This vegan key lime pie recipe is not like your traditional key lime pie. It uses a high volume of fresh lime juice and zest to create a delicious lime curd filling, similar to the lemon curd in vegan lemon meringue pie.
What to expect from this recipe
- Made with just 8 main ingredients
- Eggless and dairy-free
- Easy no-bake pie crust that comes together in a food processor
- Tangy lime curd filling made using fresh limes
Key limes vs regular limes
Traditional key lime pie uses "key limes" also known as Mexican limes, which have a punchier flavor than regular limes. They're not always easily found around the world, so don't sweat, regular limes will work perfectly for this recipe. In fact, this vegan key lime pie recipe uses a decent amount of both fresh lime juice and zest giving it a really tangy punchy flavor.
- Fresh limes: The main ingredient for this recipe is fresh lime juice and zest. I do not recommend using bottled lime juice, you'll want the fresh stuff.
- Coconut milk: This dairy-free key lime pie is made with coconut milk instead of condensed milk.
- Soy milk: You can use any plant-based milk of your choice for this recipe.
- Caster sugar/superfine sugar
- Cornstarch/cornflour: This is the thickening agent for the lime curd filling.
- Matcha powder: This ingredient is completely optional, but it adds a pop of green color to your lime custard. You can also use wheatgrass powder, moringa powder, spinach powder.
- Vegan cookies: I like to use gingernut cookies as the ginger flavor compliments the lime so well. You can use any vegan cookies of your choice, digestive, biscoff, or graham crackers will work well.
- Vegan butter: This is added to the cookies to create a base for the lime tart.
- Sea salt: This is optional but helps to balance the sweetness.
How to make this recipe (with step-by-step images)
(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)
Step 1: No-bake cookie crust
The crust for this vegan lime pie is incredibly easy to make and requires no baking! Simply add the dry ingredients (cookies and sea salt) to a food processor and blitz them to a fine crumb consistency. Then add in the vegan butter and blend again to form a dough consistency.
Next press the cookie crust into the base and sides of a greased tart tin with a removable base. I recommend also lining the base with some parchment paper to make it easier to remove once set.
You can use a cup measure or flat bottomed glass to smooth out the surface of the crust.
Step 2: Lime curd filling
To make the lime filling for your vegan tart simply dissolve the sugar in the fresh lime juice over low heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and soy milk to form a paste (also known as a cornstarch slurry).
Next, add all of the ingredients to the saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until the curd thickens. Make sure you're constantly whisking the mixture to prevent it from burning to the bottom of the saucepan.
Allow the lime curd to cool very slightly for 5 minutes before pouring it into the pie crust. Then chill for a few hours until completely set.
Step 3: Coconut cream topping
For the whipped coconut topping simply whisk together some coconut milk and a sweetener of your choice.
Alternative toppings for vegan key lime pie
- Whipped oat cream or soy cream: If you're not a fan of coconut you can use an alternative plant-based whipping cream to top your key lime tart.
- Meringue topping: If you want a fancy topping you can also use vegan Italian meringue which you can then blowtorch for a toasted flavor and look.
Store this vegan key lime tart in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Frequently asked questions
As long as you’re keeping it at a pleasant room temperature, you can keep this vegan lime pie out of the fridge for a couple of hours on the day of serving it.
You can freeze the tart and filling. I do not recommend freezing the coconut cream topping, this can be added before serving.
You can easily adapt this recipe as nut-free by using cookies that do not contain nuts. Also, make sure you opt for nut-free plant-based milk.
The cookies in this recipe are not gluten-free, but you can easily adapt this lime pie by using gluten-free cookies.
If you do not have a food processor you can place the cookies in a ziplock bag and bash them into a crumb consistency using a rolling pin - and blow off some steam at the same time 🙂 You'll then need to melt the vegan butter and stir it through the crushed biscuits before pressing it into the tart tin.
More vegan pies and tarts
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!
- 220 g (22 cookies) gingernut cookies, or other vegan cookies (digestive biscuits or graham crackers, Biscoff)
- ½ teaspoon (½ teaspoon) sea salt
- 85 g (6 tablespoons) vegan butter
- 230 ml (1 cup) lime juice, freshly squeezed, approx 8-10 regular limes or 16-20 key limes
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) lime zest
- 140 g (⅔ cup) superfine sugar (caster sugar)
- 50 g (0.4 cup) cornstarch (cornflour)
- 150 ml (⅔ cup) soy milk, or alternative plant-based milk
- ½ teaspoon (½ teaspoon) matcha powder, optional for color, or moringa powder, wheatgrass powder, spinach powder
- 170 g (6 oz) chilled canned coconut milk, *see recipe notes
- 240 g (8.5 oz) vegan whipped cream, (half batch)
- Add the cookies and salt to a food processor and blitz for a minute or so until it reaches a fine crumb consistency. Add the butter and blend again until the ingredients stick together to form a soft dough consistency.
- Lightly grease the base and sides of a 9" tart tin with some oil or vegan butter, if desired you can also line the base with parchment paper. Press the mixture into the base of the pan, using a spatula or flat bottomed glass to smooth it out. Set aside in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
- Zest the limes until you have 2 tablespoons of zest. Juice the limes and pass them through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any seeds.
- Add the lime juice and sugar to a saucepan and gently dissolve the sugar over low heat. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and soya milk to form a paste (known as a cornstarch slurry).
- Add the cornstarch slurry to the saucepan along with the coconut milk and lime zest. Whisk well while bringing the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium simmer and cook for 5 minutes while stirring continuously. The mixture will thicken.
- Remove the lime curd from the heat and allow it to cool slightly for about 5 minutes before pouring it on top of the cooled cookie crust. Place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours, or until completely set to touch.
- Make the coconut whipped cream. Add the coconut cream on top of the key lime tart before serving and finish off with some more freshly grated lime zest.
- Store this vegan key lime tart in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Coconut milk: refrigerate the tin of coconut milk overnight, then only use the thick cream from the top of the can.
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