You'll need less than 10 ingredients to make these delicious Key Lime Pie Bars. The combination of the tart key lime juice and the sweet coconut cookie crust create perfect balance of sweet and tangy. With the scrumptious taste and ease of preparation these bars are sure to become a family favorite.
If you love lime desserts, you'll love these bars, which are based on my classic key lime pie recipe. This is a great recipe if you're looking for something refreshing and they make the perfect summer dessert for warm summer days.
Key Lime Pie Bars Recipe Ingredient
These easy citrusy key lime bars has just a few ingredients and it takes just minutes to make the crust and the filling.
Key Lime Pie Filling
- Key Lime Juice or Regular Lime Juice. Fresh key limes are small and it takes about 1-1/2 pounds to get the amount of juice needed for this recipe. If key limes are not available (and they can be hard to find), use Persian or regular limes, which are the typical version found in grocery stores.
- Lime Zest. The lime zest adds color and flavor to the pie filling. I use a Persain lime for the zest, because it's easier to zest.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk. Provides creaminess and sweetness to the pie. It also helps the pie to set to a near-solid consistency.
- Egg Yolks. The eggs provide structure, leavening, richness, color, and flavor to the pie. Make sure to use large eggs. The yolks should weigh about 20 grams each.
Coconut Cookie Crust
- Unbleached All-Purpose Flour. Provides the structure for the bar crust.
- Granulated Sugar. Adds sweetness to the dough and helps the dough come together quickly.
- Sweetened Shredded Coconut. The coconut pairs really well with the lime juice; and the sweetened coconut adds a nice chewiness to the crust.
- Unsalted Butter. Use butter that tastes good because the flavor will be prominent in the final crust.
- Unsalted Kosher. The salt balances and elevates all the other flavors.
I definitely recommend using fresh key lime juice for these bars as it has a distinctive fruity floral aroma. But you can also use regular limes, if you can't find key limes.
How to Make The Best Key Lime Pie Bars
These bars are so easy to make. The crust and filling are made by hand so you won't need an electric mixer and both are made within just a few minutes.
Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with two large strips of parchment paper to create a sling. The sling will be used to lift the bars from the pan when they are done.
Next make the coconut crust. Place the dry ingredients, including the shredded coconut, in a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine. Add the hot melted butter and stir together with a silicone spatula until no white bits of flour remain. Quickly press it into the pan.
Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes until the edges turn light brown and the bits of shredded coconut turn brown. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325F.
While the crust is in the oven, pour the sweetened condensed into a large bowl. Add the egg yolks, whisk together, then add the key lime juice and whisk until the juice is thoroughly incorporated.
Once the crust is baked, pour the key lime filling over the crust and use an offset spatula to spread the filling evenly over the crust. Bake the filling until the edges are set and it jiggles slightly in the center, about 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Let the bars cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight before cutting them into squares.
Remove the pan from the refrigerator and cut the bars with a sharp knife into nine (9) even squares. Top each square with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh lime wedge.
How to Store the Bars
Store the key lime squares in an airtight container for up to 1 week. The coconut crust will soften throughout the week, but the bars will still taste delicious.
Cookie Crust vs. Graham Cracker Crust
The crust for these key lime bars is my cookie crust recipe with the addition of sweetened coconut. The coconut adds a nice sweet balance with the tartness of the key lime filling and is a perfect pairing. A butter graham cracker crust is the classic crust for a traditional key lime and you can definitely use that instead. But I strongly recommend the sweet nutty flavor of the coconut cookie crust to pair with the key lime.
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- Use a scale to weigh the flour to ensure you have the right amount. Too little flour will result in a soft crust that won't hold the filling and too much flour will result in a dry crumbly crust.
- Melt the butter over medium-low heat to reduce splatter and evaporation.
- Add the butter to the dry ingredients while it's still hot. Hot butter will more easily combine with the dry ingredients.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
The key lime filling will be slightly solid around the edges and jiggly in the center.
Key limes are more bitter than regular limes and have a more floral fragrance. The bitterness of the lime balances well with the sweetness of the condensed milk.
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If You Love This Recipe Try These
Key Lime Pie Bars
- 1 Large Mixing Bowl
- 1 Medium Mixing Bowl
- 1 1/3 cups (189 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons (65 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (21 grams) sweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 11 tablespoons (157 grams) unsalted butter melted
Key Lime Filling
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 2/3 cup key lime juice or regular lime juice
- 3 large (60 grams) egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons lime zest use regular limes
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream cold
- 9 lime wedges
- Adjust 1 oven rack to the middle position in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly butter an 8x8-inch square baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper to create a sling. Lightly butter the sides of the parchment paper.
- Place the flour, sugar, and salt together to the bowl and whisk the ingredients together. Add the sweetened coconut and whisk to distribute the coconut. Add the warm melted butter and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a dough forms and no specks of the flour mixture remains.
- Press the dough into the bottom of the pan being sure to press it until the corners. Ensure the dough is an even layer.
- Bake it in the oven for 20 minutes or until the edges of the crust and the bits of sweetened coconut turn golden brown.
- While the crust is in the oven pour the sweetened condensed milk into a medium size bowl. Add the lime juice and whisk to combine, then add the egg yolks and whisk until the egg yolks are thoroughly incorporated. Zest two teaspoons into the filling and whisk together.
- Once the crust is finished, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Once the oven temperature is reduced pour the key lime filling over the warm crust and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly over the surface of the crust.
- Bake the key lime bars for 15 minutes just until the edges are set and the center of the key lime filling jiggles when you lightly shake the pan side to side. You will also see the edges just beginning to pull away from the sides of the baking pan.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Let the bars cool to room temperature and then refrigerate it for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve the bars cut them into 9 squares with a sharp knife. The squares will be a little over 2x2-inches each. Eat the bars plain or top each one with a dollop of whipped cream.
- The bars will keep for one week in the refrigerator in a container with a lid.
Kate O'Bryan says
Awesome recipe! I used the leftover egg whites to whip up meringue for the top. 🤗
Cheryl Norris says
Thank you for visiting the blog and making these key lime bars. I am so glad you enjoyed them. Good idea on using the egg whites for a meringue.