Key Lime Pie Bars are no-bake cheesecake bars with a graham cracker crust filled with a creamy, tart filling and topped with whipped cream. They are so easy to make, and will give you all the flavors of a key lime pie without any baking required! I also have Key Lime Cheesecake that you will want to try!

Key Lime Pie Bars on a white table with some bars cut from overhead.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Crust: The buttery graham cracker crust goes so well with the key lime cheesecake filling. Ensure the crumbs are all coated in the butter to keep the crust together. A store-bought crust would also work. Or, try the bars with a vanilla wafer or shortbread crust.

Graham Cracker Crumbs

Pre-Crushed vs Crushing Yourself

The quality of store-bought graham cracker crumbs has changed in the last few years and they seem to be less flavorful and have a different texture. When possible, I recommend the full sheets of honey-flavored graham crackers and crushing them yourself or utilizing a food processor.

Cream Cheese: For the smoothest cheesecake filling, be sure the cream cheese has come to room temperature. This usually takes about 30-60 minutes.

How To Soften Cream Cheese Quickly

If you forgot to take out the cream cheese for this recipe, here are a couple of options to get it to room temperature quickly:

Warm Water Method: Place the wrapped block of cream cheese in a bowl of warm water for about 10-15 minutes. Flip it over every few minutes or so.

Microwave Method: Remove the cream cheese from its packaging and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave it on low power in 15-20-second intervals until it reaches the desired softness. Be careful not to overheat it, as cream cheese can quickly become too runny or even melt.

Sweetened Condensed Milk: The sweetened condensed milk makes the filling sweet to balance out the tartness of the key limes. Make sure to use sweetened condensed milk and not evaporated milk. Check the labels on the cans to be sure.

Key Limes: You will need quite a few key limes to get 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice. They can be pretty small, so I needed 13 for half a cup of juice. I had a couple extra on hand for garnish, too, both sliced and zested! You could use bottled key lime juice if you can’t find key limes.

Whipped Cream: For the topping, either homemade or store-bought whipped cream would work.

One Key Lime Pie Bar on a white plate on a white counter.

What Is The Difference Between Key Limes and Regular Limes?

Key limes, also known as Mexican limes or West Indies limes, are smaller, more yellow, and have a stronger smell compared to regular limes. They have more seeds and taste tart and tangy, while regular limes are sweeter. Key limes are usually used in desserts like this pie, while regular limes are commonly used in drinks and savory dishes.

One Key Lime Pie Bar on a white plate with a fork taking a bite.

Can I Use Regular Limes In These Bars?

Yes, you can use regular limes, also known as Persian limes or Tahiti limes, in these bars. You will still end up with deliciously creamy cheesecake bars. If possible, use freshly squeezed lime juice for the most flavor (as compared to bottled juice).

Key Lime Pie Bar on a white plate with a bite removed showing inside texture.

How To Store Key Lime Pie Bars

Key Lime Pie Bars should be stored in the refrigerator, and covered. They will last up to 2-3 days. For longer storage, freeze the bars. But, freeze the bars without the whipped topping.

To Freeze: Once the bars are chilled and completely set (I would give it a few hours, at least), wrap the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Ensure it’s well-sealed to prevent freezer burn. Label and date the packaging; they will last up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy the bars, transfer them from the freezer to the refrigerator and let them thaw overnight. Once thawed, you can add the whipped topping and garnishes before serving.

Key Lime Pie Bars on a white table from overhead.

Key Lime Pie Bars

Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Key Lime Pie Bars are no-bake cheesecake bars with a graham cracker crust filled with a creamy, tart filling and topped with whipped cream. They are so easy to make, and will give you all the flavors of a key lime pie without any baking required!



  • 1 ½ cups (126 g) graham cracker crumbs, about 10-12 crushed graham cracker sheets
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • cup (76 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon key lime zest


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup (121 g) key lime juice, about 12-13 key limes


  • 2 cups (120 g) whipped cream, homemade or store-bought
  • key lime zest, for garnish
  • key lime slices, for garnish


  • Spray an 8×8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.


  • To a small bowl, add graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter, and zest. Make sure to get every crumb coated with butter.
  • Evenly press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared dish.


  • To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice. Mix until combined.
  • Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or until set, up to overnight.


  • After the bars have chilled for at least 1 hour, carefully spread the whipped cream on top. Garnish with the zest and sliced limes.
  • Serve cold.

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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:


These bars are just as tasty as they are beautiful! The key lime is bright and tangy, and the whipped cream and graham cracker crust offer the perfect balance.


I guess I am officially a fan of key lime desserts since I have loved each one we tested! And, these bars are so creamy and easy to make! The subtle tartness from the key limes is fantastic with the creamy texture.


These bars are impressive, especially considering how easy they are to make!


Creamy no-bake key lime dessert! It is the perfect lime flavor with the ease of cutting into bars. I love this dessert!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Hi Amanda ,love your recipes ,know these bars will be delicious,but I’m always surprised that noone ever mentions being able to use Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime is a fantastic product.

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