Key Lime Shortbread Bars. Perfectly balancing sweetness and citrus zing, these bars are a treat for the senses. The crumbly shortbread base provides a perfect contrast to the smooth and zesty lime topping. Whether served at parties or enjoyed with a cup of tea, these bars are sure to brighten any occasion.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

These Key Lime Shortbread Bars offer a unique twist on traditional lemon bars. The key lime flavor, coupled with the buttery shortbread crust, creates a harmonious blend of textures and tastes. This recipe is straightforward, allowing you to create a stunning dessert without spending hours in the kitchen. Plus, the vibrant green zest and powdered sugar garnish make these bars as visually appealing as they are delicious.

Recipe Tips and Variations:

Perfect Zest: Use a fine grater to zest the key limes, ensuring you get only the outer green part without any bitter white pith.
Extra Citrus Kick: For a stronger lime flavor, you can add a few drops of key lime extract to the filling.
Gluten-Free Option: Substitute all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour to make this recipe suitable for those following a gluten-free diet.

Why These Bars Stand Out:

Zesty and Sweet: The combination of tart key lime and sweet shortbread creates a perfectly balanced dessert.
Easy Preparation: With a simple shortbread base and straightforward filling, these bars are beginner-friendly.
Eye-Catching Presentation: The vibrant green lime zest and powdered sugar garnish add a pop of color and elegance to your dessert table.

What to Serve With This Recipe:

Serve these Key Lime Shortbread Bars chilled and dusted with powdered sugar alongside a refreshing glass of iced tea, lemonade, or a hot cup of coffee. For a special touch, top each bar with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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  • Author: Olivia
  • Total Time: 1 hour



For the Shortbread:

1 1/2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
For the Topping:

2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Juice of 34 key limes or regular limes (about 1/4 cup), strained
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon key lime zest
Powdered sugar and/or extra lime zest for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a mixing bowl, combine the room-temperature butter, all-purpose flour, and powdered sugar. Mix until a crumbly dough forms.
Press the dough evenly into an 8”x8” baking dish lined with parchment paper, ensuring it covers the base and extends about 1/2” up the sides.
Bake the shortbread crust for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and keep it warm.
Creating the Lime Topping:

In another bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the strained lime juice, cornstarch, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt. Mix until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
Stir in the key lime zest to enhance the citrus aroma and flavor.
Layering and Baking:

Pour the lime filling over the warm shortbread crust, ensuring an even layer.
Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for 25-28 minutes or until the center is set and no longer jiggly.
Chilling and Garnishing:

Allow the bars to cool slightly before refrigerating them for at least 1 hour to set.
Once set, remove the bars from the refrigerator and dust the top with powdered sugar. For an extra burst of color and flavor, sprinkle additional lime zest over the powdered sugar.

Cut the chilled Key Lime Shortbread Bars into 16-25 squares, depending on your desired serving size.
Serve the bars chilled, and enjoy the delightful combination of buttery shortbread and zesty lime.


These Key Lime Shortbread Bars offer a refreshing twist on the classic lemon bar, making them a standout dessert for any occasion. With their vibrant color, zesty flavor, and buttery base, these bars are sure to become a favorite among friends and family. Indulge in the perfect harmony of sweet and citrus with every bite!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: DESSERT
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