Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie made with fresh lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and an easy graham cracker crust. It’s perfectly tart, creamy, smooth-the BEST key lime pie recipe!

key lime pie

Key Lime Pie, a classic pie that has everything going for it. It’s sweet, salty, creamy, buttery, tart and tangy! One piece of pie will send you straight to pie heaven! It’s the perfect dessert for summertime or really anytime.

This recipe is SUPER easy to make, made with few ingredients, and it comes out perfect every time. Plus, it has a no-fail graham cracker crust. So if you are afraid of pie crusts, this is the pie for YOU! You are going to love it!

Difference Between Key Limes & Persian Limes

Key limes are smaller, contain more seeds, and have thinner skin than Persian (regular) limes. As key limes ripen, they turn a yellow hue and lose acidity. The juice takes on a sweeter flavor and has a unique aromatic flavor.

Since key limes are smaller, it takes about 5 key limes to equal the juice you will get from 1 regular lime.

Best Key Lime Pie

Can You Substitute Regular Limes for Key Limes?

Yes! If you can’t find key limes, Persian limes will work. I know it technically won’t be a true key lime pie, but I promise no one will know. The flavor is still amazing!

You can also buy bottled key lime juice, but I don’t recommend it. The processing changes the flavor and it will give your pie an “off” taste.

Easy Key Lime Pie

How to Juice Limes

Here are a few tips to getting the most juice out of your limes.

  • Store limes in the refrigerator. Leaving them out on the counter hardens the rind and dries out the flesh. Plus, they will last longer in the fridge.
  • Let the limes come to room temperature before juicing.
  • Place the limes in the microwave and heat it for 15 seconds. Heating the fruit helps release its juices.
  • Before juicing, place your palm on a lime and roll it around on a countertop or hard surface. This separates the individual segments inside the lime, making the lime juicer.  
  • Use a citrus squeezer, one of my favorite kitchen tools, to juice the limes. Place the limes cut side down in the squeezer and squeeze away! Make sure you put a bowl underneath to catch the juice.
how to make key lime pie with graham cracker crust

How to Make Graham Cracker Crust

This easy key lime pie recipe has a sweet graham cracker crust, which is SO easy to make. For the crust you need, crushed graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter. That is it!

  • To make graham cracker crumbs, you can use you can use a food processor or blender to grind up full graham cracker sheets. You can also crush them in a zipped top bag with a rolling pin.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter with a fork. Mix until graham cracker crumbs are moist.
  • Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate or dish. Press down firmly with the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to make sure graham cracker crumbs are in there tightly. Pat down the bottom and sides.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Let the crust cool completely before pouring in the filling.
graham cracker crust for key lime pie

How to Make Key Lime Pie

When the pie crust is almost cooled, prepare the filling. For the rich key lime filling, you only need three ingredients:

  • Sweetened condensed milk (use full fat, not fat free)
  • Egg yolks
  • Limes (zest and juice)
key lime pie filling
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Whisk until well combined. Add in the lime zest, and lime juice.
  • Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the center is set, but still slightly jiggly. Place the pie on a wire cooling rack and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well-chilled, about 2 to 3 hours before cutting.
  • Serve the pie chilled or at room temperature. The pie is good plain, or you can add a dollop of fresh whipped cream. You can also add a lime slice for garnish to make the pie extra pretty!

How to Store

Key lime pie will keep for 2 to 3 days in the fridge, covered loosely with foil or plastic wrap. For presentation purposes and to keep things super fresh, we recommend waiting to top your pie with whipped cream until you are ready to serve it.

key lime pie on plate

Best Key Lime Pie Recipe

The filling is tart, creamy, and smooth. The graham cracker crust is the traditional crust for key lime pie and it is the best! It’s easy and the sweet graham cracker crust crunch is perfection with the creamy lime pie filling.

This is Josh’s all-time favorite dessert! It is the perfect pie for any occasion! It is a especially delicious dessert during the summer months. It basically screams summer! Enjoy!

More Lime Recipes:

key lime pie recipe

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie made with lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and an easy graham cracker crust. It’s perfectly tart, creamy, smooth-the BEST key lime pie recipe!
4.64 from 11 votes


For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • Zest of 1 large lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter with a fork. Mix until graham cracker crumbs are moist. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate or dish. Use a measuring cup or glass bottom to make sure the crumbs are pressed in firmly. Pat down the bottom and sides. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let the crust cool.
  • While the crust is almost cool, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Whisk until well combined. Add in the lime zest, and lime juice. Whisk well.
  • When the pie crust has cooled to slightly warm or room temperature, pour the lime filling over the pie crust. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack. When cool, chill the pie in the refrigerator. The filling will set up as it cools. Chill completely before cutting and serving.
  •  Cut into pieces and serve cold or at room temperature. Can serve with whipped cream, If desired.


Calories: 168kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 116mg, Sodium: 92mg, Potassium: 50mg, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 355IU, Vitamin C: 4.5mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 0.8mg
Keywords key lime pie

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Photos by Molly

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. awwwwww! Sounds like such a great birthday weekend!!!! You know my Josh requests the same treat every birthday! I totally want to see Iron Man. Glad you thought it was good

  2. What a sweet wife making your husband all these great goodies on his birthday! Im sure he felt very blessed! I have a key lime pie recipe my mom shared with me about 3 years ago. I have not made any other since..this recipe looks great and your pie looks so refreshing. My family loves key lime pie. I think it’s a perfect summer dessert! Thanks for sharing and tell your sweet Josh Happy Birthday!

  3. A belated happy birthday to Josg. It looks like he head a really special birthday with all his favourites.

    1. Thank you for your lovely Recipes ,haven’t got around to making any yet ,
      as I have not been very well ,hope to make your lime one ,& the Chocolate
      banana loaf soon .xBrenda

  4. How strange is this – I’ve just got on the PC to look for a recipe for Key lime pie!!!!
    I love this one – I will be making it this very weekend – thanks for sharing x

  5. Maria, Happy Mother’s day and happy B-day to Josh! I would love a piece of pie now…just a wee dollop of whipped cream on it, please.

  6. Yumma Yumma!! Looks fantastic and so refreshing 🙂 Have a great Monday!! Still haven’t decided about the Photo workshop, I’ll decide by the end of this week.

  7. Josh is a lucky man to have you for his wife. The pie looks delicious. I would have used regular limes, too. Those key limes are just so tiny.

  8. We love Banbury Cross!! It is dangerously close to our house and a Saturday morning treat about once a month for us. 🙂 This pie looks great as well! Love anything lime!

  9. Beautiful! Key lime pie is a favorite of mine but I’ve never made one. Your recipe sounds great!

  10. Mmm, you’re a lovely wife to make such goodies for your man. 🙂 I like that you added lime zest to the mix. That would make it even better for sure!!

  11. What a great birthday weekend! Josh is a lucky guy. I’ve never had key lime pie…but I think you may have sold me on it.

  12. I love birthday cooking too! Have you ever made key lime pie without egg yolks and froze it? It’s delicious. I think Ina Garten has a recipe for frozen key lime pie…It might be Josh’s new favorite!

  13. As I started reading this entry I was planning to ask if you thought using normal limes would work (as I have about 20 too many in my kitchen right now) and then you answered my question perfectly! I’ve been craving a key lime pie/ just lime pie the last couple days so I’m glad you’ve put this recipe up. Can’t wait to try it!

    – russell

  14. Key lime in Asia is not used in pies but drinks. This is a great recipe. I never though key limes could be used as limes and lemons.

  15. Happy birthday Josh!

    you guys are so cute….never fails to make me happy.

    I love lime desserts and will definitely have to give this a try. The graham cracker crust is a MUST.

  16. happy bday josh! that key lime pie looks delicious, and i love how simple the ingredients are as well.

  17. I love love key lime pie!! It’s the one pie I make when I went to celebrate something big. So Josh, I’m with you! Happy Birthday!

  18. key limes or not, i’m sure it was a tasty pie. sounds like you helped make josh’s birthday properly special. 🙂

  19. Sounds like a great b’day weekend. Lovely pie, I would like it tart too! Happy b’day to Josh. xo

  20. Mmm, looks great and makes me want more key lime pie! I love that it’s such a simple pie to make! Happy Birthday to Josh.

  21. I’m a huge fan of key lime pie–sounds like a perfect way to celebrate! Happy belated birthday to Josh!!

  22. LOL: My son’s name is Josh and key lime pie is his favorite. We ate it like crazy when we were in Key West this February. You recipe looks delicious!

  23. Mmm…key lime is my husband’s fave as well. Sounds so completely delicious right now. Skip dinner? 🙂

  24. My family loves key lime pie – especially when it’s “wicked taht!” (if you don’t know where I’m from already, you probably do now!) Happy birthday, Josh!

  25. This looks wonderful, Maria. I’m sure it tastes every bit as good as it looks. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  26. Happy Birthday to Josh! Looks like he had a wonderful birthday pie. Now I’m off to check out your bars. I want to make a lime coconut bar.

  27. I saw your lovely photo on Food Gawker and it just jumped out from the rest of the images on the page. This pie looks gorgeous!!

  28. Happy birthday Josh! I’ve made KLP before and thought it was too condensed-milky. Tarter is definitely the way to go!

  29. One of our best friends asked for this for his birthday too. I’m thinking of trying to make a key lime pie cupcake as a surprise for him.

  30. Very lovely and yummy but I am biased being southern and all 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration.

  31. hubby wants one of two things for his birthday… cheesecake or key lime. his birthday is tomorrow actually! 🙂 looks good!

  32. Nothing reminds me more of summer than a good key lime pie. This one looks awesome and like it won’t disappoint.

  33. This looks so good! To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I’ve ever tried Key Lime Pie. Now that I think about I’m wondering how that’s even possible, but I really think it is. I’m going to make this for dinner this coming Saturday. I’m so intrigued to see what I’ve been missing out on!

  34. Yum! My mouth is watering just thinking about the flavors. I love key lime pie and now I think I need to make one soon!

  35. I bet hubby LOVED this! I don’t even like key lime pie and I want to make this and eat it… yum yum yum!

  36. One of my friends makes a fantastic key lime pie, but i have never gotten around to asking her for the recipe. Thank you for posting this, i will definitely try it! 😀

  37. Ooh I love key lime pie. I haven’t made it in a while though so it might be about time again.

    Happy belated birthday to Josh!

  38. I’ll have to try this Key Lime Pie recipe! I’ve been on the search for a great recipe and this looks like a winner!

  39. Saw this on Make&Takes and had to give it a try. I used a different crust (I was trying out a graham cracker from scratch — no packaged crackers– so the crust I made wasn’t exactly easy!); but the filling was awesome and totally redeemed my dinner last night! (I made an AWFUL calzone for my hubs, but) your dessert redeemed me!

    I will definitely be checking your website out more often.

    Thanks for the idea.

  40. I was born and raised in Key West…your key lime pie is authentic! (well except for your lime juice) So often the key lime pies you see outside of south Florida are crazy lime flavored concoctions that are not even close. Just wanted to tell you about Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice. It’s bottled key lime juice that is all we Key Westers ever use. 🙂

  41. I LOVE key lime pie, but I’ve found that anything made w/ sweetened condensed milk gives me such a sugar-crash it’s just not worth it. Anybody know of a recipe that uses cream or something instead?

  42. Why didn’t you just call this pie lime pie? Key limes are yellow and quite different. The term “Key lime” is misused so often

  43. I didn’t say the pie would not be great, I said that it was not Key Lime Pie, it is just plain old Lime Pie. some cooks actually color a lime pie green I guess because the skin of a lime is green, but when they color a pie they are calling Key Lime pie green they are really misrepresenting …key limes are yellow, inside and outsice

  44. YUM! Key lime pie 🙂 looks delicious. Great to see you pie on PW’s website, my pie is there too 🙂 how fun!

  45. Great recipe! I used this for a party with friends who like fruit pies best for dessert and it was a big hit! The extra zest was perfect, as I prefer a more tangy lime flavor. I would be interested to try it sometime with key limes to see if the flavor is any different. (By the way, my limes must be HUGE because I only had to use 2 to get a half cup of juice, not 5!)

  46. This pie looks beautiful. I’ve been looking for a pie recipe for Easter and I think I’ll try this one. Thanks.

  47. Just wanted to let you know that I made this pie for Easter as I said I would. It was fabulous! The only problem was that I didn’t bake 2 because everyone wanted more. Thanks for another great recipe!

  48. I’m back and making this today for Mother’s Day – also, yeah, I just “pinned” this. 😉

  49. I’ve made this multiple times and it tastes even better the next day. Much stronger lime flavor! Love this recipe.

  50. This is the recipe I’ve been using for over 20 years and always get raves. A step-daughter requests it every time she visits. I sometimes use a regular crust and always top with real whipped cream!

  51. Any thoughts on how far ahead I can prepare this before serving?   Assuming it’s refrigerated is 48hrs too soon?!

  52. 5 stars
    The key lime pie recipe is a wonderful pie!  Not only does it taste good, it is really simple to make.  The only thing I would change is to garnish each piece with fresh made whipped cream (don’t tuin it by adding the frozen stuff!).  

  53. 4 stars
    The pie , out of the over looked fantastic! I can’t wait to chill , garnish and fast it. Will post again when it’s ready to eat. Thank you for this simple pie recipe.

  54. I made this recipe a few weeks ago using limes from my grandpa’s farm and it was lovely! Is there anywhere I can upload the photo?

  55. 5 stars
    Just made this and it tastes amazing. But mine is a bit runny. Not as firm filling as in your photos. what can I do next time to make sure it’s firm?

  56. I like its simplicity…I used regular crust and made a merangine…I had to improvise too hot to make a store run so I used what I have. It was a great way to use the whites..hate to waste food..its baking now.proof is in the pudding or should I say

  57. Hi there,

    Quick question. When you mention 1 1/4 cup of crumbs and 1/2 cup of lime juice, what’s the measurement like for “cup” in measurement like ml ? Is there an international measurement for “cup”?

    Sorry first time trying this receipt. 

  58. I’m a bit confused: does this use Key limes, or the largest Mexican limes more available at the market?

    1. Key limes are harder to find so you can use regular limes. You just need 1/2 cup juice. You can even use store bought key lime juice.

  59. 4 stars
    It’s very good — but I prefer to leave out the eggs and use 8 ounces of softened cream cheese instead. If you’re using bottled lime juice and have no limes of any kind, some grated lemon rind will still give you some added citrus sharpness. And, if you’re making the crust instead of using a store-bought one, try it with gingersnap crumbs. Ginger and lime go together beautifully!

  60. 5 stars
    Great and easy recipe. I have celiacs and subbed GF graham crackers. Nobody could believe it was gluten free. Thanks so much for sharing!

  61. Easy and delicious recipe. The only thing I would change is to make more filling. It didn’t fill the pie shell very much. I used regular limes and they tasted great!

  62. I have been making this recipe for at least 5(?) years or more and everyone raves about it! So so good! It’s a summer tradition at the lake! I’ve used bought lime juice in a pinch or even store bought Graham cracker crust and you probably wouldn’t notice if you didn’t know – I sometimes even do 50/50 fresh vs bottle lime juice etc. It never fails and it’s a go to for a refreshing, easy summer dessert that impresses anyone that tries it!

  63. Very delicious. I had to double the filling to fill a normal (not a deep dish) 9 inch pie plate. I made the first batch, poured it in and in only filled half. I made a second batch, poured it in and it was perfect. Glad I had two cans of condensed milk on hand.
    I live in Miami and key limes are abundant all year round. Unfortunately, they didn’t look so good today in the market. I used bottled key lime pie juice, not regular lime juice.