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Key Lime Pie Cookies (Crumbl Copycat)

Crumbl has created some pretty spectacular cookies and Key Lime Pie is (in my humble opinion) one of their best flavors! This copycat recipe for Crumbl Inspired Key Lime Pie Cookies features a tasty graham cracker cookie, plenty of silky smooth Key Lime filling, and a garnish of whipped cream and a lime slice. You’ll love this one! If you are digging Crumbl Copycats, don’t miss my Crumbl Skillet Cookie recipe or my Strawberry Pretzel Pie Cookie recipe.

A graham cracker cookie topped with lime filling, whipped cream, and a lime slice with the words, "Key Lime Pie Cookies (Crumbl!)"

What You Will Love About This Recipe

  • The chewy graham cracker cookie is made with browned butter–the flavor is irresistible!
  • The filling is completely no bake–so easy.
  • Bottled lime juice keeps these cookies easy to make and cuts down time in the kitchen too.

Let’s Compare This Copycat Cookie To Crumbl’s:

I’ve got comparison photos for you here with the Crumbl Key Lime Pie cookie versus my Key Lime Pie cookie.

The Crust: Crumbl’s “crust” cookie doesn’t really have much flavor. It doesn’t add anything to the cookie, but it does provide a resting place for the generous scoop of filling. My cookie is full of flavor from browned butter (the best!) and fresh graham cracker crumbs throughout.

The Filling: Crumbl’s filling has great flavor. It’s one of my favorites from them. My filling is also really delicious, but it’s a bit thinner in consistency. In the recipe I give you an option to add a few tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix which is optional, but helps firm it up if needed. My photos are from a test without the pudding mix.

The Garnish: Okay, I think mine wins here. Crumbl’s is a bit sad-looking. I keep it simple with a swirl of whipped cream and a slice of lime, but it goes a long way toward making a tempting cookie!

Headshot photo of woman smiling and wearing a white dress and gold necklace.

Recipes by a Real Person in a Real Kitchen

In the age of AI-generated content, I like to share how I’ve created and tested my recipes. My recipes have been imagined, hypothesized, taste-tested, and refined by a real human (me!). I only publish recipes I think are awesome.

Do I Need to Use Key Limes?

I find this article on Key Limes from Stella Parks extremely helpful on this question. She explains the differences between conventional limes and key limes and it’s quite interesting! After reading her thoughts on the matter, I’m thoroughly convinced that key limes are not essential for a “key lime” dessert.

If you prefer to use key limes, I would still suggest opting for a bottled lime juice (you can find brands that use key limes). The bottled juice saves SO much time–especially when we are talking about juicing the tiny little key limes.

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Ingredients in Key Lime Pie Cookies

Graham Cracker Cookies – you’ll need unsalted butter, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, graham crackers, an egg, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt.

Key Lime Filling – For the lime filling, you will need heavy whipping cream, sugar, cream cheese (brick-style only!), instant vanilla pudding mix (optional), sweetened condensed milk (from a can), bottled lime juice, and the zest of 1-2 limes. Again, conventional limes work great here.

Garnish – The recipe reserves a portion of homemade whipped cream for the garnish on top of the cookies. You can also add fresh lime zest and slices of fresh lime if desired.

Why I Include Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

Because we are putting a pie filling on top of cookies, it’s not as thick as you might anticipate a cookie frosting (such as buttercream) being.

I found that my original tests held up well, even after time in the fridge on decorated cookies. However, I liked the addition of the vanilla pudding mix to lend even more stability (and fluffiness too!).

The instant vanilla pudding mix is an optional ingredient and these cookies will work either way.

A Note About Bottled Lime Juice

If you’d prefer to use a bottled Key Lime juice, absolutely go for it. I use a high-quality lime juice (Santa Cruz Organic) that provides excellent flavor (paired with some lime zest too). You can also use freshly squeezed lime juice if you prefer.

I suggest tasting the filling as you slowly add the lime juice (and zest) to achieve your ideal flavor. And don’t miss my earlier notes about if using “key limes” is truly essential in a dessert like this.

What to Make With Leftover Sweetened Condensed Milk and Lime Juice

Since you will only use 1/2 the can of sweetened condensed milk for this recipe, there are a few options for the leftovers. You could double the recipe of cookies and filling and make twice the amount of cookies.

Or, save the leftovers for sweetening coffee or pouring over pancakes. You could also use it up in another recipe.

As for leftover lime juice, I suggest freezing the remainder of the bottle of lime juice in ice cube trays (then pop out and store in freezer bags). This way you’ll have frozen lime juice handy whenever you need it.

How to Make Key Lime Pie Cookies

Here’s a summary of how this recipe is made. Find the complete ingredients list and full instructions within the printable recipe card below!

Graham Cracker Cookies: Brown the Butter

If you have never browned butter, you can read my tutorial on how to brown butter for a straightforward step-by-step tutorial. The flavor of browned butter is incredible (and your kitchen will smell amazing). It transforms the cookies into something magical.

Browned butter in a glass bowl.

Graham Cracker Cookies: Mix Dough

After the butter has cooled a bit, we’ll prep the oven and baking sheets for baking the cookies. The cookie dough begins with browned butter, sugar, an egg (from the fridge) and vanilla extract.

Oftentimes cookie recipes will call for an egg at room temperature. In this recipe, an egg straight from the fridge actually helps the dough cool down, since we are using warm butter to start. So, no need to take the egg out of the fridge early!

Flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, and salt are added to the butter mixture and mixed well until combined.

A bowl of graham cracker crumbs and dry ingredients for graham cracker cookies.

Dough will be thick and a bit crumbly-feeling, but not dry.

Graham cracker cookie dough in a glass bowl.

Graham Cracker Cookies: Bake Cookies

To bake the cookies, we’ll roll each scoop of dough in more graham cracker crumbs.

After arranging the cookies on the baking sheets three inches apart, press each scoop of dough down with a clean glass to form a well or divot for the filling. You do not need to press your cookies quite as flat as I did, but consider how much filling you want to fill the cookie and choose an appropriately-sized glass.

You also don’t want the base of the cookie to be so thin that the filling breaks it, so don’t go too flat. You can bake one cookie to start if you want to be sure you’ve got it just right.

After removing cookies from oven, immediately press again with a clean glass/measuring cup to re-make the center for the filling. Again, don’t squish it too flat! Allow cookies to cool completely.

This photo shows (from left to right):

  1. the original balls of dough
  2. the cookies pressed flat, baked, and two of the cookies pressed flat again
  3. the final baked and cooled cookies
Shaping graham cracker cookies into round balls, then flatted disks, then disks with a center divot for filling.

Key Lime Pie Filling

Whip the whipped cream and set aside.

In another bowl, whip the softened cream cheese until soft. Add the pudding mix (optional) and mix until smooth. Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix until smooth. Slowly add lime juice and zest, mixing after each addition.

Note: add the lime juice to taste. If you are using fresh limes or a different brand of bottled juice you may need less juice overall.

Now, use about ¾ cup of the whipped cream to fold into the creamy filling. Chill filling for about 4-6 hours or until it has thickened and is scoop-able. Filling should not be runny.

A bowl of key lime pie filling with whipped cream being folded in.

Decorating the Cookies

Fill each cookie with a generous amount of the Key Lime filling–using a cookie scoop, a spoon, or even a piping bag fitted with a round tip.

Top with a piped swirl of whipped cream (Crumbl is very frugal with theirs–I prefer a big dollop!), a lime slice, and a little lime zest.

Related Recipes

If you enjoy Crumbl Copycat recipes, then definitely check out a few of my other Crumbl Inspired recipes such as my Skillet Cookie Recipe and my Oatmeal Skillet Cookie Recipe.

If you loved this recipe, leave a comment and a 5-star rating!
Thanks so much for trying one of my recipes!

Graham cracker cookie topped with key lime pie filling with a bite removed.

Crumbl Inspired Key Lime Pie Cookies

Inspired by Crumbl's delicious Key Lime Pie Cookie, these giant Key Lime Pie Cookies start with a graham cracker cookie base and are topped with a luscious lime filling that is fluffy and full of flavor. You'll love the browned butter graham cracker cookies, smooth tangy filling, and the homemade whipped cream swirled on top.
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Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 cookies
Calories 465 kcal

Ingredients
  

Graham Cracker Cookies

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter 4 ounces
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed 3.5 ounces
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar 2.3 ounces
  • 5 sheets graham crackers, divided (full sheets)
  • 1 large egg (straight from the fridge)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 6.65 ounces
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Key Lime Pie Filling

  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix (optional, see notes)
  • 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (half a can)
  • 1/4 cup bottled lime juice (add to taste)
  • zest of 1-2 limes (add to taste; I zest Persian limes)
  • lime slices (optional) for garnish

Instructions
 

Graham Cracker Cookies: Brown the Butter

  • Melt a stick of butter slowly on medium low heat in a saucepan or skillet. Once melted, turn the heat up a bit and watch the butter closely and stir frequently using a wooden spoon.
    The butter will be bubbling and popping as the water is evaporating out. Once this slows down you need to keep a close eye as the next step is the browning of the milk solids.
    Once the milk solids are beginning to toast, you'll start to notice tiny bits of brown forming in the pan. Swirl the spoon around the pan a few times more and remove it from the heat. The butter should have swirls of browned bits in the bottom of the pan and is now ready to use.
    Note: Butter can go from toasted to burnt quickly, so watch closely.
    Pour the browned butter (every bit including the browned pieces in the bottom of the pan) into a large bowl and allow to cool for ten minutes.

Graham Cracker Cookies: Mix Dough

  • Meanwhile: Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set oven to 350°F.
    Place 4 graham crackers (reserve the fifth cracker) in a zip top bag and crush with a rolling pin until they are finely ground.
    Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the slightly cooled brown butter mixture and use a wooden spoon to stir well until fully combined (1 minute).
    Mix in the egg and vanilla extract until combined.
    Add the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, and salt to the butter mixture and mix well until combined. Dough will be thick and a bit crumbly.

Graham Cracker Cookies: Bake Cookies

  • Crush the last graham cracker and place crumbs in a shallow bowl.
    Use a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop out about 10 cookies (about 2 ounces per cookie). Roll each cookie scoop in the graham cracker crumbs and arrange evenly 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.
    Flatten each cookie while making a divot for the filling using a flat-bottom glass or measuring cup to press down the centers of the cookies. Be sure the cookies are not so flat that the centers become too thin to handle the key lime filling.
    Bake one sheet at a time at 350°F for 10 minutes or until cookies look set on the edges and just a bit golden brown. After removing cookies from oven, immediately press again with a clean glass/measuring cup to make the center for the filling. Allow cookies to cool completely.

Key Lime Pie Filling

  • Use a hand mixer with the whisk attachment to whip the heavy whipping cream and the 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
    In a large bowl with a hand mixer and the beater attachments, beat cream cheese until soft. Add the pudding mix and mix until pudding mix is dissolved/smooth. Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix until smooth. Slowly add lime juice, mixing after each addition. Mix until smooth.
    Note: add the lime juice to taste. If you are using fresh limes or a different brand of bottled juice you may need less juice overall.
    Use a spatula to fold in the lime zest (again, add to taste). Fold in about 3/4 cup of the whipped cream (reserve the rest for topping the cookies) until smooth. Chill filling for about 4-6 hours or until it has thickened and is scoop-able. Filling should not be runny.

Decorating the Cookies

  • Fill each cookie with a generous amount of the Key Lime filling–using a cookie scoop, a spoon, or even a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
    Top with a piped swirl of whipped cream (Crumbl is very frugal with theirs–I prefer a big dollop!), a lime slice, and a little lime zest.

Notes

Storing and Freezing Leftovers: All the components can be stored separately. The filling and the whipped cream go in the fridge, the undecorated cookies can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature. 
If you need to store decorated cookies, they can be placed into airtight containers (single layer only) and refrigerated for 3-5 days. They can also be frozen (minus the lime slice) for 1-2 months. I flash freeze them–placing them on a cookie sheet until frozen and then wrapping with plastic wrap and storing in a freezer bag. 
The cookies will begin to soften after being topped with the filling, but they are still perfectly delicious that way!
Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix: Instant pudding mix is a winner for an easy way to stabilize any type of whipped cream/cheesecake style filling. Because we’re adding pie filling to the top of cookies, it’s nice if it’s a little more stable. You can make the filling without the pudding mix, but it won’t be as firm (note that the photos were taken of a test run that was made without the pudding mix).

Nutrition

Calories: 465kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 6gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 288mgPotassium: 181mgFiber: 1gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 898IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 112mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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