Key lime pie pancakes are light and fluffy pancakes with the signature sweet and tart flavors of an actual Key lime pie! You’ll love the graham crumble!

Overhead view of four pancakes on a plate with limes, whipped cream, graham cracker crumbs.

Key lime pie pancakes are light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes infused with the delicious tartness of key lime juice, topped with buttery, sweet graham crumbs, a creamy lime syrup, and a dollop of maple vanilla whipped cream. These indulgent pancakes are where your favorite pie meets your favorite breakfast in the ultimate bite.

About this recipe

Make these key lime pie pancakes on any special occasion, or for no reason at all. If you’re only going as far as your kitchen table this summer, take your family to a tropical flavor destination. These key lime pie pancakes are a special treat that everyone will love and the perfect summer breakfast to celebrate the special flavor of key limes!

Admit it, you’re tasting the photo aren’t you?

There are a few parts to this recipe but nothing about it is complicated. This recipe will guide you through each component, but as with any pancake recipe and all of its delicious toppings, you can definitely customize it to your liking by making it as simple or as decadent as you’d like!

Stack of pancake with lime syrup dripping down cut portion of pancakes.

What exactly are Key limes?

Key limes, if you’ve ever had the real deal, have a distinct (amazing) flavor, quite different than regular limes. They are small, round little limes that are actually usually yellow by the time you use them. You’ll need more Key limes to make the same amount of juice than you would with regular limes but it’s so worth it!

These delectable little fruits actually originate in Southeast Asia but the name comes from the Florida Keys, where they were commercially produced until a hurricane wiped out the entire crop.

Note: Regular limes were used in these photos! Unfortunately, I don’t live in a warm climate and sometimes key limes are tricky to find. Good news though, you can make this recipe with either type of lime!

Overhead view of pancakes topped with whipped cream and lime.

What you need

Graham Crumbles

  • Salted Butter – Melted for a buttery crumble.
  • Whole Wheat flour (or graham flour) – Graham flour is a coarse ground whole wheat flour used to make graham crackers.
  • Brown Sugar – A sweetness added for the balance of flavors.
  • Ground Flaxseed – An earthy superfood that has many nutritional benefits, but is also used as a binding agent.
  • Egg White – Gives the crumbles a light airy texture and binds them together.
  • Salt – To balance the sweetness and bring out flavors.

Pancake Batter

  • Butter – Melted butter adds a rich flavor to the batter.
  • Eggs – Used for binding the pancakes together.
  • Egg Yolk – Extra egg yolks add richness and moisture.
  • Buttermilk – A rich tangy milk. If you don’t have any, here’s a quick substitute.
  • Water – To thin out the batter.
  • Key Lime Juice & Zest – The amazingly delicious star of this pancake show. Don’t worry, you can use regular limes too!
  • Brown Sugar – Brown sugar has a deeper flavor than white sugar and it also helps with moisture.
  • Vanilla Extract – A common ingredient in vanilla that rounds everything out nicely.
  • All-Purpose Flour – The foundation of the pancake structure.
  • Baking Powder – Needed to give rise to a light and fluffy pancake!
  • Dash of Salt – To enhance all of the other flavors in the pancake batter.

Lime Syrup

  • Key Lime Juice – For citrusy, zingy flavor.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – A sweet creamy concentrated milk that has had the water removed and sugar added.

Whipping Cream

  • Whipped Cream – Make real whipping cream if you can. It’s nice and light and not too sweet.
  • Maple Syrup – For a delicious maple flavor that grounds the citrus flavors.
  • Vanilla – Vanilla just makes everything better.
Overhead view of ingredients needed for recipe.

How to make it

Prep the graham crumbs ahead of time. See below for instructions and recipe card for details.

Preheat a griddle or a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Whisk together the melted butter, the egg, and the egg yolk.

Then whisk in the buttermilk, water, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar, and vanilla. 

Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Allow batter to rest for 5 minutes before cooking. 

4 images showing steps of making pancake batter.

To cook the pancakes, drop dollops of batter onto preheated griddle/frying pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side and then 2-3 minutes on the second side.

Pancakes on a white griddle.

To serve, layer the pancakes with lime syrup, whipped cream, and top with streusel crumbs!

Stack of pancakes and bite of pancakes on a fork.

To Make Graham Crumble & Toppings

Crumble

Preheat the oven and blend the softened butter, flour, brown sugar, and flaxseed. Once crumbly, add in egg white. Transfer mixture to a baking sheet, break the dough into small streusel-like crumbles. Bake until brown and crisp, stirring halfway.

Step by step photos showing how to make graham crumble.

Syrup

This is easy! Just stir together the lime juice and sweetened condensed milk.

Lime syrup in a bowl, limes nearby.

Whipped Cream

Using the whisk attachment on a hand mixer, blend the whipping cream, maple syrup, and vanilla until thick.

Whipped cream before and after being whipped.

FAQs

Can I use regular limes in place of Key limes?

You can! They can typically be used interchangeably in most recipes. They will have a different flavor, but they will still definitely work. You can also look for store-bought Key lime juice in a pinch.

How to make these pancakes your own

  • Sprinkle the top of your pancakes with lime and sugar for a simpler topping.
  • Customize the toppings. Use them all, or keep it simple with just a dusting of powdered sugar or some maple syrup on top.
  • A sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes put this tropical breakfast over the top.
  • Add a few white chocolate chips to your batter for added sweetness or sprinkle a few on top.
  • Use a shortcut and replace some of the ingredients with this homemade Bisquick mix.
Tall stack of pancakes topped with whipped cream and dripping with lime syrup.

Make Ahead Ideas

Make the graham crumble in advance and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them, preferably the same day. Pancake batter is always best when used within the first 10 minutes. Keep the lime syrup in a container in the fridge and bring to room temperature before pouring over pancakes.

You’ll want to make the whipped cream immediately before serving, or it will deflate.

Storage Suggestions

Store pancakes in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to 4 days in the fridge for 1 month in the freezer. The lime syrup will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. The crumble can be stored for up to 2 days, however, it may start to get soggy.

Reheating Tips

Warm the pancakes through in the microwave for 20-second intervals. Toast the crumble in the oven or in a skillet on the stovetop just to crisp back up again, if needed.

More citrusy recipes

Overhead view of pancakes topped with whipped cream, lime, and graham crumbles.

Get the Recipe: Key Lime Pie Pancakes

Key lime pie pancakes are light and fluffy pancakes with the signature sweet and tart flavors of an actual Key lime pie! You'll love the graham crumble!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

Graham Crumbles

  • ¼ cup salted butter, melted
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour, or graham flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • 1 egg white
  • teaspoon salt

Pancake Batter

  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 6 fluid ounces (¾ cup) buttermilk
  • 4 fluid ounces (½ cup) water
  • Juice from 5 key limes, about ¼ cup
  • Grated zest from 5 key limes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • Dash of salt

Lime Syrup

  • Juice from 4 key limes
  • 5 fluid ounces sweetened condensed milk (½ can)

Whipping Cream

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

For the Graham Crumbles:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Using a pastry blender, blend together the softened butter, flour, brown sugar, and ground flax seed. Once mixture is uniformly crumbly, blend in the egg white.
  • Dump the mixture onto a baking sheet. Using your fingers, break the dough into small struesel-like crumbles.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Stir and bake another 10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

For the Pancakes:

  • Preheat a griddle to 375°F or a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat.
  • Whisk together the melted butter, the egg, and the egg yolk.
  • Whisk in the buttermilk, water, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar, and vanilla.
  • Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Allow batter to rest for 5 minutes before cooking.
  • To cook the pancakes, drop by spoonfuls onto preheated griddle/frying pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side and then 2-3 minutes on the second side.

For the Lime Syrup:

  • Stir together the lime juice and sweetened condensed milk.

For the Whipping Cream:

  • Using the whisk attachment on a hand mixer, blend the whipping cream, maple syrup, and vanilla until thick.
  • For serving, layer the pancakes with lime syrup, whipping cream, and top with streusel crumbs!

Notes

  • Makes about 15 pancakes.
  • Nutrition information includes toppings.
  • Regular limes can be substituted for Key limes.
Serving: 3pancakes, Calories: 868kcal, Carbohydrates: 99g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 47g, Saturated Fat: 22g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 208mg, Sodium: 897mg, Potassium: 448mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 47g, Vitamin A: 1675IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 518mg, Iron: 4mg