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!

Key lime pie bars

I just returned home after a trip to St. Lucia for my friend’s wedding. You can imagine how fresh and delicious the food tasted, including their key lime pie. It had this incredible fresh whipped cream on top and a thick banana cream sauce and chocolate sauce swirled on the plate. To die for! The first thing I threw into my shopping cart after I got home was key lime juice. I’ve had a 4 day craving for more key lime pie and after I made these key lime pie bars, I surely got my fill.

Key lime pie bars

When I took the first bite, I stepped back in my kitchen and told Kevin, “these key lime pie bars are best thing I’ve ever baked.” The combination of cool, creamy, tart lime filling sitting atop a spicy sweet gingersnap crust is unbelievable. And I made sure to make an extra thick gingersnap crust. So good!

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 are insanely easy to make. Why spend hours slaving away in your kitchen? With this bar recipe, you don’t have to.

Key lime pie bars

Key lime pie bars

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. You could also use graham cracker crumbs in lieu of the gingersnaps. However, I strongly recommend the sweet/spicy gingersnap cookies to pair with the key lime.

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 taste. 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. πŸ˜‰

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.

Key lime pie bars

Are you hungry yet? Because I don’t have any key lime pie bars left to share!

Print

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

Description

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.


Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups finely crushed *crunchy* gingersnap cookies (or graham crackers)
  • 3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted

Filling

  • 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)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350Β°F (177Β°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.Β Makes 16 squares. Store squares in the refrigerator (covered) for up to 1 week, if they last that long!

Notes

  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 these,Β these, or these.

Keywords: key lime pie bars, key lime squares

240 Comments

  1. I need to find that juice!! Your key lime pei squares look so amazing! I love key lime pie! What a great treat!

  2. Oh, girl! Your creamy Key Lime Pie Squares look divine! The cream cheese addition is definitely the secret there and I must make them soon. LOVE. IT! And, I just adore gingersnaps and everything ginger, LOL! I’m all about key lime anything…pie, cheesecake, squares. All of it. And, Margaritas! Posting my Key Lime Margarita Cheesecake Cake on Friday with a Key Lime Cheesecake center, Margarita Cake layers and a buttery Coco-Nutty Graham Cracker Crunch (made with coconut, macadamia nuts and graham cracker crumbs) to grace the sides of the cake. Excellent post, m’lady! And, thanks for sharing! xo

    1. I cannot WAIT to see your margarita cheesecake tomorrow! With that key lime pie cheesecake center? My mouth is watering, Stacy! You are so talented.

  3. My mouth is watering! I LOVE key lime pie. There was this place in Pensacola that we used to go to every summer when I was a kid that had a triple layer key lime pie (if you google Flounder’s key lime pie you can see a photo of it in all its glory). It was just the best thing ever. I’m going to have to make these! And, conveniently, Trader Joe’s has gluten free ginger snaps! Thanks for another great recipe!!

    1. I love key lime pie anything, Chelsea! And a triple layer key lime pie sounds out of this world! I wouldn’t even know how that would come out successfully and I can dream about it for sure. Yum!

  4. These are fab Sally! I can only imagine how good the version was you had in St. Lucia! I have been dying for key lime pie something. I can almost taste these!

  5. These look awesome! I love that juice as well. I wonder if it can be found up here in Canada

    1. Steve – I’m not sure exactly. You can always use regular lime juice if you can’t find the key lime juice.

  6. OMG I just made key lime ice cream (on the blog next week) but don’t you love anything key lime pie related? I know I do! These look so delish Sally (as usual!)

  7. I have been waiting for the tropical post to hit! Okay, so I have never had key lime pie simply because it is ingrained into me to only eat chocolate desserts. My mom is a chocolate freak and thats all we had growing, I am not complaining, but I am just now venturing into fruity dessert/non chocolate. So far so goo and since I trust you I think I need to give key lime a shot! Plus, these bars look incredible and fun!
    Glad to have you back!

    1. I knew I had to post something tropical soon, right?! Thanks Tieghan! And trust me – you will LOVE these. Even if you’re a chocolate gal. Promise!

  8. Banana cream and chocolate on the plate too?! I must try that. Okay, sometimes I’m a little suspicious of “best and favorite” but when YOU say it, I start pulling out the ingredients and bowls! I don’t have ginger snaps on hand, but I’m gonna make the filling. And serve it with some cookies crumbled on top, since I don’t have any right now;). Awesome work Sally!

    1. The dessert was amazing down there, Mary Frances! I loved the way they served it. And I get suspicious of the term “the best” too. But truly? These are incredible and I just want to make and eat them everyday! You have to try them πŸ™‚

  9. MMMMMM, this looks fantastic. Love the taste of key lime. Sometimes I use key lime juice and squirt it into a water pitcher, it gives it a little kick and it’s super delicious!

  10. When key lime pie is done right, it’s truly magical. I can tell this is magical! My dad’s fave dessert in the whole world is key lime pie and where i grew up in rural MN, finding key limes was not exactly easy but my mom would make it for him for his bday! Anyway, I can only imagine how good your St Lucia pie was and how good these bars are. That extra thick gingersnap crust and for you to tell Kevin they’re the best thing you’ve ever made, well, yeah, no doubt they are fabulous!

    1. You are SO right, Averie – completely magical. These are truly incredible. I love the texture contrast between the creamy filling and crunchy gingersnaps. And the flavor contrast: tart and citrusy mixed with sweet/spicy crust. Amazing!

  11. I love key lime flavored desserts! My husband drooled when he saw your photos and already begged me to make these!

  12. I’ve never made a lime dessert because I’m more of a chocolate kind of girl but I think you may have converted me! These look so good. Definitely pinning to make.
    Hope you had a nice time in St. Lucia. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for pinning, Tina! And you have to try these. Even if you’re a chocolate gal! You may just be surprised. πŸ˜‰

  13. These look delicious! I also use Nelly & Joe’s at home. You can’t beat that florida citrus. Thanks for the recipe too, I’ll have to try them out. πŸ™‚

  14. I’m definitely going to have to make these! Key lime is one of my dad’s favorites.. maybe for Father’s Day, if I can wait that long.

  15. Wow, Sally! These sound so tasty. I’m jealous of your key lime pie with super fresh limes, but I think these will do the trick πŸ˜‰

  16. Oh boy – I would much rather have one of your key lime squares over the pie! It looks great and I love the sound of the gingersnap crust. Right now, with the warm weather finally here, I’m really craving a little tart, some citrus, so this is very timely. And you saying it is the best thing you ever baked definitely gets my attention!

    1. Monica, you have to try these! A tasty way to ring in the summertime. I love the lime and gingersnap together!

  17. Welcome home, Sally! Looks like you had SUCH a fun time in St. Lucia and came back feeling inspired to make beautiful, summery treats! Thanks for sharing. These bars look sensational. I love the flavor, and the gingersnap crust!

  18. Those key lime pie squares are definitely not ugly. They are so pretty with the little limes on top, too! This is a really nice twist on the traditional lemon square, esp with the gingersnap crust. Love it!

  19. I love the sweetness and tartness of key lime! I have had a bottle of that key lime juice in my fridge for a month now and can’t wait to finally use it. I’m glad you had a great trip and that it inspired these – they look awesome!

  20. Key lime pie is one of my favorite desserts. I order it whenever I’m out. These bars are such a great, easy version. Gingersnap crust was a great idea!

    1. I always order key lime pie too, Laura – it’s one of my favorites and seems like such a treat since I hardly ever make it.

  21. This sounds so good! I love fruit in desserts and the combination of limes and gingersnaps sounds fantastic!

  22. I need one of these right now! I admit to be a little afraid of Key Lime, it isn’t a go to flavor of mine, so I have to trust in recipes like yours to guide the way!

    1. You must try these Julianne – even if key lime isn’t a go to flavor of yours. It’s so tangy and sweet at the same time, plus with a creamy filling and crunchy spicy/sweet crust? Unbelievable flavor contrasts and textures.

  23. Key lime pie is my thing. I make it every holiday and then some. Whenever I see key limes, I buy them, juice them, and freeze the juice. I’m always afraid I won’t find any! I’ve used bottled and it is great when there’s no fresh key limes around. Your bars look terrific, and on top of a gingerbread crust, I can only imagine. Key lime desserts in the Caribbean sound phenomenal!

    1. Juice the limes and freeze the juice – that is pure genius. I will definitely be doing that this summer. I know I’ll be craving these squares all year long!

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