Key Lime Tart

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Cinco de Mayo is on Saturday. Who is having a party? Even if you aren’t throwing a big bash, you still need to celebrate with good food. I am going to party all day long. It is the perfect excuse to eat chips, salsa, and guacamole from sun up to sun down:) To balance things out, I think I will eat a slice of this Key Lime Tart. It is the perfect Cinco de Mayo dessert.

Josh is a lime fanatic and his favorite dessert, hands down, is this Key Lime Tart. He makes it every year for his birthday. I offer to make him his special Key Lime Tart, but he prefers to do it on his own. Maybe he doesn’t trust me, he is very picky about his Key Lime Tart. He loves a thick tart crust with a creamy “pucker me up” filling.

If you can’t find key limes, you can use regular limes, but the little key limes are so cute. I love them! You can also buy bottled key lime juice if you are in a pinch. The tart dough is easy to make, you combine all of the ingredients in the food processor. You do have to chill the dough for at least 30 minutes, so make sure you start early enough before your big party!

The key lime filling is also easy to make. This is a great tart to serve at parties because it is so easy to make, but impressive to serve. Everyone loves it! You can serve the tart with whipped cream or straight up!

Add this Key Lime Tart to your Cinco de Mayo menu. You and your party guests will not be disappointed. And if you eat the entire tart before the guests arrive, I won’t tell:) Sometimes it is hard to share, especially when it comes to dessert.

Key Lime Tart

Josh's all-time favorite dessert! He is obsessed with this Key Lime Tart...I think it is pretty tasty too:)

Cook Time
30 minutes


  • For the tart dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons frozen butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolks
  • For the key lime filling:
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons key lime zest
  • 3/4 cup key lime juice


  1. 1. To make the tart dough: Put the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Drop the butter pieces over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. Break up the egg yolk with a fork and add a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the entire egg yolk is in, process in long pulses, about 10 seconds each, until the dough forms clumps. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gently knead to form a ball.
  2. 2. Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Don't press too hard, you don't want the crust to lose its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, or longer, before baking.
  3. 3. To make the key lime filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lime zest, key lime juice, and egg yolks. Whisk until smooth. Remove tart dough from the freezer. Pour mixture into tart pan. Bake until filling is set around edge but still slightly loose in center and crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  4. 4. Cool tart completely at room temperature; then refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours before serving.

If you like this Key Lime Tart, you might also like:

Maria Lichty

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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CommentsLeave a reply

  1. Beautiful! I have seen some fabulous key lime desserts, but this is what I think of when I want key lime pie. I like something tart that cuts clean and looks pretty. I figure, cinco de Mayo is as good a reason as any to make a lime dessert!

  2. i’m pretty much obsessed with all of your lime desserts so I imagine I’d adore this as well! i’m drooling a little just imagining all of that sweet tart deliciousness!

  3. Hi Maria – the key to substituting Key Limes for regular/Persian limes is to use half lemon juice/half Persian Lime juice – they all have a different acidity – LOVE key lime tart and is one of my favorites – Francois Payard gave me his recipe for MADE IN AMERICA which is how I know about the lime juice equation!

  4. Help! The filling bubbled alot for the first 10 mins. When I checked the second time, some of it had bubbled over. Is that how it should be? I didn’t fill it to the top

  5. Yummmy… This looks like the perfect spring dessert, soooo delicious! Can’t wait to try it at home, thank you!

  6. key lime pie is great, but i think a tart would have the absolute perfect ratio of tart filling to crust. ๐Ÿ™‚ Props to you for this recipe! hope you had an awesome Cinco de Mayo!

  7. Made this tart over the weekend for my son and daughter-in-law. Have to say it was a smashing success. The tart dough is delicious and I think it will become my go-to dough. It was so easy to do and so good. I couldn’t find key limes so just used regular. Can’t wait to try to recipe with actual key limes! The three of us “slivered” our way to an empty tart pan by the next morning! Thanks for a great recipe!!

  8. I just made this key lime tart after I bought a bag of key limes and was looking for something to make out of them. It was delicious!! The filling and the dough together were tangy and buttery, yum!

    For the dough, I didn’t have any powdered sugar on hand, only granulated and it still tastes great. I used a food processor to make the dough and it never really came together. I ended just dumping it out and pressing it into a 9-inch cake pan (which worked just fine as a substitute since I don’t own a tart pan)

    After making this my question is, what is the best way to juice all of those key limes? It was a painstaking process for me. I knew that I was barely going to have enough juice (was somewhere btwn 2/3 and 3/4 cup in the end) so I decided to peel/cut the rind off each of the limes and put them all in my juicer to really get every last drop out. There has to be a better way then this! My limes were really tiny, definitely smaller than a golf ball.

  9. Tried making the pie again. 9″ pan with removable bottom as recipe. Same thing happened! Bubbling of the filling… is it supposed to bubble?? I’m going to try it again at a much lower temp.. I use an oven thermometer. 350 ยฐF as suggested too.

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