Deconstructed Gluten Free Key Lime Pie

It may look a bit different, but this deconstructed gluten free key lime pie features the same creamy lime custard and graham cracker crust! But now, it's even faster and simpler to make this classic sweet treat!

No one is perfect!

Whether you've been baking for 40 years or are trying your first recipe, dishes don't always work out. Sometimes, you're busy and leave something cooking for too long. Other times, you decide to take a risk and it backfires. It happens to everyone!

Fancy chefs make dishes "deconstructed" where they break a dish into separate parts, still keeping the core idea and flavors. Other times, the chef interprets their own version of the dish.

I like to "deconstruct" dishes when something goes amiss. The flavors are terrific- but, it doesn't look right or falls apart easily. The flavor is there, but it just needs a bit of ingenuity to become a presentable dish. Often, a lot of desserts can be "saved." There are many a'cracked pies and cakes that can easily be turned into parfait!

Traditional key lime pie features lime juice, egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and a pie crust or graham cracker curst. It is often topped with whipped cream or a meringue. But that has so many steps to follow! Make a pie crust. Bake the crust. Juice 8-10 limes or more if they're Key limes! Whip up a custard. Bake the custard. Oh, and then leave it in the fridge for hours to set. 

So, I set out to make a no-bake custard version. Faster, easier, and still filled with plenty of lime flavor, even though I only used 2 limes! And then I didn't use a typical pudding mix. I used a keto-friendly version with less sugar and a dairy free milk. I added some cream cheese in the hopes that it would set enough to slice...but that did not quite happen. It wasn't looking very pretty, but who wants to waste all of that deliciousness?!? (This "pie" reminds me of the time I got to drop a no-bake cheesecake on the "floor" for a F*R*I*E*N*D*S brunch. So fun!)

Instead, I grabbed some small ramekins, made some whipped cream, and turned my mess into deliciousness!

And technically, I made a crust...and then later crumbled it. But, you don't even need to take this extra step! Simply crumble the crushed graham crackers throughout and on top. Or you can add some butter and bake, then crumble for a slightly different flavor and texture.

Not perfect, but still cute and has all of the flavor of key lime pie! No one needs to know this wasn't the original plan!

Key Lime Pie Crust Options

Traditionally, Key lime pie is made with graham crackers or pie crust, but there are a number of other terrific options!

  • Gluten Free Graham Crackers
  • Gluten Free Pie Crust (refrigerated/frozen or make your own)
  • Gluten Free Pretzels
  • Gluten Free Cookies
  • Nuts

Messy Gluten Free Key Lime Pie in a white tart pan

Ingredients in Deconstructed Gluten Free Key Lime Pie

  • Gluten Free Graham Crackers
  • Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • Milk (I used almond milk)
  • Limes
  • Heavy Cream
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla

How to Decorate Key Lime Pie

Pies need a little something extra on top for visual appeal. For my deconstructed version, I decorated with the first four suggestions. All of these options would work well on either a traditional pie or a parfait version!

  • Whipped Cream
  • Lime Slices
  • Lime Zest
  • Crumbled graham crackers
  • Ground Nuts

Gluten Free Key Lime Pie Parfait in a small white ramekin

Craving more???

Gluten Free Piña Colada Cake

All-American Classic Dessert

Gluten Free Cannoli Cookies

Deconstructed Gluten Free Key Lime Pie

It may look a bit different, but this deconstructed gluten free key lime pie features the same creamy lime custard and graham cracker crust! But now, it's even faster and simpler to make this classic sweet treat!



  • 3 oz. gluten free graham crackers (about 8)
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 pkg. vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 c. milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Optional Step: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small food processor, pulse the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Then, add the melted butter and pulse until combined. Lightly press mixture onto a greased baking sheet. Next, bake or 7-9 minutes. Allow to cool. Then, crumble.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Then, add the lime zest and lime juice, and vanilla pudding mix. Beat until combined. Add the milk and beat well for 2-3 minutes. Allow pudding to set for a few minutes. You can also place in the fridge and finish making the dessert later.
  • In small ramekins, layer the custard and crushed graham crackers/crust.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3–4 minutes. Spoon or pipe over the custard. Garnish with lime slices, lime zest, and crushed graham crackers (or pie.)

You can also fold some of the whipped cream into the lime custard.


Did you love this? Let us know!

Thanks for contributing to our community! Your comment will appear shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Be the first to comment on this recipe