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Key lime pie bars topped with whipped cream and lime slices on a cooling rack.
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5 from 1 vote

Key Lime Pie Bars

These Key lime pie bars are the ultimate summer dessert. They're creamy, so refreshing, and have the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 9 bars
Calories 588kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker crumbs 10 whole crackers
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) butter
  • 1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar
  • pinch of salt

for the filling:

  • 6 oz (170g) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (14-oz/400ml) cans sweetened condensed milk 2 cans = 28 oz
  • 3/4 cup (180g) Key lime juice I used bottled ‘Joe and Nellie’s’ Key lime juice
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest

to serve:

  • 1 cup (240g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Instructions

Make the graham cracker crust:

  • Grease an 8-inch (20cm) square pan with butter and line with parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / Gas Mark 4, no fan (if you have a convection oven reduce the temperature by about 20° or follow the manufacturer's instructions).
  • If you've purchased whole graham crackers and not graham cracker crumbs, you need to pulse them in a food processor with sugar until crumbs form.
  • Add the cookie crumbs, salt, and melted butter into the pan. Stir with a spoon until all the crumbs are coated in butter.
  • Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan. I like to start with a spoon and then press the crumbs with the bottom of a measuring cup.
  • Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes or until golden.
  • Chill the crust for 10 minutes before filling.

Make the filling:

  • Combine egg yolks, cream cheese, lime zest, and sweetened condensed milk, mixing well with an electric mixer.
  • Slowly add lime juice, while continuing to mix until well blended. Mix it for about 2 minutes.
  • Pour the mixture into the baked cookie crust

Bake:

  • Bake for 20 minutes. The pie can be a little bit jiggly in the middle but it should look set on the surface and not 'wet'. There's no need to test it with a cake tester - it will be still a little bit too wet, it needs to be chilled to fully set.
  • Let cool to room temperature then put in the fridge for at least 4 hours and preferably 8 hours or overnight to fully set. When covering it with plastic foil make sure the pie is cooled down and the foil doesn't touch the surface of the filling (it will leave marks, but you can also always cover them with whipped cream).
  • Beat heavy whipping cream with sugar until stiff.
  • Cut the pie into 9 bars (squares). Dollop a heaped tablespoon of whipped cream onto each bar. You can decorate the bars with lime slices.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Graham crackers - you can buy whole graham crackers and process them in a food processor to crumbs or purchase graham cracker crumbs. Instead of graham crackers, can use any other crumbly cookies. I used honey graham crackers.
  • Key lime juice - I used Joe and Nellie’s bottled key lime juice (you can buy it on Amazon). Using bottled juice is totally fine, but if you can find fresh Key limes, sure, use them. Juicing small Key limes can be a bit time-consuming though. You will need to juice about 25-30 small Key limes to get about 3/4 cup of juice. You can also use regular/Persian limes - the difference in flavor is small but noticeable. You will need about 5-6 Persian limes depending on how juicy and big they are.
  • For the whipped cream topping you can use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.
  • How to serve it: it tastes best chilled or 5-15 minutes after being taken out of the fridge.
  • How to store it: These bars keep very well. They're best on the day of baking only because the crust is still a bit crunchy (it softens the next day). The filling is like freshly baked for at least 5 days. Keep them covered in the fridge. The whipped cream is best freshly prepared but it will also be ok-ish the next day.
  • Storing the crust: You can prepare the graham cracker crust 1-2 days in advance, cool it completely, then cover it tightly and store in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
  • How to freeze it: These bars freeze very well. Wrap them in plastic foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge overnight.
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/9 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!

Nutrition

Calories: 588kcal