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sliced key lime bars on parchment paper
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5 from 4 votes

Easy Key Lime Bars

Key lime bars are delicious and incredibly easy to make! You only need 8 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep. This recipe is ideal if you are a beginner. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Chill Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: key lime bars, key lime bars recipe
Servings: 16 bars
Calories: 192kcal

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 7 oz graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup fresh key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon key lime zest

OPTIONAL: top with meringue or whipped cream

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a 10x7 or 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides. Set aside.
    • Make the crust: In a large mixing bowl stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and salt just until combined. Transfer to the prepared baking pan and press the crumbs with the back of a measuring cup into the bottom of the pan evenly. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
    • Make the filling: While the crust is baking, mix condensed milk and eggs until combined. Add lime juice and zest and stir to combine. Pour on top of the prebaked crust. Bake for about 15 minutes until filling is set. Let cool to room temperature then transfer to the fridge and chill at least 3 hours. 
    • Top with meringue or whipped cream before serving. Store leftovers up to 3 days in the fridge or freeze for up to 1 month.

    Video

    Notes

    Key lime juice
    If for some reason you do not have access to fresh key limes to make juice, or you can't find any key limes at the market you can make a substitution. You would need to use 2 parts lime juice and 1 part lemon juice. For this recipe, you would need to use ½ cup (118ml) lime juice and ¼ cup (59ml) lemon juice. 

    Additional flavors
    Adding additional is easy. Here are some tips to get you started:
    • Add ½ cup crushed pecans (87g) to the crust. Simply put them in the food processor until they are finely chopped. 
    • Add a pinch of cinnamon to the crust mixture. It adds a nice spicy element.
    • Add 2 ounces (56g) of cream cheese to the filling mixture. This will make them even creamier and fuller. 

    Top Tips
    • The easiest way to get graham crackers crumbs is by processing the crackers in a food processor. Alternatively, you can place them in a zip-top bag and smash them with a rolling pin.
    • Take special care not to overbeat the eggs and milk mixture. It will incorporate a lot of air bubbles, so when they are just combined, that is good. 
    • After baking, they need to set up. Make sure you let them chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 133mg | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 0.6mg