These Homemade Key Lime Pie Bars have a brown butter graham cracker crust and a creamy, velvety smooth filling that’s bursting with key lime flavor. This is one of the easiest desserts ever, serving 9 (or 16 small squares) in about 45 minutes!
Anyone who knows me is well aware my love for citrusy desserts. It doesn’t matter if it’s lemon or lime, grapefruit or clementine. If I find myself having to choose between a fudgy brownie or something citrus, I will gladly kick chocolate off to the side for the zip of citrus every single time. Because citrus > chocolate.
I’m pretty sure this lemon lime cake was the point of no return for me. And it doesn’t just stop at food. My soaps in every bathroom are some form of citrus smell, like lemongrass or grapefruit. Even my linen spray. The bright clean smell is a happy one.
Speaking of happy—> these homemade key lime pie bars are amazing and a citrusy punch to your tastebuds that melts into a nutty, brown butter graham cracker crust. The perfect treat for spring time. Who knows, maybe these will be your point of no return?
To Make These Key Lime Pie Bars You Will Need:
- key limes
- egg yolks
- sweetened condensed milk
- graham cracker (crumbs)
- granulated sugar
- dark brown sugar
- browned butter
Preheat your oven to 350℉ (or 180℃).
First, pulse about 12 to 14 full sheets of graham crackers or enough to yield 1-1/3 cups of crumbs. Then add those into a bowl and add in 2 tablespoons both granulated and dark brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
Use a fork to stir, breaking up the brown sugar, before adding in 1 stick of butter that has been melted and browned (the link is above in ingredient shot).
Stir we’ll to combine.
Next, add the brown butter graham cracker crumbs into a 9×9 baking pan that was lined and then sprayed with baking spray – I use coconut oil spray. Press the crumbs into the bottom and corners – I use my fingers or the bottom of a glass – and then bake for 10 minutes in your preheated oven.
Remove the pan and let cool while you whip up the key lime pie bar filling,
Next, cut and juice A LOT of key limes. You’ll need 1 pound of key limes and may not need them all, but you will need most of them to yield 1/2 cup of key lime juice.
Ps. you may want to zest the limes (you’ll need 1 tablespoon) before you cut and juice the key limes. Speaking from experience here.
Now start making the key lime filling by adding 3 egg yolks into a medium bowl and then with your hand mixer, beating them until thick, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Next add in 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk, mix for 1 to 2 minutes to combine.
Then add 1 tablespoon of key lime zest. Now if the thought of zesting those little key limes is enough for you to tap out and not make this dessert, go ahead and use regular lime zest. This is a judge-free zone.
Next, with your hand mixer on low, slowly pour while mixing in the key lime juice and then continue to mix for 2 more minutes.
Next, pour the key lime filling on top of the brown butter graham cracker crust. Then spread evenly and then bake on the middle rack of your already preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Poof. Done. Now comes the hardest part.
Allow the key lime pie bars to cool on your counter for 30 minutes. Then pop them into your fridge for 2 to 4 hours or until set. The more chilled the bars are, the easier they are to cut without crumbling. I obviously had to cut their time short in the fridge, but they still taste like heaven.
Finally, use the foil to lift the up the homemade key lime pie bars and onto a cutting board. Then cut them into either 9 large or 16 bite-size squares. Lastly, serve them as is or with a little (or big) dollop of whipped cream on top. And maybe some extra zest if you’re feeling crazy.
I’m a as-is kind of gal. Because keeping it simple is my middle name.
Now prepare yourself to fall in love.
Homemade Key Lime Pie Bars
FOR THE CRUST
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs, about 13 full crackers
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 8 tablespoons browned butter
FOR THE KEY LIME FILLING:
- 3 large egg yolks
- 14 ounce canned sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon key lime zest, (see notes)
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice, (see notes)
MAKE THE CRUST:
- Preheat your oven to 350℉ (or 180℃).
- Line a 9x9 baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick baking spray (I used coconut oil spray).
- In a medium bowl combine the cracker crumbs, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and browned butter. Mix with a fork until combined. Add the crumbs to your prepared pan, press into the pan and bake for 10 minutes.
MAKE THE FILLING:
- In a mixing bowl, add the yolks and using your hand mixer, beat on medium-low speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until the yolks are lighter in color and thick.
- Add in the sweetened condensed milk and mix on medium-low speed for another 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add in the lime zest, mix to combine.
- With the hand mixer on low-speed, slowly pour in the key lime juice and continue to blend for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour the key lime mixture into the prepared crust and bake for 15 minutes or until set.
- Once baked, remove and let cool for 30 minutes before placing them into your fridge to chill for 2 t0 4 hours. The more chilled the bars are the easier they are to cut.
- Once chilled, use the foil to remove the bars and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into either 9 large or 16 smaller squares.
- **if the thought of zesting those little key limes is enough for you to tap out and not make this dessert, go ahead and use regular lime zest.
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