Key Lime Pie (Best Recipe)

Key lime pie is the perfect summer dessert. It’s light, refreshing, and has just the right amount of sweetness and flavor.

If you can’t escape on vacation this year, making Key lime pie is the best option!

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key lime pie

There is so much to love about this cake. It’s sweet and creamy with the perfect amount of zing from the Key limes. And that colour? It’s 100 percent Instagram-worthy.

After a hearty dinner, nothing beats the sweet and tart flavors of key lime pie. Tell your taste buds to pack their bags for a tropical vacation with this Key Lime Pie!

key lime pie

Ever wonder where Key Lime Pie gets its name from? It gets its name from the type of file (key files) used in this recipe.

What sets these limes apart from other varieties is that they are very acidic. Pairing these limes with creamy, sweet ingredients is like a tropical flavor explosion in your mouth.

This recipe is also very easy. It only takes about 20 minutes to whip up this cake (plus extra for chilling).

key lime pie


The best thing about this cake recipe is that the ingredient list is very short. You only need five simple components to create the perfect cake for your next backyard barbecue.

Sweetened condensed milk. Sweetened condensed milk is your secret ingredient in this recipe.

It does double duty by providing the perfect amount of sweetness and helping the cake set.

Key lime juice. Lime juice is a must in this recipe and luckily it is found in most supermarkets.

If you can’t find it, try substituting equal parts lemon and lime juice.

Sour cream. Adding sour cream to a sweet cake sounds weird, I know. But it does help make an ultra creamy pie filling.

Don’t worry, it won’t taste like sour cream!

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Lemon peel. When adding the lemon zest, you can use any lemon you have on hand.

Adding lime zest brings those citrus and tropical flavors on top.

Prepared graham cracker crust. Using a prepared graham cracker crust saves you a bit of time.

However, making a homemade crust is easy and tastes heavenly.

key lime pie slices

How to make key lime pie

You don’t have to be an expert in the kitchen to make this fantastic Key Lime Pie. Follow these easy steps to create the perfect sweet and sour dessert that everyone will love.

1. Get ready. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Mix the Key Lime Filling. In a medium bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, Key lime juice, and lime zest.

Stir until combined and pour into a graham cracker crust.

3. Bake. Place the cake in the oven and bake until the small bubbles on the surface burst, about 5 to 8 minutes.

The filling will be a bit wobbly when you take it out of the oven.

4. Great. Allow the cake to come to room temperature on a wire rack, then transfer to the refrigerator for one hour.

5. Garnish. Before serving, garnish with whipped cream and lime zest, and enjoy!

key lime pie

How to Tell When Key Lime Pie is Ready

One of the biggest mistakes when making Key lime pie is knowing when it’s perfectly cooked. Unlike other baked treats, it doesn’t have an obvious indicator when it’s done.

By monitoring it closely while it bakes, you can determine when it is ready to take out of the oven. Here are some tricks to tell when it’s done.

1. Check for bubbles on the surface. When you pour the filling into the pie pan, it will create little bubbles. As hot air escapes as it cooks, those bubbles on the surface will pop, letting you know it’s done.

2. Give him the jiggle test. A perfectly placed cake has a bit of movement in the center. After 5 minutes, move it. A perfectly placed cake has firm edges with some wobble in the middle.

whole key lime pie

Tips for the Best Key Lime Pie

Here are some quick tips and tricks to make your key lime pie the talk of the town!

Take it easy with the lemon zest. Adding lime zest to the filling adds a lot of flavor, but it can turn sour quickly. When adding lime zest to this recipe, less is more.

Give your cake plenty of time to cool. Placing your cake in the fridge for an hour to set is the bare minimum. For a perfectly set cake, leave it in the fridge to set overnight.

Don’t overbake! There’s nothing worse than when the top of that cake starts to turn brown. Key lime pie doesn’t take long to cook in the oven. Hanging out in front of the oven door is fine.

Can’t find Key lime juice? There’s an easy substitute if you don’t want to reach for Key lime juice. Mixing equal parts lemon and lime juice will provide that patented citrus twist of Key limes.

Make your crust. Store-bought graham cracker crusts are quick and easy, but nothing beats homemade! You’ve got your crust essentials with butter, graham crackers, and brown sugar!

key lime pie slice

Make Ahead and Freezing Tips

Key lime pie is one of those perfect make-ahead pies. The longer you let it sit in the fridge, the better!

You can get ahead of the game by making the cake the day before and placing it in the fridge. Insert toothpicks before covering cake with plastic wrap to prevent sticking. A baked pie stays fresh in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Did you know you can also freeze Key lime pie? The best way to freeze it is to cover the top with parchment paper, then wrap it in aluminum foil.

Frozen key lime pie will stay fresh for up to 3 months in the freezer. To defrost it, just place it in the fridge overnight, and voila!

key lime pie

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