oven on.

  5. Place the egg yolks and lime zest in a nonreactive bowl and beat on high speed about 5 minutes, until the mixture is very glossy.

  6. Add the sweetened condensed milk in a steady stream and beat until thickened, another 3 to 4 minutes.

  7. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the lime juice, beating just until combined.

  8. Pour the lime custard into the baked crust. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the filling has set around the edges and jiggles just slightly in the middle.

  9. Remove from oven and let cool until it comes to room temperature. Chill for at least 2 hours.

  10. If desired, decorate with whipped cream or slice and serve with a dollop on each serving.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Cover and store the cooled pie for up to three days in the fridge. The crust will lose some of its crispness after the first day or two.
  • Make the whipped cream just before serving or make stabilized whipped cream for longer storage.
  • Key lime pie can also be frozen. Tightly wrap the cooled pie in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and freeze for up to a month. Defrost in the fridge before serving.


  • If possible, use freshly squeezed Key lime juice. If using bottled juice, make sure to still use fresh zest. Regular lime zest can be substituted.
  • This pie can be made using regular limes. It won't have the same signature flavor that is expected from Key lime pie, but it will still be tasty.

Is Key lime pie safe to eat?

Some Key lime pie recipes are made using eggs but are not baked, prompting some to wonder if they are safe to eat. If you use fresh eggs and refrigerate the pie properly, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. However, if you are concerned or pregnant, try using pasteurized eggs or make a baked Key lime pie recipe instead.

Do you serve key lime pie cold?

Key lime pie is commonly served cold since the pie sets up further as it chills. It can be made ahead of time and served directly from the fridge.