Tart and creamy Key lime ‘pie’ layered with buttery graham cracker crumbs, these easy no bake parfaits are the best summer dessert.
no bake key lime parfaits
My easy lime parfaits are a welcome sight when you open the fridge door on a warm night. The tangy lime filling is satisfyingly thick and creamy and melds together with those sweet graham cracker crumbs. Your spoon won’t take a break until the jar is scraped clean, it’s just one of those desserts.
ingredients for key lime parfaits
- I had key limes but if you don’t, don’t sweat it, use regular limes…just be sure it’s fresh and not bottled.
- graham cracker crumbs
- 1 1/2 cups or about 1 1/2 sleeves of crackers
- cream cheese
- sweetened condensed milk
- The sweetened condensed milk is sweet enough that there’s no need to add extra sugar.
how are key limes different from regular limes
The key lime is a hybrid from Southeast Asia. They are much smaller, and seedier than regular limes (called Persian limes, fyi.) The flavor? It’s similar, but even more acidic than grocery store limes, with a more aromatic, floral flavor. Can you substitute regular old limes? Absolutely (you really won’t notice the difference.)
how to layer your key lime parfaits
- Put down a layer of graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of your cups, I use 2 tablespoons.
- Add 1/4 cup of lime mixture.
- Top that with another 2 tablespoons of crumbs.
- Finish with final 1/4 cup creamy lime.
- Chill your parfaits until ready to serve.
- Garnish with whipped cream and lime zest.
parfaits are the perfect make-ahead dessert
The creamy lime filling becomes thick and custardy as it chills so making up to a day ahead is a great idea. Add the whipped cream topping and add lime zest just before serving. (They’re meant to be served chilled, straight from the refrigerator.)
more no bake (and almost no bake) desserts
- Lemon Butter Pie
- Easy TiramisuLemon Butter Pie
- No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe
- (Almost) No-Bake Chocolate Mousse Pie
- Lemon Icebox Pie
- Easy Cold Brew Icebox Pie
- Dreamy Nutella Mousse Pie!
- Easy Tiramisu
No Bake Key Lime Parfaits
- food processor is optional but handy
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 12 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice (or use regular lime juice)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
- lime zest
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the butter until thoroughly blended. I like to do this with my fingers. Set aside.
- Whip the heavy cream. I do this right in my food processor. Process until the cream is thick and holds its shape. This won't take long, don't over whip.
- Add the cream cheese, breaking it up into chunks as you add it, and process until smooth. Process in the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice until smooth and creamy.
- Put 2 tablespoons of the crumbs at the bottom of each of 6 parfait jars or glasses. Top with about 1/4 cup of the key lime mixture. Add 2 more tablespoons of crumbs, topped with another 1/4 cup of lime mixture.
- Cover and chill the parfaits until ready to serve. I recommend at least 2 hours.
- Whip the cream with confectioner's sugar to top the parfaits before serving. Garnish with lime zest.