Brûlée Key Lime Pie Bars

I’ve been thinking about this dessert for a couple of months now. One of my favorite desserts is a good key lime pie and that is very hard to find sometimes. On my blog you will be able to find my favorite key lime pie recipe which is easy to make and the result is wonderful. I decided to create key lime pie bars which have a cookie crust, fresh key lime filling(with just 3 ingredients) and the topping is caramelized sugar using a kitchen torch (just like a creme brûlée).

One thing you should know is that key limes and limes are different. I prefer to use key limes because they’re more acidic and have a stronger fragrance which helps a lot for citrus desserts. You will know the key limes are more ripe when they aren’t too green, they should be turning a bit yellow.

About the kitchen torch. This is the one I have. Click here. But you can find others on Amazon or any other shops like Walmart. If you don’t have a kitchen torch and don’t want to buy one, just skip the brûlée topping part, you will have the crust and key lime filling.

Let’s start with the recipe and if you would like to see how I made this bars, you can visit me on Instagram @pastry_tales

Yield one 8×8 square pan


For the crust

1 and 1/2 cups of crushed vanilla cookies (graham or nilla or animal crackers). I use animal crackers because I like to snack on them so I always have them by hand. Also, I am a crust fan so you will find that my crust is a bit thick, if you want a thinner crust, just use 1 cup.

5 tablespoons of unsalted butter (melted)

2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

For the filling

1 can sweetened condensed milk

4 egg yolks

½ cup fresh key lime juice

For the brûlée topping

white granulated sugar

kitchen torch


Preheat oven to 350°F

For the crust

Make the crust by stirring together the cookie crumbs, melted butter and granulated sugar. Press into the bottom of your pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Let it cool.

For the filling

1.-While the crust is baking, make the filling. Whisk together condense milk, key lime juice and yolks. Mix well until smooth and creamy.

2.-Once the crust is done, let it cool for 10 min and then  pour the filling evenly over the crust. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the edges start to brown and the top looks solid.

3.- Let it cool completely to room temperature and then place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours. I like to chill it overnight.

4.- Grab a knife and start cutting your squares. I like them small, so you can get about 12 squares.

For the brûlée topping

1.- Place one bar on top of a dish, sprinkle about 3/4 teaspoon of white granulated sugar and then use your kitchen torch to caramelize the top until golden brown.  Allow a few minutes for the sugar to harden a bit before serving. Enjoy!

2.- Do not brûlée the tops until you are ready to serve.