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These key lime bars have the perfect balance of fresh and zesty key lime filling on top of a buttery, crumbly crust. These easy key lime bars are the perfect citrus dessert for parties!

a stack of three key lime bars separated by parchment paper surrounded by fresh lime slices and lime zest
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Eating key lime pie always transports me to the Florida Keys, in my mind, at least!

These creamy, tart key lime pie bars have that same flavor in the creamy filling, with the perfect pairing of graham cracker crust. These are seriously the best key lime pie bars! Not only are they delicious, but they’re also incredibly easy to make. Plus, you can customize them to your liking by adding your favorite toppings.

The key lime pie filling is made with just four simple ingredients, baked on top of a moist yet slightly crunchy graham cracker crust.

When it is finished baking, the bars can be cut into small squares and served with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of lime zest or slices of fresh limes.

key lime pie bars on white plates with forks surrounded by a bowl of whole limes, slices of lime and sprinkled with fresh lime zest

Why You’ll Love These Key Lime Bars

  • Perfect amount of tangy lime flavor
  • Great twist on classic key lime pie
  • Easy and delicious bars to take to a party
  • Perfect summer dessert
ingredients for key lime bars including pecans, key lime zest, brown sugar, eggs, graham crackers, sweetened condensed milk, butter and key lime juice

What You’ll Need for Key Lime Pie Bars

Move over, traditional key lime pie! Get ready to make your new favorite key lime pie recipe in the form of bars. This easy-to-make recipe makes the best key lime bars. It’s seriously the real deal. Get the full measurements in the recipe card below.

Crust             

  • Graham cracker crumbs – about 11 crackers or store-bought crumbs
  • Pecans
  • Light brown sugar
  • Unsalted butter – Don’t forget to melt your butter!

Filling

  • Egg yolks
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Lime zest
  • Key lime juice – Freshly squeezed from fresh key limes

Optional garnish

  • Whipped cream
  • Key Lime zest
  • Key Lime wedges or slices
3 square key lime bars on a plate topped with fresh lime slices and sprinkled with lime zest, surrounded by a bowl of limes, another plate with a key lime bar on it more lime slices and a bowl of lime zest

How to Make Key Lime Bars

This key lime bars recipe is not intimidating, even if it’s your first time baking. This is a great recipe for parties or family gatherings! Get the full measurements and instructions in the recipe card below.

Preheat oven. Set oven to 350° F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with foil or parchment paper if desired.

Make graham cracker crumbs. Break the graham crackers into large pieces and place in a food processor along with the pecans. Process until you have fine crumbs. Alternatively, you can place the crackers and pecans in a zip lock bag and use a rolling pin to gently pound and roll them into crumbs.

Mix graham cracker crust ingredients. Place the crumb mixture in a bowl with the brown sugar. Add in the melted butter and combine until the crumbs are well moistened.

Add crust to pan. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the baking pan, making sure it is even and firmly packed.

Bake crust. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Beat egg yolks. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks until they are lighter in color and thick, 2-3 minutes

Combine key lime filling ingredients. Beat in the sweetened condensed milk until combined. Add the zest and the juice and beat again until thoroughly mixed.

Add filling to crust. Pour the filling on to the baked crust and bake for 15 minutes, until it’s just set.

Cool. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator for 3 hours, or overnight.

Cut and serve. Cut into squares, and serve with whipped cream and lime zest or lime slices if desired. Store the bars in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

key lime bars in a pan lined with parchment paper, cut into squares with one slice being lifted out by a spatula, surrounded by fresh lime slices and a bowl of limes

Tips for Making the Best Key Lime Bars

  • Easy removal. You can line the pan with parchment paper or foil before you start, which makes for easier removal of the dessert bars.
  • Pressing the crust. Use the bottom of a jar or measuring cup to help press the buttery graham cracker crust into the pan
  • Vibrant yellow key lime bars. If you use fresh eggs straight from a local farm, the yolks are usually bright orange/yellow, so your bars will appear more yellow.
  • Plan for plenty of chill time. You might even want to make these a day ahead of time before you plan to serve.
  • Use a citrus press for juicing the limes. It’s worth the work! Bottled key lime juice just doesn’t taste the same, plus you’ll have the fresh lime zest for a topping!
  • Get the most from your limes. Roll your limes back and forth on the counter with your hand. This loosens things up and will help extract more juice.
  • Zest limes with ease. A microplane works great for zesting limes.
  • Feeding a larger crowd? Double the recipe and make it in a 9×13 pan.
key lime bars in a square baking pan lined with parchment paper surrounded by a bowl of whole limes and fresh lime slices on the counter beside the pan

Substitutions & Variations

  • Make extra creamy key lime bars. For an extra creamy option, add a couple of ounces of softened cream cheese to the filling mixture. Beat it first, then proceed with the eggs and the rest of the recipe.
  • Buy graham cracker crumbs. You can purchase graham cracker crumbs rather than crushing them yourself. You can find them at the grocery store near the premade pie crusts.

FAQs

Can I substitute regular limes for key limes?

Yes, regular limes are a great substitute for key limes in this recipe. You will need fewer limes to obtain the same amount of zest and juice because key limes are usually smaller than regular limes.

What is the difference between key limes and limes?

Key limes are typically sweeter, smaller, rounder, and more yellow than limes.

Can key lime pie bars be frozen?

Yes. Be sure to put them in an airtight container or freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. Defrost in the refrigerator before serving.

3 square key lime bars on a plate topped with fresh lime slices and sprinkled with lime zest, surrounded by a bowl of limes, another plate with a key lime bar on it more lime slices and a bowl of lime zest

More Dessert Bar Recipes

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Key Lime Bars

By: Beth
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours
Servings: 9 bars
These key lime bars have the perfect balance of fresh and zesty key lime filling on top of a buttery, crumbly crust. These easy key lime bars are the perfect dessert for parties!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs, about 11 crackers
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • cup light brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon key lime zest
  • ½ cup key lime juice, freshly squeezed from key limes

Optional garnish

  • Whipped cream
  • Lime zest
  • Lime wedges or slices

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 8×8 inch pan with foil or parchment paper if desired.
  • Break the graham crackers into large pieces and place in a food processor along with the pecans. Process until you have fine crumbs. Alternatively, you can place the crackers and pecans in a zip lock bag and use a rolling pin to gently pound and roll them into crumbs.
  • Place the crumb mixture in a bowl with the brown sugar. Add in the melted butter and combine until the crumbs are well moistened.
  • Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the baking pan, making sure it is even and firmly packed.
  • Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks until they are lighter in color and thick, 2-3 minutes.
  • Beat in the sweetened condensed milk until combined. Add the zest and the juice and beat again until thoroughly mixed.
  • Pour the filling on to the baked crust and bake for 15 minutes, until it’s just set.
  • Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator for 3 hours, or overnight.
  • Cut into squares, and serve with whipped cream and lime zest or lime slices if desired. Store the bars in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 524IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 1mg
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About Beth

I believe that everyone should have a go-to dessert to bring to parties! With hundreds of recipes, I'll help you find yours!

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