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Key Lime Bars with Tropical Nut Crust

This recipe and photography was provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at

Reminiscent of key lime pie, these little squares pack a super limey punch. The gingersnap crust includes almonds and coconut for a tropical twist that will leave your sweet tooth wanting more.

Zesty Tip: One of the reasons this dessert is the best is because you don’t have to squeeze countless little key limes. Nellie and Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice can be found in the juice aisle at Heinen’s and it’s actually a terrific product with great taste. I always have an open bottle in my fridge and you should as well.

Key Lime Bars with Tropical Nut Crust
Key Lime Bars with Tropical Nut Crust
Cook time:
Prep time:
Total time:

30 Bars


For the Crust

  • 3 cups gingersnap cookies
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut

For the Topping

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour, plus 1 Tbsp.
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 1 cup bottled key lime juice (see "zesty tip" above)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 pan with nonstick aluminum foil. Leave enough extra foil on the sides and ends to pull the bars from the pan after they have cooled. Butter the foil.
  2. Add the gingersnaps to the work bowl of a food processor and grind to fine crumbs. Transfer the ground cookies to another bowl and process the almonds, sugar and salt until finely ground. Return the cookie crumbs to the processor bowl and add the butter and coconut. Pulse until mixed and clumpy.
  3. Transfer the crust mixture into the prepared pan and press evenly with the bottom of a cup so it is compact. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the crust is set. Cool on a rack.
  4. To make the topping, whisk together the sugar and flour followed by the butter, eggs, zest, lime juice and a pinch of salt. Pour the topping over the baked crust and bake again for 40-45 minutes or until the topping is set. Cool on a rack and refrigerate until fully set, about 2 hours.
  5. Loosen the sides with a knife, if necessary, and pull the dessert from the pan using the foil as a guide. Flip it over onto another sheet of foil and peel the foil from the bottom crust. Then, using the bottom foil as an aid, flip it right-side-up and sift powdered sugar over the top, if desired.
  6. Cut into squares with a large knife, wiping the blade with a wet paper towel between cuts.
  7. Refrigerate until serving.

Make-Ahead Tip: This dessert can be made up to 2 days in advance. Keep covered and refrigerated.

Key Lime Bars with Tropical Nut Crust

Interested in making this recipe? Order the ingredients online for Curbside Grocery Pickup or Delivery.

Carla Snyder in her kitchen
By Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

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