This easy small batch of No-Bake Key Lime Bars are light, creamy, and full of bright lime flavor. Coconut cream is whipped with sweetened condensed milk and fresh lime juice. The velvety filling sits on a toasted coconut and Biscoff® cookie crust.
RECIPE AND POST UPDATED 4/20/2021
I have updated the original recipe for these No-Bake Key Lime Bars to be lighter, creamier, and a small batch.
- The original recipe used heavy cream – After making these Key Lime bars countless times, I found the filling needed to be lighter. Sweetened condensed milk is a very rich ingredient and I wanted something to balance that out. The new recipe uses whipped coconut cream in lieu of the dairy whipped cream. The result is lighter, yet equally creamy, filling.
- The new recipe is a small batch – The original recipe was made in a 7-inch cake pan. I have updated it to a smaller batch and now we use a 6-Inch square cake pan.
No-Bake Key Lime Bars
Spring is here and light and bright desserts are on the menu! Even better for the warmer days ahead is a no-bake dessert. With these No-Bake Key Lime Bars you don’t need the oven or cooktop for the filling. And the filling is just as thick and creamy as a baked custard dessert.
One caveat to the no-bake dessert – the coconut in the crust is toasted. So you may need to turn on the regular oven, or even toaster over, for a few minutes to brown the coconut flakes.
Delicious features of these No-Bake Key Lime Bars
- Creamy custard filling
- Fresh lime juice and zest
- Spicy cookie and toasted coconut crust
- Easy, small batch
Spring and Summer Lime Dessert
Let’s address the elephant in the room (or blog post). What the heck is a key lime, and what makes it different than a regular lime?
- Key limes tend to be smaller and little more tart. And their availability may be very limited and somewhat based on where you live. So, if you live in Florida or your grocery does not have key limes, you can substitute any lime, any size.
- Regular limes are a little larger (sometimes significantly), and have a sweeter citrus flavor. They are likely more prominent in grocery stores.
It is inevitable that when the warmer months roll around, you start to see a lot more lime in recipes. Not to mention, it is a great time to start enjoying a frosty tropical Pina Colada?! Maybe that’s just me …
Regardless, lime desserts are perfectly refreshing on a warm day. The sweet and zesty citrus is a delicious compliment to a smooth and creamy dessert.
Biscoff® and Toasted Coconut Crust
Have you ever tried a Biscoff® Cookie? If not, you need to. If you have, then you know how irresistibly delicious they are! They are the perfect mix of a graham cracker and cinnamon cookie with a great crunch.
The spicy sweet combination is the perfect vehicle to make the crust for these creamy bars. And because we’re going a bit tropical with the lime flavor, adding shredded coconut is a great ingredient to drive home the taste of the tropics. The result is a cookie crust that has great layers of flavor and texture.
What You Need To Make Key Lime Bars
- Limes – If you can find key limes, great. If not, any lime will work. I love lime and used 3 larger limes. We are using the juice and zest from the limes, and I recommend tasting the filling as you go to get the lime flavor you prefer.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – We will be using about half of the can. You can use the leftovers to make ice cream, or more bars!
- Unsweetened Canned Coconut Milk or Cream – I like using whipped coconut cream because it is lighter than dairy whipped cream. You can check out my recipe for Whipped Coconut Cream to see brand recommendations. We are only using the solids from the can of coconut milk, and I recommend refrigerating the can overnight. This helps the solids separate from the liquid in the can.
- If you do not want to use coconut cream – swap heavy cream 1:1
- Biscoff Cookies
- Toasted Coconut – You can used sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes. There is enough sweetness in the cookies that you should not need to add any more if you choose unsweetened.
- 6-Inch Square Cake Pan – You could also use a 9×5-Inch loaf pan. Note that the bars may be a little thicker.
- Parchment Paper
Tips For Making No-Bake Key Lime Bars
- Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight – This helps the coconut solids separate from the liquid.
- Lime juice to taste – I am probably more heavy-handed with my lime flavor. Taste the filling as you add the juice and add more/less to your taste preference.
- Toasted coconut – Even though we have to turn on the oven (or toaster oven) to toast the coconut, I highly recommend it. Toasted coconut adds a warm and sweet flavor to the cookie crust. Not to mention, the texture is perfect for a crust.
- Chill the bars – Refrigerating the bars sets the filling even more. And chilled bars are easier to cut.
- Refrigerate leftovers – To keep the filling firm and set, any leftovers should be refrigerated.
- Garnish for fun! – Whipped cream (a great way to use leftovers of the can of coconut milk), lime zest, toasted coconut, and lime slices are all great toppings for these springy bars!
More Creamy and Refreshing Fruit Desserts
- Rainier Cherry Mousse
- No-Churn Fresh Cherry Ice Cream
- Strawberry Dole Whip
- Mini Orange Creamsicle No-Bake Cheesecake
- Peach Mousse Trifle
No-Bake Key Lime Bars
- 8 Biscoff cookies
- 1/4 cup sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Key Lime Filling
- 3-4 limes (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk or cream, full fat (refrigerated overnight)
- Line a 6-Inch square cake pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Cut the paper long enough to hang over the sides of the pan. This will create a sling to pull the bars out of the pan.
- Zest and juice the limes. Reserve some of the lime zest for garnish.
- In a food processor, add the cookies, toasted coconut flakes, and melted butter. Pulse until the mix is finely chopped. Press the crust mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Place in the refrigerator to set while you prepare the lime filling.
- Whipped coconut cream – I recommend refrigerating the can of coconut milk (or cream) overnight. This helps the solids and liquid separate in the can, and we are only using the coconut solids. You will have leftovers that can be used to make whipped cream to top the Key Lime Bars, or in smoothies.
- In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand held mixer to whip the coconut cream solids until soft peaks form. Add in the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and zest continue to whip until everything is incorporated. The lime juice will thicken the mixture even further. Note – add more or less lime juice and/or zest to taste.
- Pour the lime filling onto the chilled cookie crust and spread evenly. Top with the reserved lime zest. Cover the cake pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight, for the filling to set.
- When ready to serve, run a thin knife or offset spatula along the bar to release them from the sides of pan. Carefully lift the intact lime bar out of the pan using the parchment paper sling. With a sharp knife, cut into squares – 4 to 6 depending on how large you like them. Refrigerate leftovers. Enjoy!
- Lime Juice – I prefer a strong flavor of lime and used the juice of 4 regular limes in my batch. I recommend starting with the juice of 3 limes and add more if you prefer.
- Unsweetened Coconut Milk (or Cream) – We only use the solids from the can of the coconut milk. I recommend refrigerating the can of coconut milk overnight to help the solids and liquid separate in the can.
- Coconut Cream Alternative – The whipped coconut cream can be swapped for heavy cream 1:1.
- Cookie Crust – You can swap out the Biscoff cookies for any cookie or cracker you prefer.