The best classic key lime pie recipe is made with only six ingredients, including sweetened condensed milk to make a smooth and creamy filling. Bake in a graham cracker crust to create this easy key lime pie that is zesty and delicious!
*originally published June 2017, updated May 2019*
Hello Spoonful of Flavor readers! Haley here from If You Give a Blonde a Kitchen. I’m happy to share a new recipe with you today! Just in time for summer, this 6-ingredient classic key lime pie is a refreshing dessert to make for friends and family.
Anyone who has made key lime pie before knows that the key (no pun intended) to a good pie is fresh lime juice. Yes, it requires a little extra work, but it’s smooth sailing after those limes are squeezed.
What is the difference between a lime and a key lime?
Key limes contain more concentrated aromatic juices, which gives the pie more flavor. They are also more yellow and smaller than regular limes.
Because key limes are small, this recipe calls for a lot of them. I use around 50 key limes to make 3/4 fresh squeezed juice. Use a citrus squeezer to make the process quick and easy.
Key lime v lime
We always prefer the original key lime to make key lime pie. You can use regular limes in place of key limes but it won’t taste like an authentic key lime pie. Substitute the same amount juice.
A classic key lime pie recipe includes homemade pie crust! Homemade graham cracker pie crust is the best crust for key lime pie. The buttery sweetness and crunchy texture compliments the citrus filling perfectly. The smooth pie filling in a homemade pie crust creates the best key lime pie recipe.
Ingredients in key lime pie
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Melted butter
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Sour cream
- Key limes
Homemade graham cracker pie crust
Homemade pie crust To make a homemade crust, stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a large bowl. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and bake in the oven at 375 degrees F for 7 minutes. Cool the pie crust completely before filling.
How to make key lime pie
After making a pie crust with graham crackers, sugar and butter, make the filling. Once the limes are juiced, the rest of the recipe is simple. The filling only requires a couple more ingredients including the primary ingredient – sweetened condensed milk. The condensed milk makes the key lime pie incredibly smooth and rich.
To make the key lime filling add condensed milk, sour cream and lime juice and zest to another large bowl. Mix well and pour into the baked pie crust. Tap the pie plate gently on the counter to release any bubbles. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for five to eight minutes, or until the filling is set and barely jiggly. Do not let the pie brown. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving. Garnish with lime and serve with whipped cream, if desired.
See the recipe below for full measurements and details.
Tips for making key lime pie
- Key lime pie should be refrigerated. Keep it for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Cover loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
- Use a store-bought graham cracker pie crust to save time.
- Serve the key lime pie with whipped cream or meringue.
- Try to use key limes for authentic key lime pie color and flavor.
Give this easy 6-ingredient classic key lime pie recipe a try! It’s a rich dessert packed with lots of flavor. Impress your friends and family with this simple classic dessert that everyone loves.
If you love key limes, try one of our other favorite key lime recipes.
Key lime recipes
- Lime Curd Cheesecake – because who doesn’t love cheesecake with fresh lime flavor?
- Key Lime Pie Macaroons – a healthy twist on macaroon cookies with fresh key lime flavor!
- Margarita Cheesecake Bites – these little bites of goodness happen where margaritas and cheesecake collide.
- Key Lime Pie Popsicles – fun for kids and adults!
6-ingredient Classic Key Lime Pie
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups (127 g or 7 graham crackers) finely ground graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter melted
For the Key Lime Pie:
- 2 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk (about two 14 ounce cans)
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup key lime juice¹
- 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
- Whipped cream for garnish (optional)
To make the Graham Cracker Crust:
In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until well combined. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 375° F for 7 minutes. Cool completely.
To make the Key Lime Pie:
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice and zest. Mix well and pour into baked graham cracker crust. Tap pie plate gently on the counter to release any air bubbles.
- Bake in preheated oven for 5 to 8 minutes, until the filling is set and barely jiggles. Do not brown. Chill pie thoroughly (at least 4 hours) before serving. Garnish with lime slices or zest and whipped cream if desired.
- For the best flavor, juice your own key limes or buy a bottle of key lime juice from the store. It is usually located with the regular lime juice and lemon juice. The Nellie & Joe’s key lime juice brand is the one I like.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1slice) — Calories: 551.7, Fat: 22.3g, Saturated Fat: 13.4g, Cholesterol: 57.8mg, Sodium: 188.1mg, Potassium: 81.9mg, Carbohydrates: 80.8g, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 70.9g, Protein: 9.5g
*Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist for the most accurate nutritional info.
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