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No-Bake Key Lime Pie is the ultimate easy summertime dessert. A sweet graham cracker crust is filled with a creamy key lime filling.
The perfect dessert for summertime gatherings.
Easy desserts like this No-Bake Key Lime Pie will always have a place on my summertime menu!
This cool and creamy pie has all the same delicious flavors as a classic Key Lime Pie recipe, but no baking is needed*.
*We did bake the graham cracker pie crust for this recipe, giving it a firmer and less crumbly texture. However, you can skip that step if you’d like.
What are Key Limes?
Key limes are small, yellowish-green limes that originated in Key West, Florida – although now, you’ll often see Key limes from Mexico at the supermarket as well. Their juice is slightly sweeter than the larger, more common Persian limes – making them an ideal ingredient for pie.
Key limes are a seasonal item – so look for bags of these little limes in the produce aisle, starting in the June/July timeframe.
Why you’ll love No-Bake Key Lime Pie
- The sweet-tart Key lime flavor and the cool silky, creamy texture makes for a very refreshing dessert!
- It comes together quickly – then chills in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
- Although Key limes are in season during the summer, you can make it anytime of the year using bottled Key lime juice.
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Key limes – Don’t consider using anything but real key limes for this recipe. You can squeeze the juice from fresh Key limes (you’ll need around 10) or buy bottled juice online.
- Sweetened condensed milk – This creamy, sweet canned milk perfectly complements the flavors of the sweet-tart Key limes.
- Heavy Cream –This cream will be made into whipped cream for the filling as well as to garnish each serving. You can use either heavy cream or whipping cream – both are found in the dairy aisle at the supermarket.
- Powdered Sugar – Also called confectioner’s sugar, this will both sweeten and thicken the whipped cream.
- Cream Cheese – Cream cheese helps thicken the filling, plus it adds delicious flavor.
- Graham Cracker Crust – Back in the 1800s, a shortbread crust was used for Key lime pies, so you could swap in shortbread cookies or vanilla wafers. Today, the most common crust is made with graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar – and that’s what we include in our recipe today. To make this pie even easier, you could buy a pre-made graham cracker crust.
- Lime slices or zest – For garnishing the slices of pie, we used the larger limes for garnish.
- Nellie and Joe’s 100% Key Lime Juice is a very good bottled alternative to freshly-squeezed juice. Plus – you can make this pie all year round, not just when Key limes are in season! Click here to buy it.
Special Tools Needed
- Mixing bowls
- Mixer – A stand mixer or hand mixer is needed to whip the cream and cream cheese.
- Citrus juicer – For squeezing the fresh Key limes.
- 10” deep pie plate (if you use a 9” pie plate, your filling will be more mounded)
How do I make No-Bake Key Lime Pie?
- Mix graham cracker crumbs with brown sugar and melted butter. Press mixture into a pie plate. Bake to make a firm pie crust or refrigerate to firm up into a more crumbly texture.
- Zest the limes first, then squeeze to release the juices – set aside in a small bowl.
- Whip the cream cheese in a mixing bowl.
- Whisk in the canned sweetened condensed milk, lime zest and juice, and powdered sugar.
- Whip the cream into stiff peaks. Fold into lime mixture.
- Pour the pie filling into the crust.
- Refrigerate overnight or until set.
- Serve slices garnished with more whipped cream and lime slices or zest.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make No-Bake Key Lime Pie ahead of time? Yes, in fact, you want the pie to chill and firm up before serving.
- How should I store leftovers? Cover the pie and refrigerate up to three days. Note that the whipped cream may start to soften a bit over time, but the pie will still be delicious.
- Can I freeze this pie? You can, but the texture may be softer once thawed, but again, the flavors will still be delicious.
- Can I swap in Cool Whip for the whipped cream? You could if you’d like. Since the Cool Whip is sweetened, you’ll also want to leave out the powdered sugar from this recipe.
You might like these other Key Lime recipes:
Click here for more delicious Pie & Tart recipes!
2 sleeves graham crackers (18 crackers)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8th teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons melted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon Key lime zest
6 tablespoons Key lime juice
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Additional lime zest or lime slices for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the graham crackers into a food processor and process to crumbs.
- Add brown sugar and salt and process for a few seconds to incorporate.
- Add melted butter and process long enough to blend the butter into the crumb mixture.
- Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 10” pie plate.
- Bake for 15 minutes then cool while you make the filling.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese for three minutes on high until light and creamy. Scrape the bowl.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk, Key lime zest, Key lime juice and confectioner’s sugar and beat to combine.
- Beat the cream to stiff peaks in a separate bowl and fold into the filling.
- Scrape the filling into the baked crust and refrigerate overnight.
- If the filling is a bit runny, fill the crust to the crust top and chill it along with the remaining filling for 30 minutes. By then the filling will have thickened enough to spread the remaining filling into a mound on top of the pie.
- Chill overnight or until firm.
- When ready to serve, whip the cream to soft peaks and add the powdered sugar then whip again to stiff peaks.
- Place in a piping bag with a star tip and pipe onto the pie in some sort of decorative fashion and garnish with either lime slices or lime zest.
- Cut and serve.
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