Lemon Pie Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min. + chilling
This lemon pie recipe is for lemon dessert lovers who can’t get enough of the fruit’s sweet tang.

Updated: Apr. 25, 2024

Fans of Key lime pie know how every bite of the citrus-forward dessert is silky, bright, sweet and tangy. Well, we decided to take all those delightful aspects of that classic pie and to swap in lemons to create a gorgeous, sunshiny lemon pie. Because who doesn’t love lemon desserts?

Our lemon pie has a crunchy graham cracker crust, a custardy lemon filling and a simple whipped cream topping. It’s an easy dessert that’s packed with contrasting textures and a flavor explosion of refreshing, citrusy lemon. This really is the perfect lemon dessert.

Ingredients for Lemon Pie

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  • Egg yolks: We need only the yolks to make the silky lemon custard. If you’re not confident in your egg-separating abilities, check out our three different ways to separate an egg.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: We love to make this lemon pie with condensed milk because it makes the pie filling creamy and custardy. Be sure to check the labels on the cans so you’re not accidentally grabbing evaporated milk.
  • Lemon juice: You’ll need about 2-1/2 lemons for 1/2 cup lemon juice. Buy three or four lemons from the store just to be safe, and use any leftover lemons as decoration for the lemon pie.
  • Graham cracker crust: Make your own graham cracker crust at home or purchase a store-bought one for ease.
  • Heavy whipping cream: This lemon pie recipe is topped with homemade whipped cream, but you can certainly use thawed whipped topping from the store instead.
  • Sugar: We sweeten the homemade whipped cream with a bit of granulated sugar.


Step 1: Create the filling

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Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, condensed milk and lemon juice until they’re well blended.

Step 2: Fill the crust

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Pour the lemon mixture into the graham cracker crust.

Step 3: Bake and chill the pie

Bake the lemon pie on a lower oven rack until the filling is golden brown and thickened, 30 to 35 minutes. Place the pie on a wire rack and let it cool at room temperature for one hour. Cover the pie with storage wrap and refrigerate it until it’s cold, about two hours.

Editor’s Tip: This lemon pie recipe is the perfect make-ahead recipe. If you’d like to make this pie a day in advance, follow this recipe through to this step. Then, let the pie chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to decorate it with the whipped cream and serve it to guests.

Step 4: Decorate the pie with the whipped cream

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In a bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add in the granulated sugar, and beat until soft peaks form.

Editor’s Tip: Use a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to beat the heavy whipping cream. Once the sugar is added, try not to overbeat the cream, creating stiff peaks. These can look grainy and unappealing.

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Top the lemon pie with the whipped cream just before serving.

Editor’s Tip: You can use a piping bag to create fun designs with the whipped cream on the pie. It’s easier than you think!

Recipe Variations

  • Try a different crumb crust: A graham cracker crust is classic for a lemon pie recipe, but there are tons of other ingredients to use for crumb crusts if you want to switch things up. Nilla wafers, nuts and shortbread would taste amazing with this lemon pie.
  • Swap in Meyer lemons: A Meyer lemon is a mandarin orange and lemon hybrid. They are smaller, juicier and sweeter than a regular lemon, and a bit more orange in color too. Swap in Meyer lemon juice for the lemon juice so your pie turns out sweeter and takes on a slightly darker yellow hue.
  • Use a new topping: Trade this recipe’s sweetened whipped cream for mojito whipped cream that’s filled with mint, limes and rum extract. Or, turn this into a lemon meringue pie with a fluffy, airy meringue topping.
  • Add fun garnishes: The easiest way to dress up this pie is by grating lemon zest on top of the whipped topping. You could also add circles of dehydrated lemon slices or pieces of fresh lemons on top. Arrange bright green sprigs of mint around the lemon zest or lemon slices for an extra pop of color.

How to Store Lemon Pie

To store any leftover lemon pie, wrap the pie gently with storage wrap. It’s easier if you scrape away any whipped topping, but you certainly don’t have to. You can also place the pie in a handy dessert carrier, or transfer slices of the lemon pie to an airtight container. However you wrap the pie, it will last in the fridge for up to three days.

Lemon Pie Tips

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Can you use bottled lemon juice?

We do not recommend using bottled lemon juice in our lemon pie recipe. Fresh tastes best, and since this pie has so few ingredients, the fresh lemon juice is a huge flavor component. Here’s how to juice lemons the easy way so it doesn’t feel quite as laborious.

How can you cleanly cut this pie?

If you have a sharp chef’s knife, clean paper towels or a clean dish towel, and access to hot water, making clean cuts in a pie is more attainable than you may think.

Run the knife under the hot water for a few seconds, then carefully wipe away the water with the towel. Make one single cut. Wash the knife under the hot water to remove the debris, wipe away the water and make the next cut. Repeat these steps until the entire pie is cut. It may feel tedious, but those picture-perfect slices are so worth it!

Best Lemon Pie

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 30 min
Yield 8 servings.


  • 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 graham cracker crust (9 inches)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a bowl, mix egg yolks, milk and lemon juice until blended. Pour into crust.
  2. Bake on a lower oven rack until filling is golden brown and thickened, 30-35 minutes. Cool 1 hour on a wire rack. Refrigerate, covered, 2 hours or until cold.
  3. For whipped cream, in a bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream just before serving.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 402 calories, 22g fat (11g saturated fat), 120mg cholesterol, 196mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (41g sugars, 0 fiber), 7g protein.

Citrusy lemon, creamy whipped cream and a crunchy graham cracker crust come together to build a silky, quick and easy lemon pie. The sturdy crust and thick filling hold up well when cutting, so each slice has that beautiful presentation of a golden yellow filling with white cream on top. Reserve some lemon zest to sprinkle over the whipping cream for an eye-catching garnish. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas