Coconut key lime tart platter full featured

Save Room for Coconut Key Lime Tart

We’ve covered the appetizers, turkey and side dishes, and finally it is now time to concentrate on dessert. The finale of the meal.

We know there has to be something pumpkin on the table. It’s basically a bylaw in the Thanksgiving rule book. But more than one dessert choice is expected on this particular day, so…

My rule of thumb when it comes to offering multiple desserts is this:

Pick one recipe that is over the top indulgent.
Pick one recipe that is not too sweet or too heavy.
Pick one recipe that is on the refreshing side.

This formula guarantees that there is something that will appeal to all tastes, AND for those who like a “sliver of each” (which is the way my family rolls), it’s not a sugar and richness overload sort of situation.

This Coconut Key Lime Tart falls into the “refreshing” category. I would describe the flavors as subtle. It has some tartness, not quite to the point of being sour, from the key lime. The consistency itself is not too heavy because coconut milk is used instead of cream. The coconut flavor is in the background. Even those that claim to not be coconut fans will probably be cool with this combination.

Coconut key lime tart platter close

The tart is finished with whipped cream and toasted coconut for flavor and texture.

Coconut key lime tart platter close up

A press-in graham cracker crust is used. I prefer a tart over a pie when using more crumbly crusts. This seems to make serving a bit more predictable or salvageable in case of a crust catastrophe.

Coconut key lime tart platter close up serving

This dessert does need to chill for a few hours – so bake the day before and garnish closer to serving time.

The tropical island feel of this tart totally vibes with this diverse menu. Consider it for your grand finale. Purist will be swayed…possibly unwillingly, but they will be swayed. Plus there is a pumpkin option to come, so you are covered. Stay tuned!

Coconut key lime tart plated full

Coconut Key Lime Tart

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Total: 4 hrs
  • Yields: 8-10 servings
Coconut key lime tart platter full featured


  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 14 ounces
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk, 14 ounces
  • ⅓ cup key lime juice (preferably fresh)
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 8 egg yolks
  • Zest of 2 key limes or limes
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted


Preheat the oven to 325°F.

In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the crust. Press the crumbs into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a springform pan or pie plate. Set it aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the filling. Pour the filling into the springform pan. Bake the tart for 35-40, minutes or until the center is set and is just slightly wobbly. If making in a pie pan, baking time will be slightly longer.

Cool the tart on a wire rack. Place the tart into the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Loosely cover it with plastic wrap or foil.

Before serving, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks using an electric mixer. Mound the whipped cream on top of the key lime custard and sprinkle the cream with toasted coconut.

Remove the sides of the springform pan and cut the tart into wedges to serve.