Key Lime Parfaits

Key Lime Parfaits--They're like a double decker key lime pie!

I’m always amazed at just how tiny key limes are when compared to regular limes. It’s like comparing the size of robins’ eggs to chicken eggs. The recipe for these Key Lime Parfaits calls for 1/2 cup of key lime juice. I would have had to juice at least 12 key limes to get that much juice.

Have you ever tried to juice key limes? I did, once. It was comedic and I decided that I would NEVER try to do it again. Although the pie for which I juiced them was inspirational, I decided that once was enough. So, I cheated and used bottled key lime juice for these parfaits (she said unrepentantly.)

Key Lime Parfaits--They're like a double-decker key lime pie!

Oh, before I forget, here is a story to go along with the limes with which I was working for this recipe. I always wash my fruits and vegetables really well if I am gong to be using them raw. The contaminants on the peelings of fruits and vegetables is staggering. Anyway, I reached under the kitchen sink and took out the bottle of fruit and vegetable wash, poured a small amount on the limes and began to rub the soap into the lime skins.

I was thinking about all sorts of things and not really paying that much attention to what I was doing. Finally it occurred to me that something felt odd about the soap and the lime skins. There were no bubbles forming from the soap and the water from the tap was beading up on the limes and my hands and not washing off the soap.

After a few seconds, I looked back at the bottle of fruit wash. Everything looked okay, but clearly something was “off”.

Slowly it dawned on me that instead of fruit and vegetable wash, I had mistakenly grabbed the bottle of mineral oil that I use on some of my wooden kitchen utensils. I looked down at the limes and had to admit that they were gorgeous, all deep green and shiny; the perfect lime specimens. My hands looked pretty good, too.

Here’s one of several lessons which can be gleaned from this error: It is extremely difficult to remove mineral oil from both lime skin and human skin. Extremely difficult. It is difficult to the point of “forget about it; it ain’t gonna happen”.


Key Lime Parfaits--The're like a double-decker key lime pie!

Despite the mineral oil mishap and a few other unfortunate errors in judgement, I finally got the recipe for these Key Lime Parfaits just right. The pictures are marginal because someone messed up the camera settings and didn’t notice the problem until long after the sun had set. It may or may not be the same person who mixed up the mineral oil with the fruit and vegetable wash.

Key Lime Parfaits

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 55 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Serving Size: approximately 8 ounces

These Key Lime Parfaits are reminiscent of key lime pie. Sweet, tart and creamy with a fun crunchy sprinkle of graham cracker "crust".


    For the graham crumbles:
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • For the Sweetened Whipped Cream:
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice (I used bottled juice.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 cups of the prepared sweetened whipped cream
  • 1 drop green food coloring, optional for color


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the graham crumbles
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar. Pour the melted butter over the mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Pour into a 9- x 13-inch baking pan. Spread evenly without packing the crumbs. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through baking time. Set aside to cool.
  5. For the Sweetened Whipped Cream:
  6. In a large mixing bowl, whip the cream, white sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until cream has soft peaks. Transfer half of the sweetened whipped cream to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. Reserve the remaining half to use in the filling.
  7. For the Filling:
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in the lime zest.
  9. Fold in the remaining half of the whipped cream. Transfer mixture to an airtight container and place in refrigerator. Chill thoroughly until thickened, at least two hours or overnight.
  10. To Assemble
  11. Put approximately 2 tablespoons crumble mixture in the bottom of each of the serving containers. Add a layer of key lime filling and then a layer of whipped cream. Repeat the layers of crumble, filling, and whipped cream. Garnish with a light sprinkle of crumb mixture or lime zest. May be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours prior to serving.


These parfaits can be served in small bowls, 9 ounce glasses, or even styrofoam cups. They can be made 2-3 hours ahead of time and will keep well if covered in the refrigerator. The graham crumbles are fairly stable and do not easily pick up moisture from the filling and cream.

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'

Key Lime Parfaits--They're like a double-decker key lime pie!

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  1. says

    Mmmm… I would love to celebrate the day with a couple of these beauties. ๐Ÿ™‚

    LOL… I had to laugh at your mistake with the mineral oil… sounds like something I would do for sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Dalila G. says

    It’s an honest mistake, but at least your hands and your key limes looked pretty! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Your Key Lime Parfaits look so wonderfully deeelish….bad lighting my foot!
    I’ll eat these little sweeties and I won’t be sharing….LOL!!
    I sometimes use the bottle stuff too. I will have to say my friends have NEVER complained about it.
    As long as I feed them, they’re happy.
    I will also mention to you that not a one of them have offered to squeeze the key limes for me…they know it’s not that much fun.
    So bottled or fresh these parfaits will be happily eaten. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Have a nice day Terri!

  3. says

    Lol – I’m dying over here. Oh hey, can I borrow your mineral oil? Mr. 20 year old took mine from under the kitchen sink and now he doens’t know where it is. My guess is it’s somewhere out in the garage, where I will happily let is stay for the rest of its life. Went to buy a new bottle the other day and they were out…. AND I HAVE SEVERAL NEW SPOONS THAT NEED TO BE OILED – AHHHHH!!

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