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No-Bake Key Lime Pie

Thanks for sharing!

This creamy no-bake key lime pie recipe features cream cheese and condensed milk for a super creamy texture. The key limes bring the tart citrus flavor we all know and love. Top with with swirls of whipped cream for an extra special treat.

whole key lime pie with whipped cream rosettes and flowers on top.

This key lime pie is super easy to make and doesn’t require any whipped topping!  It has just a few simple ingredients.   It has the perfect balance of bright, tart key limes and a creamy sweet base. 

The pie is absolutely wonderful on its own, but some simple whipped cream flourishes make it beautiful.  It is perfect for summer parties, holidays and more.

Every time dessert comes up, my husband mentions key lime pie.  He denies it now, but really he does.

He had one at a family holiday a while back and now every dessert is compared to that.  Now he shows up to every family gathering hoping there will be a key lime pie.

graham cracker crust in pie pan with a bag of small key limes.

So far he is out of luck more than he is in it.  So I decided it was high time I just make him one.

Little Dude must have inherited that love, because he requested mini key lime cheesecake jars for his birthday treat. He also asks for key lime pie several times throughout the year.

key limes next to measuring cup of key lime juice with bowl of whipped cream cheese in background.

The Crust

We almost always use a graham cracker crumb crust for the base. It is easy to make and tastes delicious.

You can buy a box of graham cracker crumbs already ready to go or use a food process to make the crumbs from a sleeve of crackers. In a pinch, you can crush the cookies in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.

You just want to make sure the crumbs are relatively fine. That makes the best texture for the crust.

Just add a little bit of sugar and melted butter and mix with your hands until it feels like wet sand. Then press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of a pie plate to form a nice crust.

If you want to change up the crust, gingersnaps would be a delicious flavor addition. Ginger and citrus go so well together.

I have also heard of people using an Oreo pie crust with key lime pie. So feel free to give that a try if you want.

piping cream cheese whipped cream rosettes on top of key lime pie.

The Filling

Of course the star of this dessert is the creamy key lime filling. Luckily, with only three ingredients, it really is super simple to make.

The biggest key to getting a really smooth and creamy filling is to make sure your cream cheese is nice and softened before you start.

Beat the cream cheese on its own for a bit to make sure it is lump free and smooth. Then slowly add the sweetened condensed milk, mixing after each addition.

Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl and the beaters, that is where the cream cheese lumps like to hide. Once the mixture is smooth, go ahead and add more liquid.

If you add all of the liquid before the lumps are all gone, it is had to get the mixture smooth. Other than that, just put it all together and mix it up.

Once your filling is put together, pour it into the crust and refrigerate it for at least two hours. A little longer is even better, the long chill time helps the acid and cold to work their magic.

During this time the filling will set up. It will taste good earlier than that, but it will be too soft to cut into nice slices.

Topping

The pie is wonderful on its own, but for special occasions I like to dress it up a bit with swirls of whipped cream and a little lime zest. It adds a visual flare that wows your guests.

Instead of regular whipped cream, I usually top the pie with some cream cheese whipped cream. It is more stable, so you can decorate the pie ahead of time without worrying about it getting wimpy.

You can just spread it over the top or pile it in the middle, but for the biggest visual impact I would recommend piping it in swirls or rosettes. These rosettes held up for the three days there was pie in the fridge with no problem whatsoever!

slice of key lime pie on plate with key limes and remaining pie in background

Tips for making key lime pie: 

If using fresh key limes, use a garlic press to juice them easily!

Make sure to give the pie a couple of hours to chill.  It will taste great before that, but won’t be completely set. 

If you can’t find fresh key limes, key lime juice works great too! 

slice of key lime pie with whipped cream rosettes piped on it on plate with fork

Differences between key limes and regular (Persian) limes: 

  • Key limes are smaller and more yellow in color. 
  • Key limes are more aromatic, tarter and have a more floral flavor.
  • Key limes were grown commercially in the Florida Keys until a hurricane wiped out many of the groves in the 1920s. Now many of those groves grow Persian limes instead! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze this key lime pie?

Yes! It is great served frozen or partially defrosted. This way is especially good in the summer when you want something cold and refreshing

How long does this pie keep in the refrigerator?

This no bake key lime pie is best in the couple of days after it is made. Longer storage can result in a soft crust. However, it will still taste delicious and be perfectly safe to eat for several days.

What can I use if I can’t find key lime juice?

If you can’t find key lime juice, I would recommend using half regular lime juice and half lemon juice. You can also use all of one or the other if you prefer.

More Great Key Lime Recipes

If you like key limes, you can use them for more than pie! We love key lime roasted shrimp, they are flavorful and finger licking good. 

No bake key lime pie cheesecake jars are a perfect single serve dessert for parties or picnics.

My grandma makes her key lime pie with condensed milk and cool whip. It is great either chilled or frozen. Just take the recipe for 4 ingredient lemon pie and substitute 1/2 cup of key lime juice for the lemon.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy key limes?

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

Yield: 12 Servings

No-Bake Key Lime Pie

whole key lime pie with whipped cream rosettes and flowers on top.

This no bake key lime pie recipe is so easy to put together. It has a nice balance of creamy sweetness and citrus tang. Make sure to make it plenty in advance because it takes a nice long chill time to set fully. You can also freeze it for an extra refreshing summer treat.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 sheets)
  • 2 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 7 Tablespoons melted butter

Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice

Cream Cheese Whipped Cream

  • 2-3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup cold cream

Instructions

Graham Cracker Crust

  1. In a 9″ pie plate, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter.
  2. Press into the side and bottom of the dish to form a crust.
  3. For a completely no bake dessert, chill or freeze the crust to set. (If you prefer to set the crust in the oven, bake it at 375° F for about 7 minutes. Then remove and cool before making the filling.)


Key Lime Filling

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the side of the bowl a few times to avoid lumps.
  2. Add the sweetened condensed milk, a little at a time. Mix well between additions to ensure a smooth finish.
  3. Add the key lime juice and beat until well mixed.
  4. Spoon into prepared pie crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
  5. Chill for at least two hours.


Whipped Cream

  1. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Slowly add the cold cream while still beating. Beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
  3. Spread or pipe over pie.
  4. Garnish with lime zest if desired.
  5. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 253mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 0gSugar: 34gProtein: 7g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

This no bake key lime pie recipe is so easy to put together. It has a nice balance of creamy sweetness and citrus tang. Make sure to make it plenty in advance because it takes a nice long chill time to set fully. You can also freeze it for an extra refreshing summer treat.

Thanks for sharing!

Tags

[email protected] Kitty's Kozy Kitchen

Thursday 14th of March 2019

Wow Carlee, your pie looks fabulous!! I love Key Lime Pie, and I'd love to try your version. Thank you for your visit to my Irish Brown Bread post. You pop up as a no-reply comment blogger, and I can't email you directly, but thank you for stopping by.

Carlee

Saturday 16th of March 2019

Thank you so much, Kitty!

Joanne @ No Plate Like Home

Saturday 9th of March 2019

I LOVE Key Lime Pie. I've brought back Key Limes from Florida just to make it in PA. This recipe looks delicious and you decorated it beautifully!

Carlee

Thursday 14th of March 2019

That sounds like my kind of souvenir! Thank you so much!

Andrea Nine

Friday 8th of March 2019

I am sharing my mom’s key lime pie recipe in a few weeks as she makes it for my birthday and it’s my favorite thing food wise in the whole world. This recipe sounds amazing too! Have a super sweet day today!

Carlee

Thursday 14th of March 2019

I can't wait to see your mama's recipe!

Morsels of Life | CJ Huang

Friday 24th of July 2015

I'm loving how you combined key lime and lemon meringue. :) Thanks for stopping by and sharing this on Five Friday Finds! I'm looking forward to what you share this week. :)

Carlee

Friday 24th of July 2015

It was a perfect way to satisfy both of our cravings!

Carlee

Wednesday 22nd of July 2015

It is so yummy!

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