Key Lime Pie

4.96 from 136 votes

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This Key Lime Pie recipe comes straight from Savannah, Georgia. It is smooth and creamy with the perfect blend of tart and sweet.

A slice of pie being lifted out of a pie pan with a pie knife

This Key Lime Pie is perfect for the summer time when you want a nice, cool, citrusy dessert. I got this Key Lime Pie recipe when I was visiting Savannah, Georgia with my friend, Amie. Savannah has got to be one of the most beautiful and charming cities ever. We had so much fun touring the historic city squares, walking along the river, and eating delicious Southern food.

When we were shopping downtown, I found the key lime pie recipe on a magnet. I love the tart and creamy texture of a good key lime filling paired with a homemade graham cracker crust, so I bought it and tried it out as soon as I got home. I made it for my family and we can’t get enough of it! It is the best key lime pie recipe! At family birthday parties, key lime pies are often requested over birthday cakes. This is a super easy recipe (it is even EASIER if you just buy a pre-made graham cracker crust). Thanks to my trip to the South, we now have another favorite family recipe!

A whole key lime pie made with graham cracker crust and a slice taken out of it with limes as garnishes

Ingredients Needed for Key Lime Pie

Graham Cracker Crust

The graham cracker crust can be a pre-made crust purchased at the grocery store. However, if you have the time, a homemade crust does taste better. This is what you will need for a homemade crust:

  • Graham crackers crumbs – You can purchase pre-made graham cracker crumbs, or make your own. Place graham crackers in a food processor or blender and pulse until they are finely crushed. You can also crush the graham crackers in a resealable plastic bag. Squeeze all of the air out and lay it flat on the countertop. Use a rolling pin to roll over the crackers until they are a crumb consistency.
  • Butter
  • Sugar

Key Lime Pie Filling

  • Egg yolks – Save the egg whites in the fridge for later use.
  • Sweetened condensed milk (14-ounce can)
  • Key limes – If fresh key limes are not available, Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice can be used as a substitute. You can find it in most grocery stores next to the lemon juice.
  • Key lime zest – If key limes are not available, lime zest can be used.

Whipped Topping (optional)

This pie is great served plain or with a lime wedge but we prefer putting some kind of topping on the pie to help round out the bright flavor. The most common topping that people use is fresh, homemade whipped cream. Canned whipped topping or Cool Whip works fine too. Some people prefer to have their key lime pie with a meringue topping instead of using whipped cream. We have topped this key lime pie with the meringue recipe from our Lemon Meringue Pie and it is FABULOUS. Try it both ways and decide which way you like it best!

A top view of a fresh key lime pie with lime wedges and whole limes

Tips For Making Key Lime Pie

  1. Fresh Key Limes: Use fresh key limes whenever possible for the most authentic and vibrant flavor. They have a distinct tartness that sets Key Lime Pie apart from regular lime pie.
  2. Zest for Extra Zing: Incorporate some extra key lime zest into the filling for an extra burst of citrus flavor. The zest adds brightness and enhances the overall taste of the pie. Make sure you zest the limes before juicing.
  3. Properly Pre-Bake the Crust: Pre-bake the graham cracker crust to ensure it holds up well when the filling is added. This step helps prevent a soggy crust and ensures a nice texture.
  4. Avoid Overmixing: When mixing the filling, avoid overmixing to prevent excessive air incorporation, which could result in cracks during baking.
  5. Don’t Overbake: Avoid overbaking the pie to maintain the smooth and creamy texture. The filling should be set but still slightly jiggly when you remove it from the oven.
  6. Balance the Sweetness: Adjust the sweetness to your taste preference. Some like a more tart pie, while others prefer it sweeter. Taste the filling before pouring it into the crust and adjust accordingly.
  7. Chill Thoroughly: Allow the pie to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. This will help the flavors meld together and create a more cohesive taste.
  8. Whip Cream Topping: Top the pie with freshly whipped cream just before serving. The light and airy whipped cream complement the tangy filling perfectly.
  9. Serve Chilled: Key Lime Pie is best enjoyed chilled. Refrigerate the pie for at least a few hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to develop and the filling to set properly.
A slice of key lime pie with a graham cracker crust and a bite on a fork

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between limes and key limes?

Key limes (also known as bartender limes, West Indian limes, or Mexican limes) are smaller than regular limes and have higher acidity (especially when freshly picked). The more ripe the key limes, the less tart and more sweet they become. Key limes are bright green when they are first picked but as they ripen, they become more yellow. You can decide how tart or sweet your pie is by choosing limes based on their ripeness.

What color should my pie be?

Traditional key lime pie is not bright green in color, even though some bakeries or pre-made pies may have a green tint to them. Traditionally, it is more of a pale greenish-yellow color. Sometimes we like to add a little green food coloring if we are making this for St. Patrick’s day or to make the green “pop” a little more. Most of the time we just leave it how it is though.

Can regular limes be used instead of key limes?

Yes, it can be done, but the flavor won’t have that distinct “key lime” flavor. We highly recommend using Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice as a second option. If you have no other choice, using regular limes will still turn out to be a very good pie and most people won’t even be able to tell a difference. You can swap out 6 fresh key limes for 1 large regular lime. As far as the juice goes, you can swap it out at a 1:1 ratio (¼ cup key lime juice for ¼ cup regular lime juice).

5-Star Reviews

We’ve had over 100 reviews from people who love this recipe as much as we do. Here are just a few:

I’ve made this multiple times and it is always a hit! Everyone who tries it wants the recipe. I use lime juice only because I can’t get key limes where I live (Newfoundland, Canada) and it’s still wonderful!


I have made this super easy key lime pie recipe so many times for friends and family. I always get rave reviews from everyone. Thank you so much for posting this recipe because I am a VIP when I make this for a party. I love all your recipes:)


Absolutely perfect. I have tried many that did not set up or were too sweet. This is as good as the restaurant with the best key lime pie where I live. Thanks for sharing.


This was delicious, and so easy. Thank you for helping me find my go to key lime pie recipe!


More Delicious Pie Recipes from Favorite Family Recipes

If you love tangy citrus-infused desserts like this one, be sure to try our Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie, Cream Cheese Lemon Bars, Coconut Lime Cheesecake Bars, or our super easy Orange Pineapple Cake! Or try these luscious desserts:

How to Make Key Lime Pie

A plain slice of key lime pie being lifted from a pie pan with a pie knife

Key Lime Pie

4.96 from 136 votes
This Key Lime Pie recipe comes straight from Savannah, Georgia. It is smooth and creamy with the perfect blend of tart and sweet.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8



  • Hand Mixer
  • Conventional Oven


For the crust:

  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

For the filling:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 key limes for zesting and juicing
  • Nellie & Joe's Famous Key West Lime Juice (if needed)
  • whipped topping to garnish (optional)


For the crust:

  • Combine melted butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in crushed graham crackers.
    Crushed graham cracker crumbs in a bowl to make crust for Key Lime Pie
  • Spread evenly into 9-inch pie plate and press onto bottom and sides to form an even crust. The bottom of a measuring cup works great for pressing the crumbs firmly into the pie plate.
    Chill for an hour until firm OR bake at 375-degrees for 5 min and allow to cool before filling.
    Crushed graham crackers mixed with butter being flattened in a pie dish making a homemade pie crust for key lime pie

For the filling:

  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. 
    Zest key limes until there are 2 teaspoons of zest, then juice them. Pour the fresh key lime juice into a ½ cup measuring cup.
    If the ½ cup isn't filled, add bottled key lime juice to fill it completely.
    Lime wedges to juice for key lime pie
  • Whisk the egg yolks until they are thick and turn to a light yellow. Use a stand mixer or an electric mixer. Slowly add sweetened condensed milk while mixing on a low speed. 
    Eggs in a large bowl to be mixed to make filling for key lime pie
  • Gradually add the key lime juice and zest and continue to mix on a low speed just until blended.
    Condensed milk, lime juice, and egg yolks mixed together to make filling for key lime pie
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and bake 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. 
    Key lime pie filling that has been poured into a graham cracker crust to make key lime pie recipe
  • Serve with a garnish of whipped topping and lime slices, if desired. Store pie in refrigerator until ready to serve
    Whipped cream being piped onto key lime pie as a topping



If key limes and/or key lime juice are not available, you can still make this pie!
  • Use Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime juice in place of fresh key limes.
  • Substitute the juice of 1 lime in place of the 6 key limes. Make sure you have ½ cup of juice.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 342kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 6gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 228mgPotassium: 228mgFiber: 1gSugar: 37gVitamin A: 499IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 166mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. 5 stars
    This is the best tasting Key Lime Pie recipe that I’ve ever had. It was extremely easy to make and much loved by my family. No leftovers. Must bake 2 pies next time. ❤️

  2. Hi there! I’m planning on making this pie this weekend but want to top it with your meringue recipe! Would you suggest baking the key lime pie first and then baking the meringue after or can I put the meringue on right away and just do the 15 minutes?

    1. I would bake the key lime pie first and then add the meringue and bake again! Let us know how it turns out!

    2. I had key lime pie, in New Orleans several years ago. Loved it. Going to make it this weekend. Thanks

  3. This is now my go-to dessert when I get asked to bring a dessert! Always take home an empty pie pan😀

  4. 5 stars
    Question — I’m about to try making this pie for my husband who LOVES key lime pie. If I can’t find key limes — would you suggest I try the juice or extra limes? He prefers very tart! Thank you … Yum!

  5. 5 stars
    This was the first time that I’ve made this and it was loved so much that I’ve been asked to make it again and again

  6. 5 stars
    So simple to make. I had to use just a little of the key lime juice. Zested and juiced the key limes.
    A great pie to make when you don’t have a ton of time, it’s easy to put together.

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe! It tasted so good! The citrus was not overwhelming 🥰 and everyone at church loved it haha! Thank you again!☺️

    Here is some good news for you by the way!

    For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15‬:‭3‬-‭4‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    “and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
    ‭‭Acts‬ ‭16‬:‭30‬-‭31‬ ‭KJV‬‬❤️❤️

  8. 5 stars
    The pie has a wonderful flavor, but why does the filling barley go up to half of the crust?
    I used a foil 9 inch pie pan.

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