Gluten-Free Key Lime Pie Bar – Everything you love about key lime pie made easier! These gluten-free key lime bars are fresh, bright, and so easy to make!
Next time you’re craving pie, may I suggest these key lime pie bars? They’re SO much easier than traditional gluten-free key lime pie (no pie pan or fussy crust required!), and they’re the perfect size and shape for easy for slicing and sharing.
Whether you slice them into small mini bars to share at a summer barbecue or cookout, or plate them on a pretty platter for Thanksgiving, these gluten-free key lime pie bars are a total and complete delight from start to finish.
This key lime pie filling is my absolute FAVORITE. It doesn’t taste eggy or bitter the way some key lime pies tend to. It’s got bright, fresh lime flavor, a creamy texture, and it sets up perfectly on our gluten-free graham cracker crust.
Here’s all you need to make our Gluten-Free Key Lime Pie Bars…
Here’s What You Need To Make Gluten-Free Key Lime Pie Bars:
What Goes Into Key Lime Pie Crust:
- Gluten-Free Graham Crackers. Our gluten-free key lime pie bars start with a gluten-free graham cracker crust, which means we need graham crackers! Make sure you use gluten-free graham crackers as regular grahams aren’t gluten-free. We like Pamela’s the best, but you can check out our taste-test of 7 gluten-free graham crackers brands here to find a great brand near you.
- Melted Butter. To help bind the crust together, we use melted butter. Don’t skimp here or the crust will be dry or crumbly.
- A Little Sugar. The sugar is actually here to help with the structure of the crust, so it’s not a taste thing! Your crust will bind together better and stay more crisp with the addition of sugar. This is extra important with gluten-free graham cracker crust!
What Goes Into Key Lime Pie Filling:
- Sweetened Condensed Milk. I didn’t realize until recently that sweetened condensed milk is literally just sugar and milk. That’s IT! Using sweetened condensed milk means we don’t need to add additional sweetener and the water has cooked out, leaving a thicker, richer condensed milk behind. Don’t substitute this ingredient with anything else.
- Egg Yolks. You’ll separate your eggs and use just the yolks for this recipe. Egg yolks give richness and help bind the key lime pie filling together better. (You can use the whites in another recipe or freeze them for later!)
- Plain Greek Yogurt (Or Sour Cream). Some key lime pie recipes taste a touch on the eggy side to me, so instead of using all egg yolks I use some plain Greek yogurt in the filling, too. It adds great creaminess and flavor and helps thicken the filling. (If you prefer, you can use sour cream instead!)
- Fresh Lime Zest. Then we’ll add even more lime flavor by including lime zest. Try to *just* get the green zest and avoid the white pith underneath, as the pith is bitter. Regular lime zest WILL work in place of key limes here.
- Vanilla. Lastly, I like to add a tiny splash of vanilla extract to our key lime pie filling. It’s that little something the pulls it all together!
- Fresh Lime Juice. Using fresh lime juice whenever possible will give you the best flavor because of its fresh, vibrant taste. If you can’t find key limes, you can use fresh lime juice or good-quality bottled Key lime juice.
So, What Brands Of Graham Crackers Are Gluten-Free?
Traditional graham crackers aren’t gluten-free, so you’ll need gluten-free graham crackers to make the graham cracker crust. Check out our taste test of 7 popular brands & where to buy them if you need some ideas!
How To Make Key Lime Pie Bars, Step By Step:
- Preheat The Oven & Prep Your Pans. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 metal pan with parchment paper.
- Start With The Graham Cracker Crust. In a food processor or medium mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Pulse or mix until everything is well combined and the mixture resembles wet sand. Pat the crust into your prepared baking pan in an even layer, making sure you pat the crust all the way to the edges.
- Bake The Crust. Put the crust in the oven and bake 8-10 minutes, or until just golden.
- Make The Key Lime Pie Filling. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, Greek yogurt, lime zest, and vanilla. Whisk or beat with a hand mixer to combine until smooth. Keep the mixer or whisk going and gradually mix in the lime juice. Blend until very smooth and even in texture.
- Pour The Filling Over The Crust. Once the crust has come out of the oven, pour the key lime pie filling over the baked crust.
- Return The Pan To The Oven and bake an additional 12-15 minutes to set the filling. The center should be just set with a very slight wobble in the middle. It shouldn’t be wet (underdone) or browned and firm (overdone).
- Cool The Pie Bars For At Least 3 Hours. Remove the key lime pie bars from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then transfer the key lime pie bars to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 1/2 hours more (for a total of at least 3 hours). This will allow the filling to completely set.
- Slice & Serve. After the bars have cooled completely and chilled, use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Cut into 16 squares and serve garnished with whipped cream or whipped topping, additional lime zest, or lime slices. (You can spread all of the bars with whipped cream before slicing, or you can dollop or pipe the whipped cream onto each square, as desired. It’s up to you!)
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Gluten-Free Key Lime Pie Bars:
Can I Make Key Lime Pie Bars In Advance? Yes! You’ll need to make them far enough ahead that they have a full 3 hours to chill before serving, but you can make the key lime bars up to a day in advance without compromising their texture.
What’s The Difference Between Key Limes & Regular Limes? “Regular” limes in the United States are actually Persian limes. They’re larger, contain more juice, and run slightly more tart than key limes. Key limes are smaller, have a slightly sweeter juice.
Can I Use Regular Limes Instead of Key Limes In Key Lime Pie? Yes. The flavor will not be 100% the same, but regular/Persian limes are much more accessible to most of the U.S., and can work well as a substitute. If you can’t find Key Limes, you can use regular fresh lime juice or bottled Key Lime juice and Persian lime zest to make this recipe. Nellie & Joe’s key lime juice is the gold standard if you’re choosing bottled juice!
Can You Freeze Key Lime Pie Bars? No. Don’t freeze the bars as the filling can separate or seep when they thaw. Store leftover key lime pie bars covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days for best results.
Lactose Free? Great news! La Lechera makes lactose-free sweetened condensed milk! I can find it at my local Kroger stores and sometimes Walmart, but keep an eye out as more stores are carrying it these days! You can also use dairy-free butter in the crust. Win!
PRO TIPS &
Tutorials To Help You With This Recipe: