July 2, 2023

Key Lime Cookies

There's something irresistible about the zesty, refreshing flavor of key lime. If you're a fan of this tropical fruit or simply crave a unique twist on traditional cookies, then you're in for a treat!

Most key lime cookie recipes have a filling made with cream cheese which is similar to a lime cream cheese frosting or cheesecake (copycat recipes for Crumbl Key Lime cookie). The Voss Home Bakery recipe has actual key lime pie filling in the center of each cookie. No cream cheese is needed here. The cookies are also rolled in graham cracker crumbs which provide great texture and make it taste just like key lime pie. They are SO good!

Whether you're hosting a summer gathering, seeking a scrumptious snack, or just indulging your sweet tooth, Key Lime Cookies are the perfect choice.

Recipe source: Adapted from my family's Key Lime Pie recipe.

Key Lime Cookies

A buttery graham cracker cookie with tangy citrus filling. Paradise in every bite!


Anne Voss



  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour (400g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (4g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (3g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (5g)
  • 1 cup margarine, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (133g)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (75g)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs for dough (~18 cracker sheets)
  • 1/2 cup extra graham cracker crumbs for rolling


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes depending on the size)


  1. Prepare a baking sheet topped with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a medium sized bowl mix flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl cream together margarine and sugars (if using a stand mixer use the paddle attachment).
  5. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture and 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs until just combined. Scrape down the side of the mixing bowl.
  7. Add the remaining flour and remaining 1 cup of cracker crumbs until combined. The dough should be stiff and start to pull away from the side of the bowl.
  8. Scoop dough from the mixing bowl using a spoon or cookie scoop and form the dough into 2-inch balls.
  9. Roll dough balls in extra graham cracker crumbs until the ball is coated on all sides.
  10. Place the cookie dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet, two inches apart.
  11. Using a drinking glass, gently press on the dough balls to flatten them slightly.
  12. Using a tablespoon size measuring spoon or the bottom of a small glass (shot glass) make an indent in the center of each cookie.
  13. Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. The cookie indent will have puffed up and closed a little. Use the measuring spoon again to reform the indent in the center of the cookie.
  14. Place the cookie sheet back in the oven and bake for an additional 3 minutes.
  15. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and leave baked cookies on the tray for one minute.
  16. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely. While the cookies are cooling prepare the filling.


  1. In a small bowl mix together cornstarch and water. Mix vigorously until all the cornstarch is dissolved and no clumps remain. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together sweetened condensed milk and lime zest.
  3. Add in lime juice and cornstarch to the milk.  Mix until well combined.


  1. Fill cooled cookies with pie filling. Fill the indent so that the pie filling is level with the cookie.
  2. Sprinkle any left over lime zest over the top of the cookies.
  3. Store cookies chilled in a single layer. Do not stack. Enjoy!

Makes ~25 cookies.

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Recipe Notes

Below you will find tips and tricks to help achieve the best results possible!

How to make Key Lime Cookies

The trick to making this easy Key lime cookies recipe is the make an indent in the cookie to hold the filling (same concept as a thumbprint cookie). The indent is made before the cookies are baked. However, the cookies will puff up during baking so you have to make the indent a second time before the baking is completed. It sounds complicated, but it is really easy. I find that a measuring spoon works well to make the indent. Fill cooled cookies with pie filling and chill.

The pie filling for this cookie does not contain eggs therefore the filling does not have to be baked. It does have some cornstarch added to the filling and that helps the filling to set and not be too runny.

series of photos showing how to make indents in cookie dough for key lime pie filling. Indents made in dough ball with measuring spoon


Margarine – I like to use margarine in this recipe because it prevents the cookies from spreading too much while baking and helps keep the cookies thick and soft. You can use butter if you prefer.

Graham cracker crumbs – for this recipe, you can use the store-bought crumbs or you can crush graham crackers yourself. Either one will work fine. I like to use the traditional honey graham cracker flavor. I would avoid the cinnamon-flavored crackers.

Limes – actual Key limes are hard to find so I use regular limes (Persian limes). These limes are larger than Key limes but work great in the filling. Do not use bottled lime juice of any kind. In my opinion, if you can’t find whole limes then don’t even bother. I know bottled Key lime juice is available but use it for other things. Nothing can replace the tart and bright flavor of freshly squeezed juice.

Lime Zest – zest is the green outside portion of a lime. You just want to grate the green peel of the fruit and not the bitter white pith underneath.

Supplies Needed

Stand mixer or hand mixer

Cookie scoop (optional)

Mixing bowl and whisk

Grater or microplane

Citrus juicer (optional)

overhead view of a tray of key lime cookies. One cookie has a bite taken out

Tips and Tricks

Juice limes with a juicer or by hand. Make sure to remove any seeds. The amount of juice per lime is highly variable so purchase a few extra limes to make sure you get enough juice.

There is no food coloring used in this recipe as authentic Key lime pie is yellow, not green. I do not recommend adding food coloring as it may affect the taste.

Storing Your Key Lime Cookies

Cookies need to be stored in the refrigerator due to the filling.  You can serve the cookies chilled or set them out at room temperature for ~10 minutes before serving.

Due to the filling, these cookies do not stack well. Store cookies in a single layer in a plastic storage container.

close up of key lime cookie. Can see lime zest sprinkled on top of cookie for garnish


You can also make smaller cookies by rolling dough into 1-inch balls. Reduce total baking time to 11 minutes.

You can use this graham cracker cookie base to make other pie variations. Filling the cookies with lemon meringue pie filling would also work well.

You can also top the cookies with a dollop of whipped cream and candied lime for garnish if you want to elevate the presentation.

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