Key Lime Pie Bars – Simple Recipe

You’re going to like these 7-ingredient key lime pie bars, a sq. model of my favourite key lime pie recipe. Cream cheese provides probably the most pleasant cheesecake taste (and helps the bars set!), and a buttery graham cracker crust is an excellent base for the tangy filling.

stack of 3 key lime pie bars on floral green plate.

Like key lime pie (and even mini margarita cheesecakes!), these key lime pie bars are actually probably the most refreshing, flavorful spring/summer season desserts. And you recognize what? They’re extremely simple to make.

At the moment’s recipe is often my go-to once I want a no-fuss eye-catching deal with. I simply introduced them to a BBQ the opposite evening! (See much more BBQ cookout desserts.)

Why You’ll Love These Key Lime Pie Squares

  • All the feel and taste of conventional key lime pie, however a bit extra cheesecake-y
  • Solely 7 elements (see all of my 8 elements or fewer recipes)
  • Tangy-sweet taste
  • Thick, buttery graham cracker crust, or spice issues up with gingersnap crumbs!
  • Seize & go—no fork wanted!
overhead photo of key lime pie bars with lie wedges and whipped cream on top.

You Want Simply 7 Substances:

And this contains the crust. I depend key lime zest AND juice as 1 ingredient… key limes!

ingredients on marble counter including cream cheese, sugar, key limes, melted butter, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks.

Begin With a Crumb Crust

Under you’ll discover my fundamental graham cracker crust recipe. It matches right into a 9-inch sq. baking pan completely, in addition to many 8-inch and 10-inch pans, and pie dishes. I like this explicit crust as a result of it’s altogether crunchy, buttery, thick, and never overly candy like many crumb crusts of its form. I take advantage of it for strawberry cream cheese pie, lemon blueberry cheesecake bars, and these mini key lime pies.

  • You want a cautious ratio of three elements: graham cracker crumbs, sugar, & melted butter.
  • Use a food processor or blender to grind 12 full-sheet graham crackers into crumbs.
  • Stir the graham cracker crumbs and sugar collectively earlier than mixing within the melted butter.
  • Press into your lined pan simply till it’s now not crumbly. Don’t pack down too onerous.

Different crust choices:

  1. Gingersnap Crust: The unique model of this recipe referred to as for a crust constructed from finely crushed gingersnap cookie crumbs combined with melted salted butter. I used store-bought gingersnaps, the onerous and crunchy form. The candy/spicy taste of the gingersnaps is an surprising and pleasant distinction to the tangy taste of key lime. If you happen to’d wish to make the crust with gingersnaps, you’ll find the directions within the recipe Notes. (Gingersnap cookie crumbs could be unbelievable on these the wrong way up key lime pies, too!)
  2. Graham Nut Crust: Or you might mix graham cracker crumbs with floor macadamia nuts, like I do in my favourite key lime pie recipe.
  3. Pretzel Crust: Or strive the pretzel crust from these peanut butter cup pretzel bars.

Regardless of which crumb crust you select to make use of, press it right into a 9-inch sq. baking pan lined with parchment paper, and provides it a head begin within the oven whilst you combine collectively your filling. (10 minutes prebake, as instructed beneath.)

spoon flattening graham cracker crust in lined baking pan.

Key Lime Pie Sq. Filling

This 4-ingredient filling is tart, creamy, and candy. The right stability of all three. Tangy, not bitter. Easy, with simply the proper custard-meets-cheesecake texture.

First, you want key lime juice.

Can I Use Common Lime Juice As a substitute of Key Lime Juice?

Key limes may be troublesome to trace down out of season, which is almost all of the 12 months. They’re smaller, extra yellow, and a bit sweeter than customary limes. You’ll be able to substitute common limes for key limes on this recipe, or use half lime juice and half lemon juice.

Can I Use Bottled Key Lime Juice?

Sure, completely. The model I usually purchase is named Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice, and it’s bought in most main grocery shops subsequent to the bottled lemon juice. Not solely does this make it attainable for year-round key lime pie squares, however it’s additionally loads simpler than juicing all these tiny key limes by hand!

You additionally want the next elements:

  1. Cream Cheese: I don’t use it in my key lime pie recipe, however I wished at present’s filling to lean a bit extra in the direction of key lime cheesecake. The flavour is refined—we’re solely utilizing 4 ounces of cream cheese within the filling (1/2 of a block), and that small quantity manages to supply the creamiest key lime pie bars on the earth. Keep away from the fat-free form.
  2. Egg Yolks: Egg yolks stabilize and arrange the important thing lime filling.
  3. Sweetened Condensed Milk: One 14-ounce can of full-fat sweetened condensed milk sweetens the dessert and gives a easy texture. I additionally use this in my oatmeal lemon crumble bars.
  4. Lime Zest: Lime zest offers the filling some colourful speckles, to not point out much more lime taste. Zest both 1 common lime or 2 key limes.

Unfold the filling over the crust whereas the crust continues to be heat. Why? It will assist the filling adhere to the crust a bit higher.

batter with lime zest in glass bowl and shown again being spread on graham cracker crust.
square baking pan with baked key lime bars not cut yet.

The bars don’t take lengthy to bake to bake, however they do require cooling and chilling earlier than you may slice into them.

Methods to Minimize Neat Squares

Cool baked key lime pie bars at room temperature for about 1 hour, after which refrigerate them for two hours or till the underside of the pan feels chilly. If you happen to reduce the bars into squares too early, they’ll disintegrate. If I’m serving these at a celebration or occasion, I put together them the evening earlier than simply so I do know they’ll cool and chill lengthy sufficient to yield neat squares.

Slice them with a pointy knife and wipe the knife clear between every reduce.

Are you hungry but? As a result of I don’t have any key lime pie squares left to share. 😉

key lime pie bars with piped whipped cream and lime slices on top.
stack of 3 key lime pie bars on floral green plate.

For extra summer season dessert inspiration, see my roundups of favourite Memorial Day recipes and BBQ cookout dessert recipes.


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stack of 3 key lime pie bars on floral green plate.

Key Lime Pie Squares

  • Creator:

  • Prep Time:

  • Prepare dinner Time:

  • Complete Time:
    3 hours, half-hour

  • Yield:
    16 bars

  • Class:

  • Methodology:

  • Delicacies:


You want simply 7 elements to make these easy key lime pie bars, a handheld model of my key lime pie recipe. At the moment’s bars are creamy and tangy with a easy graham cracker crust. Make sure you cool and chill the bars earlier than chopping into squares.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 9-inch sq. baking pan (I like this one and this one) with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the perimeters to simply carry the bars out of the pan. Put aside.
  2. Make the crust: If you happen to’re beginning out with full graham crackers, use a food processor or blender to grind them into wonderful crumbs. It’s also possible to place them in a zip-top bag and crush them into wonderful crumbs with a bit arm muscle and a rolling pin. Stir the graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar collectively in a medium bowl, after which stir within the melted butter. The combination will likely be thick, coarse, and sandy. Attempt to smash/break up any massive chunks. Press into the underside of the lined pan.
  3. Prebake crust: Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Cool for a couple of minutes as you put together the filling within the subsequent step.
  4. Make the filling: Utilizing a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high pace till easy, about 1 minute. Beat within the egg yolks. Scrape down the perimeters of the bowl as wanted. Beat within the sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, and lime zest till mixed. After mixing the filling together with your mixer, give it a remaining whisk by hand to verify there are not any cream cheese lumps on the backside of the bowl. Pour/spoon filling evenly onto the nice and cozy crust.
  5. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or till the sides of the bars seem set and the middle is just *barely* jiggly.
  6. Take away from the oven and permit to chill for half-hour at room temperature on a wire rack after which chill within the fridge for at the very least 2-3 hours.
  7. Carry the parchment paper out of the pan and reduce into squares. Be at liberty to garnish with whipped cream, lime slices, and/or additional lime zest. I used Wilton 1M piping tip on the pictured bars.
  8. The bars keep recent in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 5 days.


  1. Make Forward & Freezing Directions: You’ll be able to freeze the bars for as much as 3 months. Thaw in a single day within the fridge earlier than serving.
  2. Particular Instruments (affiliate hyperlinks): Food Processor | 9-Inch Square Baking Pan or this 9-Inch Square Baking Pan | Glass Mixing Bowl | Citrus Zester | Citrus Juicer | Electrical Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Cooling Rack | Piping Bag (Reusable or Disposable) | Wilton 1M Piping Tip
  3. Non-US Readers: ​​Don’t have graham crackers the place you reside? Use 200g floor digestive biscuit crumbs as an alternative (about 13–14 biscuits), the identical quantity of butter, and add a bit extra sugar (about 1/3 cup, or 67g). Chances are you’ll want so as to add a number of additional minutes to the pre-baking time, as digestive biscuits aren’t fairly as crispy-crunchy as graham crackers. And from what I perceive, spreadable cream cheese bought in a bath in nations outdoors of the US is a bit completely different from the spreadable cream cheese within the US. It’s thicker, sturdier, and extra strong and needs to be OK to make cheesecake. I’ve no expertise with it, however that is what I’ve heard from different non-US readers.
  4. Gingersnap Crust: The unique recipe used to name for a gingersnap crust. To make this model, mix 2 cups (240g) finely crushed crunchy gingersnap cookies with 3 Tablespoons melted salted butter. Pre-baking and baking directions stay the identical.
  5. Can I Bake This in a 9×13-inch Pan? You’ll be able to, however I’ve had higher outcomes baking a smaller batch, as written, within the 9-inch pan. If you wish to make a bigger batch, double every ingredient and bake in a 9×13-inch pan. Prebake the crust for 10 minutes, pour within the filling, and bake for about 35 minutes.
  6. Leftover Egg Whites: Listed below are all my recipes that decision for egg whites.

Key phrases: key lime pie bars