Key Lime Pie is now in cookie form! These cute little thumbprint cookies are made with a buttery graham-cracker crumb-based cookie and filled with a tart key lime pie filling. Key Lime Pie Cookies are much easier than making a whole Key Lime Pie, but are just as tasty!
Key Lime Pie Cookies
We’ve moved! Over the weekend Zach and I packed up our old house, and, with the help of friends and family, moved into our new (dream!) home. I’ll have a “Crumbs” post to share all the fun details of our new home (and especially the kitchen!) soon, but until then I’m buried in boxes, I can’t find my pants (should’ve labeled those boxes better…), and I hope you don’t mind a recipe re-run while we get situated.
With all of the rain we’ve been having over the past few days, I thought something bright, sunny, and a little summery* was in order, so I hope you enjoy these Key Lime Pie Cookies that I originally shared last year.
I already have a very similar recipe on the blog (not to mention a classic thumbprint cookie recipe) and I desperately wanted to re-do the photos, but as I started to bake, I thought it might be fun to make the cookie-base mimic a key lime pie crust, and to add some graham cracker crumbs to the dough (largely inspired by a comment I received on the original recipe).
The graham cracker crumbs were a perfect addition and did a great job of making these cookies mimic the true taste of a key lime pie. However, since I know that so many people enjoyed the original recipe so much and many people outside the US aren’t even able to get their hands on graham crackers, I decided to leave that recipe intact as-is (horrible old photos and all) and to instead just make a whole new post. And so these Key Lime Pie Cookies were born, with all of their graham cracker goodness.
Key Lime Pie Cookies are easy to make, much easier than making a whole pie, and I love how adorably bite-sized they are.
Tips for Making Key Lime Pie Cookies
- Chilling the dough is important, especially during hot summer days. However, make sure that you roll and indent your cookies before chilling the dough. This way you’ll be a lot less likely to cause cracks in your cookies (as the dough will be more pliable) and it will just be easier in general to shape.
- It’s important to use Key Lime juice and not regular lime juice when making your key lime filling (otherwise the flavor won’t be quite right). You can use fresh-squeezed or bottled. However, for the zest you can get away with using either regular lime zest or key lime zest.
- You’ll indent your cookies before cooking them, but if your centers puff up any in the oven I recommend using a rounded teaspoon to re-indent each cookie right after removing them from the oven.
- When making your key lime pie filling, make sure to keep the heat on low to medium-low, or you could end up burning your white chocolate.
- Note that the key lime pie filling usually stays a bit tacky even once it’s completely cooled, so these aren’t great for stacking.
Other Recipes You Might Like:
- Key Lime Pie Bars
- Key Lime Pie Dessert Shooters
- Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies
Be sure to check out my Key Lime Pie Cookie video at the bottom of the recipe! If you enjoy watching, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 100 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
Key Lime Pie Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- ⅓ cup sugar (70g)
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar tightly packed (67g)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
- ½ cup graham cracker crumbs (65g)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
Key Lime Filling
- 1 cup good quality white chocolate chips (170g)
- ½ cup sweetened condensed milk (115ml)
- 3 Tablespoons key lime juice
- 2 teaspoons lime zest key limes are expensive, I just used zest from a regular lime
- Combine butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a large bowl and an electric hand mixer) and beat until well-creamed.
- With mixer on low, stir in egg yolk and vanilla extract, pausing to scrape down the sides and mixing until ingredients are well-combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, cornstarch, and salt.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to your wet ingredients, being sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that all ingredients are well-combined.
- Scoop cookie dough into 2-teaspoon-sized balls and roll until smooth (so that the dough is round and there are no cracks/seams in the cookie dough -- this will help keep your thumbprints from cracking).
- Use your thumb or the rounded back of a teaspoon to gently press an indent in the center of the cookie dough. Repeat until all of the dough has been used.
- Chill imprinted dough in freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper (if using. An ungreased, non-stick cookie sheet will also work).
- Place chilled cookie dough on sheet spacing at least 1" apart.
- Bake on 350F (175C) for 10-11 minutes and allow to cool completely on pan. Wait for cookies to cool completely before preparing filling.
Key Lime Filling
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine white chocolate chips, condensed milk, and key lime juice.
- Stir frequently until chocolate is melted and ingredients are well-combined. Stir in lime zest and stir until mixture just begins to bubble.
- Reduce heat to low and spoon filling into thumbprints of cookies (I use a 1-tsp sized cookie scoop, it makes the process much easier and less messy!).
- Allow to cool completely before serving (filling may still be a little tacky to touch, even when cooled completely. This is normal).
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
*OK, if you want to get technical I know key limes can be considered a winter fruit because of when their trees yield fruit, but I almost exclusively enjoy the refreshing, tart goodness of key limes in the summertime!
This Key Lime Pie Cookie recipe was originally published 06/06/2018, post updated 05/13/2019
can i freeze the key lime cookies? If yes, how long an i freeze them for. Want to bake ahead of time for a wedding . Do they need to be frozen in single layer and can i stack them in layers with parchment paper in between layers once frozen? Thank you for your response.
Hi Lori! They should freeze just fine for several months. They should be fine to stack once completely set with a layer of parchment paper in between. 🙂
I made a batch of these for a ladies Bible study. Everyone loved them and the entire batch disappeared! Definitely adding this recipe to my “keep” pile. My kids were so sad that there were no leftovers!
I’m so glad everyone enjoyed them so much! 🙂
Sound yummy. Do they need to be refrigerated?
Hi Cathy! They do not need to be refrigerated. 🙂
SNARF! Do not hesitate to make these! Its pretty darn good with Meyer lemons as a variation. This recipe went DIRECTLY into my own compilation cookbook of favorite recipes.
I have one question however:
What do you do with the remaining condensed milk? I know, I know -use it something else-but WHAT exactly?
Hi Karen! You could make a double batch of the cookies or you could use some of it to make my cookie dough bites. 🙂
I made these for my nephew who is in S. Korea. Key lime pie is his favorite, but obviously I can’t send him a pie. These taste just like the pie and I think he will love them!
Do you think changing the key lime to lemon would work right? I’m trying to find some lemon pie cookies and I like this recipe the best out of what I’ve found just need it to be Lemon
Hi, Devin! I think that would work great! Enjoy!
This was an amazing recipe!!! I think mine made about 32 cookies, which was plenty. I made them for my brother’s birthday and took the leftovers to work, where they were devoured with high praise!! I will definitely make them again, so please don’t take this off your blog!! Thank you for a wonderful recipe!
I’m so glad you enjoyed them so much, Angeli! I don’t have any plans to remove this recipe and if something were to happen and you can’t find it you can always reach out and I’ll be sure to send over the recipe. 🙂
I made these cookies today for the first time. They were so good. I knew they would be. I have tried many of your recipes and never been disappointed. Thank you!
Can these cookies be frozen or do they need to be kept in the refrigerator?
Hi Mary! You should be fine to keep them at room temperature for 2 days. I would refrigerate them after that and they will be good for about a week. If you want to save them longer you will want to freeze them. 🙂
Wow Sam, these are amazing! Mine didn’t look quite as presentable but they tasted incredible (I’ll be more patient with presentation next time). If anyone is on the fence about making these I highly recommend. Absolutely delicious.
I’m so glad you enjoyed, Devon! Thank you so much for letting me know how they turned out for you, I appreciate it! 🙂
Tried making these but the filling didn’t set enough even with extra powdered sugar to wrap them without the filling smearing to sell at a farmers market. Substituted regular key lime pie filling and baked them cookie and filling together for 12 minutes. Came out perfect. New cookie to sell
I make these cookies a lot!!! I love them!!! My daughter and I made a key lime flavored whip topping and it took them to a whole new level!!! I love your recipes!!! Thank you for your time and effort in perfecting your recipes and sharing them with us!!! You are truly an amazing artist!!!!
I am so glad everyone enjoys them so much! I love hearing how much you appreciate the recipes. 🙂
Not sure if I did something wrong but the dough was very dry and didn’t even get 30 cookies.
I triple checked to make sure I didn’t miss anything : (
Any words of wisdom?
Hmmm it sounds like there may be a little too much flour in the cookies. Did you weigh your ingredients by chance? If not I would recommend my post on how to measure flour to avoid accidentally adding too much flour. I hope this helps. 🙂
Can these cookies be made in mini tart pans? They would be kind of like mini pies.
I haven’t tried it, but I think that would be fine!
Mine turned out the same. When weighing the ingredients the measurements seemed less than the measuring cup sizes show, particularly for flour. Are the measuring cup sizes a U.S. size?
Hi Tanya! Yes the cups are standard U.S. cups. Measuring flour in them can be difficult and is easy to over or under measure them. I actually have a post on how to measure flour that you may find interesting. 🙂
Can you freeze these?
Hi Sharon! You can freeze these. 🙂
May I ask if I need to sift the dry ingredients?
Re the scooping size? 2 teaspoon size scooper should be used or I can use 2 teaspoons size measuring spoon?
Sugar Spun Run
Hi! You do not need to sift the dry ingredients for this recipe. As far as the scoop, a 2 teaspoon size measuring spoon will work to scoop the dough. I hope that you enjoy the cookies. 🙂
I made this for my key lime-lover of a husband over Father’s Day, and I’ll admit that at first I didn’t think it would turn out. My daughter kept telling me to add some more liquid, but we pushed on. Well, the cookies were downright perfect!
When I made the filling, I may or may not have let it boil a little longer than suggested. You know, #MomLife. Even so, the cookies turned out AMAZING! They looked picture perfect, and they tasted even better. Within 24 hours, we had just 2 left over. This is a recipe I’m going to keep on hand!
I am so glad everyone enjoyed it so much, Angi! 🙂