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Sweet, tart, and tangy, Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars …with a vanilla butter crust and lime salt on top. These bars are much like key lime pie but made with a few upgrades. They’re super easy, creamy, and made with an extra amount of tang. The filling is made with just a few simple ingredients. There are, of course, plenty of fresh limes. There’s also a secret ingredient…a touch of lemon juice. The crust is rich, buttery, and full of vanilla flavor, with the perfect touch of saltiness. Put everything together and you have the most mouthwatering key lime pie bars Just sweet enough, incredibly luscious, super creamy, and perfectly tangy. Finish with lightly whipped cream and lime salt for an amazingly salty-sweet key lime pie bar.

overhead photo of Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars

Surprise! Key lime pie bars! I feel like these are maybe a bit unexpected from me? I haven’t done many key lime pie recipes, so these feel very new and exciting to me. They’re also perfect for the spring and summer days ahead.

As a kid, the only person I knew who loved key lime pie was my grandpa. He’s always been very into key lime pie, and well, any fruit pie for that matter. But key lime and apple are two of his favorites.

I never understood either of his pie choices. I was raised to love a good, classic chocolate chip cookie pie, or a chocolate bourbon pecan pie. Yummm, right? Chocolate over key lime any day!

Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

(key limes)

Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

But times have changed. Over the last few years, I ventured into key lime pie territory. And while I still can’t say I’d choose key lime over chocolate, I will say that it certainly has its time and place. It’s actually pretty darn delicious when done right.

So, I’ve made the pie, but these bars are even more special, and for a few reasons.

Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

The inspiration

Two things…fresh key limes at the grocery store, which I couldn’t believe I was able to come across.

And the desperate desire to be in Key West…as the snow currently falls outside my window.

Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

(bars after baking) 

Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

Onto the details…

The amazing thing about these bars? They are EASY. So easy they’re hard to mess up.

You make the crust, bake, mix up a quick filling, and bake again. Then let the bars chill and top them with cream. So SIMPLE.

Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

For the crust, I switched things up a bit and created a buttery, heavy on the vanilla, Ritz cracker crust. To me, this is better than a graham cracker crust any day. Simply mix the cracker crumbs with salted butter and a good splash of vanilla and bake everything up in a square baking dish. All done, super easy. That touch of vanilla and the use of salted butter are key.

But the real secret to this crust? A touch of brown sugar, which adds to that salty-sweet flavor, it’s delicious.

Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

While the crust is baking, make the key lime filling. I always go extra tangy with my key lime filling. And for sweetness…I try to go just sweet enough. This means heavy on the lime with one very secret but key ingredient, a splash of lemon juice. Preferably pink lemon juice but any lemon juice will do. It’s an unexpected twist that makes for an even tarter key lime pie. Trust me on this. I know it’s not traditional, but I promise it really does make for a better key lime pie.

Once that’s mixed, bake the filling in the crust, and in fifteen minutes you’ll have key lime pie bars. So easy right?

Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

Simple is the name of the game these days.

Also, a little note, while key limes are ideal, you can really use any ole’ lime to make these bars!

Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

Now finish it up…

To serve, I like to spread a delicious honey whipped cream over top with a sprinkle of fresh lime salt. Nothing fancy, but it seals the deal on these key lime pie bars.

Once chilled, the bars come out almost perfect. They have a rich, salty-sweet, and buttery brown sugar crust with the creamiest most luscious smooth key lime filling that melts in your mouth. Beyond delicious.

Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

So good that we overnighted a batch to my grandpa because I just knew he’d LOVE these more than anyone.

If you want to step up your presentation game, sprinkle over some edible flowers. Either way the bars are sure to be enjoyed by all…

And they’re pretty fun too!

Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other sweet bars recipes? Here are some of my favorites:

Swirled Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars

Gooey Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

Cinnamon Sugar Blueberry Crumb Bars

Lunchroom Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Lastly, if you make these Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Lemon Key Lime Pie Bars

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings: 16 bars
Calories Per Serving: 191 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Lime Salt

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper.
    2. In a food processor, pulse the crackers and brown sugar into crumbs. Add the butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla, pulse to combine. Press the mix into the prepared pan. Bake until golden, about 18 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the sweetened condensed milk, lime zest, lime juice, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk to combine. Carefully pour the mix into the baked crust.
    4. Bake for 15 minutes, until just set on top. Let cool slightly, then cover and chill in the fridge until set, at least 1-2 hours.
    5. Before serving, using an electric mixer to whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the honey and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whip to combine. Swirl the cream onto the bars. In a bowl, mix the lime zest and a pinch of flaky salt. Sprinkle over the bars. Slice and enjoy! The bars will keep chilled in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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Lunchroom Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars.

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Comments

    1. Hey Julia,
      Just until it is slightly cooled, so it’s not actually cold:) I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

      1. Love this recipe, I like tart,so I added an extra Tbsp of lime juice and a little more zest- Wow, so good, thank you

        1. Hey Suzanne,
          Happy Wednesday! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try! xTieghan

  1. I have made these twice so far and love them. I want to try to make them for a gluten free friend with gluten free graham crackers. How many graham Crackers do you think is equivalent to the ritz?

    1. Hey Sydney,
      Sorry, I’m not exactly sure since I’ve never tested this recipe with graham crackers. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      Sure, that would work well for you. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  2. Also (sorry)… what kind of pan do you bake these in — metal or glass?

    Thanks again!

  3. Hi there. I plan on bringing these to work on Tuesday for grazing all week. (I’m not sure how long they’ll last.) That said, should I keep the whipped cream on the side or will the bars be ok with the whipped cream on top for the week? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hey Stefanie,
      I would keep the whipped cream on the side:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know how they turn out! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for a party once, but as a pie and it was a huge hit! I am making it again, and I was wondering if you knew about how many key limes it takes to get a tablespoon…I didn’t keep track last time.

    1. Hey Emma,
      Happy Sunday! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a go, I am so excited that it was enjoyed! Sorry I’m not sure the exact number, it really depends how juicy your limes are. xxTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    OH. MY. WORD. Made this for a dinner party and everyone DEVOURED their slices, begging for seconds! Topped it with the whipped cream and lime zest & that on its own was such a cute display! Also, despite some reviews, it was SO easy to make- some who said it came out bad must’ve messed up with their measurements. I actually accidentally added too much lime juice but it still set within 2 hrs & turned out perfect. 11/10 recommend this recipe! Tiegan did it once more👏🏼

    1. Hey Isabella,
      Wonderful! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed. Thanks a bunch for giving it a try! xTieghan

  6. 1 star
    Epic fail! Crust was way too thick. Key limes were so tart it locked my jaw. Texture of filling was like it was curdled- not smooth at all. Took a lot longer to cook. Not a keeper 😥

    1. Hey Darla,
      So sorry you did not enjoy the recipe, was there anything you may have adjusted? Please let me know how I can help! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    These were actually pretty easy to make and tasted AMAZING!! The tartness balanced with the sweetness was delicious. The cracker base added the saltiness to make them PERFECT!

    1. Hey Casey,
      Awesome! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for making it! Have a great weekend:) xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    These bars are unbelievably delicious. I love many of your recipes but you have outdone yourself with this one. Easy and soooo good! Thank you!

    1. Hey Kristi,
      Fantastic! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for making it! Happy Friday:) xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing we couldn’t get enough! I didn’t have ritz so I subbed vanilla wafer crackers and it was really tasty! Thanks again for posting this 🙂

    1. Hey Elina,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so delighted that it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xTieghan