Why this recipe works
Key lime pie has been a family favorite my entire life because it has such a great balance of sweet and tart. I grew up eating this authentic key lime pie and thought it was time to make this easy gluten-free version!
While this recipe does have a few steps, they’re all so simple! That’s why I love making this gluten-free key lime pie recipe for friends and family. It’s such a crowd-pleasing and an impressive dessert, but with minimal effort!
This key lime pie is easy made gluten-free using store-bought gluten-free graham crackers. If you’re feeling up for it, you can make your own homemade gluten-free graham crackers for this crust, too.
Top this creamy pie with a sprinkle of lime sugar and pipe with homemade whipped cream for the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
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Traditional key lime pie is made with a custard filling containing key lime juice, egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk.
- gluten-free graham crackers – I like Kinnikinnick Gluten-Free S’moreables Graham Crackers for this recipe. I normally use about 1/2 of the box to get the amount I need for this crust. If you are not gluten-free, you can use whatever graham crackers you’d like!
- key limes – If you are unable to find key limes, you can use bottled key lime juice or substitute with regular limes, also known as Persian limes. I like Nellie and Joe’s Key West Lime Juice if you want to use bottled. Key limes come from the Florida keys, but are available in your local grocery store.
- egg yolks – Egg yolks are key in this recipe to create this super creamy custard filling. Note, my egg yolks are organic, free range, and cage free which makes them closer to orange than yellow and makes the pie a bit more yellow than it may look for you depending on the eggs you use! Don’t be alarmed if it’s not the same color. You’ll still have a very creamy texture.
1. Process your graham cracker crumbs in a food processor. Mix together with melted butter, granulated sugar, and salt.
2. Press into a 9-inch pie tin until even.
3. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
4. Add the egg yolks and key lime zest together and beat for 2-3 minutes, until light.
5. Add the condensed milk and beat another 2 minutes and then add the key lime juice and vanilla and stir to combine.
6. Pour into the gluten-free pie crust and bake at 350F for 18-22 minutes until the edges are set. Let cool a bit.
7. Make the lime sugar and sprinkle over the key lime pie filling. Let the pie chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
8. Make the whipped cream topping and pipe or dollop on the pie.
- To press the graham cracker crust into the pie tin, I like to use the back of a measuring cup to press it down evenly.
- You can pipe the whipped cream with a pastry bag fitted with large star tip (1M tip) or you can dollop it on individual slices with a small spoon. Whichever you’d like!
- If you don’t have a food processor to crush the graham crackers, you can place the graham crackers in a bag and break them up with a rolling pin.
There are a few main differences between key limes and regular limes. Key limes differ from regular limes in that they are much smaller in size. They also are tart, but not as acidic as regular limes. They also have a pleasant floral aroma.
While I personally prefer key limes in this recipe, you can substitute with regular lime juice if you don’t have access to key limes.
Yes! You can use bottled key lime juice instead of fresh key limes in this recipe. I still like to use some key lime zest so sometimes I’ll buy 3-4 key limes to use for the zest and juice and then I will top off the rest of the juice needed with bottled key lime juice. My favorite is Nellie and Joe’s bottled key lime juice.
Yes, you can! It is a 1-for-1 swap with regular graham crackers so feel free to use whatever you would like here.
I used a 9-inch pie plate. If you use an 8-inch pie pan there will be too much crust and too much filling. If you use a 10-inch pie pan, you will not have enough filling so you may want to increase the recipe by 1.5 times.
you can leave the pie covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. I would recommend not topping with whipped cream until right before serving as homemade whipped cream does not last too long. You can freeze the pie for longer storage and defrost in the refrigerator until thawed before serving.
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Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to know! Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also share your pictures and tag @adashofmegnut on Instagram.
Gluten-Free Key Lime Pie
- Food Processor
- Stand Mixer
- Pie Dish
- Pastry Bag with Open Star Tip
- 1 cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice
- 1 tablespoon key lime zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Lime Sugar Topping:
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon key lime zest
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Add gluten-free graham crackers to a food processor and process until finely ground.
- Add granulated sugar, melted butter and salt and mix until combined.
- Pour into a 9-inch pie pan that is 1-inch high. Press to the bottom and sides of the pie pan until even.
- Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, until the graham cracker crust is golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Place egg yolks and lime zest into a large bowl. With a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix on medium-speed for 2-3 minutes, until light in color.
- Add sweetened condensed milk and mix another 2 minutes.
- Add key lime juice and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Pour into pie crust and bake at 350F for 18-22 minutes, until the edges of the pie are set. The middle will still be a little wobbly. It will finish setting as it chills.
- Let cool to room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Lime Sugar Topping:
- Rub together the granulated sugar and lime zest until the oils have released from the lime zest into the sugar and has made it fragrant.
- Sprinkle the lime sugar over the slightly cooled key lime pie.
- Refrigerate the key lime pie for at least 3 hours.
- When you’re ready to serve the key lime pie, make the whipped cream topping. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add heavy whipping cream and granulated sugar. Beat on high until stiff peaks form.
- Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Pipe with a pastry bag fitted with the 1M (open star) tip or dollop on the key lime pie before serving.
- If you do not have key limes, you can use regular limes instead. You can also use bottled key lime juice in this recipe. I recommend Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice.
- I used Kinnikinnick Gluten-Free S’moreables Graham Crackers for the crust. If you are not gluten-free, you can use regular graham crackers in this recipe.
- You can use store-bought whipped cream instead of homemade if you would like.