Key Lime Pie Bars

 My brother's favorite dessert is key lime pie, which means that at least once a year on his birthday we all get to enjoy it! I decided to try my hand at key lime, but opted to make bars instead of a pie because the serving size can be made smaller. Then I won't feel guilty for having a second piece! Totally legitimate reasoning, right?

I love how easy these key lime bars are to make! If you want to try your hand at a pie but find that daunting for whatever reason, give these bars a go. You won't be disappointed!

key lime bars

This recipe uses condensed milk which obviously contains sugar, but no added sugar otherwise. In my opinion it really doesn't need it! I love the combination of ginger and lime, and the chopped ginger adds nice pops of flavor to these bars. If you're not a fan of ginger, it's totally optional and you can leave it out. The other unique flavor added is cinnamon in the crust. I love how it complements the lime and ginger but is incredibly subtle.

If you need or want to make this recipe dairy free or just like the taste of coconut, you can replace the butter with melted coconut oil, and substitute full fat canned coconut milk for the condensed milk at a 1:1 ratio. It will definitely give the bars a coconut taste, but I like coconut and lime together! The eggs are crucial for a custard though, so if you also need to avoid eggs this recipe is probably not the one for you.

key lime bars


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp cinnamon
5 Tbs melted butter
4 egg yolks
1 Tbs key lime zest
2/3 cups key lime juice
1 (14 oz) can condensed milk
2 Tbs finely chopped crystalized/candied ginger (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8x8 pan.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon. Mix in the melted butter until combined, and evenly press the mixture into the bottom of the greased pan.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and solid. Set aside but keep the oven on.

Fit the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the egg yolks and beat on high speed until thick - about 3-5 minutes. Add the lime zest and continue to beat until combined. Lower the speed to low and slowly add the condensed milk with the machine running. Once all the milk is added, raise the speed back to high until all combined and continue beating for a few minutes. Reduce the speed to low again and add the lime juice and ginger.

Once all the ingredients are combined, pour the mixture over the baked crust. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the filling is just set. You'll know because when you move the pan the filling won't jiggle anymore.

Let cool until the pan is room temperature, and then put in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.

Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream if desired.


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Kirsten Bell

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