Dairy-Free Key Lime Pie Recipe

Dairy-Free Key Lime Pie by Bunny Baubles Blog 4

Do I live a dairy free life? Far from it. Cheese, milk, and yogurt are in my every day diet, and I don’t plan to eliminate them any time soon. Unfortunately for many people I know, this isn’t the case. I’ve found that I know quite a few people who are lactose intolerant, including Kyle, and since his birthday was coming up I realized I needed to try something a little different.

One of his favorite treats, when he’s not requesting my lemon squares, is key lime pie. Traditional key lime pie is made with condensed milk and topped with whipped cream, a nightmare to all my lactose averse buddies. I did some research on recipes that avoided lactose, and found that coconut milk was a great alternative to regular milk. The coconut flavor also pairs perfectly with lime, so it was a great substitute.

Dairy-Free Key Lime Pie by Bunny Baubles Blog 2

Though this recipe made me feel like a total hippie, it was fun to make and not as horribly difficult as I had expected. The Minimalist Baker recipe I based mine off of introduced me to soaking cashews to make a cashew milk that also helped to thicken the filling. Weird? Yes. But not crazy when I think about the fact that almond milk is an ever apparent thing around me.

Dairy-Free Key Lime Pie by Bunny Baubles Blog 1

I chose to make my pie only dairy free and not fully vegan since I love butter and believe it is a wonderful thing in baking. I also used corn syrup since I had some at home and it was much cheaper than buying agave. Obviously my pie was not in mini form and I chilled it in the refrigerator instead of the freezer, strictly since I made the mistake of not measuring my pan and realizing at the end of the baking process that my pie pan didn’t fit. It worked just fine, thankfully.

Dairy-Free Key Lime Pie by Bunny Baubles Blog 3

I also used Peruvian limes because I’m fancy like that. Just kidding. The label on the stand at HEB said they were key limes, and I grabbed them in a hurry, not realizing until I got home that they weren’t labeled “key limes”. They turned out to be huge, intensely tart, and very juicy, so I was quite pleased with the flavor. After more research, they are known to be the closest thing to key limes. I am assuming key limes are out of season, so the Peruvian version will do just fine!

Dairy-Free Key Lime Pie by Bunny Baubles Blog 6

The verdict on this dairy-free concoction: a smooth and intensely tart key lime loveliness! I like my fruit desserts tart, because why only go half way? But if your little heart desires, you are allowed to add a bit more corn syrup to sweeten it up. Another disclaimer on this pie is that we did wait a whole three days to try it. The crust was a little softer than I would have expected it to be, so I think it would be best served within the first couple days of making it. A week in the fridge tops.

Dairy-Free Key Lime Pie by Bunny Baubles Blog 5

Dairy Free Key Lime Pie

  • Servings: 8 slices, depending on size
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


1 1/4 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/4 cup Butter, melted

1 cup Raw Cashews, soaked in water for about 6 hours
3/4 cup Coconut Milk
1/4 cup Coconut Oil, melted
1/2 cup Lime Juice (3 Peruvian Limes, 4 normal limes, or 8 key limes)
Zest from 1 Large Lime or 2 Key Limes
1/2 cup Light Corn Syrup, plus more to taste if desired

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and spray your pie pan with cooking spray.

2. To make the crust, mix your graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl. Press mixture into your pan over the bottom and up the sides about 1 inch. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Cool on a cooling rack.

3. To make the filling, just add all of the filling ingredients to a blender and blend on high until smooth. I tasted my mixture quite a few times and added some more corn syrup  until the taste was not unbearably tart, but not super sweet since the crust will help to add sweetness. Strain the filling through a sieve to remove any chunks of cashew.

4. Pour the filling into the pie pan and sprinkle a little bit of lime zest around the edges.

5. Refrigerate for about 4-5 hours or until firm when jiggled – yes, that is a technical baking term. Serve cool, and store in the fridge for up to a week.


20 thoughts on “Dairy-Free Key Lime Pie Recipe

  1. Mine didn’t set! 😦 I made the recipe exactly as it’s on there, but the filling it’s still too runny to slice. Help!!!!


    1. Oh no! I am wondering if your refrigerator might not be as cool as mine is? You can try freezing the pie and this should also help. Another possibility is that you may have used light coconut milk? You will need to use the full fat one as shown in my photos.


    2. Another thing that I’m not sure is totally clear – did you drain the cashews of extra water before adding them? They should have been soaked to absorb water, but then drained so no extra water is added other than what is soaked into the nuts. Sorry if this was confusing!


  2. WARNING! Butter is TOTALY dairy!!! If you gave this to someone who is allergic to dairy, they would have a reaction. Take it from a mom who’s kid has be hospitalized several times because of well meaning people who don’t know what dairy is. Dairy is anything with cow’s milk protein in it- milk, cheese, butter, margarine, casein ( often in processed meats like cold cuts & hot dogs). The rest of this recipe does look good, though!


    1. Hi Kathy, yes I did note in my write up that I decided to use butter because I did not need it to be 100% free. Good to note, my boyfriend has a lactose intolerance but not allergy. I suppose the name should be (almost) dairy free haha!


  3. Jeff lovessss lemon squares, so I’m definitely stealing that recipe haha. Also, I had the most amazing key lime pie last night and now I’m aching to make it when I get home, so this is perfect timing!! yummmm.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That looks absolutely heavenly! I’m lactose intolerant, and even though we have a lot of lactose free dairy products available here in Finland, I’ve recently started using more and more coconut milk (and cream) for cooking & baking – mostly for the creamy flavour. I bet it tastes wonderful with lime! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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