Dessert Bars

Lime Bars

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These Key Lime Bars are a fun twist on my favorite lemon bar recipe. The lime filling is a soft, tangy custard without being overly eggy or tough. I am a sucker for citrus, so the filling has been increased for the perfect filling to crust ratio. Enjoy!

Image of two lime bars on cream colored plate with white background

Key Lime Bars

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

A fun, subtle twist on the basic lemon bar. These bars are sweet and tangy with plenty of lime filling and a crispy shortbread crust.



  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt (omit if using salted butter)


  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Key Lime zest
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons Key Lime juice
  • 2 drops green food coloring (optional)


  1. Grease 8x8 glass baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. To make the crust, use a hand mixer to beat butter for 30 seconds, add 1/4 cup sugar and salt and beat until fluffy. Stir in 1 cup flour until crumbly (dough will be on the dry side). Firmly pat dough onto the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
  3. While the crust is cooking, beat eggs, add 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, lime juice, zest and baking powder. Beat with a hand mixer for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour over the baked crust (crust does not need to be cool).
  4. Bake another 20-30 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges and the center is set. Let cool. Sift powdered sugar over the top. Cut into squares and serve.


I prefer to use a microplane for zesting but a zester or small grater can be used. Be sure to only get the outside of the peel and avoid the white pith as it can be quite bitter.

Zest limes before juicing to make zesting easier. I used 11 Key Limes in order to get 4 1/2 tablespoons juice.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 3g

If you’re looking another delicious (and easy) bar recipe, check out my Orange Cheesecake Bars.

Key Limes vs Regular Limes

Key limes are smaller than regular limes and have thinner, more yellow skin. While Key Limes are similar to regular limes in flavor, Key Lime’s flavor is stronger and more aromatic. The flavor of Key Limes better stands up to the sweetness of these bars, but you can also use regular limes.

Storage and Shelf Life

I have found that in a dry climate, you can store lime bars and lemon bars for 2-3 days in a tightly sealed container at room temperature; for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container in the fridge, and 3-4 months in the freezer.

If storing Key Lime Bars in the freezer, don’t dust with powdered sugar before freezing. Allow bars to then dust with powdered sugar before serving. I also recommend cutting bars before freezing.

Glass vs Metal Baking Pans

For lime bars and lemon bars, I prefer a glass baking pan, which has been used for this recipe. However, you could also use a light, aluminum baking pan. However, cook times may need to be decreased slightly due to metal pans becoming hot more quickly. I recommend you avoid heavy, dark pans as they may cause your crust to bake too quickly and burn.

If you made this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Please leave a review or a comment letting me know how things turned out. Happy baking!

Hello! I'm Nichole and I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. I have a bachelor's degree in Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science and a master's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. I love cooking, baking and anything food related. I look forward to teaching you more about food and sharing my favorite recipes with you. Enjoy!

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