Summer Citrus Easy Key Lime Pie Dessert Bars

The best key lime pies turned dessert bars. Crunchy Cookie Chips® crust and topped with fresh whipped cream.

easy cookie recipes, desserts, and baking fun things

Joanne Adirim

Founder & Executive Pastry Chef

MAR 25, 2022

For 25 years, Joanne has served as the Founder and Executive Pastry Chef at Hannahmax Baking. Known for her best in class reputation, Joanne and her baking company have crafted gourmet desserts for fine dining establishments, coffee cafes, hotels, & grocery companies across North America. In 2022, she launched the Cookie Chips® Baking Mix, a cookie mix that's shaking up home baking with its bakery quality results. In From The Pastry Kitchen, she shares her industry earned expertise with the home baking community.

One of the most popular desserts in my wholesale bakery was our Key Lime Pie topped with freshly whipped cream.

We made large 11” round pies and individual serve pies. People couldn’t get enough of this traditional citrus summer dessert. This time around, I wanted to do something a little bit different. So, I turned my key lime pie recipe into the Easy Key Lime Pie Dessert Bars recipe. Same delicious key lime filling with a twist. A crunchy chocolate chip cookie crust.

What is a Key Lime Pie?

"Key lime pie is an American dessert pie. It is made of lime, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk. It may be served with no topping, topped with a meringue topping made from egg whites, or with whipped cream; it may be cooked in a pie crust, graham cracker crust, or no crust. The dish is named after the small Key limes, which are more aromatic than the common Persian limes, and which have yellow, not green, juice. The filling in a Key lime pie is also yellow, largely because of the egg yolks."
This has to be one of the most popular summer desserts next to ice cream. The key lime pie crust is traditionally made with from a graham cracker crust, though you can use any crunchy cookie to create the base for the crust. For my recipe, I used Chocolate Chip Cookie Chips.® You can also use our Cinnamon Sugar or even ourUnicorn Rainbow Sprinkles. Any of these mixes make for a great crust.

The creamy key lime filling? That’s the secret sauce. Simple yet amazing. Whipped egg yolks blended with sweetened condensed milk and fresh key lime juice. It’s not always easy to find or use key limes. If you want to use fresh limes but can't get your hands on key limes, it's A Okay to use regular limes. Kick it up by zesting some of the limes and adding it to the filling recipe.
Something different about this dessert recipe? Notice that the color of my key lime filling is yellow. Not the traditional green. While key limes and limes are green on the outside, the juice is actually yellow. Now, one might think the color of the key lime filling comes from the juice. In fact, the color of key lime filling comes from the golden color of egg yolks. You'll see below that the only ingredients in my key lime pie are egg yolks, condensed milk (which is white), and lime or key lime juice. Blend all these ingredients together and the strongest color of the yellow eggs wins.
So what makes key lime pie green? Good question. Food coloring is the culprit. We all know that adding artificial colors is not a healthy way to go. Actually, I believe it isn’t even necessary to add any green food coloring. The natural yellow color of the filling is beautiful and visually appetizing.

There is a battle and long history to the color of Key Lime Pie. For those of you who want to learn more about this you can read it on The Keys Weekly.
key lime pie recipe best

HannahMax Baking Individual Key Lime Pie 

topped with fresh whipped cream and lime garnish

If you love the idea of baking your bars green, these days you can do so cleanly with natural plant based food coloring. Check out Color Kitchen Green Color or a natural green spirulina from Olive Nation.

Besides the traditional green color, key lime pies are also famous for their graham cracker crust. In fact, key lime pies are part of the larger graham cracker crust pie recipes family. But, who's to say you have to be traditional all the time. I achieved a spectacularly delicious pie with the Chocolate Chip Cookie Chips® Baking Mix. It lends itself beautifully to this dessert bar. Like the traditional graham cracker crust, Cookie Chips® are super crunchy. Blended with just a bit of butter, they make a most tasty pie crust. This cookie mix was an easy substitute for traditional key lime pie ingredients, and really took this dessert over the top. What other desserts calls for a crust? Hmmm…. Cheesecake definitely comes to mind.

This easy recipe made the best key lime pie bars I think I've every made. I guarantee you will love these key lime pie dessert bars, and they'll become a staple in your dessert file. Easy to make. Foolproof baking. Delicious every time. Now let's get baking!


The Best Key Lime Pie Dessert Bars Recipe

Laying the Chocolate Chip Cookie Chips® crust in the baking pan.
Pouring the creamy key lime filling into the baking pan. It's time to bake!
Topping these easy dessert bars with fresh whipped cream and key lime zest.

Ingredients

Crunchy Pie Crust

Cookie Chips® Baking Mix | Chocolate Chip, baked & crushed - 1 bag.

• Unsalted butter, melted - 4 tbsp or 2 oz.

The Creamy Key Lime Filling

• Egg yolks - 12 ea or 6 ¾ oz.

• Key lime or lime juice - 12 fl oz.

• Lime zest - from one whole lime.

• Sweetened condensed milk - 28 fl oz.

Classic Key Lime Pie Topping

• Heavy whipping cream - 1 cup.

• Granulated or powdered sugar - 2 tbsp (or more to taste).

• Lime zest

To Make

1.  In a 9x9 baking pan spray bottom and sides with pan spray and insert a small piece of parchment paper on the bottom.


2.  Preheat oven to 350° F. (325° F if using a convection oven.)


3.  Blend crushed Cookie Chips® with melted butter. 


4.  Place cookie crumbs into the pan and press down until it is evenly pressed around the entire bottom of the pan.


5.  Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.


6.  While the crust is baking, place egg yolks into a mixer with the whip attachment. Whip eggs on high until they are tripled in volume.


7.  Add the condensed milk and continue whipping on high speed for 2 minutes.


8. Blend the lime zest with the lime juice and with the mixer running on low, pour in the juice. Mix until evenly combined.


9.  Pour filling into the pan with the pre-baked crust. Only pour in enough to reach ¾’s of the way up the sides of the pan. You may have a little filling leftover you can use for another mini pie.


10.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until set and still a little jiggly.


10. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight.

Cut and Decorate

1.  Remove dessert bars from the pan. The best way to do this is to release the sides by using a knife, and scraping around the edges. Then, place the pan on a hot surface (over the stove burner), briefly to warm the bottom. Flip the pan over onto a cake board or parchment lined plate or sheet pan. Flip back up. Don’t worry if the top of your dessert bars are a bit marred. You are going to decorate over this.


2.  Use a knife and mark where you want to cut your bars.


3.  Heat your knife over a fire stove or you can run your knife in hot water until very hot. Immediately, cut the bars, cleaning the knife between cuts and reheating. 


4.  Place whipped cream and sugar in a mixer with whip attachment and whip cream firmly.


5.  Using a pastry bag with a decorative tip, pipe filling over each dessert bar decoratively and sprinkle with lime zest.

Pro tips

1. Crush the Cookie Chips® by placing them in a resealable Ziploc bag and pounding it with a rolling pin or the palm of your hand.


2. If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can spread the whip cream over the top of the key lime pie dessert bars BEFORE cutting, then follow the cutting procedures above. Sprinkle lime zest on each bar after cutting.


easy key lime pie recipe

Crispy crunchy cookies in 15 minutes.

Make bakery quality, thin & crispy cookies in 15 minutes. These pastry chef crafted, easy bake Cookie Chips® are so delicious.


Like everything that I bake, this mix uses artisan, non GMO, simple ingredients, and no artificial junk.


Let's get baking!

fun things to bake with easy dessert recipes

Joanne Adirim, Founder & Executive Pastry Chef

Get the mix from the recipe. ⬊

Crunchy Cookie Mix

$9.99