Calling all key lime lovers! This easy Frozen Key Lime Pie is a perfect summer dessert. It’s whipped together in 15 minutes and will cool down your day with tangy sweetness.
Move over baked desserts! We’ve taken the favorite key lime pie recipe and put it in the deep freeze.
It makes a silky smooth tangy, sweet lime pie in a cookie crumb crust (we use our favorite graham cracker pie crust). Perfect for hot summer days.
Easy Frozen Key Lime Pie
It’s hard to get excited to bake desserts on a hot day. This is an easy way to enjoy refreshing lime goodness in a different form than a traditional lime pie.
If key limes are difficult to find, everyday limes can be used. Because the pie is frozen, the flavor of either type of lime is delicious.
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
Graham cracker crust. We use our favorite recipe for graham cracker crust for this frozen key lime pie. You’ll need:
- Graham cracker crumbs. You can buy crumbs or make your own by putting graham crackers in a mini chopper or food processor. Regular or gluten-free crumbs work.
- Unsalted butter. Melted.
- Granulated sugar. Used in the pie crust.
Sweetened condensed milk. Adds the sweetness and velvety layers of texture.
Evaporated milk. You’ll need two cans.
Key lime juice. You’ll need 1 cup of juice. Freshly juiced limes have the best flavor but bottled juice can be substituted.
Also because the pie is frozen the flavor difference between key lime and regular limes is less noticeable.
Regular lime juice can be substituted or combined with key lime juice.
The Difference Between Key Limes and ‘Common’ Persian Limes
Key Limes are found through the Florida Keys in the United States.
They are much smaller than regular ‘Persian’ limes, about the size of a ping pong ball.
Their rind is smooth and thin. Key Limes have a yellow-green flesh and many seeds.
The most distinct difference is the flavor. Key limes are not tart like regular limes.
They have a distinct tanginess that is a signature flavor making them different than other citrus fruits.
Once you’ve tried anything with key limes, this key lime pie included, it will become a favorite!
Use Fresh Key Limes if possible
If you can find fresh key limes, use them for this pie recipe.
Fresh citrus juice DOES taste different.
Granted it’s a bit of work to juice or zest these little lime gems but worth the time.
To yield one cup of lime juice you’ll need around 40 key limes or two 1-pound bags.
PRO TIPS for Juicing and Zesting Key Limes
Zest the key limes before juicing.
My preferred tool is this zester. It zests like a dream.
It will quickly remove the outer zest without digging into the bitter pith. It’s fast and feels like zesting butter.
How to Get the Most Juice
Place the key limes in the microwave for 10 minutes before juicing them.
They will produce more juice. NOTE: this works for any citrus fruit before juicing.
Though a citrus reamer can be used, I like using a hand held lime juicer.
Lime juicers are smaller than juicers for lemons or oranges.
It makes fast work out of juicing the little limes.
- Slice the limes in half
- Squeeze them in the hand held juicer
- Flip them to the other side and squeeze again
You’ll get a bit more juice.
Bottled Key Lime Juice
If key limes are unavailable or you’d like to skip the time to juice the limes, use bottled key lime juice (real key west lime juice).
It’s a time saver and will still deliver the signature key lime flavor.
How to make it – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
STEP 2. Make the crust
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a large bowl. Mix (photo 1).
Press mixture into a crust in the prepared 9-inch pie pan (photos 2-3). Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven (photo 4).
STEP 3. Make the pie filling and pie
The filling can be made in a blender or whisked by hand in a mixing bowl.
Combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and lime juice until smooth (photos 5-8).
Pour the key lime mixture into the baked pie shell pan (photos 9-10).
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer covered until fully set/frozen preferably overnight.
STEP 4. Serving
When ready to serve remove from the freezer 15 minutes before slicing. Remove the sides of the pan.
If easily removed from the pan bottom transfer the frozen pie to a cutting board for perfect slices .
Use a large, heavy sharp kitchen knife. TIP: dip the knife blade into hot water before slicing. The warmth helps cut through the dense frozen filling.
Add some whipped cream, lime slices or lime peel as garnish. Sprinkling key lime zest on top will give color and a nice pop of flavor too.
How to Store
Store in an airtight container in the freezer. Or it can be wrapped well with plastic wrap followed by foil.
This will prevent freezer burns.
More recipes you’ll love!
Frozen Key Lime Pie
- 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs regular or gluten-free
- 6 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
- 2 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- 1 cup key lime juice regular lime juice can be substituted or use a combination of the two lime juice types
Optional garnish ideas
- lime zest, mint leaves, lime slices, berries, whipped cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix to fully combine.. Gently
- Add the crumb mixture into the prepared pan. Press into a crust using clean fingers or the back of a spoon. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven.
- The filling can be made in a blender or whisked by hand. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and lemon juice. Blend or whisk to fully combine.
- Pour into the springform pan and place in the freezer until fully frozen, preferably overnight.
- Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before slicing. Use a large sharp kitchen knife for slicing. TIP: dip the blade in hot water before slicing the pie for easier slicing.
- Garnish with whipping cream, lime slices, or mint leaves.
Celine Dalfonso says
Just wondering if I could use this same recipe to make individual tartlets instead of a pie?
Toni Dash says
Hi Celine. We’ve only made the recipe as written but I bet you could adapt it for tartlets. Let us know how it goes!
My FAV pie ever!! So creamy, so delicious!
I’m in trouble. This is so easy to make, and it tastes amazing! I had to move it to the outside freezer so I wouldn’t keep cutting off tiny slivers. Haha!
Perfect for this hot weather, and it really turns out beautifully made in the spring form pan!
I was so happy to find this recipe. I just got a big bag of key limes. I was going to make a regular pie but made this instead. Absolutely delicious! So refreshing.
This pie is the perfect dessert for summer meals. Very easy to make and so refreshing.
Shadi Hasanzadenemati says
This was such a hit! Thank you for this awesome recipe
Linda F says
Our new favortie summer dessert. It was fast to make (and easy). The pie has a wonderful consistency too. Definitely leave it out 15 minutes before cutting.
Anna F says
We used to get frozen key lime pie at our favorite restaurant in Florida but they went out of business. I was so excited to find this recipe. It was as good or even better than our restaurant version.