This scrumptious Key Lime Pie with Graham Cracker Crust is one blissful citrus dessert! Sweet, tart, and creamy, each bite will make you swoon!

One of my favorite desserts, this Authentic Key Lime Pie Recipe does not disappoint! Transport yourself to the tropics when you taste this lip-smacking pie!

Key Lime Pie with Graham Cracker Crust in a white ceramic pie plate.

Why You’ll Love this Key Lime Pie

  • The sweet graham cracker crust and sweet-tart creamy filling is an exquisite pairing!
  • This is a classic pie that’s pure Americana!
  • It can be made with standard limes, too, and still be scrumptious!!

Once again, we’re a family divided. One of us does not like lime desserts. Lemon treats thrill his taste buds, but lime is another story. Yes, it IS annoying when I want to indulge in just a sliver of Key Lime Pie but the hubby has no interest in even a sliver. Thank goodness for girlfriends as I could easily lose my skinny chick status if this whole pie was tempting me hour after hour and day after day.

Reader Endorsement:

From Dawn via Pinterest: Loved this recipe!! My pie turned out like a pro made it & it was super easy. This is by far my favorite Key Lime Pie.

Slice of Key Lime Pie with Graham Cracker Crust on a square white dessert plate.

Expert Tips

A popular pie created in the 1800s in Key West, this state pie of Florida was likely created after sweetened condensed milk became available to home bakers. Here are a few tips for making the best authentic Key lime pie!

  • PRO-Tip: Use fresh or bottled Key lime juice if at all possible for the most authentic Key lime pie experience. Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice (affiliate link) is available in most supermarkets when Key limes are not in season.
  • Of course, you can use fresh standard (Persian) limes in a pinch. The taste will be slightly different, but still delicious.
  • PRO-Tip: Make sure to zest your limes before squeezing. Once they’re squeezed, it’s hard to get a good grip on them to zest.
  • Using a Citrus Press (affiliate link) makes it easy to juice your limes.
  • Do not over-mix the filling ingredients. You want the filling smooth, but without air bubbles. Making it the night before and leaving it overnight in the refrigerator allows any air bubbles to dissipate.
  • Save your leftover egg whites for meringues or macaroons!
  • Sweetened condensed milk is a must! It provides the perfect amount of sweetness to balance the acidity of the limes. It is a key ingredient for an authentic easy Key Lime Pie recipe.
  • Also, a graham cracker crust is imperative in a Key lime pie recipe. Sturdy and sweet, it’s the perfect contrast to the citrus filling.
  • Make sure to cool your crust thoroughly before adding the filling and baking.
  • Sweetened whipped cream is the best topping. It balances the tart filling perfectly. I like to pipe stars of cream around the perimeter and top those with thin slices of lime right before serving. You can also serve pie slices with a dollop of whipped cream.

Close up view of Key Lime Pie with Graham Cracker Crust in a white pie plate

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Key Limes?

There are two main varieties of limes, the Persian lime and the smaller, less common Key Lime. Key limes are from Florida, rounder, more yellow and their flavor is tarter, more aromatic, and floral.

Can Regular Lime Juice Be Used Instead of Key Lime Juice?

In a pinch, yes, but hunt down Key limes when they’re in season as they do have their own special flavor.

Can I Use a Premade Graham Cracker Crust?

Definitely! It’s a time-saver to use a store-bought crust, but it’s not hard to make a graham cracker crust from scratch. Plus a homemade crust with graham cracker crumbs and real butter makes a tastier crust.

Do You Have to Bake a Key Lime Pie?

Yes, to have a safe-to-eat pie, it must be baked. The chemical reaction between the egg yolks and the key lime juice will thicken the filling without cooking, but it can be dangerous to eat. Raw eggs may harbor salmonella bacteria which cause a nasty foodborne illness or food poisoning. So bake this pie as directed.

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Key Lime Pie Recipe

Key Lime Pie Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 8 servings

Classic Key Lime Pie with a citrus filling nestled in a graham cracker crust.


Graham cracker crust:

  • 1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice (may substitute standard lime juice)
  • 2 teaspoons very fine lime zest


  • ¾ cup chilled heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • Lime slices, optional
  • Lime zest, optional


Make the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes and cool in a pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.

Make filling and bake pie:

  1. Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and zest and whisk until well combined.
  2. Pour the filling into the crust and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, for at least 8 hours.

Make the topping:

  1. Just before serving, beat cream with powdered sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream. Garnish with lime slices or zest if desired.


Classic Key Lime Pie adapted from Epicurious.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 3g


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Key Lime Pie with Graham Cracker Crust photo and text collage