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.
The result is an ultra-flavorful bright and zesty filling that is complimented by sweetened coconut cream and a gingery cookie crust. It's one of those pie recipes that's just perfect for spring and summer!
📖 Recipe Overview
- 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 pie recipe uses a decent amount of both fresh lime juice and zest giving it a really tangy punchy flavor.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
Here's everything you need to make this fresh and zesty dairy free key lime pie:
Find the complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Fresh limes - This easy key lime pie uses more lime juice and zest than your average lime pie, and that's what gives it a super zesty, tasty edge!
- Coconut milk - Made with coconut milk instead of condensed milk.
- Soy milk:- You can use any plant-based milk of your choice, such as oat milk or almond milk.
- Cornstarch - This is the thickening agent for the lime curd filling seeing as it's made without eggs or added dairy.
- Matcha powder - Completely optional, but it adds a pop of green color to your lime custard. You can also use wheatgrass powder, moringa powder, and 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.
🥣 How To Make Vegan Key Lime Pie
You're just a few simple steps away from tucking into this delicious non-dairy key lime pie. Both the crust and filling as incredibly easy to make and require no baking!
Step 1: Blitz the cookies. Simply add the dry ingredients (cookies and sea salt) to a food processor and blitz them to a fine crumb consistency.
Step 2: Finish the cookie base. Add in the vegan butter and blend again to form a dough consistency.
Step 3: Press the cookie crust into the pan. Use a spoon or flat-bottomed glass to get a nice smooth finish. I recommend lining the base. of the tin with some parchment paper to make it easier to remove once set.
Step 4: Whisk the curd ingredients. Add the cornstarch, sugar, and soy milk to a saucepan and whisk until smooth. Then add the lime juice, lime zest, coconut milk, and matcha powder (if using) and whisk again to combine.
Step 5: Cook the lime curd. Heat for 5-8 minutes until the curd thickens. Make sure you're constantly whisking the mixture to prevent it from burning to the bottom of the saucepan.
Step 6: Strain and cool the curd. Pass the lime custard filling through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps. Then let it cool very slightly for 5 minutes.
Step 7: Set the pie. Pour the slightly cooled lime filling into the pie crust. Then chill for a few hours until completely set.
Step 8: Decorate. Once completely set, top your vegan lime pie with whipped coconut topping, and freshly grated lime zest.
📝 Recipe Tips
I do not recommend using bottled lime juice, you'll want the fresh stuff.
Skip the kitchen equipment and make the crust without a food processor. 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 😊 Then just melt the vegan butter and stir it through the crushed biscuits before pressing it into the tart tin.
If you're not a fan of coconut you can use alternative plant-based whipping creams such as soy cream or oat 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.
💬 Frequently asked questions
Store this vegan key lime tart in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You can freeze the tart and filling. I do not recommend freezing the coconut cream topping, this can be added before serving.
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 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.
🥧 More Vegan Pies
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!
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- 220 g (22-24 cookies) gingernut cookies, or other vegan cookies (digestive biscuits or graham crackers, Biscoff)
- ½ teaspoon (½ teaspoon) sea salt
- 90 g (7 tbsp) vegan butter
- 230 ml (1 cup) lime juice, freshly squeezed, approx 8-10 regular limes or 16-20 key limes
- 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 matcha powder, optional for color, or moringa powder, wheatgrass powder, spinach powder
- 170 g (¾ cup) chilled canned coconut milk, *see recipe notes
- 240 g (8.5 oz) vegan whipped cream, (half batch)
- The ingredient quantities made a 9" tart tin (as linked above) for a deeper pie dish, multiply the ingredients by 1.25
- Prepare: 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.
- Make the crust: 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. 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.
- Prepare the limes: 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.
- Make the filling: Add the cornstarch, sugar, and soy milk to a saucepan and whisk well until smooth without lumps.Add the lime juice, zest, and coconut milk and whisk again. Whisk well while bringing the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes while stirring continuously. The mixture will thicken.
- Remove the lime curd from the heat and pass it through a fine-mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. 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 2-3 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.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can freeze the tart and filling. I do not recommend freezing the coconut cream topping, this can be added before serving.
- To make a deeper 9-inch or 10-inch pie, simply increase the ingredient quantities by ⅕.
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*This recipe was originally published in October 2019. It has since been improved and updated.