7-Ingredient Vegan Key Lime Pies

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Mini Vegan Key Lime Pies surrounded by lime halves

While doing some research for this recipe, I learned so much about key lime pie a la the one and only Martha Stewart. For instance, I discovered where key lime pies originated, what true key limes look and taste like, how sailors used to suck on limes to fend off scurvy, and how to store key limes for year-round use.

Oh, Martha? Is there anything you DON’T know? #teachmeyourways

Fresh limes for making Vegan Key Lime Pies

Origins of Key Lime Pie

The exact origin of key lime pie and how it should be made are hotly debated topics. And we don’t claim to be experts. But from what we’ve read, there are several theories on its origin:

  1. Key West, Florida
  2. The Borden Milk company in New York
  3. Aunt Sally who cooked for a Florida millionaire
  4. Fishermen in the Florida Keys

The following recipe is our inspired, plant-based version of this creamy, tart pie.

Vegan Lime Pies

The thing is, I couldn’t find key limes anywhere in Kansas City! (BOOOO). So I subbed regular limes and you can, too. The only remaining ingredients are:

  • cashews
  • agave nectar
  • coconut milk + oil
  • graham crackers
  • vegan butter

That’s it! This is 7-ingredient vegan dessert perfection. And to keep it gluten free, simply sub gluten free cookies OR use a walnut-date crust, such as the one I used for my Simple Vegan Cheesecakes. Next time, I think I’ll go that route to mix things up (plus, it really can’t be beat).

Plate of lime zest for adding to Vegan Key Lime Pies
Soaking cashews in a jar for our homemade Vegan Key Lime Pies recipe

The only real pre-prep you have to do is soak cashews for 4 hours or overnight. The rest takes place in the food processor and blender, starting with the crust.

Graham crackers for making a vegan graham cracker crust

The crust is simply 1 sleeve of graham crackers and 1/4 cup melted vegan butter (I use Earth Balance).

Simply pulse the two together in a food processor and then press into muffin liners (or make a large pie and use a glass pie dish). Then use a small glass or the back of a spoon to press down and get a uniform top. Lastly, bake for 10 minutes to brown.

Using a glass to press down graham cracker crust in muffin tins
Parchment-lined muffin tins filled with Vegan Graham Cracker Crust
Pouring Key Lime Pie filling into muffin tins for mini vegan pies

Once you blend your filling until creamy and smooth it’s onto the crust and then into freezer. These don’t take but a couple hours to set up so the wrappers peel away easily for serving.

Mini Vegan Key Lime Pies on a baby blue background
Chilled Mini Vegan Key Lime Pies resting on a baking sheet
Cutting board full of Vegan Key Lime Pies for a delicious dessert

Oh man, these turned out so good and have me aching for spring. They’re:

Creamy
Tart
Sweet
Cold
Satisfying
Slightly crisp from the graham cracker crust
& A perfect light dessert

Stack of Mini Vegan Key Lime Pies made with graham cracker crust

You can either eat these straight from the freezer, or let them set out for 10-15 minutes to soften, which I preferred. Then they taste like true key lime pie! You’d never guess they were dairy- and egg-free. Enjoy!

Close up shot of a Mini Vegan Key Lime Pie
Top down shot of a Vegan Key Lime Pie topped with lime zest
Stack of gluten-free Vegan Key Lime Pies
Partially eaten Mini Vegan Key Lime Pie on a cutting board

7-Ingredient Vegan Key Lime Pies

7-ingredient key lime pie bites with a simple graham cracker crust! Perfectly tart, creamy, and so satisfying.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Half eaten Mini Vegan Key Lime Pie on a cutting board
4.83 from 157 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 (pies)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 2 Weeks

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups vegan graham cracker crumbs (about 1 sleeve graham crackers as original recipe is written / GF for gluten-free eaters)*
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) vegan butter (melted // such as Earth Balance)

Filling:

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 4-6 hours or overnight, then drained)
  • 3/4 cup light or full-fat coconut milk (well shaken)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 3-4 large limes* juiced (3-4 limes yield ~1/2 cup juice)
  • 1 Tbsp lime zest
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup agave nectar (depending on preferred sweetness)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper liners (as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Add graham crackers to a food processor and process until you achieve a fine meal. Then add melted butter and pulse to combine.
  • Distribute evenly among muffin tins and press down with a glass or spoon to flatten. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool.
  • Add all filling ingredients to a blender and blend on high (or liquefy) until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lime zest/juice for more tart, or more agave for added sweetness.
  • Pour filling into muffin tins and tap on counter to release air bubbles. Top with a bit more lime zest and loosely cover.
  • Freeze for 2-4 hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer for 10-15 minutes to thaw before serving. Will keep covered in the freezer for up to 2 weeks, though best when fresh.

Notes

*You can sub 6-7 key limes in place of 3-4 large limes.
*Loosely adapted from Martha Stewart
*To keep this recipe gluten-free/grain-free, simply sub gluten-free cookies in place of the graham crackers OR use a walnut-date crust.
*Prep/cook time doesn’t include freezing.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 pies Calories: 216 Carbohydrates: 21 g Protein: 2.8 g Fat: 14 g Saturated Fat: 6 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 106 mg Fiber: 0.8 g Sugar: 11 g

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  1. Sa says

    Amazing! I never even liked Key Lime Pie before I spotted this recipe.

    The substitute that worked wonderfully IN REPLACEMENT OF AGAVE SYRUP (I am not a fan:)

    1/2 block Violife brand cream “cheese”
    +
    1/2 (32 OZ.) Bag of 10x Powdered sugar

    I doubled the recipe and it filled (2) 8 inch pie pans pans. I used plant butter instead of oil.

    Also the more zest the better!

    Enjoy!!!

  2. Marcia says

    What do you recommend as a substitution for agave syrup?I.e., would maple syrup work or is there something else that might work better? Thank you for your wonderful recipes and cooking/baking advice and help. I’ve learned so much from you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Marcia, we haven’t tried this recipe with maple syrup, but other readers have had success with it! Thanks so much for the kind words and support! xo

    • Sa says

      Non-syrup option: If you go by the standard recipe;

      1/4 package of Violife cream cheese + ~1/2 a (16 oz.) bag of 10x powdered sugar.

      I doubled it when I made mine and it worked great! Really is an amazing recipe. My non-vegan partner loved it and this is one of his favorite pies!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! We haven’t tested this without cashews and can’t guarantee results, but other readers have had success using half of a package of silken tofu. Hope this helps!

  3. Ashley says

    These are delicious! I tasted the mixture in the blender and wasn’t super excited, the lime flavor was not strong and I wasn’t sure how they would turn out. Everything came together so well and they are great! Perfect size for a little treat too.

  4. Sarah says

    These were really good. I used Trader Joe’s ginger snaps instead of graham crackers in the crust and it was yummy. The first couple I took out to serve were left out too long and they turned to soup, so I had to refreeze them. Am I to assume the maximum thaw time is 15 minutes, and you need to eat them mostly frozen? Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yum! Yes we suggest keeping them frozen until about 15 minutes before enjoying! We’re so glad you enjoyed them. xo

  5. Theresa says

    Your recipes are always so dependable so I was happy to find this. Working with what I had on hand I made a couple quick subs and it turned out great! Had a readymade nut crust I wanted to use up and a tub of frozen CocoWhip so rather than the 3/4 milk and 1/4c oil I used 1c of cocowhip. Subbed Santa Cruz organic lime juice (because I’m too lazy to squeeze and always have it on hand) and used 1/4c maple syrup since I’m sure the cocowhip has sugar in it too. Soaked cashews make such excellent cream! Can’t wait to try again but as minis as you did so it’ll be perfect freezer portions! Thanks for the adaptation!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Theresa!

  6. Mariah says

    Delicious! I have made the original recipe and have also adapted it to make a strawberry-lemon cheesecake. You can do all kinds of flavors with this, but including lemon or lime is important to get the tangy cheesecake flavor.
    10/10 will do again 👏

  7. Arnaly says

    I got all the ingredients except coconut oil! Agh!! Can I sub in melted earth balance instead of the coconut oil?! Making it for my sister who is vegan and GF while I’m visiting her from out of state!

  8. Alice says

    I have never left a comment on a recipe before but this was so amazing I absolutely had to! I did use sweetened condensed coconut milk and it was so so delicious !!! I think it may be one of the greatest desserts I have ever made. I want to keep the entire pie for myself but I also want to share how tasty it is with everyone I know! Thank you!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad you enjoy it so much, Alice. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review! xoxo

  9. Megan says

    Thank you so much for your help! I made the recipe using 1/2 package of silken tofu in place of the soaked cashews and it turned out WONDERFULLY! (I also replaced half of the graham crackers in the crust with crushed almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds for a little extra nutrition, and that worked perfectly as well). I will be making this again and again!

  10. Alanna says

    I made this with the walnut date base. SO GOOD. Creamy, delicious, citrusy, just the right amount of sweet. LOVE IT!

  11. Megan says

    We love your gluten free vegan recipes, but my kids are allergic to cashews! Could I maybe replace the soaked cashews in your recipes like this one with something like silken tofu or almonds? I’m sorry to ask, I’m sure it’s hard to come up with a substitute for a substitute but thought I’d try!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Megan, sorry to hear your kiddos can’t have cashews! The next best alternative would be macadamia nuts, but they don’t get quite as thick and creamy, so we’d suggest using less liquid or more macadamia nuts. Blanched almonds would be similar to macadamia nuts, but not quite as creamy. Silken tofu could work, but may require more adjusting to get the texture and flavor right. We’d suggest taking a look at this and this recipe for inspiration. Hope that helps!

    • Holly says

      Hello, I’m so excited to try this recipe! However, I do not consume any type of sugar. I plan on substituting agave with my favorite granulated Stevia, Allulose, erythitol blend. That said, I’m new to baking so how would that work with volume since your recipe calls for a liquid and I want to use a solid? Any adjustments to the liquid ingredients in this recipe? Thank you so so much!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Holly! You want the filling mixture to be creamy, smooth, and pourable. We’d suggest blending it up without adjusting any liquid ingredients first (just omitting the agave), and then adding a bit more coconut milk as needed to make it pourable. Hope this helps!

  12. Alex says

    I made this recipe with gluten-free scotch fingers, and I didn’t have as many biscuits crumbs as it called for (only 1 cup) but it turned out great still! When I tasted the mixture I exclaimed out loud “minimalist Baker never misses!”
    It’s not as rich as keylime pie, but it hits just about all the same notes.
    All your recipes are amazing! Keep up the good work :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, so kind, Alex! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  13. Nina says

    I am here to report that while I have had this recipe in my internet bookmarks for years, today, Pi Day 2022, is the first time I have made these. I wanted to celebrate the day without feeling compelled to finish a whole pie in a week. Saw several comments about sweetened condensed coconut milk, which I only saw recently in a store and picked up out of curiosity. I used it in place of the agave, and it turned out fine. I didn’t stir the can quite thoroughly before measuring a scant ⅓ cup, but I like things on the less-sweet side. I also used Biscoff cookies in place of graham crackers, which provide some sweetness. I waited the minimum 2 hours before I consumed 3 of the frosty snacks in .14 hours. Happy Pi Day!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love that you made it for Pi Day, Nina! Thank you so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  14. Shanda says

    Do you think you could leave out the coconut oil without a problem? Or would I need to add something in it’s place? I don’t like to cook with oil for health reasons…

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Shanda, It adds creaminess, but you can omit it. We also have an oil-free version for the filling here. Hope that helps!

  15. Scot Granger says

    We planted a key lime tree several years ago and they now are producing so I wanted to try a key lime pie recipe. I’ve never made this before and it came out wonderful! Our little key limes are very acidic with a powerful taste. I juiced 6 of them for this first time but we all felt that 6 of them was just not enough lime. I would suggest starting with at least 7 to get more of the key lime taste into the finished product. Everyone wanted the recipe! These are great for an after dinner treat or with coffee in the am! It is hard to stop at just 2 at a time. This recipe is a keeper!

    • Sarah says

      It tastes great if you focus on the amount of key lime juice rather than the number of limes. The 1/2 cup mentioned in the recipe is perfect. I had tiny key limes and juiced my fingers off to get enough lime juice! I probably used at least ten limes.

  16. Eden says

    So great! I used two smaller limes and it was still deliciously limey. Definitely go generous on the butter for the crust. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Joanna! We haven’t tried this recipe without cashews so we cannot guarantee results, but perhaps macadamia nuts or silken tofu would be worth trying? Hope this helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rebecca, other readers have reported making it into a whole pie with success. As written the recipe should make enough for an 8-9 inch pie pan. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      They keep best in the freezer, not the refrigerator, thawed for 15-20 minutes before serving. Hope this helps!