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A classic key lime pie 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.
Ingredients To Make These Key Lime Bars
Like I said only six ingredients is all you need…
- 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.
- Sugar – A little is needed to sweeten the crust
- Butter – Some melted butter brings the crust together.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – This is the key ingredient to making key lime pie. Make sure you grab the right can, and not evaporated milk!
- Egg Yolks – You will need 4 of these to help thicken the filling.
- Limes – Ok now I used regular limes. So technically these are just “lime bars” and not true “key lime bars”. But it’s so much easier to find, and also easier to squeeze than little key limes!
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.
Pro 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.
You need to bake the crust for 10 minutes before adding your filling.
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.
Tips For Making These Key Lime Bars
- 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.
Can I Make These Bars Ahead Of Time?
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.
Can I Use Key Lime Juice Instead?
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.
Can I Make These Gluten Free?
Absolutely. Just use gluten free graham crackers instead.
Can I Use A Different Cookie For The Graham Cracker?
Sure why not! Gingernsap cookies would be a wonderful choice.
To make these you will need:
For More Bar Recipes Check Out These:
- Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
- Apple Pie Gooey Bars
- Toasted Coconut Lemon Bars
- Bourbon Caramel Chocolate Walnut Bars
- Margarita Bars
- Oreo Brownies
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Classic Key Lime Bars
- 1 package of graham crackers 9 sheets
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 cup (50g ) granulated sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 14- ounce can of condensed milk
- 1/2 cup lime juice (or use key lime juice)
- 2 teaspoons lime zest (about 1-2 limes)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9x9 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 9x9 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.