Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

So it’s finally summer around our neck of the woods and all my kids can think about is homemade ice cream and popsicles and how many hours they can spend outside playing each day.  All good things, I think.  Isn’t that really what summer is about?  We ushered in summer vacation with the inaugural batch of summer ice cream–Key Lime Pie Ice Cream.  And it was a hit, just as I suspected it would be.

This recipe is actually a bit of an update to one of my older recipes from 2006.  I decided it was time for a little facelift and so I left out the cream cheese and made this ice cream taste more like Key Lime Pie and less like cheesecake.  A good move, I think, though my hubby said he actually missed the cream cheese a little bit.  In any case, Key Lime Pie Ice Cream is pretty great and it’s something that you’ll start to crave.A little scoop of ice cream topped with crumbled ginger cookies (Trader Joe’s gluten-free, of course) is the perfect dessert when you’re ready to kick back, open the windows and watch the latest episode of your favorite TV show.  We did just that as a family and had a great time.  I can’t remember for the life of me what we watched–and it was just a few days ago.  But I do remember looking at my little people and being happy to have them around for a few more hours a day.

I hope your summer is off to a great start too!
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Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

A homemade ice cream that tastes just like key lime pie – complete with cookie crumbs!

  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x


Units Scale
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 23 teaspoons finely grated lime zest (optional)
  • 3/4 cup fresh key lime juice
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
  • pinch salt
  • For garnish:
  • crumbled graham or shortbread cookies, for sprinkling (I used gluten-free gingersnaps)
  • cones or bowls, for serving


  1. Whisk together sweetened condensed milk, cream, milk, and lime zest in a 3-quart sauce pan. Heat over medium, being careful not to let it boil, until very hot to the touch. Remove from heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk egg yolks with sugar and pinch of salt until thick and lighter in color. Slowly drizzle the hot milk and cream mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly. When all of the hot milk mixture has been added, return the mixture to the pan and cook gently over medium heat until an instant read thermometer reaches at least 160°to 170°F, but no more than 180 degrees, or the custard will curdle. Remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh sieve. Stir in the fresh key lime juice. Cover and let chill until very cold.
  3. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer churned ice cream to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Freeze until firm enough to scoop. Will keep for up to a month in the freezer. To prevent frost from forming on the surface, press a piece of waxed or parchment paper against the top before putting the lid on the container.
  • Author: Lindsey Johnson
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins


*Need help making ice cream from scratch?  You might want to check out my Homemade Ice Cream 101 post.

Here are some of my other recipes using Key limes:

Frozen Coconut Key Lime Tart
Creamy Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Candied Ginger Ice Cream
Key Lime Tart
Creamy Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
Florida Pie

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  1. I’m trying this recipe! It looks delish.

    Hey — I was driving home tonight from our RS social and was thinking about you. I hope you’re doing well and summer has been fun so far.


  2. I’ve never made a key lime ice cream, but when I do it will be your recipe.

    Love those dishes!

  3. Can you still make this if you don’t have a ice-cream maker? Thank you in advance for your reply. -Donna Perales

    1. You sure can! Combine everything and freeze it in a bowl or pan. Every 30-60 minutes, give it a good whisking and place it back in the freezer. When it’s really thick like soft serve ice cream, stop the whisking and just let it finish freezing until it’s firm enough to scoop.

  4. I want to send this to my daughter. We all love key lime pie or anything with them in it.

  5. You mention lime zest in your recipe but it’s not in the list of ingredients. How much should be used?

    1. Hi Mike! Thanks for alerting me to that typo. I actually took the opportunity to proofread this again (it’s been a long time!) and fix other typos and clarify things in the directions. I now prefer to add the zest early on in the recipe rather than the end and strain it to remove the little bits. I like the texture better. But feel free to add it in along with the lime juice if you don’t mind the zest in the final product. Let me know how you like it! This is definitely still a family favorite at my house. :)

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