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For the Shortbread Base:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 lime

For the Key Lime Filling:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup fresh key lime juice (you can also use regular lime juice)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
  • Lime slices for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and line a 9×9-inch (23×23 cm) square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides for easy removal.

2. Make the Shortbread Base:

  • In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the all-purpose flour, salt, and lime zest. Mix until just combined.
  • Press the shortbread mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
  • Bake the shortbread in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until it’s lightly golden brown around the edges. Remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly.

3. Prepare the Key Lime Filling:

  • In another bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs, key lime juice, all-purpose flour, and baking powder until well combined.
  • Pour the key lime filling over the baked shortbread base.

4. Bake the Bars:

  • Return the baking pan to the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are set, and the center is just slightly jiggly.

5. Cool and Serve:

  • Allow the Key Lime Shortbread Bars to cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  • Once cooled, refrigerate the bars for at least 2 hours or until well chilled. This will make them easier to slice.

6. Slice and Garnish:

  • Use the parchment paper overhang to lift the bars out of the pan. Place them on a cutting board.
  • Slice the bars into squares or rectangles. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
  • Garnish with thin lime slices for an extra touch of citrus flavor (optional).

7. Enjoy:

  • Serve your Key Lime Shortbread Bars chilled and enjoy the delightful combination of sweet, buttery shortbread and tangy key lime filling.

These bars are a perfect treat for citrus lovers and make a great dessert for any occasion. Enjoy!