These easy and refreshing key lime pie bars are inspired by the classic pie. A delicious graham cracker crust and creamy fresh lime filling topped with whipped cream.
Looking for a light and fresh summer dessert? This is it! Lime juice, lime zest, vanilla, and a bit of cream cheese make this an irresistible treat!
These bars are
Packed with lime: Fresh lime juice and lime zest add a light and refreshing flavor.
Sweet and tangy: The perfect balance of sweetness with tart and tangy flavors.
Easy: A simple press-in crust and a filling that comes together in minutes!
Perfect for feeding a crowd: Bars are much easier to serve than pie. Eat them with your hand or a fork.
Made with 8 ingredients: No long ingredient list. Only 8 basic ingredients needed for these key lime pie bars!
Graham crackers: Finely ground graham crackers make up the crust of these bars.
Granulated sugar: For the crust and a little extra sweetness in the filling.
Melted butter: For holding the crust together.
Limes: You can use key limes or regular limes. You will need both the zest and the juice.
Sweetened condensed milk: This is the primary sweetener in the filling.
Cream cheese: This helps to make the filling thick and creamy.
Egg yolks: For binding and richness.
Vanilla extract: Just a touch to round out the flavors.
*Full recipe below in recipe card*
Crust: Combine graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter. Press into a greased and lined 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
Filling: Combine sugar, zest, and cream cheese. Beat in egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. Beat in the lime juice.
Bake: Pour the filling into the partially baked crust and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Freshly squeezed lime juice works best. Use regular limes or key limes.
- Remove the zest from the limes before juicing them.
- Have all the filling ingredients at room temperature so that it blends smoothly.
- Allow at least 5 hours for the bars to chill. Cool them to room temperature then refrigerate before cutting and serving.
- Serve with homemade whipped cream.
What type of limes to use
Although this is called “key lime” pie you don’t have to use key limes. Key limes are often hard to find and they are very small which means you’ll need a lot of them.
I make this recipe using regular grocery store limes. Choose limes that feel plump and roll them on the counter before cutting and juicing. I used about 5 limes. If using key limes, you’ll probably need double that.
Don’t take a shortcut with bottled juice – fresh is best!
Key Lime Pie Bars
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs , about 12 "sheets"
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest, loosely measured
- 4 oz block-style cream cheese, softened
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, see note
- Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center of the oven. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with foil or parchment paper, lightly grease, and set aside.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well combined. Dump into prepared pan and pat into an even layer (I use the back of a measuring cup). Bake for 10 minutes, until light golden brown and fragrant. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat sugar, lime zest, and cream cheese until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and vanilla. Beat until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running, add the lime juice, beating until combined.
- Carefully pour the filling over the crust and spread into an even layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes (see note), until the filling is set and does not jiggle loosely if you shake the pan. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely then transfer the pan to the refrigerator to chill for several hours.
Nutritional Information is an estimate based on third-party calculations and may vary based on products used and serving sizes.