Vegan key lime pie is creamy and tart with with a tasty graham cracker macadamia nut crust. Make this no-bake dessert bars recipe for a refreshing treat!
 
These bars require soaking cashews ahead of time so plan accordingly. The bars will keep in the freezer for up to a week so they are a great make-ahead dessert!
plated vegan key lime pie garnished with lime slices on white plate

Most often, a no bake key lime pie recipe will have a filling made with cream cheese and condensed milk.

Instead, like my traditional No-Bake Vegan Cheesecake, this recipe calls for soaked cashews and coconut milk. As a result, it has a creamy dairy free filling.

Even better, this dessert is completely vegan and gluten-free too! The flavors and textures are so good, you won’t be able to tell that it’s not the real thing.

You also might like this gluten-free key lime pie or this dairy-free coconut cream pie!

These vegan nanaimo bars also look delicious!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Gluten-free graham crackers
  • Raw macadamia nuts, unsalted
  • Vegan butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Raw cashews, unsalted
  • Full-fat coconut milk – from a can
  • Maple syrup – or a mix of maple syrup and organic cane sugar
  • Fresh lime juice – you’ll need about 5-7 limes
  • Coconut oil, melted
  • Lime zest – do this before juicing the limes

How to Make Vegan Key Lime Pie

SOAK THE CASHEWS

Because it takes up to 6 hours, you will want to soak the cashews first. For a faster soak time, use boiling water, but they’ll still need to sit while you work on everything else.

HOW TO MAKE THE CRUSTstep by step photo collage shows how to make a gluten free and dairy free graham cracker crust

  1. Start by pulsing the graham crackers in a food processor until they have a fine, sandy texture. If you’re using ready-made crumbs, you can skip this step.
  2. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, then pulse the macadamia nuts. Stop when crumbly, but before it starts to clump together.
  3. Now, add the processed nuts to the graham cracker crumbs and mix in the melted butter and sugar. Use a spatula, wooden spoon, or even your hands to get everything well combined.
  4. Finally, press the mixture along the bottom of a greased 8×8 baking pan. Place in the freezer so it can set.

HOW TO MAKE THE FILLINGstep by step photo collage shows how to make the filling in a blender

  1. When the cashews are soaked and softened, it’s time to make the filling.
  2. Blend all the ingredients (expect the lime juice) until smooth.
  3. Then, add the lime zest to the mixture and pulse a few times to combine.
  4. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the key lime filling into the pan. Freezer for a few hours, or until it is completely set.
finished pie on white plate with fork taking bite

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Graham crackers – If you don’t need a gluten free key lime pie, feel free to use regular graham crackers.
  • Macadamia nuts – Walnuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts are other popular choices, but the overall flavor will be slightly different.
  • Vegan butter – Baking sticks make it easier to measure. You can also use regular unsalted butter if you don’t need the pie to be vegan or dairy-free
  • Maple syrup – This can be replaced with honey, but the dessert will no longer be vegan.

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Make it in advance! Because this pie freezes so well for up to a week, it is a great make-ahead dessert option as well.
  • Tip for easy slicing – It’s easiest to slice these when frozen, but let them come to room temperature before serving. Or, place in the refrigerator for a couple hours after slicing.
  • For a more traditional look, make this recipe in a pie plate instead of making it in bar form.
  • Use full-fat canned coconut milk, not coconut cream. This will give you an even mixture of fat and liquid. If it has solidified, pour it into a bowl and soften it in the microwave, or give the can a good shake before opening.

More Dairy-Free Desserts:

vegan key lime pie bars on white plate with striped napkin
5 from 3 votes

Vegan Key Lime Pie

Prep Time 25 mins
soaking/chilling time 2 hrs
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 6
Creamy, tart vegan key lime pie bars with a tasty graham cracker macadamia nut crust. An easy, make-ahead summer dessert!These bars require soaking cashews ahead of time so plan accordingly! The bars will keep in the freezer for up to a week so they are a great make-ahead dessert!

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 5-6 ounces gluten-free graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

For the Key Lime Pie:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk see note
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup or 1/3 cup maple syrup + 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice from about 5-7 limes
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 tablespoons lime zest from about 4 limes

Instructions 

  • Soak the cashews: Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit at room temperature for 2-6 hours or in the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you can pour boiling water over the cashews and let them sit for 30 minutes. Drain before using.
  • For the crust: Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until they form a fine sand. Pour the graham cracker crumbs into a bowl.
  • Place the macadamia nuts in the now empty food processor. Pulse until they form a fine meal. Add to the bowl with the graham cracker crumbs along with the melted vegan butter and stir to evenly combine.
  • Lightly grease an 8×8 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Press the crust mixture into the pan into an even layer. Freeze for 15 minutes until set before topping with the filling.
  • For the filling: Place all the ingredients, except the lime zest, into a high-speed blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add the lime zest and pulse to combine. Pour the mixture on top of the crust. Place the bars in the freezer for 2-4 hours until set. Bars will keep in the freezer for up to a week.
  • Slice while frozen and let come to room temperature for 20 minutes or refrigerator temperature for a couple hours before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

*If your coconut milk is solidified, pour it all out into a bowl and heat for a few seconds in the microwave, then whisk until smooth and measure. You want an even mixture of the solid fat part and liquid part for this recipe.
Ingredient Substitutions
  • Graham crackers – If you don’t need a gluten free key lime pie, feel free to use regular graham crackers.
  • Macadamia nuts – Walnuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts are other popular choices, but the overall flavor will be slightly different.
  • Vegan butter – Baking sticks make it easier to measure. You can also use regular unsalted butter if you don’t need the pie to be vegan or dairy-free
  • Maple syrup – This can be replaced with honey, but the dessert will no longer be vegan.

Nutrition

Serving: 8g | Calories: 628kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 137mg | Potassium: 376mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 267IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 4mg

This recipe was first posted on May 3, 2017. Photos and recipe updated on May 25, 2020.

Content was originally a sponsored post for Enjoy Life Foods.

 

Categories: , , , , , ,

Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

You may also like

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Erin,
    Thanks for posting this. I made it last night and it turned out delicious!! I just have one question about the pie topping. It turned out very soft, to the point it was very hard to cut and serve. Do you have any suggestions about making it a little bit more firm?
    Thanks:)

  2. I want to make this soon and I bought key limes, but they’re tiny! Is that the right kind of lime to use??

  3. 5 stars
    Make ahead desserts like these yummy bars are PERFECT for parties. I made these and froze them for my baby shower and they still turned out perfect.

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you very much for the time and thoughtfulness you put into this post. I love Key Lime pie but the last few years have been very unfriendly to me with regards to dairy. I have a few questions I am hoping you can help me with as some of your ingredients list I cannot have. I have just recently started researching a modified Vegan diet and have been trying to look for substitutes in some areas. So here goes, what is a good replacement for the coconut milk and oil? Could I use say avocado oil for the oil and maybe almond milk for the coconut? What is a good substitute for the cashews and macadamia nuts? Could I substitute almonds or pecans or walnuts?

    Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Joe – good luck with your new diet! The coconut milk and oil are needed in this recipe for the correct texture. Coconut oil is a solid when it’s chilled so it helps these bars set up. Coconut milk also has a higher fat content than almond milk so almond milk won’t work here. Sorry about that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating