Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

My first experience with a Key Lime Pie was back in 1995 when I was in Boca Raton Florida for my 3rd semester to do my externship for  the Culinary Institute of America.

I’d never had a Key Lime Pie before! But from that moment on, I was hooked.

I know I say it with all my desserts, but Key Lime Pie really is my favorite pie! (Until Thanksgiving, then it’s Pumpkin!)

When I owned my bakery I also made this recipe into individual tartlettes. It was an afternoon ritual to devour at least one a week throughout the entire summer months!

So now with this new chapter of my life, I could not think of any better way to honor my new home state of Florida other then with an authentic Florida Key Lime Pie!

Key Lime Pie

However I had a heck of a time trying to find Florida Key Limes here in Florida!  I honestly found them easier when I lived in Jersey!

But never fear Nellie & Joe’s is here, with authentic Key Lime Juice found in just about every supermarket or you can pick some up here on Amazon

I make a pretty hefty pie as you will see below in the recipe ingredients.  But my pie plate is a deep dish 9″.  If you prefer to make a smaller pie, just halve the entire recipe and use a smaller 8″ aluminum pie plate (your bake time will be a little less too!)

Now the only question remains, are you Meringue? Or are you Whipped Cream? When it comes to the icing for this classic pie?

I have always been  Fresh Whipped Cream and with this coconut graham cracker crust……no matter where you live, this pie screams welcome to the sunny state of Florida!

Key Lime Pie Crust
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
First prepare the crust recipe below
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°c)
Serves: 1- 9" Pie Crust
  • Graham Cracker Crumbs 1 cups (100g) (or 1 prepared pie crust)
  • Sweetened Flaked Coconut toasted ½ cup (43g)
  • Granulated Sugar 6 Tablespoons (75g)
  • Unsalted Butter 6 Tablespoons (85g)
  1. Melt the butter and then combine all ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. Mix just until it resembles wet sand and press into the bottom and sides of a 9" pie plate.
  3. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes at 350°F or until just beginning to turn golden brown on the edges
  4. Cool while you prepare the filling
Store in the refrigerator at all times due to the whipped cream icing, up to 4 days.

The whipped cream icing will begin to breakdown over time, so it is best to consume before the 4th day.

For those using a meringue icing the same rules apply
Key Lime Pie Filling Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1-9" Pie
  1. Combine the sweetened condensed milk with the egg yolks and whisk smooth
  2. Slowly pour in the lime juice while continuing to whisk until it is all incorporated.
  3. Pour into the prepared, baked and slightly cooled pie crust and bake in preheated 350° (177°c) oven for approximately 30-35 minutes or until it is only slightly jiggly (Not liquidy!) in the center- it should wiggle like jell-O. (See video for demonstration)
  4. Turn off the oven and leave pie in for another 5 minutes.
  5. Cool completely before icing with your choice of icing, or enjoy this pie naked! (the pie, not YOU! Well, I guess you can be naked too...but this is a family channel! LOL)
Iced Key Lime Pie will hold up for about 2-4 days. It is not the Key Lime filling that you will worry about, but the deflating whipped cream or meringue that really cannot keep its character for more than 2-4 days.

Be sure to store this pie in the refrigerator at all times.

This pie can be frozen (without the icing) for up to 2 months, wrapped well
Meringue Topping
For those who prefer the Meringue Topping!
  • Egg Whites 4 (120g)
  • Cream of tartar ¼ teaspoon
  • Confectioners Sugar ¾ cup (85g)
  1. Whip the egg whites in high speed with a whip attachment until foamy.
  2. Add the cream of tartar and continue whipping until it has doubled in volume, about medium peaks.
  3. Add the sifted confectioners sugar by the heaping tablespoons and beat to stiff peaks, stiff and glossy.
  4. Pile onto the Key Lime Pie and use a blowtorch if available to get it nicely toasted

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  1. KEY LIME PIE! It’s like you’ve read my mind! I have been wanting to convert the key lime pie into a cupcake. Any suggestions for how to achieve a filling for the cupcake since baking it inside the cupcake would be an obvious disaster? BTW I have been stalking your blog….no….that sounds too creepy…… I have been absolutely soaking in all the information you have to offer from your previous blog and now this one for a good while now but this is the first time I have decided to take the time to respond. Not that I haven’t wanted to but it’s more like…WOW! Who’s got time to respond to my little comment when you have so many others to get back with! I really admire the effort that you are putting into educating and sharing your wonderful recipes. I can’t imagine the time and work that you put into just one of these videos and blog posts. Thanks again!

    1. I just wanted to say the word cupcake one more time just in case you didn’t see it enough in that comment lol

    2. Hahah Awesome that you finally commented! and I answer everyone! No matter what the question or comment may be! But thanks! Im so happy you are learning and loving! Thats my goal!
      I love the Key Lime Cupcake idea, and actually I have been wanting to try a Key Lime Pound cake, so naturally that can be translated to a cupcake form for sure!

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. Would you suggest cooking the key lime filling over a double boiler in the instance that I use it as a filler or topping? Or do you think I would be better off replacing the lemon for lime in your lemon curd recipe? Just don’t want a nasty textured lime gloop in the middle of the cupcake. lol.

      2. I just wanted to comment that your Blog is so good Gretchen, because you Do answer everyone. The personal touch you give makes you one of the best . Thank you for sharing, SHARNA.

  2. Hey.. Ur first video in Florida is right here..nice one!! Will try dis sometime..n ya I did not skip to 4:35 😉
    Tc bye.

  3. I thought this was going to be a video ? At least that is what you said
    Not that I need a video to be able to make this, it’s just I enjoy your videos

  4. Pleased to see that you are settled in enough to again post your recipes. I have looked through your web site and I am unable to find the video for Key Lime Pie. Please help Miss Susan

  5. YAY Welcome back Gretchen! Enjoy the South! This looks really good (not for me, I think they are nasty lol) But my Hubby LOVES this. So I think I may surprise him this weekend! TY TY..

    Good to have you back 🙂 And looking so very Happy too!!!

  6. So happy to see you back! Did not skip and was so happy to hear you give credit to your parents. Love it. Will be looking for the cupcakes.

      1. That’s what happens when you are as good at what you do as you are. I wish you the best from Québec City.

        I will surely try that pie soon.

  7. I’m diggin’ your new digs! I love meringue but can’t perfect it. Whipped cream will do just fine with me too. Welcome back and best wishes for your Florida future.

  8. I’m so glad your back miss you , honestly don’t care for key lime pie but I will do this recipe for my co-workers . Now question are you p.anning in opening a bakery here in Florida .

  9. I am so happy you are back and up and running! Love your recipes and share them often! Your studio looks great — and so do you! Congratulations on your new endeavor!! You are as friendly and bubbly as all those friendly Floridians! We love FL and spend 6 mos. out of every year there!

  10. I’m so glad you’re back! I checked YouTube every single day to see if you had a new video & I was disappointed when no videos came out. Then today, I went on YouTube, checked your channel out & I found this lovely Key Lime Pie! Thanks so much!


  11. Hi Gretchen….was so happy to see your recipe for key lime pie. Made it late last night, served it today at lunch and everyone loved it. Even the coconut, which I just happened to have in my pantry. The coconut is a great addition. Everyone, give it a try!
    I am so thrilled you are back and settled. I have been following you for over two years now and have a few questions. Is there a way to get the old recipes you used to sell on your blog? I should have bought them when offered, but figured you would always have them posted on your blog. 🙁
    If anyone out there does have them, let me know.
    who videotapes you now?
    I also enjoyed how you spoke about yourself in the beginning. That was what was different with your older films which I enjoyed. You were right there in your bakery and telling it like it is. So real. I should have copied them, too. Nevertheless, I still look forward to hearing about your new adventure and all your new recipes you are kind enough to share. I like the fact if I wanted to see just the recipe, I could click on that. If I want to hear about you and your reality life, I can hear that too. Grown to look forward to everything you add and I am sure your other followers feel the same way. It’s the interaction with the camera… a recipe is a recipe, it can get boring, but you are the real deal. You are a great business woman and I wish you all the success and luck there is.

    1. Hi Rosanne thankyou so much!
      Unfortunately, the Woodland Bakery Blog business and everything that went under that name has been shut down
      I did notify everyone on my facebook page almost 2 months ago, (as that was my only venue to announce anything during this trying time for me and my business since February)to make sure that anyone who did purchase the eBooks or wanted to purchase them, could ensure they were safely downloaded as I wouldn’t have access to renew links or share files once the business was shut down (which happened finally on May 20th)

      I am in the process of rebuilding my biz and my life here in Florida, so thanks again for the support it is greatly appreciated & I do plan to make this last chance at it, the BEST EVER! I plan to re write eBooks as soon as I get caught up, but in the meantime if you go to my Gretchens Bakery facebook page in PHOTOS I have alot of the most popular recipes and also there are so many people who
      have saved the recipes and can share with you right away! Just ask on the main page! Thanks!

      And I film and do everything myself now.

      1. Oh my gosh, you are a busy woman. I give you credit for all you do. Thanks for the reply and I must have missed that notification on your FB page. I don’t look all the time. Best of luck Gretchen. Incredible empire you are building.

  12. Hi Gretchen …. so glad your move was smooth.

    Today I ordered some key lime juice from Amazon in the USA. I can hardley wait to try this recipe. BTW … all my co-workers love your recipes 🙂 they are my ginney pigs

    So Glad Your Back!!!

  13. Hi Gretchen! I love key lime pie!! I will be trying this recipe soon! Glad you are settling in down in Florida. I almost moved down there years ago, however, I had too many obligations here in Jersey! My husband has fam in Fl and my sister just bought a house there as well. As to your comments about Jersey people, I must say that not all of us are how you described!!! You have given us such a bad name here on your site!! No wonder why people hate Jersey and think we are all bad people!! We are not!! Anyway, I just wanted to clear that up! Still love your recipes and you and will continue to watch your videos!!

    Glad you are doing well and enjoying life in Florida….I will be down there in December catching a ship out of Miami!

    1. Hi Im glad you like the pie! Its seriously yummy!
      Being from NJ my whole entire life I am still a Jersian at heart – BUT I have had more than enough experiences with very angry, very rushed, very rude Jersey folks. But of course like everywhere- there are nice people too and of course no one would ever think from my comment that all the people there are all bad LOL – after all I was from there hahahaha.
      In my opinion- everyone is in too much of a hurry to smile, say hello, thank you or even let you merge properly when driving, there are just too many people jammed into that tiny state- even the “country” parts are getting over run with new malls, highways and more people….so yeah….my observation of Florida is only that- MY observation. There are way less people here in Florida where I am now living, most of them are retired so naturally the stress level is going to be way down here.
      Thanks! Enjoy your nice cruise in Dec!

  14. Hi Gretchen,
    To b very frank I gv never tasted pie ever.n I saw dat u had pie dough recipe n here one with d graham crackers what is d difference altogether? Or is it just one’s preference? Or der r combinations as in some fruits pie shld b made wid graham’s crust n some fruits Wid pie dough as base? If I want to make apple pie, can i use d apple filling as an apple pie from Apple caramel cake, and what shld b d base den? Pie dough or graham’s crust?

    1. Cream pies such as this one here- typically take cookie crusts – like the graham crackers or even oreos- yumm. However a true pie (like fruit pies, pumpkin pies, even savory pies like quiches) will take a traditional pie crust like the other posted (there is not video for that one yet though!) it is pure preference there are no strict rules, however pies that are heavier- like fruit and custard baked pies will do better with a traditional pie crust- cold preparation pies (like cream pies) will do great with pressed cookie crusts

  15. Hi! I made this pie and after about 30 minutes I checked it and it was very liquidy so I added 10 minutes but every time I checked it after that it got more and more liquidy. Did I over bake it? I ended up just taking it out because it started bubbling like crazy and it seems to set ok but we haven’t eaten it yet. What did I do wrong?

    1. Hmmm, I have never heard of it getting MORE liquid as it bakes! If you overbaked it, it will definitely get firm, and the texture will be more like scrambled eggs. It will be separated and kinda gross inside.

      1. I cut into it today and that’s exactly how it was. Curdled looking. Yuck! I think I jiggled it too hard when I was checking it that’s why I thought it was more liquidy. It was probably done the first time! Lol well live and learn. I’ll be trying this again! Thanks for your help. 🙂

  16. Hi Gretchen, I’m so glad to see you back. Thank you for this recipe! I can’t wait to try it. The link you’ve posted to buy the Key Line juice on Amazon goes to Key LEMON juice. Is that what you suggest? Either sounds delish but I just want to get it right….. Thanks again for your wonderful videos and for sharing your positive personality with us!

    1. Hey there thanks for checking it out! I am getting a direct link to LIME juice…check it out again! But at any rate, no not LEMON – it is definitely LIME! thanks!

  17. As much as I don’t really like shipping at Walmart the times I have been in Florida that is where I have found Key limes.

    Glad to see that you are back. Now I will have to bookmark my recipes to your new site.


  18. Hi Gretchen, you did it once again….made me shine at a family event. I made your key lime pie for a housewarming party and decorated it just like you did. It came out fabulous and was the star of the show. I cannot thank you enough for sharing all of your recipes and techniques. Everything that I have made has been right on and the presentation is always beautiful and very professional-looking. The first thing I do every morning when I turn on my computer is check out your site to see what is new. My next project is the black forest cake. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are truly the best!!!

  19. So glad you’re back online, Gretchen. : ) I wish you the best in Florida, & as many other of your followers did, I enjoyed your chatting in the beginning. I hope you continue to include that in your videos since it makes them so much more personal, yet still professional–you’re doing a great job making them by yourself! Your decorating & garnishing always make things look extra yummy. Will have to try your recipe with my son who likes to try different key lime pie recipes with me. God bless you.

  20. Made this pie yesterday and served for company – the key lime filling was extremely bitter and no one finished it – I checked the date on the bottle of Nellie and Joes and was not expired – any explanation or is it supposed to be this bitter. This is the first recipe of your that I have tried that was not good What went wrong??

    1. I too found this to be very bitter. I even made sure to purchase the exact same key lime juice brand. I was wondering if we should add less juice? you have on here 1 1/2 cups…

  21. Hi Gretchen, may sound really silly but im wondering where you got the whisk from? I’ve only seen the reg ones in stores. Can you put it in your Baking Essentials/Gretchen’s Tools when you have a chance?

  22. Hey Gretchen,
    Do you shred your own coconut from fresh or are you using bagged? If you use fresh can you please show how you do this? I have tried and failed big time. Thanks……cindy…..

  23. Hi-
    I love a good tart key lime pie. The first day I made the pie it was perfect for me but it was to tart for most of my friends. This is day 2 and now the pie is even to tart for me. The crust is great and i made the whip cream on the sweet side. Can I put a little sugar in the pie filling itself?

    1. Thanks for the comment, I’ve gotten mixed reviews on this, I’ll have to update the written post to reflect this difference in tastes with an option to reduce the lime juice for those who are getting too much tart, its difficult to fix after its baked, im sorry you’re disappointed

  24. Hi Gretchen. I think key lime is to die for! I use a cup of lime juice plus 2 tbs because I love it tart. I also use two full can of the sweetened condensed milk and zest from three limes and six egg yolks. Use the same crust as yours. Been making for years. I too always put whipped cream on it but then I decided to make Italian merginue from the six leftover eggs whites, pipe it on, then browned with my blow torch. Stayed great four days. I am a convert. The delicate sweetness and amazing lightness of the Italian meringue was a huge thumbs up over the whipped cream. It complimented the flavor and texture of the key lime rather than blunting it as the whipped cream can. Still used your beautiful decorations. What a hit! Thank you for just being the wonderful Gretchen! Also forgot to add: I use 3/4 cup of toasted hazelnuts in the crust. I leave the nuts chunky so there was is a nice crunch from the nuts in the crust. Have also used macadamia nuts.

  25. Hello Gretchen!!! How are you doing doun there in florida? I was wondering if I can make Mini key lime pies. I dont Know if the crust is going to break, or if it wnt come out. got any advice? same for Lemon merangue pie. why when I make lemon merangue pie, when i cools, there are little sugar tears that pop up on the top of the merangue? and why does it deflate? also, I just want to say that you are seriously the best pastry shef I know. and probably will. thank you so much for sending me the autobiography of yourself, I have read through it. your 1900’s hair is FABULOUS!!!!

    1. Hi! I am well thank you! Yes to minis! Sure! I would do them in their own mini pie tins though so you dont have to worry about unmolding them (since that would be difficult) OR you can make them with a slightly different crust like I did here on my Smore tart! YUMMMM!
      Check out these pre-made Graham Cracker Crusts Tart shells though for another option
      As for the lemon meringue- I have filmed the video for it, but have not gotten to editing yet! Grrr, Im SO BEHIND on editing!!! BUT the one thing I mentioned when I filmed it, is that weeping meringue is NORMAL. I have yet to find a magic trick to prevent this, – remember egg whites are like filling up tiny balloons with air, they will eventually start to lose air, so some shrinkage is normal and so it slight beading of moisture. one way to LESSEN this is by using a Swiss Meringue Or Italian Meringue obviously OMIT the butter! I dont mean to make butterCream! and you are so welcome but THANK YOU TOO!

  26. Gretchen you are an amazing woman and cook you remind me of me, right to the point. I am trying your KeyLime Pie this weekend, wish me luck. Keep on doing what your doing girl.

  27. I thought I would let you know that I make this pie 3-4 times a week because my clients love it! The reason they love it so much is because of how tart it is. I wouldn’t change it at all!

  28. I love, love, love this pie! Thanks Gretchen.
    Not a fan of graham crackers so I tend to use cookie crumbs; would you recommend leaving out the sugar if I use vanilla sandwich cookies?
    Would baking time have to be adjusted for tarts and smaller tartlets? Thanks

    1. sorry for late reply, yes to leave out sugar, bake time will be less, but same rules apply for the “jiggle”

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