Dairy Free Key Lime Pie

gluten and dairy free key lime pie


Coming up with a gluten and dairy free key lime pie recipe was much harder than I thought. After all, the only thing that needed to be changed was the sweetened condensed milk. But no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the recipe to work. That’s when I had a idea–lemon bars!

Lemon bars??? How does that relate to key lime pie???  Well, I decided to make the lemon filling on a lemon bar recipe I came across and use lime instead of lemon, along with a few other minor adjustments. The result? Tasty. Very tasty. But it still didn’t firm up as much as I wanted. So I added some gelatin and viola!!! A perfect key lime pie.

Key lime pie is one of my absolute favorite pies and this recipe is just as good as any other milk-filled pie. Perfect texture, perfect taste, just the right amount of lime… should I go on? No? O.k., here’s the recipe 🙂

*See also my super easy dairy free Key Lime Pie recipe thickened with eggs.
*For a grain free crust, use this crust recipe.
5.0 from 2 reviews
Dairy Free Key Lime Pie
*Note- Even though this is key lime pie and key limes are preferred, I used regular limes since I couldn't get my hands on key limes 🙂
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ C agave nectar or honey
  • zest of 1 lime
  • ½ C fresh lime juice, use key limes for best flavor
  • ½ C coconut oil
  • ¼ C Earth Balance butter or Ghee
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ C cold water
  • 2 tsp. gelatin*
Crust (or you can try my almond flour crust for Paleo, see link above)
  • 1¾ C gluten free graham style crumbs
  • 6 Tb. melted Earth Balance butter or Ghee, vegan
  • ¼ granulated sugar (I used palm sugar)
  1. Start by making the crust: Mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl then press mixture into the bottom and sides of a 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Place uncovered in freezer while you make the filling. It should be set by the time you're ready to use it.
  2. In a double boiler (or a pan of boiling water with a stainless steel bowl on top) whisk together the eggs and agave nectar over medium-low heat. Then, zest a lime with a microplane zester and whisk that in as well.
  3. Add the coconut oil...
  4. Then the lime juice (I've heard that if you don't use key limes you should substitute some of the lime juice for lemon juice but I have not tried this) and butter... and continue whisking until completely melted. I know it's tempting to turn up the heat, but you don't want the eggs to curdle so just keep whisking.
  5. Now that everything has melted, turn it up to medium heat and keep whisking until it has thickened and acts like it's going to boil- about 3-5 minutes (If your eggs do start to curdle you can always strain it, but you shouldn't have that problem).
  6. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together the water and gelatin. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until it starts to boil. Stir until completely dissolved.
  8. Whisk the gelatin into your key lime pie filling.
  9. Remove set crust from freezer and pour the filling into the crust.
  10. Place uncovered in refrigerator at least 2 hours, or until set
  11. Serve with my dairy free coconut whipped cream or my cool whip recipe. Yum!
Can be found on the baking aisle of most any supermarket


prep time: 45 minutes (including the crust and whipped cream)
This post is part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays
* I’ve heard you can substitute agar powder for gelatin if you prefer, but I have not tried it

Posted April 24, 2011 by Cassidy in Desserts, Nut Free, Paleo, Pies / 18 Comments


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18 responses to “Dairy Free Key Lime Pie

  1. withoutadornment- You can definitely taste the lime but I didn’t think it was too strong or overwhelming. If you prefer just a hint of lime you can always reduce the lime juice by 1 or 2 tablespoons. Hope you like it 🙂

  2. Anonymous

    No vegan marg. here. Any idea of another substitute that would work. I have coconut oil, oils, nut oils….thanks!

    • Elizabeth

      I only use coconut oil and have no problems. In making this tomorrow for an event and was thinking about using almond butter in the crust to switch it up and make it less coconutty. Thoughts? My BFF is gluten, dairy and refunded sugar free so your recipes have made eating together at my place a breeze! Thank you!

    • Cassidy

      Hi Rachel,
      Sorry for the confusion. I updated the recipe to say vanilla extract.

      Thanks for pointing that out to me,

  3. Denise

    Thank you for a recipe that is “really” milk free. So many recipes I come across for milk free include using “butter”. I’m severely lactose intolerant and even a small amount of butter will cause a reaction. I’m always baffled by recipes that claim to be lactose free but then include butter. This pie was excellent!

  4. Kelly

    I made this for my family for Easter and it was fabulous! No one else there other than myself has problems with wheat and dairy, but everyone loved it. Well, they would have preferred a normal crust, but they all could not believe that the pie was dairy and sugar free. YUM! Highly recommended!

  5. Debbie

    Thanks for the awesome recipe ! Just made it, and the only think I changed was I added a little more sugar, because the filling was a little too tart, but that’s just a matter of preference. Also was wondering if you used lime zest from the key limes. or did you use zest from regular limes ? I’ve never used key limes before, and was thinking that maybe their zest is more potent than regular limes are. I’ll try cutting back on the lime zest next time. We’re so excited to have this recipe, and it will be used often !

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