These dreamy and creamy lime bars have the perfect amount of sweetness with a delicious zing from the lime making for the perfect summer dessert. The crust gives a beautiful contrast with a nice crunch and nutty flavour coming from the pecans.
My creamy lime bars are based off key lime bars which you’ve probably seen and more specifically inspired by Martha Stewart’s Key Lime Bars. However, I have personally never seen key limes in my regular grocery stores so I decided to make a version that just used regular limes which are easy to find and still delicious.
I was never a lime fan growing up and would actually avoid them at all costs. Over the past couple of years though, I’ve really grown to love them, both in baking and cooking. My tastebuds took a turn when a friend brought over a key lime pie from the grocery store and it was delicious! I was hesitant to try it but I’m so glad I did. So if you’re a lime hater like I once was, I totally recommend giving these a whirl, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
How to Zest a Lime
Using a zesting tool, use a gentle but firm, smooth circular motion. Only go over each area once. This helps just get the zest and avoid the pith (white part). I also find it easier to zest limes when they are at room temperature.
Personally, I find limes harder to zest then other fruit as the skin is thin and the pith is very bitter. The first time I tested this recipe, I zested the crap out of my limes, like I would a lemon, trying to get every tiny bit of peel. In doing this, I ended up getting a lot of the pith making the bars so bitter they were basically inedible. The pith is bitter in lemons too but the skin is thicker so it’s harder to zest enough pith to create a bitter taste. My next attempt, I used a more gentle pressure and made sure not to go over any parts more then once. These turned out much better with no gross, bitter aftertaste.
Can I Make These Lime Bars Gluten Free?
Yes, these can easily be made gluten free by using a gluten free biscuit in the crust, like a gluten free graham cracker.
How To Separate Eggs
There are many ways to do this but I find the easiest way is to crack the shell off the counter in the middle and pour the egg into your hand. Let the whites run into a separate container through your fingers while gently passing the egg yolk between your hands. It’s much harder to break the yolk this way.
Other methods include passing the yolk back and forth between the two halves of the shell while letting the egg whites drop into the bowl or using egg separator tools.
Another tip is eggs are easier to separate when cold. When recipes call for eggs to be at room temperature, separate the eggs first then let them come to room temperature.
If you don’t know what to do with the leftover egg whites. try making my gingersnap pumpkin cupcakes with marshmallow frosting, or just the marshmallow frosting. It’s so delicious and versatile!
I’ve topped my lime bars with my stabilized whipped cream which is perfect on a bar like this as it won’t deflate. I also grated a little additional lime zest over top for colour and flavour. You can also just eat these plain!
- Don’t overwhip the mixture once the condensed milk and lime juice is added, this keeps the filling creamy vs airy and fluffy.
- Make sure to use fresh limes for both the zest and juice. While testing this recipe, I used limes that had been in the fridge a couple weeks and could barely taste them at all. My next attempt, I used the same recipe, but with fresh limes, what a difference! I also found the older limes harder to zest.
- When zesting limes, you need to be more cautious compared to zesting a lemon. The lime peel is thinner and the white part is very bitter. Use a gentle pressure and only go over each spot once. Using an actual zester makes it much easier!
- Ensure all of your ingredients are at room temperature when mixing. However, it is easier to separate egg yolks and whites while the eggs are cold. So do this right away, then put the whites in a separate container in the fridge to cook or bake something else with.
- For the crust, you can ground the pecans into a fine ground or into smaller bits. If you want more of a crunch, ground them into a rougher ground. Just be careful not to overgrind if doing a fine ground, the oils will release from the nuts and you’ll end up with more of a paste.
- These are basically a form of custard so make sure you don’t overbake the bars or you’ll end up with scrambled egg. You’ll know they’re done when the centre has the slightest jiggle still.
- I create my recipes based off weights so I recommend measuring by weights if you own a scale. It’s actually so much easier and makes for much less cleanup. I wish I had baked by weight from the beginning, I could never go back now.
More Summer Baking
My song today is a great one for all you 90’s babies like me. I can’t not dance in my chair when I hear Jump by Kris Kross. Happy Baking! **Disclaimer: Liv’s Little Muffins owns no rights to this song.
Creamy Lime Bars
- 7 tbsp (98g) unsalted butter , melted
- 1 1/4 cup (150g) graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup (140g) pecans, ground (**see notes)
- 1/4 cup (45g) brown sugar , packed
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 300mL can sweetened condensed milk
- Zest from 2 limes (***see notes)
- Juice from 3 limes (about 1/2 cup)
- Line or spray an 8×8 baking dish. Preheat your oven to 350℉.
- Place your butter in a medium microwave safe mixing bowl. Warm in the microwave for 20 second intervals until completely melted.
- Add your graham crumbs, ground pecans, brown sugar and salt to the melted butter and mix until combined. I find this easiest to mix with a fork.
- Dump your graham mixture into your 8×8 pan and press down with your hand or the bottom of a measuring cup or glass until flat and even.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and then set aside to cool while you make your top layer.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a large mixing bowl, add your egg yolks and lime zest. Whisk on high speed for 5 minutes.
- Add condensed milk and whisk for for additional 10 seconds on high.
- Add in lime juice and whisk for additional 10 seconds on high.
- Pour the egg mixture on top of your pre-baked base and place in the oven for 15-18 minutes. The centre should be just set with a slight jiggle.
- Allow to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes. Remove from pan, allow to cool to room temperature, at least 2 hours, slice and serve. I like to add a dollop of whipped cream when serving as well. Enjoy!