Key Lime Pie Bars

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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!

Key Lime Pie Squares

6 ingredient Key Lime Pie Squares - you will fall in love with these zesty, easy-to-make bars!

*Use Gluten free gingersnap cookies to ensure bars are gluten free, if desired.*

Yield: 16 squares

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)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9x9 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!

Recipe Notes:

*What to do with the extra egg whites? I made an egg white omelet. Or you can make these,Β these, or these.

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Β© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

241 Comments

  1. This looks insanely delicious Sally! I love key lime anything and this is definitely easier than making the pie version without losing in the taste department. These bars are definitely my kind of dessert! *Drools* Can’t wait to try making these, thanks Sally πŸ™‚

  2. I also try my best to avoid ugly foods (there are too many cute foods out there to waste my time on ugly ones! teehee) but these are gorgeous Sally! I bet eating these is like being on an island all on its own. πŸ˜€

  3. Sally, I am SO excited I was able to bake from your sparkly-sweet blog today! My family has never been on a tropical adventure, but this masterpiece gave us a taste of it! Ginger is my favorite and using a gingersnap crust rather than the more typical graham cracker… well, that’s just sweet brilliance. I used Anna’s Ginger Thins for it, which was AMAZING. I was fortunate to have key limes available, so I squeezed some fresh juice for the filling. We loved every component of this recipe and it will be made again this summer. So creamy, tangy, limey, and especially refreshing on this humid night. With so little baking available, it means a lot to me that I can always count on your recipes to be enjoyed by all. I am so thankful for you! Stay sparkly and have a beautiful week! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Karen! So glad you love these – they are a recent favorite and I just made them again tonight. Truly the best key lime dessert! One of them , at least. Thanks for the sweet comment!

  4. These were fantastic! I doubled the recipe. My husband is a key lime pie fanatic and he absolutely loved these as a fathers day treat. Thanks!!

  5. These were fantastically amazing–perfect for a humid summer night. In addition to the key lime slices for garnish, I sprinkled white sparkle sugar on top. Gave a little sweet crunch and who doesn’t like a little sparkle! This was one of the best desserts I have made in a long time. Thank you for a superb recipe!

  6. Sally these look great! I want to make them for a 4th of July party this weekend. Do you think it will come out ok using regular limes and using freshly squeezed juice from the limes? Where did you get the bottle of juice? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Cassie – I got it from a regular grocery store. It is next to the regular lime and lemon juice. IT would work with freshly squeezed lime juice, yes. Enjoy!

  7. Hey Sally! I just stuck these awesome-looking key lime pie bars in the refrigorator right now to chill! I cannot wait to dig into them πŸ˜€ I also made your skinny PB chocolate cupcakes and they are soooooo decadent! I loved them! Since I didn’t have any peanut butter chocolate chips, I used Reese’s Pieces on top of them πŸ™‚

    1. I think I did something horribly wrong πŸ™ they taste amazing but the filling got stuck on the knife as I was cutting them and they look a mess. Do you think my oven temperature was off again? I baked them for at least 20 minutes and they still weren’t firming up. I also used reduced fat cream cheese, could that have been the problem?

      1. It sounds like they need to chill for longer – OR you did not bake them long enough. And yes, no low fat CC in this recipe!

  8. I made these for my husband because it is easier than key lime pie (his favorite) but still satisfies the craving! I used half graham crackers and half ginger snaps for the crust. I didn’t want the full intensity of the ginger snaps, and this seemed like the perfect combo. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!

  9. Just found your website yesterday, on a search for key lime pie recipes. My bride of 15 years is not much for chocolate recipes, loves fruity ones, especially anything involving limes. This one came out great, makes the house smell yummy! Thanks!

    1. Hi Patrick! I’m so glad you found my website! And that you and your wife tried these key lime bars. I love them too!

  10. I just made these and they turned out awesome! Thanks so much for sharing! It was so tasty. I was afraid it wouldn’t firm, but I put it in the freezer for a little while and it turned out great πŸ™‚ Just wanted to thank you for sharing this with us πŸ™‚

  11. Made the bars for potluck at work today, AMAZING! Co-Workers raved about them, the gingersnap crust went really well with the keylime, awesome! Thanks for sharing your recipe, I’ll be making these again..and again! πŸ™‚

  12. Just made these over the weekend and you have another winner ! I think the addition of the cream cheese is what makes the filling. Just perfect ! I look forward to your blog every day so keep all the great recipes coming πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much, Jean. I’m so happy you read my blog – I appreciate it! Glad you loved these. My whole family makes them all the time too. So good!

  13. Made these tonight and they were delicious! Every recipe of yours that I have made has been great! I can always count on yours to be awesome!

  14. I made those today! Couldn’t find key lime juice so I had to use fresh ones. I wasn’t sure what I bought from my local market were key limes, but the squares turned out fantastic anyway! πŸ˜€ I love how the whole fridge smells like lime. Made them with regular wheat biscuits, but will try ginger snaps in the future. They sound absolutely delicious. Thanks for the easy recipe!

    1. So glad you love these, Laura! They are definitely one of my favorite summer treats. Give them a try with gingersnaps next – I’m sure you’ll love it!

    2. Laura, glad to hear the squares came out great with fresh limes, just in case I can’t find key lime juice. Thanks for sharing your tip!

  15. O.M.Gee…….I MUST find key lime juice ASAP. Have never seen it here in Ontario. Going to call Whole Foods right now, lol! Last year, I baked a key lime pie with freshly-squeezed key limes and I was disappointed. The limes were hard to juice and it was so much work and although good, not worth the effort. I can handle 6 ingredients though! Anything with condensed milk cannot be bad. Beautiful photos, as always. I am so in awe of you πŸ™‚

    1. Fresh lime juice would be OK too – another reader had good luck with it! Thanks so much Joni, you are so sweet to leave a comment about the photography. And I love using sweetened condensed milk in recipes!

  16. I made these this morning with fresh lime juice and EVERYONE loved them! They are delicious! Thank’s for the recipe that I will surely make again!

  17. Hi Sally! Congratulations on your cookbook – can’t wait to see it! I made these key lime squares today and as I was putting them in the oven, I realized I forgot to spray the pan!! I hate it when I do something like that!! Anyway, they’re in the fridge and I’ll try to cut them tomorrow. Hopefully it won’t be a huge mess! They look and smell great! Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes.

    1. MJ, I’m sure they will still be ok. The crust will be a bit crumbly, but they will still taste amazing. Hope you enjoy! And thanks for the congrats on my book, that means a lot!

  18. Hi Sally! I made these the other day and they were sooooo good! My husband loved them as well! Thanks for the recipe! πŸ™‚

    1. Monica, these are one of my very favorite bar recipes. Especially in the summertime, but I could really have them any time of year. I’m so happy you both enjoyed them!

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