Key Lime Shortbread Bars Recipe


5 from 7 votes
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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!

Key Lime Shortbread Bars Recipe

5 from 7 votes
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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24


For the shortbread crust:

For the key lime layer:

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest, approximately
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Optional Garnish:


For the shortbread crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350º F.
  • 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.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before filling.

For the key lime layer:

  • Reduce oven to 325º F.
  • Whisk egg yolk, sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, lime zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl until well-combined.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • For serving, cut into squares and top with whipped cream and lime slices or lime peeling slivers.


Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 560IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

5 from 7 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Recipe Review


  1. Sarah says:

    5 stars
    I made these last night and WOW. I love the flavors – so delicious, light, tangy and combined with the buttery shortbread crust they are perfection. I am a sucker for citrus desserts as I love things on the more tart side. These were right along my flavor profile and my boyfriend loved them too! I pretty well followed the recipe other than used regular limes, no lemon, and was a little under on the sugar for the crust. Will make again – a new favorite!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks, Sarah. I’m glad these are a new favorite of yours. They are always a hit with my family, too.

  2. Jess says:

    Not what I thought it would be. Texture is way to soft and foamy for my liking. The filling wasn’t firm, and the bars didn’t cut clean. They are delicious but I probably won’t make them again. 

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I’m sorry you didn’t like these, Jess. As I stated in my post, these are light and fluffy, not firm. But yours should not have been foamy.

  3. Nancy says:

    Used a Pyrex pie plate. The recipe filled container to the brim.
    I needed just under 30 min. for key lime batter to set.
    Was very nice; no whip cream required.
    Instructions please to make the decorative sugared lime peel slivers.

    PS: If one favors really light texture could I increase 1 more egg white? 

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Nancy! I’ve not tried adding the extra egg white you mention and not sure how it will turn out. Thanks! xo

  4. Laura says:

    These look delicious. I am cooking ahead, hosting a bbq for 40, can these be made ahead and frozen?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Yes, they should freeze just fine Laura. Wrap tightly with freezer wrap. I would wait until after thawed and before ready to serve before adding the whipped cream topping with the lime zest though for best results. Thanks!

  5. Cindy says:

    5 stars
    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.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      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!

  6. Sharon Mackenzie says:

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

    1. Bo Albert says:

      5 stars
      Of course. There’s not much difference.

  7. Samantha Breedlove says:

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

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Sure! It will be delicious!