Best Key Lime Ice Cream Recipe TRANSPORTS YOU TO KEY WEST

Let’s take a little trip down south with our tastebuds to the warm waters of Key West, Florida. Key limes are synonymous with Key West, so why wouldn’t you indulge in these little citrus fruits?

Key limes, just like limes, are cool, tart and refreshing on a hot summer day. And key lime ice cream is our favorite way to cool off.

Key Lime Ice Cream

Key Lime Ice Cream

Our key lime ice cream is quite possibly the easiest (and best) ice cream recipe you will make this summer. Making homemade ice cream with my kids is one of my favorite things to do, and they regularly ask for key lime.

If you don’t have key limes on hand or key lime juice, you don’t have to worry. We make this key lime ice cream with regular limes when we can’t find key limes. No need to make a special trip to the fruit stand, especially when the kids are begging for ice cream.

Try our fresh mint ice cream recipe too

Key Lime Ice Cream

No Ice Cream Maker? No Problem!

You can still make this lime ice cream without an ice cream maker. Simply use a hand mixer to blend your ice cream mixture and stick it in the freezer.

Ok, so it’s a little more complicated than that, so here are the real no-churn key lime ice cream directions:

  • Combine all of your key lime pie ice cream mixture ingredients (see recipe below) except the heavy cream in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whip your heavy cream for about two minutes, until firm peaks form.
  • Gently fold your whipped cream into your ice cream mixture until combined.
  • Pour lime cream mixture into a parchment-lined bread loaf pan and cover in plastic wrap.
  • Freeze for at least two hours.
  • After 2 hours, give your ice cream mix a good stir and add in your graham cracker crumble.
  • Pop the key lime ice cream back in the freezer until firm- about 4 hours or overnight.

But, I do suggest you grab an ice cream maker. I couldn’t live without mine (I just upgraded to this one). It makes life so much easier and the ice cream much creamier.

Plus, I love that I can set the ice cream maker timer and walk away.

Key Lime Ice Cream

Do You Like Key Lime?

A word of caution before you make this key lime ice cream- we love limes. My key lie pie has to make my mouth pucker.

That’s exactly what this ice cream does to your mouth and tastebuds, especially if you use regular limes, which are less sweet.

Personally, I don’t like to taste condensed milk in my pie, so I overload it with lime flavor. My ice cream is no different, which is why I load it with lime juice and zest.

Don’t forget to try our Key Lime Martini recipe!

Key Lime Ice Cream

No Egg Yolk Ice Cream

One thing to note, we are not using egg yolks in this recipe or sugar. (It’s a great recipe if you don’t like eggs or are allergic).

The sweetened condensed milk takes care of the sweet part of the recipe, giving it that key lime pie flavor. It also helps to bind everything together.

The heavy cream content makes this ice cream recipe rich and creamy, so no worries about not having a custard base.

Just make sure you allow this key lime pie ice cream to sit for a few hours or overnight to get the right ice cream consistency. If you don’t allow it to set, the ice cream will be more like a key lime soft serve.

Key Lime Ice Cream

Key Lime Ice Cream Recipe

Time to dive into the best key lime ice cream recipe you will ever taste. Yes, I’m bragging, but since I hand over all of my ice cream testing to my neighbors to try out, I figure I’m right. They all love this one and have asked for more.

Key Lime Ice Cream Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • Zest of 3 limes (or key limes)
  • 1 cup of fresh lime juice (or Key Lime juice)

Key Lime Ice Cream Instructions

  1. Zest 3 limes and set the lime zest aside
  2. Juice limes (about 15) into a large bowl
  3. Add milk, heavy whipping cream, condensed milk, lime zest and salt to lime juice
  4. Whisk to combine
  5. Pour mixture into a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer for about an hour (give it a stir at least twice) to ensure the key lime ice cream mixture is cold. 
  6. Pour ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker and churn for 25 minutes (or your ice cream maker’s instructions for ice cream). 

Buy my favorite ice cream maker on Amazon.com

Key Lime Ice Cream

Graham Cracker Swirl Ingredients

  • 8 oz Graham crackers (14 large crackers)
  • 5 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour

Graham Cracker Swirl Instructions

  1. Put graham crackers in a bag. Crust with a rolling pin to makes crumbles OR put graham crackers in food processor and crumble (similar to how you might make a graham cracker crust).
  2. Pour crumbs into a bowl
  3. Add butter and flour to crumbs
  4. Mix with a fork
  5. Sprinkle onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes (or until brown), flipping the crumbs for an even bake.
  7. Allow graham cracker crumbs to cool completely before adding to ice cream. 
Key Lime Ice Cream

Adding graham crackers to key lime ice cream

  1. Remove ice cream from ice cream maker
  2. Spoon 1/2 of your ice cream into an ice cream quart container (or you can line a bread pan with parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap before you put it in the freezer).
  3. Sprinkle about 1/3 cup of graham cracker crumbs on top of ice cream
  4. Swirl in crumbs with a chopstick or knife. 
  5. Put the second half of your key lime ice cream into your container.
  6. Sprinkle graham cracker crumble on top of ice cream.
  7. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until firm for a more solid ice cream (skip this and you get soft serve style)

Want to try it? Pin it for later!

Yield: 6 servings

Key Lime Ice Cream

Key Lime Ice Cream

For anyone who loves lime, this key lime ice cream recipe for you. It will make your mouth pucker with it's fresh tart goodness before mellowing out with the sugars and graham cracker swirl.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • ⅛ tsp Salt
  • Zest of 3 limes
  • 1 cup of fresh lime juice (or Key Lime juice)
  • 8 oz Graham Crackers (14 large crackers)
  • 5 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour

Instructions

Key Lime Ice Cream

  1. Zest 3 limes, set zest aside
  2. Juice limes (about 15) into a large bowl
  3. Add milk, heavy cream, condensed milk, lime zest and salt to lime juice
  4. Whisk to combine
  5. Pour into a freezer proof container and place in the freezer for an hour (give it a stir at least twice) to ensure the key lime ice cream mixture is cold. 
  6. Pour ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker, and churn for 25 minutes (or your ice cream maker’s instructions for ice cream). 

Graham Cracker Swirl

  1. Put graham crackers in a bag. Crust with a rolling pin to makes crumbles OR put graham crackers in food processor and crumble
  2. Pour crumbs into a bowl
  3. Add butter and flour to crumbs
  4. Mix with a fork
  5. Bake in the over for 15-20 minutes (or until brown), flipping the crumbs for an even bake.
  6. Allow to cool graham cracker crumbs completely before adding to ice cream. 

Combine ingredients

  1. Remove ice cream from ice cream maker
  2. Put into an ice cream quart container or bread pan
  3. Sprinkle graham cracker on top of ice cream and swirl in with a knife. 
  4. Freeze for at least 4 hours for a more solid ice cream (skip this and you get soft serve style)

Notes

If you don't want such an intense lime flavor, simply cut the number of limes you use in the recipe.

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