10 Easy Key Lime Recipes

Obsessed with Key Limes? I share 10 Easy Key Lime Recipes to make as soon as your favorite citrus fruits hit the shelves this season! From key lime pie-inspired bars to cheesecake, homemade fudge and more delicious treats.

Pretzel-Crusted Key Lime Bars stacked in a bowl next to a Key Lime Wedge.

Bright and zesty Key Lime recipes

It’s safe to say that I’m mildly obsessed with Key Limes (and citrus desserts in general). These sweet and tart balls of delicious citrus are one of my favorite ingredients. As summer rolls in, you best believe I’m raiding my local farmers’ markets for a bounty of fresh key limes. There are so many ways to use them in all kinds of recipes, baking and beyond. Below I share everything you want to know about Key Limes. Also, I’ve included 10 of my favorite key lime recipes to inspire your own obsession.

Limes vs. Key Limes

So what is the difference between a lime and a key lime? True limes are native to Southeast Asia. The main difference between regular limes and key limes is their size and color. Real limes are usually smaller (about the size of a ping-pong ball) and yellower than Persian limes, which are the common kind you’ll find in stores.

If you cut a key lime in half, you’ll also notice that it has a thinner skin, more seeds, and the juice is more tart and flavorful than regular limes. The key lime gets its name from where it is grown in the Florida Keys in the United States.

What can I use Key Limes for?

Key Lime is a great ingredient for marinades, beverages like lemonade and iced tea, as a garnish, and in countless recipes for its fresh citrus scent and unique tart flavor. You can grate the skin and/or squeeze the juice over fish and seafood, or use it to spice up stir-fries and curries. Of course, it’s also a key ingredient (pun intended?) in desserts like key lime pie.

Cut and serve the Key Lime Cheesecake

Where can I find Key Limes?

Depending on where you live, it can be difficult to find fresh Key Limes in grocery stores. Key limes are harvested in Florida and California from June to September and have a short shelf life. If you live in a Key Limes area, grab these babies as soon as they reach the aisle! Otherwise, ask at local farmers markets or try online sellers. Yes, we live in an era where fresh Key Limes can be ordered from sites like Amazon. What a time to be alive!

How can you tell when a Key Lime is ripe?

Key limes are usually picked when they are still green and turn yellow as they ripen. To pick out the best key limes, look for the ripe ones. Ripe key limes are yellowish-green in color and feel a bit heavy and firm (but not hard). Avoid limes, which are rough and dry to the touch.

Can I use regular limes instead?

Yes. If you’re having trouble finding key limes in your area, you can use regular Persian limes in place of key limes in most recipes. The flavor will be slightly different, but they will absolutely work in a pinch.

The best way to store Key Limes

As previously mentioned, Key Limes don’t stay fresh for long. Because of this, it is best to use them immediately. Otherwise, store limes in a plastic bag in the fresh food drawer of your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

The 10 Best Key Lime Recipes to Try

If you’ve got fresh Key Limes on hand, these treats are a must-try.

Lime bars with a pretzel crust

Lime bars with a pretzel crust

The combination of flavors and textures in these easy lime bars is next level. A smooth, sweet and zesty key lime filling paired with a crunchy, salty pretzel crust makes for the most irresistible dessert bar recipe.

Slice of Key Lime Pie Cheesecake on a plate

Lime Cheesecake

If you love the taste of key lime pie, wait ’til you have it in a cheesecake! This Key Lime Cheesecake is supremely rich and creamy with hints of tartness from the limes, nestled in a thick buttery graham cracker crust.

Frosted Key Lime Pie Layer Cake on a cake stand.

Key lime pie cake

This is an absolutely delicious dessert made with layers of graham cracker cake to mimic the graham cracker crust on a key lime pie. It’s filled with the lightest Key Lime frosting that’s so light and fluffy, perfect for summer baking!

Two key lime pie sandwich cookies stacked on top of each other with the top cookie missing a bite.

Key Lime Pie Sandwich Cookies

When your favorite cake turns into a sandwich cookie, don’t resist. Inspired by Key Lime Pie, these homemade sandwich cookies are a must-try Cake for! These soft graham cookies are tender, chewy, and filled with lime buttercream frosting.

Image of a graham cracker dipped in key lime pie dip

Key lime pie dip

If you have a bowl and something to use as a whisk, you can make this easy-peasy Key Lime Pie Dessert Dip. It only needs three ingredients and tastes just like the original. Prepare these graham crackers for dipping!

Image of Key Lime Pie Truffles on a pie stand

Key lime pie truffle

Rich and melt-in-the-mouth Key Lime Truffles are the perfect poppable treat. These taste like bite-sized homemade Key Lime Pie made with white chocolate, Key Lime frosting, and real Key Lime zest, rolled in shredded graham crackers.

Image of Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches, stacked

Key lime pie ice cream sandwiches

Make your own lime ice cream (no ice cream maker needed!) and turn it into these delicious lime flavored ice cream sandwiches. Crunchy, creamy and zesty – it’s the perfect light summer dessert with a fresh touch of light lime.

Two Key Lime Fudge Bars on a square white plate.

Lime Fudge Bars

This Key Lime Fudge recipe should come with a warning because you’ll want to devour these delicious, lemony squares in one sitting! These have all the flavors of key lime pie swirled into an easy homemade fudge recipe, complete with a graham cracker crust.

Key lime meltaway shortbread cookies in a stack

Key Lime Meltaway Shortbread

These lemony shortbread cookies are called Meltaways for a reason: they literally melt in your mouth. Fresh and zesty lime juice brings a bright, summery flavor to this cookie recipe.

Two Key Lime Whoopie Pies stacked on a white plate next to a lime wedge.

Key lime whoopie pies

Key Lime Whoopie Pies are a handheld version of Key Lime Pie that’s seriously delicious and so easy. Made with light lime and cream cheese frosting sandwiched between soft and fluffy cake mix cookies and filled with graham cracker crumbs.

I can’t wait to spice up this summer with these delicious key lime recipes! Check out my recipe finder to find easier desserts and recipes using your favorite ingredients.

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