Key Lime Bars have a zingy lime filling and a buttery graham cracker crust. They taste like key lime pie but are made easy as a dessert bar recipe. It’s the perfect summer dessert!
I’ve made this key lime pie bars recipe no less than five times in the past two weeks and we are obsessed! They’re creamy and rich with the best lime flavor – just like a classic key lime pie but as dessert bars so they’re easy to slice and serve.
They might just be the dessert of the summer at our house – the kids have already requested them for Memorial Day weekend and the 4th of July. Since making them the first time, I’ve tweaked and adjusted the recipe so they are the perfect bite.
The best part is that they’re simple starting with the easy graham cracker crust and finishing with the creamy, rich lime filling.
The filling is made with egg yolks that are whipped until they’re thick and velvety. It gives the filling the best creamy texture. The texture reminds me of cheesecake but there’s no cream cheese.
The crust and filling are baked so the filling is perfectly set. You don’t need to worry about an oozing filling with this recipe. Once the bars are chilled they are perfection.
They are a great dessert for all the summer parties like potlucks and BBQs. You can make them a day ahead, keep them in the refrigerator, and then slice them into key lime squares when it’s party time.
You can make these bars with fresh key limes or, if you can’t find them, regular limes. If you love key lime pie, you need to make this recipe.
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- Melted butter
- Large egg yolks
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Fresh lime juice
- Fresh lime zest
How to Make Key Lime Bars
Line a 9×13” baking dish with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and both kinds of sugar in a medium bowl. Add the butter and stir to combine. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes and then set it aside to cool.
Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl with an electric mixer for two minutes. Add the condensed milk and whisk for two minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in the lime zest.
With the mixer running at low speed, slowly add the lime juice and then increase the mixer speed to medium. Mix for two minutes.
Pour the key lime filling into the crust and bake it for 15 minutes.
Cool the bars to room temperature and then chill them for at least two hours or overnight before slicing the bars.
Tips for the Best Results
Be sure to whip the lime filling for the recommended times listed in the recipe card. This will ensure your key lime bars have the best texture.
Don’t skip the chilling step. If you cut into the bars too soon the filling won’t be set. I think it’s best to make them a day in advance and letting them chill overnight.
Keep them cold until you are ready to serve them. If they sit out too long when it’s warm, the filling will soften.
For a special touch, spoon a dollop of whipped cream on top of each bar and add a sprinkle of lime zest for garnish. This makes them taste just like a slice of key lime pie.
How long do key lime bars last?
Leftover bars will keep in the refrigerator for three days. Keep them covered with plastic wrap.
Can you use lemons instead of limes?
Yes, if you want to make lemon bars go ahead and use the same amount of lemon juice and lemon zest instead of limes.
I just love citrus desserts during the summer and these key lime pie bars are destined to be a favorite. If you need a crowd-pleasing dessert for your upcoming summer celebrations they need to be on the list – Enjoy! XOXO San
More Dessert Bars
Don’t forget to pin this recipe to your favorite Pinterest board to make for later.
Key Lime Pie Bars
- 3 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs about 24 full sheets, I use my food processor
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup butter melted
- 6 egg yolks
- 28 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 2 Tablespoons lime zest 4-6 limes
- 1 cup key lime juice
- Position the rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a 9×13" metal pan with parchment paper, set aside.
- Mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and brown sugar. Add the butter and stir until all crumbs are moistened. Press into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven but leave the oven on.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk egg yolks for 2 minutes. Add the condensed milk and whisk for another 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides, then add the lime zest. With the mixer on low, slowly drizzle in the lime juice, then let the mixer run on medium for 2 minutes once added. Pour into the crust and bake for 15 minutes.
- Let cool to room temperature before moving to the fridge and chilling for at least 2 hours, or overnight for best results. Slice and serve chilled.