Key Lime Pie Recipe

This is our version of the classic American Key Lime Pie, which traditionally uses limes from the Florida Keys and has a crumbly biscuit base. Don’t worry, though – you can use any kind of lime for our easy Key Lime Pie recipe!

Sweet and delicious, this is a great simple dessert to delight your guests. The sweetness of Carnation Condensed Milk balanced with zingy limes is sure to tempt the taste buds!
Serves: 10
  • Base
  • 250g light digestive biscuits
  • 85g baking spread, melted
  • Filling
  • 397g can Carnation Condensed Milk
  • finely grated zest and juice of 5 large limes
  • 300ml carton double cream
  • To decorate (optional)
  • Lime zest
  • 85g half fat crème fraîche

You will also need...

20x30cm rectangular loose-bottomed tart tin or 23cm (9in) round loose-bottomed tart tin.
  • Very easy

    A guide to our ratings

    • Ridiculously easy!
    • Very easy
    • Easy
  • Prep time
    30 mins PT30M

    Cook time
    0 minPT0M

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Each serving typically contains

  • Energy 1467kJ 352kcal 18%
  • Fat 21.7g 31%
  • Saturates 10.2g 51%
  • Sugars 23.5g 26%
  • Salt 0.46g 8%

of an adult's Reference Intake (RI)*
Energy per 100g: 1441kJ/345kcal
*Reference Intake of an average adult (8400kJ/2000kcal).
Portions should be adjusted for children of different ages.

Here's how easy it is...
  1. 1. Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted baking spread in a bowl.
  2. 2. Tip the biscuit into your tin, pressing it into the base and up the sides. (This will be the base of your Key Lime Pie). Chill for ten minutes.
  3. 3. Using a balloon whisk, mix the condensed milk and cream until combined, then add the lime juice and zest (it will thicken!). Pour onto your biscuit base and chill for at least 1-2 hours.
  4. 4. Remove the pie from the tin and place on a serving plate. Cut into slices and serve with the crème fraîche and lime zest.
  5. This Key Lime Pie recipe can also be made with lemons – replace the five limes with four lemons. For a lighter option and a softer set use whipping cream.

    Have you tried making this delicious recipe yet? Let us know by clicking ‘I made it!’, or give us your tips and tricks on the discussion board.

    For allergens, always check the ingredients list of each product used.

    Recipe contains gluten and milk.

Discussion Board

  • Lizzie
    September 10, 2016
    I've just made this & the filling didn't thicken...? I did only have 2 limes, could this have been why? Thanks

    Carnation says:
    Hi Liz, we reckon you're right! It's the acidity in the limes that set the dessert. Next time give it a go with more limes and it should work!
  • catherine
    August 13, 2016
    I have made this recipe many times and is a firm favourite. So easy to do and the joy of the magic thickening always made me smile. Delicious.
  • lewisluther
    June 29, 2016
    I like to make kiwi jelly on top with slices of kiwi embedded in the jelly.

    To really tart things up, make some raspberry coulis, mix in agar agar on the hob and pipette the hot mixture into oil that's been in the freezer for half an hour to create "caviar" spheres and rinse off.
    Decorate with these in the jelly concentrically around the kiwi slices.


    Carnation says:
    Hello Lewis, sounds delicious!
  • aj4
    June 22, 2016
    is it OK to make this 24 hours in advance?

    Carnation says:
    Hello A J, this recipe is the perfect dessert to make the day before. It will set beautifully in the fridge.
  • Lesley
    May 25, 2016
    First time I made this.Wow. So good.

    Carnation says:
    Hello Lesley, we're so glad that you enjoyed this recipe. Happy baking!
  • Barney
    May 15, 2016
    My partner doesn't like digestive crumb base so I made this with a shortbread base instead, like on the millionaire shortbread recipe.
    Turned out amazing! I didn't believe it it would thicken after adding all the lime juice, but it just did! Like magic!
    Just wondered if you could make lime ice cream by using the same filling ingredients?

    Carnation says:
    Hello Barney, What a lovely twist to a favourite! We haven't tried making this into ice cream but we'd love to hear all about the results!
  • Blue207
    March 18, 2016
    This is a family favorite in my house!
    To prevent over indulging I slice and wrap individual pieces in grease proof paper and freeze them - discovered Key Lime P'icecream!!

    Carnation says:
    Hello Elaine, what a wonderful idea for your tempting extras! We haven't tried this in the Carnation kitchen but sounds delicious.
  • Moreish
    February 04, 2016
    Simple and delicious, I made a lemon and lime version :)
  • jimmyg
    August 16, 2015
    Made this twice now second time added 1 lemon and family loved them both. Who needs bake off when you have these recipes, family think I have found a hidden talent. Shhhhhh!
  • Scoobydoo
    May 19, 2015
    I made it and it is a favourite with my friends. Will be making again for them this weekend! I slice kiwi fruit and place around the top, adds the extra wow factor.
  • Lucialamore
    April 02, 2015
    I made this for my boss- it turned out perfectly! Phew! Thanks for a great and super easy recipe.
  • Silverslip
    April 01, 2015
    I made this one using ginger biscuits for the base.... really yummy
  • nessie
    March 15, 2015
    This is so very fresh to taste and because the quantities are correct the base isn't too hard or too crumbly. Will be doing this a lot.
  • Vernrich
    February 15, 2015
    I make this so often for family get togethers. Its so easy and a lovely refreshing dessert
  • Mrsamberdog
    January 24, 2015
    This is a fab recipe - was really surprised to see no setting agent used. But the comments helped. Would have been helpful if the recipe had specified how long to beat the carnation milk and cream together. I used a had whisk for 5 minutes then folded in the lime juice and zest. it really did thicken "like magic". I used half gingernuts, half digestive and some extra spice. Worked a treat.
  • widdi
    January 19, 2015
    This is so quick and easy makes a lovely refreshing yet sweet pie, and it looks so professional and tastes better love it!
  • snoopy1
    November 23, 2014
    I just made this but only had chocolate hob nobs for base delicious
  • carnation18
    November 02, 2014
    this tasted so amazing
  • l.elcock13
    October 26, 2014
    Absolutely gorgeous and so simple, tried adding some fresh mint to make a mojito pie, delicious :-)
  • Byngy85
    August 05, 2014
    I made this lovely dessert, it was tangy and very refreshing. Yummy
  • jane
    July 08, 2014
    This is a favourite with the family, always make it the night before and let it chill, tastes delicious the following day! Always get told it's better than a shop bought dessert 😄
  • claireshorseys
    June 15, 2014
    Can't believe how well this came out, looks and tastes so professional. Yummies
  • qsecofr
    June 14, 2014
    Have tried this both with lime and lemon wow taste with little effort.

    I wonder as it is the citrus element that thickens the filling could you use oranges as well?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Paul oranges have lower acidity than other citrus. For an orange flavoured cheesecake we recommend following the recipe as written but add the zest of 2 oranges instead of lime zest.
  • pat63
    June 13, 2014
    June 13 2014
    I have just made this with lemons given by a friend-she wants some more! Delicious.
  • ShanaV
    May 29, 2014
    Just stumbled on this website by looking for a cheesecake recipe...looks fab and can't wait to try out loads of the recipes :)
  • Lydzz
    January 14, 2014
    Can I make this the night before or does it need making on the day!

    Carnation says:
    Hi Lydia, This can be made the day before. We recommend making the base a filling the day before and then whipping the cream and finishing the pie on the day.
  • Pikey
    December 29, 2013
    The trouble with this recipe is nobody believes I made it as it was so perfect and delicious. Thank you

    Carnation says:
    Hi Pikey so glad to hear we are making baking at home so easy.
  • RJ
    December 22, 2013
    I was planning on making this pie tonight so it could chill overnight ready for a birthday meal tomorrow but I've realised I don't have any double cream only single will this do?

    Carnation says:
    Hi RJ, double cream is thicker and will give a better set to the pie.
  • Debs
    December 21, 2013
    I have just made this with half ginger biscuits and half Lotus caramel biscuits (the type you get your coffee)
    It's AMAZING especially with some dark chocolate grated on the top.

    Carnation says:
    Hi Debs, what a lovely twist on an old favourite!
  • Rachel
    December 19, 2013
    can you use Greek Yogurt instead of the cream?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Rachel, Greek Yoghurt will give you a very different taste and texture. We haven't tried this but it is certainly worth experimenting.
  • sarah_clk
    December 15, 2013
    The best Key Lime Pie recipe EVER... my most made dessert and never fails. I add the juice of 6 - 8 limes as I like it sharper.
    Nice decorated with piped chocolate shapes or candid lime peel.
  • DonnaD
    December 08, 2013
    Turned out beautiful :). Although I had alot of the key lime mixture left over as I like to have a thicker crust, so made a smaller dish using the scraps :)
  • Icelolly08
    December 04, 2013
    Made today in individual pots and frozen for Xmas dinner. Hope it's ok to freeze!
  • Purity
    December 03, 2013
    I made it n i also put a spoon of bottled lime juice n it gave it more of a kick with the lime juice n my family loved it
  • Bunty
    October 30, 2013
    I have a party on Saturday and want to prepare the key lime pie on Thursday and keep in the fridge - will it taste good ?

    Carnation says:
    Hi B, this key lime is wonderful treat! We always recommend you make it as close to the time as possible. If you need to make it ahead of time leave it in its tin and wrap it with cling film. Decorate at the last minute.
  • aliy
    October 28, 2013
    iv just made tis keylime pie and found it very easy to do,and it thickened perfectly.yummy
  • Spagirl
    October 27, 2013
    I have tried this recipe lots of times with great success. Every time I visit my sister up country, she always asks me to make they Key Lime Pie. Oh nearly forgot to mention, try chocolate digestive biscuits for a change.
  • Diana
    October 23, 2013
    Just made this with my mum! We used 160g of ricotta cheese and 140g of creme fraiche isntead of the double cream! to make it a little lighter! All other ingredients were the same. Excellent recipe and very easy to make!
  • cloecloe
    October 23, 2013
    i found this recipe quite easy we have done this pie at school in our food technoly lessons and its really fun but also quite messy!we had to reduce the limes to 2 though,haha!lol.its so magical how the cream just mixes together-magic!
  • Nancy
    October 16, 2013
    I have made this recipe for over 30 years but we call it lemon thing, long before Key Lime pie became trendy! It is an old family favourite and now my daughters are making it! we make both lemon and lime versions for variety and it always works!
  • Jules
    October 14, 2013
    I have made this key lime pie on many occasions it's easy and always a success. It tastes soooo good to.

    Carnation says:
    Hi Angela, we love this simple and reliable recipe!
  • Trix
    October 13, 2013
    I have just made this using a fresh pineapple I pealed a fresh small pineapple and liquidised it and then poured in to the condense milk and double cream instead of adding the lime it's lovely

    Carnation says:
    Hi Teresa, what an interesting twist. We love the pineapple idea!
  • sparkle
    October 13, 2013
    i have just made this today and boy it was lush all my family love it. perfect lush desert mmmm ................

    Carnation says:
    Hi Jennifer, glad to hear you got the thumbs up from the family
  • Urshie
    September 27, 2013
    I made this using Lime and Lemons, it was an instant hit so I made it again and I shall make it again and it!
  • Trucky
    September 06, 2013
    My hubby loved this was taking it over to a friends for dinner that night but it didnt quite make it :)
  • Wendy
    August 15, 2013
    I have made this twice now as I love Key Lime Pie. However, both times it has not thickened when whisking as the recipe says "it will magically thicken" I have left it to set for 2 hours and it is edible, however not as thick as I would like or as the picture shows!! I have done exactly as the recipe says. The flavour is lovely it's just the thickness, any ideas on what I am doing wrong?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Wendy. We love this too! Our tip is to whisk your cream and condensed milk before you add the limes then just lightly stir the juice in and the acid will thicken up the dairy. It really is like magic!
  • Jeanne
    July 26, 2013
    I made this today adding the juice of half a lemon (my limes were small) with dark chocolate spoons to eat it with. Watch this space for reactions when it's been tried.
  • Cattari
    July 21, 2013
    first time i've ever made this and it was divine...........
  • Rotweiller
    June 20, 2013
    My mother used to make a jelly and whisk in Carnation milk and leave to set. I made it for my daughter and now she wants to know the recipe to make it for her kids. I can't find the leaflet it was in, can anyone help please?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Carole, I think this is a similar recipe:
    2x135g packs of jelly (raspberry or strawberry)
    250ml boiling water
    1x410g tin of evaporated milk
    add the boiling water to the jelly and allow to cool (not set). Whip up the carnation evaporated milk till thick. Fold thorugh the cooled jelly and refridgerate till set.
  • Selmy
    May 06, 2013
    this is such a decadent desert .. i make everytime for my dads posh guests..! its a winner :P
  • Dobby
    April 20, 2013
    This recipe is easy & tasty, I tried your meringue top instead of creme fraiche, good for a change
  • karen
    March 31, 2013
    I made this today using 3 large lemons instead of limes and a packet of ginger biscuits. It was amazing. 7 adults ate the lot and there wasn't a crumb left. I will make this again without a doubt and will try the limes as well. Fab.

    Carnation says:
    Hi Karen, sounds scrumptious - what a lovely flavour variation! Top tip!
  • debs25
    March 31, 2013
    I have added cocoa to the base. It is lovely,chocolate and lime works so well, yummy

    Carnation says:
    How delicious Deborah! Sounds fab!
  • Jean
    March 16, 2013
    Is it possible to use lime juice made from concentrate from a bottle instead of fresh limes in the Key lime Pie recipe

    Carnation says:
    Hi Jean, we can't guarantee the results - the acidity of the processed lime concentrates varies so always best to stick with the real thing!
  • dubs
    March 08, 2013
    I have made this key lime pie numerous of times try using ginger nut biscuits fir the base! lovely
  • Gill
    January 27, 2013
    Hi, I was wondering how i would add coconut to the Key Lime Pie.....i didn't want the mixture to not set and also dont know what coconut to use?
    Thank you so much

    Carnation says:
    Hi Gillian, you can buy coconut milk powder (made by Maggi) from larger supermarkets - add 50g to the filling and beat until smooth. This way you'll still get the perfect set! Happy cooking!
  • Redmichy
    January 11, 2013
    Is there an alternative to using double cream in this recipe?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Michelle, why not try our light key lime pie recipe if you want to omit the cream. In the normal recipe it helps to set the filling so we don't suggest a substitute but the light version is baked with egg yolks and has a meringue top - mmmm!
  • Robyn16
    December 31, 2012
    I am having problems getting the mixture to thicken. In fact it just separates. I am following the recipe correctly. Does anyone have any advice please?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Sarah, not sure why it separates... Our advice is just to whisk it with a balloon whisk and so long as the ingredients are all fresh it should be fine.
  • DeniseK
    December 29, 2012
    I have made this with ginger cookies in the base. Also I have made a gluten free version for my Dad using gluten free biscuits, works well.
    I have made this with out a base and frozen it and eaten it as icecream. I also added chopped ginger ( the type in syrup)'s delicious.
  • Kaz
    December 22, 2012
    I make this regularly, it's so quick & easy. All my family & friends love it!
  • Kerry
    December 20, 2012
    Has anyone made this and frozen it? Just wondering if it would freeze successfully.

    Carnation says:
    Hi Kerry, yes you can freeze this recipe for up to a month. However the base may be a little soft once you have thawed it. Freeze on the day of making and defrost in the fridge for 12-24 hours depending on your fridge.
  • Di
    December 19, 2012

    Carnation says:
    , Hi Dianne, yes you can freeze this recipe for up to a month. However the base may be a little soft once you have thawed it. Freeze on the day of making and defrost in the fridge for 12-24 hours depending on your fridge.
  • Christmas witch
    November 23, 2012
    I've made this loads, it's foolproof and everyone loves it!
  • Fi and Ellie
    November 01, 2012
    Brilliant! It was delicious, but a bit too sweet - I think next time we should use less condensed milk, and more lime. We had great fun making it!
  • Anna
    October 07, 2012
    i love this recipe its so good but could you add some sort of ginger and where would you add it ?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Anna, ginger works really well in this recipe - try replacing the digestive biscuits for gingernuts or chop some stem ginger (in syrup) and scatter over the set base before topping with the lime filling for a sweet gingery suprise!
  • devonmaid
    October 05, 2012
    Lovely recipe, found others like this but needed cooking ,this is so easy ,have made it several times for the family ,it is thier big favourite xx
  • meg
    October 01, 2012
  • Ash
    September 18, 2012
    Awesome recipe and easy to make. I made the base with crushed Ginger Nuts instead and it went down really well!
  • jackie
    September 13, 2012
    Really easy to make and soooo gorgeous. Yum, my new favourite dessert.
  • shieda
    August 15, 2012
    A novice cook, I found this really easy and delicious. Can see this recipe being one of my go-to desserts.

    Carnation says:
    Hi Rashieda, we love it too! You can also make it with lemons - just swap the 5 limes with 3 large lemons! Yum!
  • lemonsorbet
    July 20, 2012
    Have made it using bottled lime juice with no problems and bottled lemon juice.
  • Tascha
    July 11, 2012
    Made it with fresh Lime juice 1st time, all great. Made it with bottled lime juice the 2nd time and it wouldn't thicken. Must be something in the real limes that isn't in the bottled stuff. Whatever it was I shall only be using fresh limes from now on! Fab recipe.


Key Lime Pie Recipe is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 68.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sublimely limey! Have wanted to make this for a long time, finally having the ingredients, gave it a go. Using coconut biscuits instead of the usual digestive made a complimentary combination. Made enough for six large portions and was received very well, even my son (an extremely fussy eating ex-chef) enjoyed it! Shall use lemons next time with a ginger base and see if it's another winning combination.
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delicious and very easy dessert I decided to try this recipe - I have always made the baked version before, for fear of the mixture not setting, but this uncooked version worked perfectly. I used ginger biscuits and coconut for the base, and I whipped the double cream into soft peaks before adding the other filling ingredients. The mixture stiffened straightaway, once the lime juice was added, and I put the whole thing in the freezer for half an hour before moving it to the fridge. It is thirty degrees outside, but two hours later, the dessert was perfectly set and ready to serve, decorated with chocolate hearts and lime zest shavings. A showstopper dessert, and no oven - perfect!
Date published: 2018-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tasty pie this was easy, and I am only 9 years old so i would recommend this to every one that likes cooking.
Date published: 2018-04-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not thickening? Hi. Just made this for a dinner party tonight, but it's not thickening when I whisk? Just consistency of a smoothie! Scared to put in bar as worried it will just be a drink on top of biscuit. Does it thicken once in fridge?
Date published: 2018-06-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Key Lime Pie to Die For I Made This Delicious Key Lime pie a few months ago , my Family Cold'nt get enough of this Zingy Lime pie , it's wonderfully Creamy but with the lovely freshness of The Lime too , The Crumbly biscuit base goes perfect with this too , It's a shame that I Never took , photos with regret .
Date published: 2017-06-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Family place orders Hi everyone, I make this family favourite regularly, obviously with Carnation evaporated milk. My family, and quite a fair few friends, place orders for this gorgeous key lime pie at least twice per month. I always make sure Carnation evaporated milk is part of my shopping list as much as bread and eggs etc. I think, as far as desserts go, this is the best, so why not go all out. It's such an easy recipe to follow, but I know it by heart now. I prepare the biscuit base, the morning before, and the filling the night before, leave it in the fridge overnight, and all the next day, as tempting as it is, then devour it after our main meal. Always a family treat, or crowd pleaser for parties, belter
Date published: 2019-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best key lime pie I’ve ever tasted I was concerned about the sweetness of condensed milk but the end result was a perfect combination of tangy and just sweet enough. When whipping the double cream and condensed milk we did wonder if it would thicken but adding the lime juice and zest created some kind of magical chemical reaction and it thickened before our eyes. The limes we used were quite small but four gave a perfect flavour. Cannot recommend highly enough - and it’s so easy to make too. (I used a glass dish rather than loose bottom tin, no need to grease or line, it comes out clean when cut).
Date published: 2019-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brill, so easy!! MAde this several times, quick and easy if invited to last minute dinner party , occasion and offer to provide the pudding. ALways gets compliments, light and refreshing after a meal and looks impressive, go for it you will not be disappointed !
Date published: 2017-07-14
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