November 24, 2021
New York has its cheesecake, but here in South Florida, we have Key lime pie. It's a fairly simple pie to make, with a graham cracker crust and a filling made from sweetened condensed milk, Key lime juice, and eggs. I developed this vegan version to be as authentic as possible, so vegans all over can experience a taste of the Florida Keys. It's the perfect dessert for any time of year, from summer to Christmas.
This Key lime pie recipe is made vegan with sweetened condensed coconut milk, non-dairy Greek yogurt, cornstarch to thicken the filling, and a pinch of turmeric for color.
Be sure to use vegan graham crackers if you want your pie to be 100% vegan. Graham crackers in stores often contain milk or honey. If you can't find any in the store, you can use my super easy graham cracker recipe. I usually leave the cinnamon-sugar topping off of the graham crackers if I'm using them for a pie crust, but it's not going to cause a problem if you decide to add it.
You'll need a 9-inch (23-cm) pan for this recipe. You can use a regular pie pan, but I recommend using a springform pan or a tart pan with a removable bottom. That will make it easier to get the pie out of the pan.
This recipe uses 3 cans of sweetened condensed coconut milk. I used Let's Do... Organic brand, and I would recommend that brand if you're able to get it. Unfortunately, the other brands that I've found (Iberia, Nature's Charm, and Nature's Greatest Foods), all have about twice as much sugar as Let's Do Organic. So, if one of those brands is the only brand you have access to, I'd recommend using a mixture of 50% sweetened condensed coconut milk and 50% unsweetened coconut cream (about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of each).
Can I use regular lime juice instead of key lime juice? Persian limes and Key limes have different flavors. Key limes have a stronger flavor, but limes are more acidic. Since I developed this recipe using Key lime juice, I can't recommend using ordinary lime juice.
Where can I get Key lime juice? I used Nellie and Joe's 100% Key lime juice with no preservatives. This Key West-based company also has a version with preservatives; either one will work. They're sold at supermarkets and local grocery stores across the United States, and you can check Nellie and Joe's retailer list on their website. You can also get it through Amazon.
What garnishes or toppings are on your Key lime pie? I used 365 (Whole Foods) brand non-dairy whipped topping, which I piped onto the pie using a pastry bag and a large round tip. I also used very thin slices of lime, cut in half, and topped the pie with a little bit of fresh lime zest.
What knife should I use to cut the pie cleanly? I got the best results with a warm paring knife (run it under some warm water first to warm it up).
Does this vegan pie taste like coconut? There's no noticeable coconut flavor for me or anyone I know who's tried it. It tastes pretty much like traditional Key lime pie.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time4 hours
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
Use a blender or food processor to blend your graham crackers into fine crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl, add brown sugar, and mix until well combined. Melt your vegan butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, then add it into your crumb-sugar mixture. Mix until all your graham cracker crumbs are moistened.
Pour your graham cracker mix into a 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan, tart pan with a removable bottom, or springform pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan using a glass with a flat bottom, or your fingers. When you do this, crumbs will be pushed up the sides of the pan; use your fingers to press them into the sides, creating an even crust.
Place your pan on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. Then set it aside to cool on a wire rack.
In a medium or large saucepan (with no heat), mix your sweetened condensed coconut milk, non-dairy Greek yogurt, and key lime juice until smooth. Add a pinch of turmeric (if using), and sift your cornstarch over the mixture as you stir it in. Whisk everything well to ensure there are no clumps of cornstarch before you turn on the heat. Keep in mind that if you’re using turmeric, the color will get brighter as it cooks, so don’t add too much.
Turn the heat to medium, and let it come to a slow boil, stirring constantly. It will take about 8-10 minutes for the mixture to boil, so be patient. Once it boils, keep stirring for about 1 minute, until it’s just beginning to thicken, then remove from heat.
Carefully pour your filling into the prepared graham cracker crust. (You may want to pour it through a metal sieve if you have any small lumps.) Use an icing spatula or butter knife to smooth the top of the pie filling. Set aside to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate until set (about 3 hours).
Top with vegan whipped cream, and enjoy!
Different brands of sweetened condensed coconut milk vary widely in their ratio of sugar to coconut milk. Please see the post above for notes on using different brands.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator; freeze for longer storage. The crust is best in the first 1-2 days after baking.
Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.
Join the community and get my newest and best yummy vegan recipes sent right to your email!
I love reading comments! I'll do my best to answer questions, too. If you made the recipe, please leave a star rating, it helps support the blog so I can make more recipes and articles. Thank you!