Triple Decker Key Lime Pie

Triple Decker Key Lime Pie – This key lime pie is the ultimate in key lime decadence. It was just the right balance of tart and sweet and the crust was so so good. As this recipe calls for almost 2 cups of key lime juice, I would really recommend buying a bottle of key lime juice. I found mine at my local Kroger in the juice section and it really made a difference. This recipe has a LOT of steps, but please don’t be intimidated by that. No step is difficult, and I actually made my crust and the no bake/chilled layer the day before and finished it the day I wanted to serve it.



Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons egg whites, room temp

The Baked Layer

  • 2 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup of key lime juice
  • 8 egg yolks, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temp

The Chilled Layer

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup key lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, room temp
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

The Whipped Layer

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, very cold
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons key lime juice



  1. To prepare the pan, place parchment paper on the bottom of a 9″ spring form pan. Set the “ring” of the spring form on top of the parchment paper and close to seal around the bottom of the spring form. Trim the parchment paper on the outside as close to the pan as you can get. This will ensure that you can lift the pie off the bottom of the spring from pan with ease. Wrap the outside of the spring from pan in aluminum foil to prevent any leakage during baking.
  2. Next, in a very large bowl, combine and toss the graham crackers, dark brown sugar and cinnamon. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture. Start adding the melted butter into the well and with either a wooden spoon or by hand incorporate the melted butter into the dry mixture. Add butter until you can pinch the dry mix together and it will hold together. Add the egg whites to the mixture and mix well. Once the egg whites are added, you need to work quickly to move the prepared crust mixture in to the spring form and form the crust or the mixture will start to dry out. Working from the bottom of the spring form, move the crust mixture around to cover the bottom first. Work the crust mixture up the sides of the spring form all the way to the edge of the ring. Use either the bottom of a glass or dry measure cup to press down on the bottom, sides and especially where the bottom of the pan and sides come together. This will help you achieve a nice even and packed crust. Move to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. While the crust is baking, add the 8 egg yolks to a large glass bowl. Using a wire whisk, whisk the yolks for about a minute. You will want the yolks nice and creamy with some air incorporated into them. No need to break out the mixer for this step. Just some good ole whisking by hand will do. Add the 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk to the mixture and continue to whisk until well blended. Add the room temperature sour cream (1/2 cup) to the mixture and whisk. The sour cream, if not at room temperature will clump, so make sure this and all ingredients are at room temp. Pour the key lime juice into the mixture and continue to whisk. You will notice that the mixture will begin to slightly thicken. This is the reaction of the acid in the key lime juice and the sweetened condensed milk. Whisk the mixture until well blended. You will see lots of air bubbles and that’s okay too. Pour this mixture into the crust that is just coming out of the oven and with either a spatula or the back of a spoon spread evenly over the bottom of the spring form. Bake in the 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. The baked layer will set up and be set all the way thru to the center. Remove from the oven and cool completely before adding the chilled layer. Do Not refrigerate until the baked layer has completely cooled or you will introduce moisture to the crust and cause it to separate.
  4. To make the no bake, chilled layer, cream the 8 ounces of cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the room temperature 1/4 cup of sour cream. Remember cold sour cream will make lumps! Mix well. Add the 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk and mix well. Add the 1/4 cup of key lime juice and mix well. Move to the completely baked and cooled baked layer. Use a spatula or spoon to smooth over layer one. Be sure to leave room for the key lime whipped topping, the chilled layer should only come up to about 3/4 to the top. Chill in the refrigerator while you make the key lime whipped cream.
  5. The final layer is the key lime whipped cream. Add the whipping cream to a clean and preferably chilled bowl for mixing. I chill both the bowl and the beaters when making whipped cream. Add sugar and whip until you have soft to medium soft peaks. Do not whip to stiff peaks. Begin adding the key lime juice, this will cause the mixture to thicken.  Add the key lime juice a little at a time to get the consistency you prefer. Spread over the pie and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.





41 thoughts on “Triple Decker Key Lime Pie”

  1. What size spring form pan for a pie this high?
    Looks like a 9 inch by 3 inch high but your recipe doesn’t say this?

  2. I have the same question about the size of the springform pan. The photo looks like the key lime tart is as high as a Bundt cake. How high is it?

  3. Measuring the on screen picture, If that pie was cut to the center, the sides of the 9″ pan would have to be 4 1/2″ high bare minimum. I’ve seen 6″ spring form pans this high but never 9″ over 3″

    • Lemons would work beautifully. I’ve used lemons as a substitute for traditional key lime pie and loved it. Perhaps even more than limes.

  4. I made this today and it turned out delicious but it in no way fits in a typical 9 inch springform pan. The baked layer alone fills up 3/4 of the pan and technically should only be about an inch thick to fit all 3 layers. I ended up making 2 cakes, one a 9 inch and one a 6 inch and still had to serve the whipped layer separate.

  5. Super easy to make. Temperature to bake was in the instructions. Everyone loved it, BUT frozen was better to eat per my husband.

  6. The oven temp and size of the 9 in. springform pan are both included in this recipe! Also, the recipe fits perfectly in the 9 in. springform pan. The directions were perfect. This recipe was both easy and elegant. Our guests loved it. Thank you

  7. I am making it as I write this for my daughter who is a key lime pie afficionado. After 20 mins in a 350 F oven the custard has only reached an internal temp of 100 F. I will bake it until it reaches about 175-after that I hope temp will climb to 185 (custards curdle after 185.) to fully cook egg yolks.

    I used 350 to bake the crust (although one reviewer mentioned temp not specified for crust- and that is true).

    I’ll give it a final results review when we eat it. Looks like we are all experimenters.

    • Thanks so much for these additional details. The recipe needs a bit of help in several places, and not being much of a baker, I wasn’t aware. Your notes may have saved my family from salmonella poisoning!

  8. The reader, who mentioned that there is no temperature listed to bake the graham cracker crust was correct. I looked it up online, and it is 350°. It is noted further down to cook the baked layer at 350°.

    Thank you so much to the reader who lists what the internal temperature should be. I had no idea!

    Those who had too much material for the baked layer for a 9 inch springform are correct. I made this for the first time two weeks ago, so I knew how to make adjustments going forward. As with the reader, who made a 9 inch and a 6 inch dessert, I am doing the same today as I make it.

  9. I made this using a 9in springfirm pan and it fot perfectly. I think making it in the morning and having it in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours to cool makes it perfect. And it was absolutely delicious! This will be the dessert my friends will ask me to make often! Baking it at 350 for about 23 minutes and it set perfectly. Get er to 160 F and no worries about salmonella. 😉

  10. I made this for a party yesterday and it got rave reviews. I could not find key lime juice so I freshly squeezed key limes. It made a huge difference. The best key lime pie I’ve had.😀

  11. I was going to ask the same question . Can you use lemon juice instead of lime. Li love Lime, but I only have lemon juice. Have some limes but they are not fresh. I have everything else , and would love to make it before I go to the store again.

  12. I think some people are confused about what kind of pan to use. This recipe calls for a SPRINGFORM pan which is not the same as a cake pan. Those claiming that the 9”pan is only 3 inches high are not using the correct type of pan. A springform pan is a specific type of pan and is much higher than a normal cake pan. This recipe fits in to a 9” springform pan, not a 9” round cake pan.

    • 3” is the average depth of a springform pan, and many are only 2.75”. A springform is a specific type that has nothing at all to do with the size of it, just the spring action. They vary wildly.

  13. I will be making this with Nettie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice doing that tomorrow (3/30/24). I will be using a 9″ spring form pan that has sides higher than 3″. It always amazes me when people write in the comments and “argue.” I was unaware that spring form pans vary in height.

  14. My husband found this recipe and asked me to make it for his birthday. Everyone loved it so much that my family is requesting it for every occasion

  15. I used a 10 x 3 in spring form pan and it worked perfect. Fit all layers, no problem. I added a bit of vanilla in the whip layer. Looks gorgeous. Haven’t tasted yet. Looking forward to it.

  16. I used a 10 x 3 in spring form pan and it worked perfect. Fit all layers, no problem. I added a bit of vanilla in the whip layer. Looks gorgeous. Haven’t tasted yet. Looking forward to it.

  17. I used a 10 x 3 in spring form pan and it worked perfect. Fit all layers, no problem. I added a bit of vanilla in the whip layer. Looks gorgeous. Haven’t tasted yet. Looking forward to it.

  18. Please, if you would, change the directions to include the correct pan size. 10”x3” springform pan. It would help. The dessert is great, though. Thanks for the recipe.


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