Introducing my 6 ingredient key lime pie bars, a square version of my favorite key lime pie recipe. Cream cheese adds the most delightful cheesecake flavor and a spiced gingersnap crust is a wonderful contrast to the tangy lime filling. You will fall in love with these zesty, easy-to-make bars!
Like key lime pie or mini key lime pies (or even mini margarita cheesecakes!), these key lime pie bars are truly one of the most refreshing, flavorful summer desserts. And you know what? They’re wildly easy to make. Why spend hours slaving away in your kitchen? With this bar recipe, you don’t have to.
Gingersnap Crust or Graham Cracker Crust
The crust is made from gingersnap cookies and butter. I used hard and crunchy gingersnap cookies that I found at the store in the cookie aisle. If you use homemade gingersnaps, make sure they are crunchy. If desired, use graham cracker crumbs instead. However, I strongly recommend the sweet/spicy gingersnap cookies to pair with the key lime.
Gingersnap cookie crumbs would be unbelievable on these upside down key lime pies, too.
Key Lime Pie Filling
The filling is tart, creamy, and sweet. The perfect balance of all three. Not sour in the slightest. For the best flavor, make sure you use key lime juice. It is usually with the regular lime and the lemon juice in the juice aisle.
The filling is simple– just 4 ingredients, minus the lime zest. You need key lime juice, egg yolks, fresh lime zest, sweetened condensed milk, and cream cheese. Cream cheese isn’t a typical ingredient and I don’t use it in my favorite key lime pie recipe, but I wanted the bar’s filling to have a slight cheesecake flavor. There’s only 4 ounces of cream cheese in the filling (1/2 of a block) and that small amount manages to produce the creamiest key lime pie bar in the world. Make sure you don’t use fat free.
Lime zest gives the filling some colorful speckles, not to mention even more lime flavor. You need the zest from one regular lime or 2 key limes. Then you can slice it up and use as garnish on the chilled key lime pie bars.
After baking the squares, cool completely, then chill in the refrigerator. What torture – two hours until you can dig in! Trust me, they’re worth the wait.
Are you hungry yet? Because I don’t have any key lime pie bars left to share. 😉Print
Key Lime Pie Squares
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
- Yield: 16 squares
- Category: Bars
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
6 ingredient key lime pie squares! You will fall in love with these zesty, easy-to-make bars– a square version of my favorite key lime pie recipe. Cream cheese adds the most delightful cheesecake flavor and a spiced gingersnap crust is a wonderful contrast to the tangy lime filling.
- 2 cups finely crushed *crunchy* gingersnap cookies (or graham crackers)
- 3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 4 large egg yolks
- 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk (not fat free)
- 1/2 cup key lime juice
- 2 teaspoons lime zest (about 1 lime)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 9×9 baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on the sides, and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Make the crust: Pulverize the crunchy gingersnap cookies into a fine crumb with a food processor. Pour into a medium sized bowl and mix with the melted butter. Press firmly and evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes as you make the filling.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on high speed until smooth. Beat in the egg yolks, scraping down the sides as needed. Beat in the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and lime zest until combined. Pour into the warm crust.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the edges of the bars begin to brown. Allow the bars to cool at room temperature in the pan on a wire rack. Once cooled, place the the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 2 hours.
- Once chilled, lift the bars out of the pan using the aluminum foil overhang. Cut into squares. Makes 16 squares. Store squares in the refrigerator (covered) for up to 1 week, if they last that long!
Keywords: key lime pie bars, key lime squares
Reader Comments & Reviews
Could you substitute fresh lemon juice for the lime juice?
Hi Shelley, that should work just fine. Enjoy!
It turned out sooo yummy!
Ok to use fresh lime juice, not specifically from key limes?
Hi Sandy, that should be fine.
How long do you think it needs to bake if you double the recipe and put it in a 9×13 pan?
Hi Rebecca, the bake time would probably be close to these pumpkin pie bars, so I would guess about 45-50 minutes after pre-baking the crust for 10.
Can I use this recipe in a 9 inch tart pan? I plan to use the crust from your Easy Key Lime Pie recipe with it. Any baking tips? Thank you.
Hi Heather, It should be just fine to use the graham cracker macadamia crust from the key lime pie and bake it in a 9 inch tart pan. The baking time should be about the same but definitely keep your eye on it in the oven. Let us know if you give it a try!
Love the flavor of the filling, but my graham cracker crust just disintegrates when cut and falls off the filling. 3 tbs of butter doesn’t seem like enough to bind the crust (I found a couple similar recipes on other sites that recommend 8 tbs.)
The same thing happened to me! Would love to know if anyone has tried it with more butter.
Hi! I had the same problem twice with this recipe so today I decided to double the amount of melted butter in the crust and it turned out so much better!
Hello Sally and your amazing Team!
Wanted to let you know that I made these key lime bars in a 8×8 pan, they were perfectly done at about 23 min.
I topped them with a cream cheese/heavy cream/powdered sugar/vanilla mix. Piped it on.
Beautiful, delicious, my family LOVED them!!
Hello! How long should I bake the bars if I use an 8×8 pan?
Hi Susan! We’re unsure of the exact bake time for thicker bars in an 8×8 pan – keep an eye on them in the oven and bake until the edges begin to brown (maybe about an additional 5-7 minutes). Let us know how they go!
Tasted great but did not firm up enough to eat as a bar. Not sure what happened. Would like to try again because of taste.Thoughts?
Hi Joan, did you use full fat cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)? These ingredients are key to the filling setting up properly.
I was wondering about the baking time. In order to get the sides browned, it took me baking at 350 for 28 minutes. Also, until the very end the middle was very soupy and I was worried it wouldn’t solidify. Did I do something wrong? Thanks!
Hi Jane, as long as they set up properly when cooled, you most likely didn’t do anything wrong! Did you use a 9×9 pan? Using anything smaller would result in thicker bars that would take longer to bake.
Thanks! They did come out fine–maybe my oven is off.
Mine took a long time too, but I’m assuming it was because of I used a glass baking dish and parchment paper.
These are the best! I use a 8 inch pie dish so everyone gets the side crust. I’ve done gluten free using GF gingersnaps and also using GF graham crackers. Comes out perfect every time.