Key Lime Shortbread Bars Recipe

Key Lime Shortbread Bars. These bars are made of a sweet and tart key lime layer topping a sweet shortbread crust that you can easily cut into bars. So easy and delicious and perfect for parties!

Key Lime Shortbread Bars Recipe

Key lime pie has always been one of those desserts that my husband immediately picks on a dessert menu. He inherited his love for it from his father. Light and fluffy, sweet with enough tart that it makes your mouth pucker just a bit, I have to admit I love it just as much as they do.

And these key lime shortbread bars?

You better believe they are a definite favorite. That pillowy key lime layer tops a sweet shortbread crust that you can easily cut into bars for serving. I love that it makes 15 delicious bars perfect for parties and get togethers. Here’s my Key Lime Shortbread Bars recipe. I think you’ll enjoy them as much as we do!

Yield: 15

Key Lime Shortbread Bars Recipe

Total Time 40 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Key Lime Shortbread Bars. These bars are made of a pillowy key lime layer topping a sweet shortbread crust that you can easily cut into bars. So easy and delicious.
5 from 5 votes
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For the shortbread crust:

For the key lime layer:

For the whipped cream (optional):

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the shortbread crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Mix together butter, flour, and confectioner’s sugar. Press into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  3. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before filling.

For the key lime layer:

  1. Reduce oven to 325º F.
  2. Whisk egg yolk, sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, lime zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl until well-combined.
  3. Beat egg whites with an electric mixture until they begin to foam. Gradually add in granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy and soft peaks have formed. Gently fold into egg yolk mixture and carefully spread onto completely cooled shortbread crust.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until set throughout. Remove from the oven and chill on a wire rack. Lightly cover and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours.
  5. For serving, cut into squares and top with whipped cream and lime slices or lime peeling slivers.

For the whipped cream:

  1. Add heavy cream into a large bowl. Beat on high speed until it begins to thicken. Slowly add in confectioner's sugar while beating on high speed. Add vanilla extract and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

All images and text © Robyn Stone for Add a Pinch

Robyn xo

21 comments on “Key Lime Shortbread Bars Recipe”

  1. Must have one of your Key Lime Shortbread Bars asap! Your presentation is so beautiful, love the whipped cream and candied lime peel.

  2. I love anything lemony/limey for dessert. Unfortunately I’m the only one so I don’t make them very often.

    I’ll save this recipe for a time when they are more willing to eat it.

  3. Girl I absolutely adore key lime pie and are the perfect way to have them with that shortbread crust. This is driving me crazy!!!

  4. These bars are so tempting in every which way!!

  5. I am in LOVE. I love key lime. I love short bread. I had to pin this. Wonderful!!!!

  6. These look fantastic! The filling is so perfectly light and airy!

  7. Those look almost too good to eat, Robyn … of course I would demolish it without a second thought! 🙂 (ps I think there is a small typo: lime “peeling” slivers).

  8. These bars look so delicate and perfect! Love it in lemon and lime!

  9. My friend went to Key West and brought me back a bottle of key lime juice. I was so excited to see this recipe pop up. Made them last week; two girls have already asked about the recipe. Very light and delicious

  10. I made these scrumptious bars twice over the long weekend, once for company at our house, and the second time, to take to a barbecue at the home of friends. Everyone raved about them, especially the shortbread crust. I have only one comment to make that I learned when I made the bars the first time: if you are not using a nonstick pan, I suggest greasing the sides of the pan after the crust has cooled and before you are ready to pour the filling into the pan. I did not do that the first time, and I had a heck of a time getting the bars along the sides of the pan to come out cleanly–and they didn’t look very nice either. The second time, I ran a strip of butter around the sides of the pan, above the crust. Worked like a charm, the bars pulled away from the sides slightly and they came out more easily and looked much prettier. Maybe a glass baking dish would not have had the same problem, but I like my metal pan for baked goods. This recipe is definitely a keeper, and a nice alternative to the heavier traditional key lime pie. Five stars!

  11. Hello can I make a graham cracker crust instead of a shortbread crust?

  12. Hi I can’t seem to find key lines in the uk so can I make this with ordinary lines ? Thanks.

  13. I made these yesterday. Very delicious! The shortbread base is a lovely change from the usual graham cracker crust used for key lime pies. By folding in the beaten egg whites it makes the key lime topping very fluffy. I, personally, don’t think the whipped cream is necessary at all. In fact, it seems to lessen the lovely flavor of the key lime.

    This recipe says how easy the bars are to remove from the pan. That was the case when they cooled, but weren’t yet refrigerated. After being refrigerated for several hours, it became difficult to get the shortbread off the pan bottom. Maybe a non-stick or metal pan would help. I used a ceramic pan.

    • Hi Cindy!
      I’m so glad you gave these a try and enjoyed them! You can definitely leave off the whipped cream if you wish. I’m not sure why yours stuck as I’ve not had that happen when I’ve made them.
      Thanks so much!

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