Home Desserts Key Lime Pie Bars

Key Lime Pie Bars

Key lime pie bars have the same signature taste and texture as the classic Florida dessert.

Only these travel well. So they’re perfect for picnics, potlucks, or just keeping in the fridge for a refreshing treat on a hot day. 

The bright, fresh flavor is a total crowd-pleaser. 

If you’re a fan of key lime pie, you’ve got to try this simple, portable version. It’s like a little taste of the Florida Keys right in your own kitchen.

Two slices of key lime pie bars stacked with whipped cream and lime zest on top
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Why You’ll Love These Key Lime Pie Bars

Easy Entertaining: These tangy and sweet bars, with their bright, refreshing flavor, appeal to a wide range of tastes. And the convenient bar format makes serving and sharing a breeze.

Impressive (and Easy!) Presentation: The three-layer structure of the crust, filling, and whipped cream topping creates a visually stunning dessert. Better yet, all you have to do is spread it evenly – no baker skills needed.

Sunny Summer Taste: Key lime is bright, refreshing, and the epitome of summer. Add a crumbly crust and creamy finish, and you’ll want to make them all year.

Ingredients

  • Graham Cracker Crumbs – Provides a crunchy and sweet base. Feel free to use another kind of cookie.
  • Granulated Sugar – Adds sweetness and helps bind the crust.
  • Unsalted Butter – Melts into the crumbs and sets after baking to hold the filling. 
  • Cream Cheese – Adds creaminess and helps to thicken the filling.
  • Yolks – Contribute to the richness and structure of the filling.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – Offers sweetness and a creamy texture.
  • Key Lime Juice – Gives the characteristic tangy flavor. It’s also how the pie sets!
  • Lime Zest – Enhances the lime flavor with a fresh citrus note.
  • Heavy Cream and Powdered Sugar – Combined to create a light, sweet whipped cream topping.
A rectangle baking dish of crushed grahams on a white marble countertop
Creamy filling mixture of cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice and zest

How to Make Key Lime Pie Bars

I love how easy these bars are to make. A little mixing, a little baking, and then let the fridge do the rest. 

1. PREP: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.

2. CRUST: Combine crust ingredients until moistened, then press into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (150°C).

3. FILLING: Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Blend in the yolks, followed by the sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, and lime zest. 

4. BAKE. Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 35-40 minutes until set. Let the bars cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

5. TOPPING: Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar to stiff peaks. Spread over chilled bars and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

6. SERVE: Lift the bars from the pan using the parchment overhang, cut into squares, garnish with lime zest, and serve.

Creamy and silky key lime pie bars on a white marble countertop with lime slices on top, top down view

Tips For the Best Key Lime Pie Bars

These key lime pie bars are dangerously addictive – it’s impossible to eat just one! 

Luckily, they couldn’t be easier to whip up. Just read these tips first:

  • Nellie & Joe’s. Finding key limes can be tricky. So, look for Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice for the most authentic key lime flavor.
  • Avoid overbaking. Bake the bars just until the filling is set but still slightly jiggly in the center to prevent cracking. They’ll set up more as they cool. 
  • Chill completely. Allow the bars to chill for at least 3 hours or overnight so they fully set.
  • Clean slices. For neat slices, run a chef’s knife under hot water, wipe it dry with paper towels, then press straight down, like a cleaver. Repeat and wipe the knife clean between each cut.
  • Make ahead. Make and cool the bars, then wrap them tightly with plastic. Keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Make the whipped cream just before serving.
  • Variations. Swap the graham cracker crust for gingersnaps, vanilla wafers, or shortbread cookies. Add toasted coconut, chopped pecans, or lime zest to the crust. Substitute regular limes if key limes are unavailable.
Flavorful homemade key lime squares, featuring a smooth and velvety filling and a thick layer of whipped cream on top

How to Store

If you try out this recipe, let me know what you think!

I’m curious to see how many of you had leftovers since they’re usually gone in the blink of an eye in my house.

To Store: Wrap the tray in plastic or transfer leftovers to an airtight container (in a single layer). Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. For best quality, place a paper towel in the bottom of the container to absorb excess moisture.

To Freeze: Key lime pie bars can be frozen for up to 3 months when stored in an airtight, freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

More Dessert Bars You’ll Love

Pecan Slab Pie
Apple Pie Bars
Cheesecake Crescent Rolls
Cake Mix Cookie Bars

Key Lime Pie Bars

Course: DessertCuisine: American
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

15

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minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

477

kcal

Tangy key lime pie bars with a buttery graham cracker crust – an easy, portable twist on the classic pie with a creamy, tart filling and crisp crust.

Ingredients

  • For the Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) graham cracker crumbs, crushed (about 12 full sheets)

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • For the Filling
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 6 yolks

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 cup key lime juice (preferably Nellie and Joe’s brand)

  • zest of 2 regular limes or 4 key limes

  • For the Topping
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

  • lime zest to garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°). Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on the sides. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Make the crust: Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well combined. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 300°F (150°C) and set the crust aside to cool.
  • Make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium until smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then blend in the yolks.
  • With the mixer on low, add the sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, and lime zest and blend until fully incorporated.
  • Pour the filling over the crust and spread into an even layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the filling is slightly jiggly but set. Let the bars cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours to fully set.
  • Make the topping: Beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar on low until thick, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip to stiff peaks. Spread evenly over the key lime bars and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Once chilled, use the parchment overhang to carefully lift the bars out of the pan. Cut them into squares with a sharp chef’s knife, sprinkle with lime zest, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Nellie & Joe’s. Finding key limes can be tricky. So, look for Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice for the most authentic key lime flavor.
  • Avoid overbaking. Bake the bars just until the filling is set but still slightly jiggly in the center to prevent cracking. They’ll set up more as they cool.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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