Key Lime Pie Pancakes

Key Lime Pie Pancakes

These tender and fluffy pancakes drizzled with a key lime sauce and topped with a graham cracker crumble makes for a vibrant weekend breakfast that anyone with a sweet tooth would enjoy.

As Loverboy so eloquently said, “Everybody’s working for the weekend” and make no mistake the band was referring to the fluffy goodness of a proper pancake. Countless Saturday mornings I woke up to the crackling of pancakes cooking on my mother’s griddle. Fast forward years later and nothing has changed my love for pancakes. 

A tarty twist on the classic dish

As I’ve grown older, my love for citrus’ sharp tanginess has…  found its way into more foods than I would like to admit, and pancakes are no exception. I wanted to make limes a co-star for breakfast and pancakes’ ability to embellish a wide arrange of flavors made it a prime candidate for an early-morning twist.

A pie in the morning?

When you first take a bite of key lime pie, what pops into your mind?


For me it is:

Silky smooth curd

Tangy lime

Warm-spiced crunch


Taking those 3 key ideas, I deconstructed a key lime pie into a breakfast that even your mother-in-law will enjoy.

Pancake: Using buttermilk and cake flour together creates a lighter and a more airy texture which lends to a softer pancake. This is due to cake flour’s lower protein count combined with buttermilk’s tenderness to best recreate the key lime pie’s texture. If you prefer a slightly denser pancake, then substitute buttermilk for whole milk or cake flour for all purpose flour.

Key lime sauce: This is the main attraction of the show. The richness of the cream cheese is offset by the key lime’s zest sharpness. The balance between tangy and rich allows the pancake to shine in a different light. If you are not a fan of limes, oranges and lemons would be fantastic substitutes for a fruity twist.

Graham Cracker Crumble: Taking leftover graham crackers tossed in warm spices gives you the signature crunch that key lime pie is known for. While not necessary, the crumble’s crunch creates an additional layer texture that is accompanied by a late-night pie. 


The key to perfectly cooked pancakes is adding a layer of butter on the pan and letting the batter cook through. If you try to flip the pancake too early, it will either still stick to the pan or the batter on top will run off misshaping your pancake. 

Waiting for the pancake to cook through is a must. Bubbles and air pockets will start form around the edges signaling the pancake is ready to be flipped. With a long spatula lightly lift around the pancake making sure it is not sticking to the pan, and be prepared to quickly flip it! The slow flip leads to deformed pancakes so believe in yourself! One tip I was told from my mother was to hold the pancake on the spatula and pick the pan off of the stove. Hold it an angle near the pancake so you don’t have to completely flip it 180 degrees if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.

key lime

Key Lime Pie Pancakes

A tangy twist on the traditional fluffy breakfast
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 3



  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • Butter for pan
  • Toasted coconut optional

Key lime cream cheese sauce

  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 key limes zest
  • 1 lime’s juice
  • Pinch of salt

Graham Cracker Crumble

  • 9 graham crackers crushed
  • 4 tbsp butter melted
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cardamom



  • In a medium mixing bowl, sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  • In a smaller bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, and butter together. Pour with the dry ingredients and fold the batter until just combined. No pockets of flour should be seen.
  • Turn a large nonstick skillet on medium heat. When hot add a touch of butter until the bottom of the pan is lightly covered.
  • With a ladle, scoop the pancake batter onto the pan and let cook 2-3 minutes until bubbles start to form, then flip and let cook for 2-3 additional minutes until golden brown. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all the batter is used up.

Key Lime Sauce

  • For the sauce, add the room temperature cream cheese and sift the powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream both ingredients for 1 minute until the ingredients lightly combine.
  • Add the milk, vanilla, zest, juice, and salt and mix for 5 further minutes or until a sauce consistency forms. It should be slightly runny, but add additional sugar or milk until you reach your desired consistency.

Graham Cracker Crumble

  • Set the oven to 350F/180C
  • Take a sleeve of graham crackers and crush the whole crackers into small crumbs.
  • Add the crackers, butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom into a small mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until the crumbs start to clump together from the butter.
  • Take a baking sheet out and line with parchment paper. Spread the crumbs on the sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 6-8 minutes until the crumbs get slightly darker.


  • Stack your pancakes and spoon the key lime sauce as you would maple syrup. Sprinkle a small handful of graham cracker crumbs and enjoy your early morning take on everyone’s favorite pie!
Keyword Breakfast, Brunch, Pancakes

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