Made with fresh lime juice and a buttery shortbread crust, these Lime Bars make for a refreshing treat! The tartness of the limes is balanced out with the sweetness from the crust, plus the dusting of powdered sugar that's coated over the top. If you love lemon bars, you're definitely gonna love these lime bars!
This recipe was originally published in April of 2020, but was updated on June 4, 2021 with newer content and fresh pictures.
We all love lemon bars right? With a luscious citrus filling and shortbread crust, they are definitely crowd-pleasers for any occasion. Well, have you ever thought to make lime bars?
This recipe is inspired by my classic Lemon Bars and boy are they just as delicious! It's rather hard to find fault with any citrus fruit (in my unbiased opionion).
The tart and tangy lime flavor pairs so well with the buttery and sweet shortbread crust. I like to add an extra ingredient to my shortbread crust too: vanilla extract.
Just a little bit of vanilla extract adds a touch of flavor and sweetness to the crust, which pairs so well with that tart lime curd filling.
Why You'll Love These Lime Bars:
- The tangy lime filling includes both fresh lime juice and lime zest.
- The shortbread crust has both a buttery and slightly-vanilla flavor.
- The tartness from the lime curd and the sweetness of the crust goes so well together.
- From start to finish they are so easy to make!
Using both the juice and zest from the limes really enhances the overall flavor of the filling. To maximize the amount of juice and zest I can get out of a single lime, I always use my citrus juicer and zester. With those tools, I'm able to use about 3 limes in order to create these delicious bars (you may need more or less depending on the size of your limes)!
As you may have noticed from the photos the lime bars are pretty green. Please note that I did use a few drops of gel green food coloring. I wanted to match the beautiful color of the limes.
You do not have to use food coloring, but just know that your bars will look more yellow in color.
Baking Tips Before Starting:
- Baking Pan: Line your 8×8-inch baking pan with foil, allowing a little to come up the sides. This will help with removing the bars. Then generously spray the foil and the sides of the pan with non-stick spray.
- Fresh Limes: Use fresh limes for this recipe. It has the best flavor, plus you’ll need the zest as well.
- Oven Temperature: The shortbread crust will be baked at 350 degrees. We will then lower the temperature to 325 degrees when the lime curd filling is added to the crust. This helps the lime filling to not overcook.
- Completely Cooled Bars: These lime bars need to be cooled completely before serving or slicing into bars. Allow the bars to cool at room temperature for 1 hour and then an additional 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- All-Purpose Flour: The base and structure for the crust. A little is used in the lime filling for thickness.
- Unsalted Butter: This gives the shortbread crust a delicious buttery flavor.
- Powdered Sugar: Adds sweetness to the crust.
- Vanilla Extract: Adds extra flavor.
- Salt: Enhances all of the other flavors.
- Sugar: Balances out the tart filling.
- Baking Powder: Helps the bars to slightly rise when baking.
- Limes: Both the juice and the zest will be used.
- Eggs: 3 large eggs are used to provide body to the filling.
- Food Coloring: 2-3 drops of green food coloring is optional.
How To Make Lime Bars:
This recipe couldn't be simpler. The hardest part is waiting patiently for the bars to cool.
- Shortbread Crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking pan with foil and non-stick spray. Combine all of the ingredients into a medium-sized bowl, mix, and press into the prepared pan. Bake for 16-20 minutes.
- Lime Filling: Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Then whisk in the lime juice, zest, and eggs just until combined. Add food coloring if desired. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and pour the lemon filling over the hot crust. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
- Cooling: Allow the bars to cool for 1 hour at room temperature and then 2 hours in the refrigerator. Dust with powdered sugar once completely cooled and slice into 16 bars.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes, this is a great recipe to make the day before. Once chilled in the refrigerator, cover your pan with plastic wrap or foil and dust with powdered sugar and slice into bars the next day.
I have not made this recipe with key limes, but I don't see why you couldn't. Just use the same amount of juice and zest.
Yes, you can. Simply double all of the ingredients and bake in a 9x13-inch pan. Please note that the baking times may be different.
Keep extra lime bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If you made this recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below. I love hearing from you!
I hope you enjoy your lime bars. Happy baking!
More Fruity Recipes To Try:
- Lemon Bars
- Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
- Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
- Cranberry Shortbread Bars
- Blueberry Crumb Bars
- 8x8 inch baking pan
- Lime Juicer
- Mixing Bowls
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
- 3 tsp lime zest
- 3 large eggs
- 1-2 drops gel green food coloring, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil, allowing a little to come up the sides. Then spray the sides of the pan and the foil with non-stick spray.
- Shortbread Crust: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt with a wooden or plastic spoon. Press the dough into the prepared pan with your fingers and bake for 16-20 minutes or until the edges start to turn light brown.
- Lemon Filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Then add the lime juice, lime zest, and the eggs and whisk until combined.
- When the crust is done, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Pour the lemon filling over the hot crust and bake for 15-18 minutes or until the middle is set and does not jiggle when you move the pan. Let the lemon bars cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then place them into the refrigerator to cool for another 2 hours.
- Once the bars are completely set and cooled, use the extra foil that is along the sides of the pan to pull the bars out. Dust the bars with powdered sugar and cut into bars. Use a butter knife or a serrated knife to cleanly cut the bars. Wipe the knife clean after each cut.
- Keep any leftover lime bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.