Looking for a fabulous Classic Key Lime Pie recipe? You found it! Truly amazing with a creamy filling made of eggs, yolks, sweetened condensed milk and Key lime juice, all in a cinnamon graham cracker crust topped with fresh whipped cream. Easy to make too and oh so delicious!
The Story behind this Recipe
My son turned 15 on Monday and this Classic Key Lime Pie is the “cake” he requested. I was a little surprised he didn’t want an actual cake but I guess he’s growing up. In past years I’ve made him some elaborate cakes like the firetruck cake when he turned 5 or the giant Minecraft cake at 8 with rainbow layers inside or this Pokemon cake when he turned 9, or this flag cake at 11.
I’ve made key lime pie before but couldn’t remember the exact recipe. I searched through my vast library of cookbooks, but none of the recipes were quite right. I finally found a photo copied recipe in my old recipe box. I’m pretty sure it came from a book I checked out at the library back in 1989 when I was a flight attendant in Pittsburgh, PA. I was on reserve and had a lot of time on my hands as sometimes I wouldn’t get called for weeks. I shopped and spent a lot of time at the library. This recipe comes from a book of recipes from one of the former White House chefs. Or maybe it was a collection of recipes loved by former first ladies.
Why I Love this Classic Key Lime Pie Recipe
It’s so simple to make!
The crust is made with cinnamon graham crackers for added flavor.
There is a nice thick layer of the creamy Key lime filling.
You can use store bought Key lime juice which tastes great, but is so much easier.
Fresh whipped cream on top is the gilding of this lily!
How to Make the Perfect Graham Crack Crust
Use a food processor to crush the crackers.
Pour melted butter into graham cracker crumbs and pulse until completely combined.
If you don’t have a food processor, place crackers into a sealed plastic bag (make sure all the air is out first) and crush with a rolling pin.
Pour the butter and cracker crumb mixture into a 9.5-inch pie plate and press down to form the crust.
The bottom of a metal or plastic measuring cup works well to press the cracker crumb mixture down.
Piping swirls of Whipped Cream on Classic Key Lime Pie
Start with fresh whipping cream and beat until stiff peaks form.
Place a 1M tip into pastry bag (I used Wilton brand for the pastry tip).
Pour whipped cream into the prepared pastry bag.
Pipe swirls of whipped cream on top of pie by holding the pastry bag at a 90° angle, squeezing and moving your wrist in a circular motion.
You can also pipe stars by holding the pastry bag at a 90° angle and squeezing just until you form a star, then stop squeezing.
The birthday boy really LOVED his Classic Key Lime Pie and so did my husband. It’s his favorite pie too. My daughter can’t have gluten or dairy, so I made her a No Bake Key Lime Yogurt Pie.
The Key to This Pie
See what I did there? The key to this pie is the store bought Key West lime juice. It makes the flavor so authentic but you don’t have to hunt all over town to locate some actual Key limes. Also, they’re so tiny that you need about a hundred to make enough juice for this pie (slight exaggeration but you would need A LOT). The brand of juice that I used is called Nellie & Joe Key West Lime Juice which I have found at almost every grocery store I’ve gone to in Georgia. If you can’t find it, you can order online. Worst case scenario, just use regular lime juice and it will still be very tasty!
Tools for success
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Classic Key Lime Pie
For the crust
- 12 cinnamon graham crackers, crushed into fine crumbs (Each cracker breaks up into 4. You should have 1 1/2 cups of cracker crumbs or 6.5 ounces)
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the pie filling
- 5 whole eggs
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 cans sweetened condensed milk (each can is 14 oz.)
- 1 cup lime juice (I used Nellie & Joe Key West Lime Juice)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 lime (zested and cut into wedges)
For the crust
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a food processor or blender, process the crackers until they form fine crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse a few times to combine. Pour into a 9-inch pie pan and press crumb mixture to form a crust. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the crust just begins to color. Let the crust cool before filling it.
For the filling
- Lower oven temperature to 350°F.
- In a bowl, beat the whole eggs and egg yolks together. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk. Stir in the lime juice until smooth. (I used an electric mixer on medium for this part but that is optional.)
- Gently pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just set. Let the pie cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until chilled, 4 to 6 hours. Garnish with unsweetened whipped cream, lime wedges and lime zest, if desired. Note: I used a pastry bag fitted with 1M tip to create whipped cream swirls on the top of the pie.
Here’s my son on his 15th birthday this year. We didn’t have a party because of Covid but we did go out to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse and had a lovely time. I can’t believe he’s going to be driving soon!
Pictured below, Luke on his birthday a few years ago in 2011. This was the garden at his elementary school where parents could come to have lunch with their child. My husband and I joined Luke for lunch that day and I think he was happy about that.
You might also like Lime Cream and Strawberry Pie
I also wanted to share these Key Lime Desserts from some fantastic food bloggers:
Key Lime Cheesecake Trifle by Belle of the Kitchen
Blueberry Key Lime Cupcakes by Will Cook for Smiles
Coconut Lime Bread by Floating Kitchen
Dark Chocolate Key Lime Pie Truffles by Sally’s Baking Addiction
Lime Bundt Cake by Dessert Now Dinner Later
No Bake Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes by Lolly Jane
Baked Key Lime Pie Donuts by Taste and Tell
Frozen Mini Key Lime Pies by This Silly Girl’s Kitchen
Easy Key Lime Pie Tassies by Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen
Chocolate Covered Key Lime Pie by So, How’s It Taste
All text and images © Lise Ode for Mom Loves Baking. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate. This post may contain affiliate links.