My favorite Key Lime Pie! It’s deliciously rich and creamy thanks to the sweetened condensed milk and sour cream and it has the perfect amount of zesty, bright lime flavor.
Each bite truly just melts in your mouth. Just be sure to finish it with fluffy whipped cream for an over-the-top, incredibly enticing dessert!
The Best Key Lime Pie Recipe!
Key lime pie is a great dessert year round but doesn’t something about it just scream spring and summer?
It’s so vibrant and refreshing and I love that is an easy to make pie that doesn’t require a whole lot of extra effort.
The simple filling comes together in no time and its so nice that it uses a graham cracker crust so you don’t have to wait for dough to chill and it doesn’t make the big floury mess all over the counter (and the floor, and your clothes if you’re a messy baker like me).
Plus, it’s a flavor pairing that’s just meant to be the way the honey graham cracker flavor blends with the creamy lime flavor is the perfect match.
The great thing about this pie is that it fancy enough for the holidays but it’s easy enough for an after dinner weekend treat. Any of the 365 days of the year are the perfect day to make this decadently luscious pie!
Watch the Key Lime Pie Video!
Ingredients Needed for Easy Key Lime Pie
- Graham crackers – for the crust. I prefer the flavor of Honey Maid brand.
- Granulated sugar – used to sweeten the crust and the whipped cream.
- Unsalted butter – to moisten the crust and help hold it together.
- Egg yolks – to help set the pie.
- Fresh limes – for bright key flavor. You’ll use both the zest and juice so zest the limes before you cut into them. Key limes or Persian limes work fine.
- Sweetened condensed milk – classic ingredient used to add richness and sweetness.
- Sour cream – for more rich flavor and creaminess.
- Heavy cream – this adds the perfect finish to the pie, don’t omit it and feel free to double it!
How to Make Key Lime Pie from Scratch
Prepare the graham cracker crust:
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 2. For the crust, in a food processor pulse graham crackers to fine crumbs (or alternately place graham crackers in a gallon size resealable bag, seal bag then finely crush using a rolling pin).
- 3. In a mixing bowl stir together graham cracker crumbs and sugar then mix in butter using a fork, mixture should appear evenly coated.
Bake the Crust:
- 4. Pour mixture into a 9-inch pie dish (not deep dish) and spread and press into an even layer along bottom and edges of pie (you won’t need to go the entire way up the edge, leave about 1/3-inch).
- 5. Bake crust in preheated oven until golden brown, about 11 – 13 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. If crust bubbles up in places press it down with a cup.
- 6. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Make the Filling:
- 7. For the key lime pie filling, in a mixing bowl whisk together egg yolks and lime zest.
- 8. Stir in sweetened condensed milk, then mix in lime juice and sour cream until well blended.
- 9. Set mixture aside to rest 15 minutes (this allows it time to thicken before pouring into the crust).
Bake the Pie:
- 10. Pour into cooled crust and spread out evenly.
- 11. Bake pie preheated oven until nearly set, 15 – 16 minutes (pie should jiggle just slightly).
- 12. Remove from oven and allow to cool pie on a wire rack 30 minutes, then chill in refrigerator 4 hours.
Prepare the Whipped Cream Topping:
- 13. For the whipped topping, in a mixing bowl (preferably one that has been chilled in freezer 5 minutes) using an electric hand mixer, whip heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks form (you can mix even a little further from here for nice sturdy peaks).
- 14. Pipe whipped topping over top, garnish with lime wedges if desired and cut into slices.
How Should It Be Stored?
Because of the dairy and fruit juice in the pie should be stored in the refrigerator. It should keep well in there for a few days.
Can You Make Key Lie Pie with Regular Persian Limes?
Either type of limes works perfect here. They taste so similar that I don’t find it necessary to squeeze 40 mini key limes (or whatever it takes to get that much juice), the regular Persian limes work just as well.
Can I Use a Store-Bought Pie Crust?
A store-bought crust should work great here as well but you may have a few extra tablespoons of filling.
Tips for Perfect Key Lime Pie
- Don’t use a cheese grater to zest the limes. Use a zester and press gently when zesting so you don’t get any of the white pith of the lime. That white pith would make the pie bitter.
- Use fresh juicy limes. When selecting limes look for larger ones and give them a squeeze, they should have some give and not be hard as rocks. Juicier limes will mean less work.
- Don’t use bottled lime juice. It wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as fresh.
- Let the pie chill fully so it sets up properly. Plus when it’s fully chilled through it’s so refreshing.
More Delicious Pie Recipes You’ll Love:
- Coconut Cream Pie
- Chocolate Mousse Pie
- Apple Slab Pie
- Pumpkin Pie
- Key Lime Cheesecake
- S’mores Pie
- Pecan Pie
Follow Cooking Classy
This is no doubt my favorite key lime pie! Each bite truly just melts in your mouth. It's deliciously rich and creamy thanks to the sweetened condensed milk and sour cream and it has the perfect amount of zesty lime flavor. Just be sure to finish with fluffy whipped cream for an over-the-top incredibly satisfying dessert!
- 9 full graham cracker sheets (136g) broken into halves
- 2 1/2 Tbsp (32g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (76g) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp lime zest or key lime zest
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk*
- 1/2 cup (120ml) strained fresh lime juice or key lime juice
- 1/4 cup (56g) full fat sour cream
- 3/4 cup (175ml) heavy cream**
- 1 1/2 Tbsp (19g) granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- For the crust: In a food processor pulse graham crackers until they become fine crumbs. Pour into a mixing bowl, whisk in sugar then pour in butter and using a fork stir until evenly moistened.
Pour mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and spread and press into an even layer along bottom and edges of pie dish, coming within about 1/3-inch of the top edge.
Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 11 - 13 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely (meanwhile prepare filling). Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- For the filling: In a mixing bowl whisk together egg yolks and lime zest. Stir in sweetened condensed milk, then mix in lime juice and sour cream until well blended.
Set mixture aside to rest about 15 minutes (this allows it time to thicken before pouring into the crust).
Pour into cooled crust and evenly spread. Bake in preheated oven until nearly set, 15 - 16 minutes (pie should jiggle just slightly).
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack 45 minutes, then chill in refrigerator 4 hours.
- Pipe whipped topping over top, garnish with lime wedges if desired and cut into slices. Store pie in refrigerator.
- For the whipped topping: in a mixing bowl (preferably one that has been chilled in freezer 5 minutes) using an electric hand mixer, whip heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks form.
*Don't use fat free sweetened condensed milk or it won't turn out the same. Just the standard stuff.
**If you want enough cream to cover the pie double the amount of heavy cream and sugar for the topping.