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Dairy Free Key Lime Pie

This recipe is: dairy freenut free

Made with a creamy custard base and a crumbly graham cracker crust, this no bake, dairy free key lime pie is just as rich and flavorful as traditional key lime pie without milk. Top with coconut whipped cream before serving for a refreshing dessert that will satisfy your key lime cravings.

An overhead shot of a dairy free key lime pie topped with whipped cream and lime zest.

What I love about dairy free key lime pie

After our visit to Key West last year, I was determined to make dairy free version, but it proved to be more difficult than I thought. Just like the dairy free cheesecake, baking didn’t seem to be the right choice, and I didn’t want to rely on nuts to firm it up.

Thanks to my dairy free eggnog recipe, I realized the thickening power of eggs, and decided to try a stovetop custard-based filling for the key lime pie and it worked like a dream.

It still needs to be chilled, and the condensed coconut milk can take forever to firm up after being heated, but it works. The richness of the egg provides a creaminess that really balances the sweet, tartness of the key limes, and it makes for a beautiful pie.

We served ours with coconut Reddi-wip, but you could make homemade coconut whipped cream or even vegan whipped topping like Tru-whip. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even use the meringue topping from my baked Alaska cupcakes to make this into a key lime meringue pie instead.

A slice of dairy free key lime pie on a plate with a lime wedge.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • Condensed coconut milk – You can find this in the organic section of your grocery store. If it’s not there, check the regular baking aisle and look by the regular condensed milks. If not, it’s always available online.
  • Key limes – Yes, you can definitely substitute regular lime juice for key lime juice. I almost always do. It’s hard to find key limes here and they’re a big pain to juice since they’re so small. You could buy bottled key lime juice, which is really great, but I honestly think fresh lime juice is better than bottled key lime.
A dairy free key lime pie topped with whipped cream and lime zest.

How to make dairy free key lime pie

Make or buy your crust. Our you can just buy a pre-made one at the store. Just make sure you get one of the extra large ones. They should say they hold “2 extra servings” on the label.

Heat the liquid. In a saucepan, heat the condensed coconut milk and 1 cup of the lime juice to a simmer. The coconut milk should go from being nice and thick to being runny and thin.

Whisk the remaining lime juice with the cornstarch and stir into the saucepan. Set aside for later.

Temper the eggs. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Then, ladle 1/2 cup of the warm liquid into the eggs, whisking continuously to prevent curdling or scrambling of the eggs. Do this two times, and then transfer the mixture back to the saucepan, whisking until smooth.

Cook the filling. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pot with the egg yolks and continue whisking until the sauce has thickened and the mixture reaches 160˚F. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can tell it’s done with it easily coats the back of a spoon.

Chill your pie. Pour the filling into your prepared pie crust and allow it to chill on the counter and come to room temperature for about 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

You can also put it in the freezer to speed the process up. If you choose to freeze, you will want to remove your pie from the freezer for about 20 minutes before attempting to slice and serve it.

Slices of dairy free key lime pie on plates topped with whipped cream and lime zest.

FAQs and tips on making no bake key lime pie

Can key lime pie be left out?

You really cannot keep this pie out of the fridge long without it starting to melt. I would recommend serving immediately after removing from the fridge. Return what is not being served to the fridge right away to help it keep its shape.

How long does homemade key lime pie last?

This pie should keep in the fridge well for about 2-3 days. You can freeze it for up to 2 months as long as it’s wrapped tightly to prevent freezer burn.

Why is key lime pie yellow?

Even though you may assume this pie should turn out with a pretty green color, key lime pie should be a yellow color. The yellow color of the key lime pie actually comes from the egg yolks used for the filling.

Overhead shot of 3 plates with slices of key lime pie and the pie plate.

Dairy free pie recipes you will love:

More dairy free desserts you should try:

Close up of a whole key lime pie topped with whipped cream and lime zest.
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Dairy Free Key Lime Pie


Description

Made with a creamy custard base and a crumbly graham cracker crust, this no bake, dairy free key lime pie is just as rich and flavorful as traditional key lime pie without milk. Top with coconut whipped cream before serving for a refreshing dessert that will satisfy your key lime cravings.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 extra large pie crust (with extra servings)
  • 1 1/2 cup Key lime juice, divided
  • 2 11-ounce can sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) cornstarch
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Dairy free whipped cream, such as Reddi-wip

Instructions

  1. Heat condensed coconut milk with 1 cup of lime juice in a large saucepan over medium heat until thin and simmering.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the remaining lime juice and cornstarch together until smooth. Set aside for later.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk in the egg yolks and salt until smooth.
  4. Temper the eggs. Slowly whisking about 1/2 cup of the simmering coconut milk into the eggs and stirring vigorously. Repeat with 1/2 cup of hot coconut milk. When combined, transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and whisk to combine.
  5. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and bring the everything to a simmer and heat until the liquid begins to thicken, whisking continuously to prevent lumps.
  6. Once the mixture has reached 160˚F and easily coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat and pour into prepared pie crust.
  7. Let the filling cool completely to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 349
  • Sugar: 43.9 g
  • Sodium: 197.8 mg
  • Fat: 12.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 52.8 g
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 9.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 211 mg

Keywords: dairy free key lime pie, dairy-free key lime pie, no bake key lime pie, key lime pie recipe no bake, how to make key lime pie,

Last Updated on March 21, 2022 by Melissa Belanger

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4 Comments

  1. You need to edit your ingredient list to reflect that the sweetened condensed milk is actually coconut sweetened condensed milk. I almost backed out of the recipe until I read the instructions.