Looking for the perfect summer dessert? This sweet yet tart healthy key lime pie recipe hits all the marks of a summer dessert. To sweeten the deal, it can easily be made gluten and dairy-free!
Eating citrus feels so right in the summer. While we can enjoy this delicious dessert any time of the year, I find myself making key lime pie (along with some strawberry shortcakes) when the shine is shining, and the weather is warm.
Every family out there has their own recipe they’ve been making for decades. Mine is a healthier version of the classic, holding on to the sweet, tart, and creamy signature blend. I avoid over-sweetening it so I can let the lime flavor shine.
I always love recipes whereas many people as possible can enjoy, so I make mine with gluten-free graham crackers and dairy-free whipped topping!
Note: For a more “on the go” version f this recipe, take a peek at my healthy key lime pie bars.
What’s A Key Lime?
A prized American dessert, key lime pie goes way back. Thought to have originated in Key West, Florida, they are perhaps the most famous for this signature pie due to their once plentiful supply of key limes.
The limes themselves are significantly smaller, more yellow in color, and have more seeds. Not to mention how different the flavor profile is! They are more tart and floral tasting than the typical Persian lime seen in most grocery stores.
Because of their size, it takes a lot of squeezing to get enough juice for this recipe. If you can manage it, the distinct key lime taste is worth the effort.
If you don’t have key limes handy, you can use regular limes. Just avoid the bottled stuff as the fresh juice takes this pie to a whole other level.
What Makes This Recipe A Healthy Key Lime Pie?
You probably noticed some substitutions here from the “common” key lime pie ingredients. Most notably, no sweetened condensed milk is in this recipe. This pie has a long history, dating back to before refrigerators were common in households. Since milk was hard to keep, sweetened condensed milk was useful for baking.
To get that wanted sweetness in this recipe, I decided to use maple syrup. A common sugar substitute, it is all-natural and just as sweet as refined white sugar. Plus, it has some bonus minerals and antioxidants!
Other substitutes include coconut flour made from dried coconut meat and coconut sugar from the coconut palm tree. Coconut sugar is more nutritious than white sugar and causes a slightly lower rise in blood sugar.
Overall, my goal was to make a gluten-free, dairy-free key lime recipe so that more people could enjoy the tart goodliness of this prized dessert.
Ingredients In This Key Lime Pie Recipe
This is not your average key lime pie recipe! While packed full of healthy alternatives, this recipe doesn’t sacrifice taste. Take a look at the ingredients and see for yourself!
- Gluten-free graham crackers: The key to making this recipe gluten-free is buying the right graham crackers. You will need 1 8oz box for the base of the crust.
- Coconut sugar: There is no refined white sugar in this recipe. Coconut sugar combines well with graham crackers for the perfect crust.
- Ghee or butter: It’s up to you which you want to use! Make sure the ghee or butter is melted.
- Eggs: For this recipe, you will need quite a few eggs. The filling calls for 4 eggs and 1 egg yolk.
- Lime: The key ingredient, you will need ¾ cup of lime juice. Freshly squeezed juice is a must! Trust me, you will notice a big difference between fresh juice compared to bottled juice. Of course, key limes are ideal but regular limes may be easier to source.
- Maple syrup: Nature’s liquid sugar, maple sugar sweetens the filling up without taking away the tartness of the lime.
- Lime zest: Not only does a key lime pack the punch in its juice, but the zest is noticeably different too. This recipe calls for 2 tbsp of lime zest.
- Coconut flour: To keep this pie recipe gluten-free!
- Whipped topping: The top layer of the filling, whipped topping makes the pie light and creamy. Defrost 1 container.
- Lime slices: Top your baked pie off with lime slices for extra green decoration.
How To Make Gluten-Free Key Lime Pie
Now that you’ve got all your ingredients, let’s get baking! This is an easy key lime pie recipe that can be made the day before serving.
To begin, preheat your oven to 375°F.
With a food processer, mix together all of the ingredients needed for the crust. Process the mixture until it is very fine and sticks together when pinched. Using a 9.5-inch pie dish, press the graham cracker mixture to form the crust.
Prebake the crust in the oven for 12 minutes. Once done, remove the crust from the oven and let it cool for at least 30 minutes. Go back to the oven and notch it down to 350°F.
Onto the filling!
While your crust is cooling, whisk together the eggs, lime juice, maple syrup, lime zest, and sifted coconut flour in a large bowl. Add filling and bake for 22-25 minutes until the center is no longer jiggly.
Let your pie cool on top of the stove for 30 minutes. Once it has cooled a little, place it in the fridge for 2 hours minimum. Preferably, overnight!
Before serving, add a layer of the defrosted whipped topping. For decoration, add lime slices, zest, and Reddi-wip for topping.
- If you don’t want to use your fingers, an empty measuring cup or the back of a spoon can help.
- Don’t grease the pie dish! The ghee contains enough fat that the crust won’t stick.
- Double-check that your crust is cooled after baking before pouring in the filling.
- When checking the pie to see if it is done, the filling can wiggle a little, but you don’t want it to be wet-looking.
To store this gluten-free key lime pie (if you have any leftover), gently wrap the pie in food safe plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store in the fridge up to 3 days.
If you want to freeze the pie, wrap it as mentioned above and store in a freezer safe bag to avoid freezer burn. You can store it in the freezer for up to one month.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
Looking for more easy summer desserts? I’ve got a few more recipes up my sleeve that you may enjoy.
- Healthy Cherry Pie Oatmeal Bars
- Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies
- Healthy Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Delicious Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- Healthy Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe by Erin Morrissey + Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 1 8oz box gluten-free graham crackers
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup melted ghee (or butter)
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a food processor, combine graham crackers, coconut sugar, and melted ghee.
- Process until very fine and pinch together when sticks.
- Press into the bottom of a 9.5 inch pie dish, ungreased.
- Bake for 12 minutes, let cool for 30 minutes. Lower the oven heat to 350F.
- While crust is cooling, in a large bowl whisk together eggs, lime juice, maple syrup, lime zest, and sifted coconut flour.
- Pour into cooled crust and bake for 22-25 minutes or until center is no longer jiggly. It can wiggle a little, just not ‘wet’ looking.
- Let cool on stove for 30 minutes, then place in fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Add a layer of defrosted whipped topping and add lime slices, zest, and reddiwhip for topping.
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