Key Lime Pie Bars

Key lime pie bars with a thick, creamy filling and a coconut cookie crust. With a gluten-free option.

Key Lime Pie Bars have a creamy texture you'll fall in love with. Tart, sweet, and completely fabulous! Recipe contains a gluten-free option.

When I started working on this recipe, I figured that the world already had enough key lime pie recipes with graham cracker crusts. It’s definitely a delicious combination but I thought I’d try something different, which is how this coconut cookie-like crust came about! If a graham cracker crust is more your speed, use the crust in these cookie dough cheesecake bars.

The crust is super easy to put together but it does require one extra step you don’t typically find in other crust recipes, which is to toast the coconut before mixing it in with the other ingredients. It’s so worth taking the extra few minutes to do that! Unsweetened coconut tastes almost like nothing, at least in my opinion, until you toast it and then it’s transformed into something heavenly.

I also added some coconut extract to the crust but if you don’t want a noticeable coconut taste, you can use vanilla extract instead for a much more subtle coconut flavor. By the way, if you’re a coconut lover like I am, you have to try this coconut rum cake!

Key Lime Pie Bars have the tartness of limes on top of a sweet coconut crust. You won't be able to resist! Recipe contains a gluten-free option.

Key lime pie is probably my favorite dessert ever and I don’t like to be stingy when it comes to the filling. That’s why my version has double the amount of filling that most key lime bar recipes call for. I’ve been using the same recipe since I was in high school and it’s always such a crowd pleaser.

If key limes aren’t available locally, regular limes work just as well! It’s what I use. I’ve also made these bars with lemon juice and they taste oddly similar and just as delicious!

These key lime pie bars call for a whole cup of lime juice. It’ll depend on the size and the juiciness of your limes, but you’ll likely need about 8-11. That’s quite a bit so I have to admit that I often use bottled lime juice or a mix of freshly squeezed and bottled. Freshly squeezed does taste better but sometimes I want a quick dessert and juicing a full cup of lime juice just isn’t going to happen.

Key Lime Pie Bars are your favorite pie in a delicious bar. Great for a crowd! Recipe has a gluten-free option.

If you go the bottled route, make sure to get something that’s 100% lime juice. I don’t recommend using lime juice from those small, green, plastic squeeze bottles, though. Believe me – I’ve tried and the result is terrible.

These key lime pie bars are perfectly zingy and great for warm summer days but if you’re not in the mood for something so rich, try Jamie’s chewy lime sugar cookies. I’ve made them several times and they’re just as delicious as they look!

For more key lime desserts, be sure to check out these Chocolate Dipped Key Lime Pie Marshmallow Treats and this Key Lime Coconut Cheesecake!

Key Lime Pie Bars

Yield: 12 Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 38 minutes

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (not flaked coconut)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour*
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the filling:

  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
  • pinch of salt
* If you need these bars to be gluten-free, make sure all your ingredients are certified gluten-free. I used this gluten-free baking flour in this recipe.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8"x8" pan with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. Place the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 4-6 minutes. Keep a close eye on it and stir as soon as you see it start to brown. Continue cooking for another minute or two until most of the coconut is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the toasted coconut, flour, sugar, and salt. Sprinkle the coconut extract over the top and use your hands to incorporate the butter until thoroughly combined. When pinched, it should hold together. You can alternatively pulse everything together in a food processor until well combined.
  4. Pat the dough firmly onto the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the filling ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  6. Remove the crust from the oven, let it sit for 2 minutes and then pour the filling over the crust. Bake for 15 minutes or just until set. Little pinholes or bubbles may form on the surface.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before chilling in the refrigerator for another 2 hours before serving.
  8. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Filling recipe adapted from Easy Key Lime Pie on Allrecipes

Key lime pie bars with a thick, creamy filling and a coconut cookie crust. So perfect for a crowd. Recipe contains a gluten-free option.

by Erin Dooner

Hi there! I'm Erin and I'm the blogger behind Texanerin Baking, which focuses on making healthier desserts that taste just as delicious and decadent as their unhealthy counterparts. I also firmly believe that no meal is complete without at least a little dessert and that we'd all be a bit happier if we'd just indulge in more cheese and carbs.

more by Erin »

10 Responses to “Key Lime Pie Bars”

  1. Looks deliciously amazing! :)

    • Erin — May 7th, 2016 at 2:04 am

      Thanks, Stephanie! I hope you get a chance to make them. :)

  2. Phearom — June 5, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Can you also set as ‘ g ‘ or ‘ml’ for the ingredients? 

    • Erin — June 6th, 2016 at 2:49 am

      Hello! Here’s a helpful conversion tool. I hope that helps!

  3. joan sharpless — June 12, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Erin, on your Key Lime Pie Bars, is there a way I could substitute the flour – I don’t use any flour except coconut flour and almond flour. This is because I’ve reversed my diabetes in the last 5 months. I don’t have the go ahead to use anything else right now. I’d love to try them and everything else that goes in them is okay for me to use. I love your recipes and follow you!

    Six tablespoons of unsalted butter I can’t have – I think I could use 6 tbs. of coconut oil. For the 1/3 c. granulated sugar,(I can’t eat sugar)I would use Stevia or coconut sugar. Do you think if I used Stevia or coconut sugar it should still be 1/3 c.? I have not been given applesauce yet-but maybe I could- since I can eat apples. Anyway Erin, I would love your take on this…and I do understand they will be nothing like the original recipe….however, maybe still very delicious! Thank you, Joanie
    P.S. !

    • Erin — June 13th, 2016 at 3:13 am

      Hi Joan! Almond flour and coconut flour aren’t interchangeable with wheat flour. I’m sorry about that! If you use butter in place of coconut oil in a crust, streusel or something else like that, it’s not a direct sub. Coconut oil is 100% fat and butter is only 80%. That means that using the same amount of coconut oil would result in a greasy crust. I’d use more like 5.5 tbsp coconut oil. Coconut sugar would overpower the lime flavor and stevia would have quite a strong taste (but if you like it, then it’s all good :)) The problem is that this recipe has 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk, which is about 54% white refined sugar! So if you can’t have sugar, you can’t make this recipe. I recommend finding a paleo key lime pie recipe and trying that. :) I’m working on one but it’s not quite ready! Like you said, it doesn’t taste much like the original but that’s impossible without the loads of sugar.

  4. todd — February 2, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    your recipe is wonky on step 2 you say put in oven for 4 to 6 min and watch but stir often How can you do that ??????

    • Jamie — February 3rd, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Hi, Todd! The coconut needs to be moved around so it doesn’t burn on the baking sheet. You can either use a spoon or spatula or shake the baking pan gently. Let me know if I can help with anything else!

  5. todd — February 2, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    your step @ is all screwed up how can you stir coconut while it is in the oven ?

    • Erin — February 2nd, 2017 at 6:15 pm

      You remove it from the oven and stir. Then you put it back in the oven. Hope that helps!

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