These Key Lime Parfaits are the creamiest! Smooth layers of tart lime, whipped cream, and fudgy chocolate are separated by toasty graham cracker crumbs. Each step is simple and the resulting dessert is beautiful. You can go the extra mile by topping with a lovely mound of whipped cream and a slice of lime.
Ever since a television program I saw that featured a Key Lime pie slice, frozen and dipped in chocolate, and served on a stick, I’ve been searching for a perfect lime and chocolate combo to scratch that longing itch. This recipe stems from that culinary quest. And until I can get to the Florida Keys, this dessert near perfection.
There is minimal cooking in this recipe and no baking. You can cook the chocolate sauce on the stove or just opt to buy a jar of hot fudge instead. Other than that, the crunchy graham cracker topping cooks slightly in the stovetop melted butter before being spread on a cookie sheet to cool.
The key lime filling thickens on its own, no cooking required, thanks to a magical reaction of the sweetened condensed milk with the fresh lime juice. (Okay, it’s science, not magic).
If you decide not to use the food coloring, your lime filling will be a light yellow. The food coloring just helps the resulting goodness to resemble lime instead of lemon and keeps your taste buds from being fooled by the color.
For a lighter version, feel free to substitute non-dairy whipped cream. A 16 ounce tub is what you should need for this recipe.
Chocolate Sauce (May substitute 8-12oz jarred hot fudge sauce instead)
- 6 Tbsp. cubed butter
- 3 Tbsp. cocoa
- ¾ cup sugar
- 5 oz evaporated milk
- ½ tsp. vanilla
Graham Cracker Layer
- 6 Tbsp. butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (7 crackers)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Key Lime Filling
- 14oz sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup freshly squeezed key lime or lime juice
- 1 cup prepared whipped cream
- 1 drop green food coloring (optional)
- For Chocolate Sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate sauce ingredients except vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring with a whisk. Continue to whisk and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- For Graham Cracker Layer: Lay out parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Melt butter in a small saucepan over med-low heat. Stir in brown sugar and graham cracker crumbs and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes until crumbs darken slightly. Spread crumbs out thinly on prepared cookie sheet to cool.
- For Whipped Cream: In a clean metal or glass bowl, beat whipping cream ingredients until stiff peaks form.
- For Key Lime Filling: Beat sweetened condensed milk and lime juice with an electric mixer until thickened. Fold in 1 cup of the whipping cream. This will continue to thicken as it sits
- Assemble Parfaits: Scoop layers into 7- 1/2 pint size canning jars or into teacups. Layer 1 heaping teaspoon graham cracker crumbs,1 heaping Tablespoon key lime mixture, drizzle about 1 teaspoon chocolate sauce, and 1 Tablespoon whipped cream. Repeat layers twice. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Garnish with lime slices if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 7 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 903Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 35gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 168mgSodium: 355mgCarbohydrates: 94gFiber: 1gSugar: 84gProtein: 11g
I love the lime layer. But then I also love chocolate fudge! How to choose? Which layer is your favorite?