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Mini Key Lime Pies with Fresh Cream and Toasted Coconut

May 10, 2011

Few things are more frustrating for me then going out to eat, enjoying a good meal, and then; wanting to finish it off with some coffee and a little dessert, an obviously frozen then microwaved mass-produced sugar bomb is placed on the table.  Really?  You really thought I was going to enjoy this? It’s just down right disappointing.  So I’ve been reduced to skipping out on dessert with one exception.  Key Lime Pie.  Not to say I haven’t had a bad Lime Pie but with only 3, sometimes 4 ingredients, it’s pretty hard to mess up.

I think my love of Key Lime Pie originated on our honeymoon at a little place called Zoe’s.  We would grab a slice of their creamy, not too tart, not too sweet pie and sit outside listening to the waves crash in.  I’m assuming somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, eating lime pie brings back all those good memories.

So I was at my local grocer on Cinco de Mayo picking up some things for braised beef tacos and dessert and there they were.  Three bags of Real key limes.  Now maybe this isn’t as exciting to you but I’m 27 years old and I have never seen real key limes anywhere other than in pictures online.  So I bought two of the bags 🙂

You could certainly make a regular sized pie out of this but what’s more fun than a dessert that doesn’t require a fork?!  The filling is everything I look for in a good Key Lime Pie, it’s creamy, has an intense lime flavor but it’s not too tart and not too sweet.  A dollop of fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of coconut is all it needs, well, that and a good cup of strong coffee.

You could add zest to these if you wanted but I’m not a fan of lime zest, I find it a little more tough than lemon zest and I don’t like the texture it still has after being baked and I think this filling is plenty tart enough without it.

Scoop graham cracker crumbs into a mini muffin tin

Press the crumbs using the back of a round tablespoon, bake and set aside

Strain the juice of the (22!) key limes

whisk the strained juice with egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk

spoon the batter into the graham cracker crust(s) and bake for a whole 7 minutes 🙂

toast some coconut

whip some cream

and seriously, can you get any cuter?!

Mini Key Lime Pies with Fresh Cream and Toasted Coconut
Yields approximately 22 mini pies or 1- 9 inch pie


1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup fresh, strained key lime juice (anywhere from 12-22 key limes or 4-6 regular limes)
2 egg yolks
1- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream*
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

1/3 cup shredded coconut (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  In a small mixing bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until combined.  Using a round (circular not oval-I feel like I need to explain for some reason!) tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop the crumbs into a 24 cup non-stick mini cupcake pan.  Using the back of the same spoon, press the crumbs smooth and so that they come up to the top of the cup.  Bake for 5 minutes in a preheated oven.  Remove and let cool.

2. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees (F).  Squeeze and strain the juice of the limes to get 1/2 cup.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together the key lime juice, egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk until smooth.  Spoon the filling into the graham cracker crusts using a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon.  Bake for about 7 minutes or until the filling is set.  Remove the pan to a wire rack to cool.

3. Sprinkle the shredded coconut on a baking sheet and toast it in the oven for 5 minutes or so until the coconut is fragrant and crunchy but still white.  Let cool.

4. When muffin pan has cooled enough to handle, place it in the refrigerator for about an hour to chill the pies.  Before you remove the pies from the pan let it sit out of the fridge for about 5 minutes (I don’t completely know why-it was just easier to remove them this way).  Stick a thin, sharp knife between the crust and the pan and gently run it along the edge just until the pie pops out.  Place on a serving platter.

To serve: Using a hand mixer on high speed, beat the heavy cream in a medium mixing bowl.  Slowly sprinkle the confectioners sugar in and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.  Using a pastry bag fitted with large star attachment or spoon, dollop some cream on the pies.  Sprinkle with toasted coconut and serve!

*I think next time I’ll try topping them with whipped coconut cream so there’s more of a coconut flavor.  If anyone wants to try it, let me know!

19 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2011 8:27 am

    Cute as a button. Now I’m regretting buying the key limes when I seen them last week.

  2. May 10, 2011 2:25 pm

    Mmm, those look delicious and exactly the right size! I’ve never made key lime pie before (mini or any other size) maybe I should give this recipe a whirl. 🙂

  3. May 12, 2011 4:11 pm

    These look delicious! i want to dig in…hehe

  4. Susan Frank permalink
    May 16, 2011 10:07 am

    These look awesome and I’m going to make them tonight!

  5. Sue Pennel permalink
    May 6, 2012 7:37 pm

    Can’t wait to make these for our Mother’s Day, Mother/Daughter Brunch Saturday!

  6. barbarann permalink
    August 15, 2012 1:16 pm

    how long will they keep in fridge???

    • August 15, 2012 4:37 pm

      well honestly they’ve only ever lasted around me for up to a day! I would say two days but after that in my experience custards start to dry.

  7. Jenn D permalink
    October 20, 2012 10:34 am

    do u use sweetened coconut or unsweetened?

  8. Jess T permalink
    November 15, 2012 6:24 pm

    Can I use a normal sized 12-cup muffin tin? If so, what would the new baking time be? would i need to double the ingredients? Thanks in advance, I’m thinking bout making them tomorrow! 🙂 so cute!

    • November 15, 2012 8:14 pm

      You can definitely use a 12 cup muffin tin 🙂 you don’t need to double the recipe but you’ll get more like 10-12 mini tarts as opposed to the 22 tiny ones. The baking time just increases slightly to about 10 min or until the filling is set but still quivers. I would start checking it at 7 min though depending on how hot your oven runs. Good luck! This is one of my favs!

  9. April 22, 2014 8:19 pm

    So cute! Just wanted to ask how you got the pies out of the muffin tin without breaking them though!

    • April 30, 2014 2:54 pm

      Sorry for the late reply, I’m hardly ever here anymore! I refrigerate them to harden the crust and then run a super thin sharp knife along the inside rim until they pop out 🙂


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