Key Lime Pie with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

Key lime pie is a super easy dessert to make at home! Tasty and tropical as a standard sized pie or mini size.

Key Lime Pie Minis

I think that homemade Key Lime Pie must be one of the worldโ€™s best kept secrets.  Because it is so easy–and so delicious! 

I had never tried this special dessert until a half dozen years ago when I participated in a charity event.  As a thank you, we got to use the corporate box for a hometown baseball game, and key lime pie was our dessert.  “No chocolate?”, was my first thought, but when everyone else looked excited I gave it a try.

Since then Iโ€™ve eaten it every chance I get.

Key Lime Pie with Coffee

Recently on the lookout for fun blogging ideas, I decided to try a canning jar dessert–and key lime pie was my first thought.  I used a regular pie recipe–same amounts even–based on this recipe from Gourmet Sleuth.   They also gave me the answer to why all of the recipes use sweetened condensed milk.  When key lime pie originated in Florida around 1850, lack of refrigeration meant that any milk had to be canned.  The tradition has continued to this day.

So if mini-pies seem putzy or inconvenient, go with a regular pie.  Or even a super easy version with a prepared graham cracker crust.

Key Lime Mini-pies out of the oven

My other innovation was to try a mascarpone whipped cream to decorate the top.  Mascarponeโ€™s creaminess mellows the astringency of the lime and the topping holds its shape better than the traditional whipped cream. Especially important since I was looking for something I could leave over night and serve friends the next day.

To test the topping, I stored a few decorated (mini) pies in a closed zip lock overnight in the refrigerator.  The next morning, they looked perfect.

Key Lime Pie Served

They looked so good, in fact, we had them for breakfast.  

Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie is a super easy dessert to make at home! Tasty and festive as a regular pie or mini size.
Author: Inger
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 725 kcal


For crust

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 1 wrapped section of crackers + one additional cracker
  • 5 Tablespoons butter melted

For filling

  • 14 ounce sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 fresh lime juice (from key limes or regular)
  • 2 teaspoons fine lime zest (as little white as possible)

For topping (this is enough for 6 rosettes, double or triple for more topping)

  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • optional lime zest for garnish


Make crust

  • Preheat oven to 350ยฐF.
  • Stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter until well combined. Press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch pie plate or 6 3-4 inch canning jars.
  • Bake crust for 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack.

Make filling and bake pie

  • Whisk together condensed milk, egg yolks, juice (add half at a time) and zest until well combined.
  • Pour filling into cooled crust and bake for 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill. Store covered.

Make topping

  • When pie is cool, whip cream, then add sugar, vanilla and mascarpone. Beat until fluffy. Pipe six rosettes around outside of pie or in center of each individual mini-pie. Sprinkle mascarpone cream with additional lime zest if desired. Store covered and refrigerated until served.


Calories: 725kcal
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

15 thoughts on “Key Lime Pie with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

  1. Kathy

    The best part of going to Florida is having a slice of key lime pie. (Well, maybe not the best part!) I am not sure about making a whole recipe–would probably eat the whole thing!

    1. Inger Post author

      I never thought about not eating the whole pie as an advantage of doing these in jars–excellent point since I am so good at taking just one more thin slice ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. lena

    hi inger, how fun to bake this in a jar…it looks rather gorgeous to me and mascarpone topping sounds delicious..hey, good that you can get jars that can stand the heat from oven…bcos i think the jar idea is really cute and nice ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Inger Post author

      Since they are canning jars I figured they would take the heat at least up to boiling but I’ll admit I was a little nervous trying this.

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Gloria. It was a little more work to push the graham cracker crumbs in individual jars, but I think worth it!

  3. Ivy Sew

    Hi Inger, very tempting and irresistible key lime pie. Love how you served it in a jar. So homey and yet fun. Have a nice day and regards ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Inger Post author

      Using the jars was fun. Now it’s made me want to eat up everything canned in those jars so I can try more desserts in jars ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks. You know I just tried some amazing key lime yogurt for the days when these aren’t around ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Freeda Baker Nichols

    Inger, do you cook these mini-pies in the canning jars in the oven? For how long?
    That’s funny what you said about eating those for breakfast. I’d like that, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Inger Post author

      I put them all into a rectangular aluminum cake pan, then cooked them just like the full pie recipe called for. I did worry they might crack in the oven but they seemed fine. And you are right, it was a rather fun breakfast–we added bacon and it felt quite indulgent ๐Ÿ˜‰

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