This Key Lime Pie Recipe is creamy, sweet and tart at the same time! The sweetened condensed milk and sour cream give this traditional key lime pie a depth of flavor. Topped with homemade whipped cream and you’ve got the best key lime pie everyone will melt over.

A metal spatula holding up a slice of key lime pie.

A No Hassle Pie

I’m all for a no fuss, no hassle pie recipe. And this is the best key lime pie to perfectly fit that bill. This recipe uses simple ingredients and follows simple processes. Know what that means? It’s the perfect recipe you can make with your kids! Have them pour in the sweetened condensed milk and teach them how to juice limes. It’s much more fun for you and your kids when you can work together in the kitchen.

Plus, this is a great recipe for National Key Lime Pie Day! Everyone needs a reason to make a normal day more fun and national food holidays are my favorite for that very reason. 

A key lime pie topped with whipped cream and lime slices.

Ingredients

  • Graham cracker crust — I’ve linked my favorite graham cracker crust recipe here. It’s my foolproof, go-to recipe. You’ll love it!
  • Sweetened condensed milk — Since this recipe doesn’t use cream cheese, we get that delicious, creamy texture and flavor from our sweetened condensed milk.
  • Sour cream — You may be thinking, sour cream? Yep! Trust me on this, sour cream in pie is super yummy! It keeps things creamy and adds a nice flavor complex you don’t get in traditional cream cheese-based pies. 
  • Key lime juice 
  • Lime zest 
  • Heavy cream (for the whipped cream topping)
  • Powdered sugar (for the whipped cream topping)
  • Vanilla extract (for the whipped cream topping)

A glass measuring cup full of lime juice, surrounded by key limes.

How to Make Key Lime Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake your 9″ inch graham cracker crust for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. 
  2. In a large bowl combine the sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, key lime juice, and lime zest.
    Fresh lime zest in a glass bowl.
  3. Using a hand mixer, beat until thoroughly combined. About 1 minute. If you don’t have a hand mixer you can use a whisk and just whisk vigorously.
    Lime juice being poured in to a glass bowl.
  4. Pour the mixture into the graham cracker crust.
    Key lime pie filling in a graham cracker crust.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Tiny pinhole bubbles will begin to burst on the surface of the pie (hard to see so watch closely). Do not brown the pie. 
  6. Remove the pie and let sit at room temperature until warm. Then chill thoroughly before serving. 
  7. Make the whipped cream: In a medium sized bowl add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form. 
  8. Garnish with freshly whipped cream and lime slices.

An overhead photo of a key lime pie resting on a black and white striped napkin.

Recipe Tips

If you don’t have a hand mixer, you can use a whisk and just whisk vigorously. (Get that arm workout in with this recipe!)

Does key lime pie need to be refrigerated? — Yes! The dairy base requires the pie to be refrigerated.

How long does key lime pie last in the fridge? — Key lime pie will last covered in the fridge for about five days.

Can this pie be frozen? — Yes. I recommend freezing the pie first, uncovered. Make sure nothing is touching it in the freezer. After a few hours, take it out and wrap the pie with plastic wrap. FoodsGuy recommends a few layers of plastic wrap. Then return it to the freezer. The pie should keep in the freezer for a few months. On the day you’d like to serve it, remove it from the freezer into the fridge in the morning, then let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour before eating, according to your desired texture. You’re welcome to serve the pie frozen if you would like.

I wonder what this pie would taste like if you substitute lemons for the limes? I’m sure it would taste amazing. 🍋 Let me know if you make any daring adaptations!

FAQS

  • Is key lime pie baked? — This key lime pie is baked. I’m sure there are variations of this pie that are no-bake. 
  • Where does key lime pie come from? — Key lime pie is actually Florida’s official dessert. It’s rumored that the pie came from a lady named Aunt Sally, according to The Economist. Aunt Sally was the cook of a Florida millionaire who made the pie from limes from the Florida Keys. While no report can confirm if that’s the case, the pie remains the state dessert. 
  • Can key lime pie be made with regular limes? — Yes! If you have regular limes instead of key limes, I’d say go ahead and make the pie with those. The flavor won’t be much different
  • How are key limes different from regular limes? — Key limes have a sharper flavor and stronger smell than regular limes, according to the Tasting Table.
  • Is key lime pie green? — The traditional key lime pie isn’t green. Key lime pie will have a pale yellow color. Unless it’s St. Patrick’s Day, then go crazy on the green food coloring 🙂 
  • When is National Key Lime Pie Day? — Key Lime Pie Day is on September 26.

A metal spatula balancing a slice of key lime pie.

More Delicious Pie Recipes

A slice of key lime pie on a plate, with a fork resting beside it.

A metal spatula holding up a slice of key lime pie.
Print Review
5 from 2 votes

Key Lime Pie

This creamy key lime pie is sweet and tangy.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Chill Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 1 9 inch graham cracker crust
  • 3 cups sweetened condensed milk - about 2.5, 14 oz cans
  • 1/2 cup sour cream - full fat
  • 3/4 cup key lime juice - about 15-20 limes, depending on how juicy they are
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest

Whipped Topping

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the graham cracker crust for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. 
  • In a large bowl combine the sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, key lime juice, and lime zest. Using a hand mixer, beat until thoroughly combined. About 1 minute. If you don’t have a hand mixer you can use a whisk and just whisk vigorously. Pour the mixture into the graham cracker crust. 
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Tiny pinhole bubbles will begin to burst on the surface of the pie (hard to see so watch closely). Do not brown the pie. 
  • Remove the pie and let sit at room temperature until warm. Then chill thoroughly before serving. 
  • Garnish with freshly whipped cream and lime slices. 

Whipped Topping

  • In a medium sized bowl add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form. 

Nutrition

Calories: 525kcal (26%)Carbohydrates: 71g (24%)Protein: 10g (20%)Fat: 24g (37%)Saturated Fat: 15g (75%)Cholesterol: 87mg (29%)Sodium: 169mg (7%)Potassium: 495mg (14%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 68g (76%)Vitamin A: 845IU (17%)Vitamin C: 10mg (12%)Calcium: 364mg (36%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
author: Whitney
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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Recipe source: All Recipes