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Luscious Key Lime Pie Bars

These decadent key lime pie bars are the perfect summer dessert. Sweet flavors mixed with bright and tangy key limes.

The bars have a graham cracker crust with a sweet and tangy key lime center. The filling has cream cheese and freshly zested key limes in the middle. The topping is a delicious whipped cream topping with cream cheese and lime zest

If you’re a key lime pie fan, you have to try these! I served these for a girls night I hosted and they loved them!

Key Lime Pie Bars

These bars are easy to make and just require a little bit of time. Well worth the effort! I will be making for every summer gathering this year.

What are Key Limes?

Key limes, also known as Mexican limes or West Indian limes, are a type of small citrus fruit. They are typically about the size of a golf ball, with a thin, smooth, greenish-yellow skin and a high acidity level. Key limes are known for their distinct tart flavor and aromatic qualities, which make them popular for use in cooking and baking, particularly in desserts like Key lime pie. They are native to Southeast Asia but are now cultivated in various tropical and subtropical regions around the world.

Are key limes different than regular limes?

Yes, key limes are different from regular limes in several ways:

  1. Size: Key limes are smaller in size compared to regular limes. They are typically about 1 to 2 inches in diameter, whereas regular limes are larger, often around 2 to 3 inches in diameter.
  2. Color: Key limes are usually yellowish-green when ripe, with a thinner, smoother skin compared to the thicker, rougher skin of regular limes. However, they may also have a slightly orange tint when fully ripe. Regular limes are generally bright green when ripe.
  3. Flavor: Key limes have a more complex and intense flavor compared to regular limes. They are known for their unique tartness and aromatic qualities. The flavor of key limes is often described as more floral and slightly sweeter than that of regular limes.
  4. Acidity: Key limes tend to be more acidic than regular limes, which contributes to their distinctive tart flavor. This higher acidity level is one reason why they are favored in certain culinary applications, such as in Key lime pie.

While both key limes and regular limes can be used in cooking and baking, they may impart slightly different flavors to dishes due to their distinct characteristics.

Key Lime Bar Filling

Do you need to refrigerate Key Lime Pie Bars?

Yes, it’s generally recommended to refrigerate key lime pie bars, especially if they contain perishable ingredients like eggs or dairy (such as condensed milk or cream cheese). Refrigeration helps to preserve the freshness and prevent the growth of bacteria, ensuring that the bars remain safe to eat for a longer period.

Additionally, refrigeration can help the bars maintain their texture and prevent them from becoming too soft or mushy, particularly in warmer climates or during hot weather.

Before serving, you can allow the key lime pie bars to come to room temperature for a few minutes if desired, as this can enhance their flavor and make them easier to slice. However, it’s important to return any leftovers to the refrigerator promptly to maintain their quality and safety.

Graham Cracker Crust For Key Lime Pie Bars `

Why won’t my graham cracker crust hold together?

There could be several reasons why your graham cracker crust isn’t holding together:

  1. Not Enough Binder: The binder in a graham cracker crust typically comes from melted butter or another fat. If you didn’t use enough butter or fat, the crumbs won’t stick together well enough to form a cohesive crust.
  2. Not Enough Pressure: When pressing the crust into the pan, make sure you apply enough pressure to compact the crumbs tightly. Using the bottom of a flat measuring cup or glass can help ensure even pressure.
  3. Crushed Graham Crackers Too Coarse: If the graham crackers are crushed too coarsely, the crumbs may not stick together properly. Aim for a fine, even texture when crushing the crackers.
  4. Underbaking: If you bake the crust for too short a time, the butter won’t have a chance to fully bind the crumbs together. Make sure to bake the crust according to the recipe instructions until it’s golden brown and set.
  5. Overbaking: Conversely, if you bake the crust for too long, the butter can melt out of the crumbs, causing the crust to become crumbly. Keep an eye on the crust while it bakes to prevent overbaking.
  6. Not Chilling the Crust: After pressing the crust into the pan, it’s important to chill it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before adding the filling. This helps the crust firm up and hold its shape.
Luscious Key Lime Pie Bars
Yield: 20

Luscious Key Lime Pie Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Decadent key lime pie bars with sweet and tangy flavors.


  • Crust:
  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 6 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Filling:
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1 can sweeten condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp key lime zest
  • Topping:
  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream



  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchement paper (leave extra length on the sides for easy removal from pan)
  3. In a small bowl add crushed graham crackers, 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter.
  4. Stir until combined
  5. Press graham cracker crust firmly into the 8x8 baking dish until flattened.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes until just starting to brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool


  1. While the crust cools start the filling
  2. In a large mixing bowl add egg yolks, key lime juice and key lime zest.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Add cream cheese and mix until smooth.
  5. Add in the sweetened condensed milk and salt
  6. Mix until fully combined and smooth.
  7. Pour filling over the graham cracker crust and place in oven.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes until filling starts to set
  9. Remove from oven and cool at room temperature for 20 minutes
  10. Place pan in the fridge and cool an additional 2-3 hours until filling is set and no longer jiggly.


  1. In a large mixing bowl add softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.
  2. Mix until smooth
  3. Add in the heavy cream and mix until the texture becomes whipped and stiffer.
  4. Using a spatula spread the topping over the cooled bars evenly
  5. Zest a key lime over the top of the bars until you have a nice coating.
  6. Store bars in the frdige until you are ready to serve them.

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Key Lime Pie Bars Recipe


Monday 13th of May 2024

When do you add the key lime juice?

Kayti Lavergne

Monday 13th of May 2024

Thanks for pointing that out! I updated the recipe to include that. You add it into the filling during the mixing process.

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