Key Lime Pie Bars

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!

stack of key lime pie bars on a wood board

2 images of key lime pie bars

Like key lime pie or mini key lime pies, 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.

bottle of Nellie & Joe's key lime juice

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. 😉

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key lime pie bars on a white plate

Key Lime Pie Squares

  • Author: Sally
  • 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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!


  1. Gluten Free: Use Gluten free gingersnap cookies to ensure bars are gluten free, if desired.
  2. Egg Whites: What to do with the extra egg whites? I made an egg white omelet. Or you can make thesethese, or these.

Keywords: key lime pie bars, key lime squares


Comments are closed.

  1. Just made these! They are so good! Thanks 🙂

  2. Hi Sally! Doubling this recipe; do I need two 9×9’s or can I use a bigger baking pan?

    1. Hey Julie! You can either bake two batches in 8 or 9 inch baking pans OR double in a 9×13 pan. I am unsure of the bake time in a 9×13 pan, though.

  3. Rennae Walsh says:

    I made these last night and my husband and I have already eaten half the pan…soo yummy!!! I love all of your recipes Sally!! I swear we have the same taste buds 🙂

  4. I am so happy with how these turned out! I was like shocked at how good they were and how simple the recipe was! I only had grahm crackers so I used those and added a little bit more butter to make sure it would stick together. This is the first recipe I’ve tried from here and I already am so excited to try more. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  5. Kelley Johnson says:

    This is my FAVORITE recipe on your site! I bake these often (1 – 2 times a month) for my family and friends here in Florida. It is the perfect blend of tangy, creamy, and spicy with that gingersnap crust. There’s actually always a bag of gingersnaps in my pantry now JUST so I can make these on call! lol Funny story – I was baking late into the night for Christmas 2014 when I realized I somehow bought “Key LEMON” juice by mistake (what in the world??). I ended up juicing little key limes all night so that I could still make the three batches I needed. lol

  6. Hi Sally!Your blog is so awesome. My daughters and I love to bake and I get all our recipes from you. A question for the key lime bars, I am planning to make them as part of the dessert buffet of a party that I am hosting. Can I make this in advance, like say, 2 days before? and how should I store them? I am going to double the recipe, can I bake it in one large pan? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Farrah, you can make the bars ahead of time. Keep them covered tightly in the refrigerator until serving. Use a 9×13 pan if you double the recipe.

  7. Rosie Dunningham says:

    Hi Sally, I love love love this recipe! My boyfriend would love them too so I’m hoping to send him a batch by mail, it doesn’t say in the recipe so I’m assuming they can’t be frozen…is this the case? If they can’t, then no problem I can make your amazing peanut butter brownies and freeze them for the journey so that they arrive fresh! Thanks for your help, Rosie xx

    1. You can freeze these, Rosie– but I find that after thawing in the refrigerator, the texture is a little off.

  8. samantha drive says:

    I thought they sounded really yummy and fun but I just didn’t care for them. I made them to take into work for a luncheon but after sampling the finished product I opted to make something else instead. They were just too tart. I think of key lime as more subtle with a surprising twist. And I didn’t care for it paired with the gingersnap crust. But that’s just my opinion. Everyone else here loves them so Yay !!!

  9. I used to make a key lime pie with a gingersnap crust so this is right up my alley! Sadly, my grocery store was out of key lime juice…so I went with just lime. They may not be as fab, but the lime and gingersnap should still be good! Thanks for sharing and reminding me!

  10. Mardi Tanzer says:

    The recipe says to use a handheld mixer. Does it make a difference if you use a standing mixer to beat it? If so, would you use the beater attachment? (not paddle?)

    1. It does not make a difference. Use the whisk or paddle attachment.

  11. Loved!! Made for 4th of July. The perfect summer treat. So easy and absolutely delicious. Tons of compliments. I used a blender instead of a mixer and it worked fine.  Thank you! 

  12. The filling was outstanding, but the crust was way too crumbly. Not sure what I did wrong. Used graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter but they just pretty much stayed crumbly and never solidifed into a crust, so were really messy to eat. Great flavor though! Will definitely try again using more butter and maybe an egg to help bind the crust.

  13. I made these yesterday and wow, they are amazing!!! I used half Anna’s ginger thins and half graham crackers. Packed the crust in tight with the bottom of a drinking glass. Used light cream cheese because that’s what I had on hand. Beat with a regular ol’ spatula. Used regular fresh limes. Baked in an 8×8 for about 6 extra minutes. Absolutely delicious! Tart yet oh so creamy. Love it! Thank you for sharing!

    P.S. Made financiers (easy little French cakes) with the egg whites. I didn’t even have to whip the egg whites.

  14. Hi Sally – SO love your recipe blog – many many ‘go-to’s in the Baking kitchen of Sass !!

    Question – what would you think about a coconut addition to this recipe? 1/2 cup folded in the filling pre-baking, perhaps?

    I can NOT get enough coconut these days and MisterMan-O-Mine is all about the lime….
    I thought we might get mutual sweet tooth satisfaction with this idea…

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    PS – Another thought….re: the bakers with crumbly crusts…is it possible the pre-bake crust step was missed?

    1. I fear the texture of coconut in the smooth lime filling might not be ideal, but that’s totally up to you! It would be great worked into the crust though. Or you could toast coconut and sprinkle it on top of the finished bars as they cool. Let me know if you try anything!

  15. I want to make this in a 13×9 would the filling be too thick versus the crust? I know I have to double everything. If I wanted to do it on a sheet pan would I quadruple the recipe?

    1. I’m unsure about quadrupling the recipe and if the bars would bake nicely considering the volume of batter. Doubling in a 9×13 works well– I do it all the time.

  16. I made these tonight and they turned out great! I doubled the recipe using a 13X9 pan and baked them for about 30 minutes. I chilled them for 3.5 hours before cutting. They were perfectly set and the crust wasn’t too crumbly. I did add an extra almost 3 tablespoons of butter to the crust however. I’ve entered them into a bake off competition tomorrow! Hoping they win!! Thanks for the delicious recipe! 🙂

  17. Sally, I love this lime recipe! I am torn between making these bars or the key lime pie recipe in your book. Can I make these bars in a 9×9 pie plate to get the best of both worlds? 🙂 thanks Sally

    1. Hey Stephanie! The “pie shaped” bars would be a little thin in a 9-inch pie dish, but you can absolutely do it!

  18. Made key lime squares, normal and GF version, both just as good, an excellent recipe.
    We do not do many key lime recipes in Australia, so was a lovely change Thank you 

  19. Can these bars be frozen?

    1. You can freeze these but I find that after thawing in the refrigerator, the texture is a little off.

  20. Hi Sally! I was wondering how far in advance I could make these? I need to make them on Wednesday and serve them on Saturday…will they still be good? 

    1. I’d say so! Just keep them covered in the refrigerator until then.

  21. I thought these were great! I was concerned about all the comments regarding the crust so I did use a different gingersnap crust recipe. The flavours were so perfect together. I will definitely be making these again.

    I will note though that the can size of sweetened condensed milk in Canada and the US are different. So if Sally or anyone has any suggestions on what to do with just over half a can, please let me know.
    I made coconut macaroons with the egg whites.  

  22. I made these for a Hawaiian/tropical-themed church fundraiser party, along with the Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies from this same site. The crowd went crazy for them! I’ll definitely make them again for some other special occasion.

    1. I’m glad they were both such a hit at the fundraiser!

  23. Is baking the crust ahead of time and refrigerating fine or does the filling have to be added while the crust is warm, as stated in the instructions…? Thanks.

    1. If making the crust ahead of time, it doesn’t need to be warm before pouring the key lime filling on top. You can, however, warm it in the oven for 1-2 minutes prior to pouring the filling on top. It doesn’t make that much of a difference.

  24. Sally thanks for the Nellie and Joe Key lime juice tip. This stuff is great.

  25. Tried these today and they were delicious! Easy to make and the cooling time is worth it!

  26. Have you ever tried making these in a individual cheesecake pan?

    1. Sure have! You can use this crust recipe and follow the assembly instructions for Mini Key Lime Pies.

  27. Made these this past weekend. There were pretty good. My fiancé really likes key lime desserts. We used fresh key lime juice for the filling and graham crackers for the crust. Two things we wished could be better was the lime taste and the crust. We wanted more of a lime taste so maybe next time we’ll add more key lime zest. The crust was too crumbly and didn’t bind together well so maybe next time we’ll add more butter unless we find a better way to bind the crust.

    Thank you for sharing the recipe

  28. Spiced ginger snap crust! Sally?! What’re you trying to do, make my mouth explode with delicious flavors?

  29. Hi Sally, I haven’t made these yet but could one “convert” a cookie crumb crust into ginger snap flavor with perhaps ginger and molasses and maybe a spice like cinnamon or cloves??

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Robin, You can certainly add spices to a different cookie – I’m unsure how molasses would work in a crumb crust. Let us know what you try!

  30. Mary E Picone says:

    I’m wondering why the crust never solidified. I used graham cracker crust, as I do in Key Lime Pie, do you think that the butter proportion is off and or using foil made a difference. Let me know b/c they are really tasty, just messy.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally