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Key Lime Pie Bars

Ready for a sunny treat? These key lime pie bars are sure to please with their zesty, refreshing flavor and creamy texture. A little sunshine in every bite!

a key lime pie bar served on a black plate

These key lime pie bars offer a slice of paradise with their tangy citrus flavor and creamy, dreamy layers. It starts with a buttery graham cracker crust, followed by a sweet lime filling, and topped with fluffy whipped cream. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, planning a picnic in the park, or simply treating yourself to a sweet indulgence, these bars are guaranteed to steal the show!

Why You’ll Love This Key Lime Pie Bars Recipe

  • Bursting with citrus flavor. Enjoy the bright, tangy essence of freshly squeezed key limes in every mouthwatering bite.
  • Easy to make. These bars are perfect for both novice and experienced bakers alike. You’ll love how effortlessly they come together!
  • Perfect balance of texture. Delight in the perfect harmony of textures as you sink your teeth into the fluffy whipped cream, followed by the creamy, velvety filling atop a buttery graham cracker crust.
  • Sure to impress. From casual get-togethers to special occasions, these key lime pie bars are guaranteed to steal the show. Get ready for rave reviews and requests for the recipe—it’s that good!
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overhead view of ingredients for key lime pie bars

What You’ll Need

See the recipe card below for the full recipe, including ingredient quantities and instructions.

  • Graham cracker crumbs – You’ll need about 20 graham crackers (the full sheets) to make the crumbs for this pie. Grind them into fine crumbs in a food processor or blender, or place them in a zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin. Alternatively, you can purchase a box of graham cracker crumbs.
  • Sugar – This adds sweetness but also helps the crust hold together better.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Egg yolks – If you need a use for the leftover egg whites, make a batch of coconut macaroons or brownie brittle.
  • Sweetened condensed milk – Don’t confuse this with evaporated milk, which is thinner and not sweetened.
  • Key limes – You’ll need both juice and zest. These limes are quite small, so you’ll need quite a few to get a cup of juice. Because their size and juiciness can vary, there’s not a set answer here. Count on needing at least 20 to get a cup of juice.
  • Heavy cream – Look for heavy cream or heavy whipping cream. Make sure it’s very cold before whipping it.
  • Confectioners’ sugar – Also labeled as powdered sugar.
  • Vanilla extract

What’s the Difference Between Key Limes and Regular Limes?

Key limes are smaller than regular (Persian) limes. Their skins are also thinner. Key limes are also more acidic and have a sweeter, more intense citrus flavor. Persian limes are less acidic with a tarter flavor.

You can use Persian limes in this recipe, but you’ll get a different flavor profile. For the classic flavor, key limes are essential.

How to Make Key Lime Pie Bars

  • Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″ x 13″ x 2″ baking pan, and line it with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs on the two long sides for easy removal.
  • Make the crust. Combine the cookie crumbs and sugar, and then stir in the butter until the mixture is thoroughly moistened. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Make the filling. Whisk together the egg yolks and condensed milk, and then whisk in the key lime juice followed by the lime zest.
  • Bake. Pour the key lime filling over the partially baked crust. Bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is set with a slight jiggle in the center. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Make the topping. Whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Start at low speed and work up to higher speeds over a minute or so to help prevent making a mess. Spread over the top of the cooled bars.
  • Chill. Refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight to allow the bars to set.
  • Slice and serve. Use the overhanging parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Garnish with more lime zest if you like.
sliced key lime pie bars on a cutting board

Tips for Success

  • Use fresh lime juice. Bottled juice doesn’t offer the same great flavor as fresh limes.
  • Zest first. Always zest before juicing!
  • Chill before serving. This lets the bars set fully and also enhances the flavor. Count on at least 2 hours of chilling, but overnight is even better.
  • Use a sharp knife. When cutting the bars, use a sharp knife and wipe it clean between cuts for neat, professional-looking slices. Use a ruler to measure where you’ll cut, making a small mark with your knife along the edges.
overhead view of sliced key lime pie bars, with one bar turned on its side


  • Change the crust. For something a bit different, try using a different cookie (like vanilla wafers or pecan sandies) for the crust. You could also use a shortbread crust like the one in my lemon blueberry cheesecake bars.
  • Flavor the whipped cream. Vanilla whipped cream is a great topping here, but try using lime juice for even bigger citrus flavor or substitute a different extract, like coconut or almond for some contrasting flavor.
  • Go sweet and salty. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the top of the bars before serving to enhance the flavor profile and add a satisfying contrast to the sweetness.
a key lime pie bar on a white plate with lime wedges

How to Store

Key lime pie bars can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To keep them fresh, cover them tightly with plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container.

Can These Bars Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze key lime pie bars. Once fully cooled, wrap the bars tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place them in an airtight container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

a key lime pie bar with a bite missing on a white plate with another bar and limes in the background

Key Lime Pie Bars

Yield 15 to 20 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes

Enjoy the creamy, zesty filling and buttery crust of classic key lime pie in convenient bar form!

three key lime pie bars on a white plate


For the Crust:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 20 graham cracker sheets)
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons (141g) unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup (237ml) freshly squeezed key lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons key lime zest (plus more for garnish)

For the Topping:

  • 2 cups (473ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (28g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


To make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan with cooking spray, and then line it with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on the sides for easy removal.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in the melted butter until thoroughly combined and moistened.
  3. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  4. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool while you make the filling.

To make the filling:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Gradually whisk in the key lime juice until well combined. Then, stir in the key lime zest until evenly distributed.
  2. Pour the filling mixture over the baked crust, spreading it evenly.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is set with a slight jiggle in the center.
  4. Cool the bars completely.

To make the topping:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.
  2. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the top of the bars.
  3. Refrigerate the bars for at least 2 hours, or until the cream topping is set.
  4. Use the overhanging parchment to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into bars. Garnish with additional key lime zest before serving.

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