Key Lime Bars Recipe

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Ah, Key West. A land of sunshine and palm trees and Hemingway. But most importantly, Key limes. Key limes supposedly have a sweeter flavor than Persian limes, but it depends on the individual lime. Either way, Persian limes will probably work just fine in this recipe! Although Key Lime Pie is the traditional vehicle for Key limes, these Key Lime Bars are a much better option for parties and are an equally delicious way to get your citrus.

Key Lime Pie with lime decoration.

Key Lime Pie with lime decoration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



  • 8 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt



  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Key lime juice (preferably fresh, if possible, from 2 – 3 key limes)
  • 1 Tbsp. lime zest
  • pinch of salt
  • confectioner’s sugar, to sprinkle on top



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut a length of aluminum foil to 8” by 20” and fold in half. Line the bottom of an 8” x 8” square metal pan and fold extra over edges of pan. Grease sides of pan that are not covered by foil.
  2. Beat butter until soft and creamy. Add sugar, vanilla extract, salt and beat together. Incorporate flour by hand. Mixture should be somewhat crumbly, so don’t overwork it.
  3. Whisk eggs, egg yolk, and sugar together in a medium bowl until well mixed. Add flour and whisk thoroughly.
  4. If using Key limes, zest and squeeze now. (To get extra juice, microwave each lime for 8 seconds before zesting and squeezing.) Pour juice into mixture and stir gently until juice is thoroughly combined. Add lime zest and salt and stir.
  5. Pour filling on top of shortbread and bake for 16 – 18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Refrigerate to speed up cooling process. Once thoroughly chilled, sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over top of bars and serve. You might also want to put on some ocean sounds and pretend you’re at the beach. Just a suggestion.


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