In the warmer months, citrusy desserts are always a refreshing treat—particularly the tart and people-pleasing Key lime pie. However, turning on the oven in the warmer months isn’t always so appealing. That’s where an easy Key lime pie—a no-bake one—can be a great addition to your recipe box.
Our Favorite Easy Key Lime Pie Recipe
Our Test Kitchen’s go-to easy Key lime pie recipe is a great no-bake dessert that uses just five ingredients and takes only 10 minutes to stir up. It doesn’t get much better than that!
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup Key lime or regular lime juice
- Graham cracker crust, store-bought or homemade
- 2 cups whipped topping
- Lime slices to garnish, optional
Step 1: Prep the crust
This first step is totally optional. If you’ve got a pre-made graham cracker crust in the cupboard, that’s all you’ll need to move on.
However, if you want to make homemade graham cracker crust, it’s very simple. (Keep in mind, there’s a little baking needed here, though.) Start by crushing up the crackers. You’ll need 2-3/4 cups. Then mix together with a quarter cup of sugar and a stick of melted butter. Press this into a pie pan and bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let the crust cool completely before filling.
Step 2: Stir up the filling
Now, time for the filling. Grab your hand mixer and a large mixing bowl. Beat the softened cream cheese until it’s nice and smooth. Then add the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice and mix until just blended. Spoon the filling into the crust and cover.
Step 3: Chill and serve
All that’s left to do is to pop the pie into the fridge for at least four hours—overnight works, too! Before serving, top with whipped topping or even homemade whipped cream. Garnish with a few lime slices for that extra finishing touch and serve.
Need help getting those picture-perfect slices? Here’s the best way to slice a pie.
Key Lime Pie FAQs
Can you use regular limes instead of Key limes?
Absolutely! You can use regular limes in place of Key limes in any Key lime recipe. Key limes are a bit more tart than their traditional counterparts, but the results of this substitution will still be delicious.
If you’re set on using Key limes, keep an eye out for them in the summer when they’re in season. They can be more challenging to find the rest of the year. Also, Key limes are much smaller than regular limes, so consider purchasing three or four Key limes for every regular lime you’d normally use.
Does Key lime pie have to be refrigerated?
Key lime pie should be refrigerated. You can keep it out to serve for about an hour, but be sure to cover and chill after serving. It’ll keep in the refrigerator for three days.
How can you customize a Key lime pie?
Key lime pie is a great basic recipe to customize to your liking. Start with the crust. You can substitute nuts, cookies or even saltines for the traditional graham cracker crumbs. We’ve got plenty of ideas for crumb crusts to inspire you.