A classic key lime bar with a buttery graham cracker crust and an easy filling made with condensed milk! Only 6 ingredients to make these easy key lime bars.
So growing up I don’t remember ever having a Key Lime Pie Bar. Or Key Lime Pie for that matter. Not once. Am I alone? We had your typical desserts- apple pie being big on that list around the holidays. It wasn’t until I got older that I got to experience how truly magnificent key lime pie was.
Before moving to Boston, I lived in Buffalo, NY where I worked at a restaurant while finishing up my master’s. It was there that I had the most delicious key lime pie. I finally got up the courage one day to ask the chef about the recipe. To my shock, he said “it was the recipe on the back of the condensed milk can”. You have got to be kidding.
This upscale restaurant was relying on a recipe off the back of the can?! And you know what? It didn’t matter. That key lime pie was the perfect balance of tangy and sweet and surrounded by this thick layer of a buttery graham cracker crust. Sometimes delicious does not need to equal difficult!
And these key lime bars are exactly that.
Why You Will Love These Key Lime Bars
- Just 6 Ingredients – Yup that’s it. Only six ingredients is all you need.
- Ready In Less Than An Hour – In just about 45 minutes these are done start to finish. And really it’s only about 20 minutes of prep work on your end. How awesome is that?
- Simple To Make. The hardest part is sometimes figuring out how to get that food processor lid to attach so I can turn it on. Tell me I’m not alone here! But seriously, that’s the hardest part. Otherwise these couldn’t be simpler.
- Graham Crackers – I turn these into crumbs using my food processor but you could also throw them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – This is the key ingredient to making key lime pie. Make sure you grab the right can, and not evaporated milk!
- Limes – Ok now I used regular limes, both the juice and the zest, but you can use key limes or even key lime juice.
- Egg yolks – For help on separate your eggs cleanly, read how to separate eggs (6 ways!).
- Butter – I prefer using unsalted butter vs. salted butter but either will work.
- Sugar – You want to use granulated sugar, but brown sugar in the crust would be a good swap!
How To Make These Key Lime Bars
Make The Crust: First let’s start with the crust. Because the key lime pie would be nothing without the graham cracker crust. Am I right? Making a graham cracker crust is simple to make as long as you use your food processor. I made this recipe using a whole package of graham crackers. I saw similar recipes online asking for a number of graham crackers one or two more that was in a package, which just seemed so silly to me. So I used one whole package of nine crackers to keep things nice and easy.
After that just add melted butter and sugar to sweeten it a little. The graham cracker mixture gets pressed into the bottom of your baking pan. I just purchased this Cuisinart 9×9 baking pan and I’m in love.
You need to bake the crust for 10 minutes before adding your filling.
Heather’s Baking Tip
You can use the bottom of a measuring cup or just get in there with the hands and press the crumbs into the pan.
Make The Filling: For the limes, I used both the juice and the zest for a really big lime flavor.
Once you have whisked the filling together go ahead and pour it over the graham cracker crust and bake for an additional 15 minutes. That’s it.
- Use The Bottom Of The Measuring Cup. To press down the crumbs into the pan. It really does make fast work of it.
- Buy extra limes. I sometimes find that I never get as much as juice out of them that I want. There’s always ones that seems dried up after I cut into it. So buy 5 or 6 and you should be all set!
- Roll them around. The limes that is. I find this helps release the juices. You can also microwave your lime for 30 seconds as well to help it juice better.
Yes you can make these up to two days ahead of time. Just cover and store in the fridge. The crust may soften slightly, however.
You absolutely can if you want the true “key lime” flavor. I’ve never found it in my stores, so I buy it on Amazon. But I still recommend adding fresh lime zest if you can.
Yes, just use gluten free graham crackers instead!
Yes you can. Gingersnap cookies would be a great swap!
For More Bar Recipes Check Out These:
Let’s Bake Together!
Key Lime Bars
- 1 package of graham crackers 9 sheets
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 cup (50g ) granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 14- ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) lime juice (or use key lime juice)
- 2 teaspoons lime zest (about 1-2 limes)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with a cooking spray.
- In a food processor, place your graham cracker sheets and pulse until finely ground. Empty the graham cracker crumbs into a mixing bowl, add in your melted butter and sugar. Stir to combine. Press the graham cracker crumb mixture into the 9×9 pan and press down into an even layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- In a second mixing bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Whisk to combine. Pour over the graham cracker crust and bake for an additional 15 minutes until set. Allow the bars to cool on a cooling rack before slicing. Bars can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, the crust may soften slightly however.
- Storage: Yes you can make these up to two days ahead of time. Just cover and store in the fridge. The crust may soften slightly, however.