Nothing says summer like a slice of key lime pie! We’ve given this classic treat an undetectably vegan and (optionally) gluten-free makeover, and it’s kind of epic how much it tastes like the real deal. It’s perfectly tart, refreshing, and decadent all at the same time. We’re pretty sure you’ll find any excuse to make it.
Just 9 ingredients required and perfect for sharing with family and friends! Start zesting, we have pie to make!
How to Make Vegan Key Lime Pie
This CLASSIC vegan key lime pie begins with making the graham cracker crust…unless you’re in a hurry and grab a store-bought crust (don’t worry, we won’t tell!).
But a homemade graham cracker crust is easy, too, and requires just 2 ingredients: homemade graham crackers (or store-bought) and vegan butter. Simply crush the graham crackers in a food processor, add melted butter, press into a pie pan, and bake for 10 minutes. Easy peasy, lime squeeze-y!
Then it’s on to the creamy, tart-sweet lime filling. It begins with blending up lime zest and sugar to bring out the lime flavor! Next, we add cashews, water, (key) lime juice, cornstarch, and sea salt and blend again until super smooth.
That mixture goes into a saucepan and heats until boiling, which activates the cornstarch and causes it to thicken. After stirring in the remaining ingredients (vegan butter and vanilla), it’s time to pour the thick, creamy mixture over the crust and give it some chill time in the refrigerator so it can fully set.
Then all that’s left is to decorate, slice, and enjoy! Our favorite way to decorate is with cashew whipped cream dollops around the outside of the pie. That way everyone gets a pretty slice with the perfect amount of whipped cream!
We hope you LOVE this vegan key lime pie! It’s:
& Tastes like the real deal!
It’s the perfect dessert for spring and summer gatherings, hot days, or for anyone craving a vegan + gluten-free take on the classic. If you’re bringing it to a gathering, make sure to keep the pie refrigerated until serving to prevent melting.
More Graham Cracker Crust Pies
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Classic Vegan Key Lime Pie
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup water (plus more for soaking)
- 1 ¼ cup cane sugar* (ensure organic for vegan-friendly)
- 1 ½ Tbsp key lime zest (plus more for garnish // regular limes work, but we strongly prefer key limes in this recipe)
- 3/4 cup key lime juice (regular limes work, but we strongly prefer key limes in this recipe)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/4 cup vegan butter (we like Miyoko’s salted)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Add cashews to a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water by at least 1-2 inches. Let soak for at least 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- CRUST: Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). If using whole graham crackers instead of graham cracker crumbs, place them into a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs are achieved.
- To a medium bowl, add 1 ½ cups (200 g) of graham cracker crumbs (adjust amount if altering batch size) and melted vegan butter (starting with the lesser amount). Stir to fully combine. The mixture should hold together when squeezed. If it doesn't hold, add the additional butter.
- Press the crumbs into a 9-inch pie plate using your hands or a measuring cup to smooth up the sides. Bake the crust for 10 minutes (until lightly browned).
- FILLING: While the crust bakes, place the cane sugar and key lime zest into a high-speed blender and blend on high until the sugar looks green — this will make your filling much more flavorful. Add the soaked and drained cashews, fresh water, key lime juice, cornstarch, and sea salt. Blend on high speed until super smooth with no cashew pieces remaining.
- Place the filling into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil — about 4-7 minutes, whisking constantly. Stir in vegan butter and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into your crust and place into the refrigerator until fully cool — at least 5 hours.
- Once cool, top with dollops of dairy-free whipped cream and key lime zest. Slice and enjoy! Store refrigerated for up to 4-5 days or freeze for up to 1 month (without the whipped cream).
*A store-bought graham cracker crust would likely work. Refer to package instructions for cook time and temperature.
*Cane sugar is necessary in this recipe for structure and flavor. It lets the key limes shine without overpowering their flavor. For a similar treat without refined sugar, try our Vegan Lime Pie Bars or 7-Ingredient Vegan Key Lime Pies.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with homemade graham cracker crumbs, the lesser amount of vegan butter, and a half batch of cashew whipped cream.