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Easy Coconut Lime Bars with Shortbread Crust

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These tropical-inspired coconut lime bars are such a treat. Bright and citrusy with an irresistible flavor, it is perfect whenever you need to bring a dessert or crave the delicious flavor of tangy, sweet limes. And the pairing with coconut? Oh my, it’s heavenly!

Top view of a square of lime bars dusted in powdered sugar and topped with toasted coconut and a quarter slice of lime.

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Why This Recipe Works

Here are a few reasons this Lime Bars recipe works. Let me share:

  1. Shortbread crust is easy to make, providing a tender yet dense base for the custardy lime bar filling.
  2. The lime filling is sweet and tangy, custardy and creamy, and easy to make in one bowl with a spoon.
  3. Servings are easy to garnish with a thin quarter slice of lime and powdered sugar.
  4. The flavor is all bright, delicious… and sunny!

Why I Love This Lime Bars Recipe

I love limes any time of the year, especially in food with ties to the Southwest or Mexican cuisine. It’s just a must-have ingredient—and an irresistible one at that!

Limes are well known for their pucker-inducing flavor and acidic taste, which is zesty yet vibrant. How do they compare to lemons? Someone once said that lemons are sour and limes are bitter.

But when you add sweetness (or I might also argue savory flavors), the limes come into their own, bringing a bright and incredible taste to the dish.

And that’s true with these lime bars. I will always be a fan of lemon bars (forever and ever), but lime bars are a totally different dessert altogether. And utterly irreplaceable.

Ingredients for Lime Bars

Here are the ingredients you will need for both the shortbread cookie crust and the lime bar filling. Ingredient measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

For the Shortbread Crust

  • All-purpose flour: I’ve not yet tested this recipe using gluten-free flour, but I would imagine that all-purpose GF flour would work well.
  • Powdered sugar: While you can use granulated sugar, powdered sugar helps give this cookie layer an irresistible soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture!
  • Shredded coconut: You can use coconut flakes, sweetened or unsweetened. I’m using sweetened coconut flakes because that’s what I have on hand, and I love the sweetness it brings to the cookie layer.
  • Butter: Both salted and unsalted butter work in this recipe. However, I love the flavor of salted butter for baking, and there isn’t any added salt in the cookie layer.

Lime Bar Filling

  • Eggs: I’m using large eggs in this recipe. They bring structure and texture to the bars.
  • Granulated sugar: Limes can be a little tart, so sugar helps balance that sweet-tart flavor.
  • Shredded coconut: A small amount of coconut flakes adds a depth of flavor to these bars. Use your favorite coconut!
  • Baking ingredients: all-purpose flour and baking powder are used for structure and to help the bars set.
  • Limes: Both for zest and juice. While you can use bottled juice, the bars benefit greatly from the zest, so you might as well use fresh lime juice. You’ll be so glad you did!

Should I use key limes or regular limes in this recipe?

Either one works equally well. Key limes are delicious and have a more distinctive tart flavor than regular or large limes. However, they are also smaller, requiring more limes to juice and zest. I’m using large, regular limes in this recipe, and they are delicious! To answer the question, use whatever limes you want!

How to Make Lime Bars

Full step-by-step instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but this will give you a brief overview of how to make these lime bars.

It begins with the shortbread crust. The batter is easy to make, much like shortbread cookies, and then it is pre-baked for a few minutes to give the bars structure.

Step 1: Make the shortbread

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then, Combine the flour, powdered sugar, coconut, and butter using a stand or electric mixer. Mix until crumbly, then press into an ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.

Step 2: Make the lime filling

Mix the eggs, granulated sugar, coconut, flour, baking powder, lime zest, and juice in a bowl until smooth. Then, pour the filling over the warm, partially baked crust.

Step 3: Bake the bars

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is light golden brown. Cool completely for about 1 hour. Before serving, sprinkle powdered sugar over the bars and cut into 36 servings (6 rows by 6).

Side view of lime bar squares dusted with powdered sugar and garnished with quarter lime slices.

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Horizontal side view of stacked lime bars with quarter slices of limes.

Tropical Lime Bars

Indulge in the tropical flavors of coconut lime bars. These irresistible sweet treats are perfect for any occasion.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 36 servings

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature

Lime Filling

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest About 1 large lime
  • 1/4 cup lime juice About 1 large lime

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉.

Shortbread Crust

  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flour, powdered sugar, 1/4 cup coconut and butter until crumbly. Press into an ungreased 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until light golden brown.
    Horizontal top view of lime bars shortbread crust being pressed into a 13x9 inch baking pan.

Lime Filling

  • Beat the eggs with the granulated sugar, coconut, flour, baking powder, zest, and juice until smooth.
  • Pour the filling over the warm, partially baked crust.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is light golden brown. Cool completely for about 1 hour. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into 36 servings (6 rows by 6 rows).

Nutrition

Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 189IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe? Pin it Today!Follow me on Pinterest for more and use the "Pin" button at the top of the recipe card.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lime bars

2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I usually try out new recipes before serving them, and this one proved to be a winner. My next tea will be only a few ladies, and theoretically I should have plenty of Tropical Lime Bars left to serve them, but I don’t think that will be the case. These are disappearing fast, and I think I’d best plan on making a second batch!

    1. Hi Erlene! Thank you for trying the lime bars! I’m so glad everyone loved them. I actually made a batch for this weekend as well and like you, they didn’t last long.

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