I can’t think of a better end-of-summer treat than a cold, creamy dairy free key lime pie! This key lime pie recipe is surprisingly easy and is completely egg-free & dairy-free. And you only need 7 ingredients to make this pie & the crust!
why you’ll love this dairy free key lime pie
- Amazing Creamy Texture: This pie recipe has the best buttery, dairy-free graham cracker crust, and a vibrant, zesty yet creamy pie filling.
- Regular Limes: While this recipe is titled key lime pie, I’m using regular limes today since they’re easier to find and you need less of them to get the required amount of lime juice.
- No eggs or egg yolks needed in this recipe: the coconut cream plus cornstarch helps set the custard beautifully
What is key lime pie?
Traditional Key Lime Pie originates from the Florida keys or Key west. Key limes are small limes about the size of a ping pong ball. They have a stronger flavor and more acidity than regular limes making them great for baking recipes. Key Lime Pies are typically made with lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk.
You can use key limes and regular limes interchangeably in this recipe. Taste of Home has an article describing the differences between key limes and regular limes which you can read here.
The Main Ingredients
This easy vegan key lime pie recipe is made with fresh limes. It uses about 3-4 large, regular limes, which when juiced makes about 3/4 cup lime juice. While this pie takes a few hours to make, most of the time is passive while the pie cools in the fridge. It’s super simple to make and you only need 7 ingredients.
To make this dairy-free pie, you’ll want to gather the following ingredients:
- Graham Crackers, vegan
- Vegan Butter
- Brown Sugar
- Limes, regular or key limes
- Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk, I used Nature’s Charm
- Coconut Cream, or Full Fat Coconut Milk (from the can)
substitutions + add ins
- Coconut oil: feel free to use melted coconut oil instead of the melted vegan butter
- Graham Crackers: another vegan cookie, like Golden Oreos (separated from the cream) will work. I recommend not adding the brown sugar in the crust if using a sweeter cookie.
- Vanilla Extract: feel free to add 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the filling. I found that the pie filling had a perfect balance of sweet yet tart without any other flavorings.
- Tart Pan or Pie Plate
- Large Bowl: to mix the filling
- Food Processor: to blend the graham crackers
how to make the best key lime pie
Key lime pie is essentially only two main components; the creamy filling and the graham cracker crust.
STEP 1: The first step is to mix together the crust ingredients in the food processor.
STEP 2: Then, press the crust into a pie pan. Use a glass to compact the crumbs. Bake for 10 minutes at 375F.
STEP 3: While the crust cools, you can make the creamy lime filling. Mix the filling ingredients (sweetened condensed coconut milk, coconut cream, lime zest and juice) together. Mix 2-3 tbsp of the lime filling with the cornstarch to form a slurry. Then add the slurry to the filling.
STEP 4: Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
STEP 5: Place the pie in the freezer for at least 4 hours to set.
How to serve the vegan key lime pie
This homemade easy key lime pie is best served once the filling has been completely set. This will take about 3-4 hours in the freezer.
If storing in the freezer, let the pie sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before slicing or serving it.
This creamy, cold key lime pie is delicious served with dairy free whipped cream or with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
- Refrigerate the Coconut Cream or Full-fat Coconut Milk: this helps ensure that all of the fat is separated from the water in the can. You only want the coconut cream for the filling. Any coconut water will create a looser custard that doesn’t set as well.
- Pre-bake the crust: this is to avoid a soggy bottom crust.
- Let the pie set up completely before cutting: the custard needs to firm up in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours.
Non-Dairy Key Lime Pie FAQ
You can technically use bottled lime juice for this recipe, but I highly recommend using fresh limes for the best flavor. It’s not necessary to use real key limes for this recipe, since they are difficult to find year-round and in certain parts of the world.
The key lime pie filling will be jiggly in the center if stored in the fridge. The pie needs to be chilled in the freezer to set up completely. After setting for 3-4 hours, the filling should be firm and not runny.
looking for more vegan Dessert recipes? CHeck out these!
- Brown Sugar Strawberry Shortcake
- Strawberry Crunch Cake
- Dairy Free Peach Pie
- Classic Vegan Apple Pie
- Italian Pear Almond Cake
- Creamy Mango Mousse
Did you make this dairy free key lime pie recipe?
I’d love to know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating and comment below!
Dairy-Free Key Lime Pie
This vegan and dairy-free key lime pie recipe has the best buttery, dairy-free graham cracker crust, and a vibrant, zesty yet creamy pie filling. It's the perfect cold and creamy summer treat!
- 1 3/4 cups (220g) fine graham cracker crumbs (about 13-14 full-sized cracker sheets)
- 6 tbsp (90g) melted vegan butter
- ⅓ cup (70g) packed light brown sugar, optional
- 11.5 oz (300g) sweetened condensed coconut milk (about 1 small can)
- 1 ½ cups (360g) coconut cream (solid parts only)
- 3 tbsp lime zest, 2-3 large limes
- 2/3 cup (120g) fresh squeezed lime juice (about 3 very large limes)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
To make the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a large bowl or food processor, mix or pulse together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter.
- Press the crumbs into a 9” pie pan (1.5” deep) using your fingers. Press the crust mixture up onto the sides of the pan as well. If needed, use the bottom of a clean glass to press the crust mixture.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes. It should be slightly browned. Let the crust cool completely.
To make the filling:
- In a large bowl, or your food processor, mix together the sweetened condensed milk, coconut cream, lime juice, and lime zest.
- Spoon 2 tbsp of the filling into a small bowl and mix with the cornstarch to form a slurry. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the filling and mix well.
- Pour the filling mixture into your prepared pie crust.
- Cover the pie and place in the freezer to set up for at least 4 hours.
- To serve: let the pie sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before slicing.Top with coconut whipped cream, shredded coconut and lime zest.
- For the coconut cream, place the can in the fridge or freezer for a few hours or overnight. This will ensure that the solid coconut cream separates completely from the coconut water in the can.
- You can buy sweetened condensed coconut milk online or at health food stores like Whole Foods. You can also make your own by following the instructions below:
Dairy-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk:
- 2 cups dairy free milk (420g)
- ⅔ cup sugar (134g)
- 3 tbsp salted vegan butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
Simmer the milk and sugar on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Be sure the milk does not boil or burn. After 30 minutes, the mixture should be reduced to about 1/4 of the previous volume. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. Mix until combined.
Store in a jar in the fridge for a week.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 20gProtein: 4g
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Hi! I’ve attempted this twice but it doesn’t firm up at all. The first time it was like a custard after freezing it and the second time I left it in the oven for 30 minutes and it over cooked it. Any suggestions? I love the taste but I can’t get the consistency right.
Hi Adriana! I’m so sorry this isn’t firming up for you. The texture should be a soft custard after setting in the fridge or a hard custard if left to set in the freezer. I’d love to help you troubleshoot.
What type of dairy-free sweetened condensed milk are you using? This will play a large role in helping the pie set up. What brand of coconut cream are you using? If the coconut cream you’re using is looser in texture (or if there is liquid in the coconut cream) this can lead to a looser custard.
To really make sure this sets up for you, I’d recommend adding about 3 tbsp of cornstarch to the filling mixture prior to baking. To do this, combine about 1/4 cup of the filling mixture with the cornstarch in a small bowl. Mix it well until any lumps are combined (it should form a thick paste or slurry). Then add the cornstarch mixture back into the filling.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.