Creamy Lime Pie Bars

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Squares of our easy homemade vegan Key Lime Pie Bars

These creamy lime pie bars are inspired by my Creamy Lemon Bars, which have become a fan favorite since I shared them in February.

I made a few slight adjustments, but they’re still just as simple and delicious as the original, only playing on the tart flavor of limes.

Blender with filling ingredients for our gluten-free vegan Key Lime Pie Bars

The base is my favorite nut-oat crust that ends up tasting like a nutty graham cracker – I know, it’s magic.

And the filling is a blend of soaked cashews, coconut cream, lime juice and zest, arrowroot for thickening, and maple syrup for sweetness.

All in all, this recipe requires just 10 simple ingredients.

Parchment-lined baking pan filled with our gluten-free vegan Key Lime Pie Bars recipe

The filling bakes into a custard-like texture that’s so temptingly delicious you’ll want to scoop right in. But, wait for them to chill before slicing for the best results.

I hope you all love these Lime Pie Bars! They’re:

Creamy
Rich
Summery
Citrusy
Naturally sweet
& Absolutely satisfying

Make these bars for entertaining or to have on hand throughout the week as a healthier dessert. Unlike my raw cheesecakes, which need to stay in the refrigerator to keep their shape, these can sit out at room temperature for hours and remain perfectly intact and delicious, making them ideal for dinner parties, cookouts, and picnics.

If you try this recipe, let us know. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. Cheers, friends!

Slicing into a gluten-free vegan Key Lime Pie Bar for dessert

Creamy Lime Pie Bars

Creamy lime pie bars with an almond-oat crust and creamy, cashew-based filling! Perfectly tart, naturally sweetened, and so delicious! 10 basic ingredients required.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Squares of our delicious Key Lime Pie Bars recipe
4.67 from 21 votes
Prep Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 6 hours
Servings 9 (bars)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

FILLING

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup coconut cream* (the hardened portion at the top of canned full fat coconut milk or coconut cream)
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch (or cornstarch, though I prefer arrowroot in this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (regular or key lime)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp lime zest (2 limes yield ~1 heaping Tbsp or 4 g)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or agave nectar // plus more to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp organic powdered sugar (optional // for topping)

CRUST

  • 1 scant cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 scant cup almonds (I mixed almonds and pecans)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3-4 Tbsp coconut oil (melted)

Instructions

  • Add raw cashews to a mixing bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let rest for 1 hour (uncovered). Then drain thoroughly.
  • In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line an 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment paper (adjust number/size of pan if altering batch size).
  • Add oats, nuts, sea salt, and coconut sugar to a high-speed blender and mix on high until a fine meal is achieved.
  • Add melted coconut oil, starting with 3 Tbsp (45 ml) and adding more if it's too dry. Pulse/stir with a spoon to combine until a loose dough is formed. You should be able to squeeze the mixture between two fingers and form a dough instead of it crumbling. If too dry, add a bit more melted coconut oil.
  • Transfer mixture to parchment-lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Then place parchment paper on top and use a flat-bottomed object, such as a drinking glass, to press down firmly until it’s evenly distributed and well packed. A little may go up the sides, which is good!
  • Bake for 12 minutes, then increase heat to 375 F (190 C) and bake for 5-8 minutes more or until the edges are golden brown and there is some browning on the surface. Remove from oven to cool slightly. Then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F (176 C).
  • Once cashews are soaked and drained, add to a high-speed blender with coconut cream, arrowroot starch, lime juice and zest, sea salt, and maple syrup. Mix on high until very creamy and smooth.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed. I added a bit more zest and maple syrup. It should be very citrusy, and not overly sweet.
  • Pour filling over the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Tap on counter to remove any air bubbles.
  • Bake for 18-23 minutes or until the edges look very slightly dry and the center appears “giggly” but not liquidy.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator to let cool completely (uncovered) - at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  • To serve, slice and sift with powdered sugar (optional). Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, up to 4 days, though best within the first 2-3 days.

Notes

*If you open your can of coconut milk or cream and the cream is not separated from the liquid, that’s ok! Just try and tip out as much of the rich, firm white part and leave the liquid behind. It’s not crucial that it’s entirely cream. But the more cream, the richer the bars will be!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without organic powdered sugar.
*Prep time includes cooling the bars and soaking the cashews.
*Crust adapted from my Peanut Butter and Jelly Snack Bars. Filling adapted from my Creamy Lemon Bars.

Nutrition (1 of 9 servings)

Serving: 1 bars Calories: 326 Carbohydrates: 26 g Protein: 6.4 g Fat: 24.3 g Saturated Fat: 12.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 59 mg Fiber: 4.3 g Sugar: 8.7 g

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  1. EvilVegan says

    I followed the recipe exactly and was so excited to offer them as a birthday dessert. It looked perfect but was so dry! I don’t know what could have caused this but it was almost tannic in that it seemed to take moisture from our mouths. I’ve no idea what could have caused this. The only thing I can think of is that we used coconut cream but it was liquid when we opened it instead of thick (no fillers). I thought it wouldn’t set up but it did exactly as described. I’d love to try this again but don’t want to waste ingredients so I’d like to know where I went wrong. Thanks in advance.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, so strange! Sorry to hear that! Was it the crust that was dry? If so, we’d suggest adding more coconut oil next time. We’re not sure what would cause the filling to be dry- unless maybe you subbed another sweetener?

      • EvilVegan says

        At first I thought the crust was the only culprit but somehow even the custard was dry – like the arrowroot soaked up the moisture or something – really odd. I was SO excited for these because I love all things lime and miss key lime pie. I might try it again but I hate to waste all those ingredients. I wish I knew…. Love your show though – thank you for all of the vegan goodness you share – I’m a big fan.

  2. Kat says

    These are incredible! They are better than the key lime pies I used to make before going vegan. I made them for a potluck and they disappeared way faster than the non-vegan lemon bars that other people brought.

  3. Sandra Coulson says

    Yum! I’m new to this type of baking and was skeptical of the cashew base, but it was amazing. They aren’t quite as good as the key lime pie I made in the past with Eagle Brand Milk, but those days are over for me… I sure felt better after this new version. I think I made a mistake by putting my can of coconut cream in the refrigerator like was called for in the coconut cream pie though. I just assumed and then saw the recipe didn’t call for that. My cream was totally solid – quite hard with no liquid. My mix never got totally smooth and I wondered if that was why. However, when baked, the mixture is very creamy and not gritty at all thank goodness. A definite do over. Thanks for the great recipes!

  4. Rachel says

    I made this and it was so delicious! I don’t like to use a lot of coconut when it’s unnecessary because of how high it is in saturated fat. I subbed the coconut oil in the crust for applesauce and it worked very well. I also omitted the coconut cream in the filling. Instead I just subbed half a cup of full fat oat milk. The bars were creamy and delicious and very rich. Am planning on making them again immediately with lemon!

  5. Katie says

    Do you serve with sliced lime on top or was that just for photos? If so, curious if you would do anything to prep the lime or just slice and place on top raw! Thanks!

  6. Lucy says

    I made these for a picnic tomorrow. I’m DF and GF and my friend is vegan. They are delicious! Excited that they freeze as well. I added ground ginger to the base. Can’t wait to try the lemon version. My daughter wants me to make raspberry; do you think putting frozen raspberries in would work?

    For anyone in the UK, the 250ml packets of coconut cream from supermarkets work perfectly here.

  7. Kaitlin says

    I made this today and really like it! I had a bunch of limes to use up, so I went online to find a recipe. The ingredients in this recipe intrigued me. I had never made anything with raw cashews before in the way they are used here. I probably didn’t bake the crust quite long enough, and I overbaked the filling slightly, but it still turned out great! Tasty and satisfying.

  8. CJ says

    I made these for a Super Bowl party this last weekend, and they were a hit!

    We baked at the host’s house, and they only had a hamilton beach smoothie blender. I had to chop up the almonds before putting them in the blender, and the final mixture was a little grainy, but once they were baked and chilled we couldn’t tell that they weren’t fully blended. Especially since the crust was crumbly by itself anyways. They were really creamy, really citrusy, and not too sweet!

    One person even asked the recipe afterwards, and when the host told everyone that these were vegan, people didn’t believe us at first. No one was vegan there. That’s how good these were.

    I might add some flour or vegan graham cracker crumbles to the crust next time, since it was a little dry even with the full amount of oil. All in all, a great dessert recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Judy! We haven’t tried but it should work! If you do give it a try, report back on how it goes!

  9. Tessa says

    Hi there! These look AMAZING. For the crust, do you think it would work with walnuts and pecans instead of almonds? Just curious. Thanks for sharing!!

  10. Laura says

    My review is for this nut/oat crust only. It is perfect! I make it exactly according to the recipe but use it in a pie dish as a gluten free pie crust.

  11. Savannah says

    I made these these last night. I may have baked mine a bit too long but I still love the texture. It has a cheesecake like texture! :D However, mine seemed a little too limey or pehaps one of the limes I used was a bit bad. I used a combo of key limes and mexican limes. I’m going to try to top them with some strawberries in agave to help balance the flavor and take out the bitterness. I also opted to use your ghram cracker crust recipe which I thought was perfect. I’m curious how it would taste with lemon juice or orange juice!

    The “key” to this recipe largely lies in making sure your limes are good. Hand pick them in the store instead of getting a bag like I did…. I would also taste the batter before you add the zest. It may be limey enough for your taste without it.

    I’m rating 4 stars because the texture is amazing. You would never know it didn’t have eggs or dairy in it! The base is for sure a win.

  12. Jackie says

    ^I made these for the 4th of July too! I loved them, but I think I ate more than anyone else at the party ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I think next time I’ll try out a different flavor combination instead of lime to see how versatile it can be! Maybe a fruit purée or jam :)

  13. Mafalda says

    I made some adjustments regarding quantaties, temperature and time in the oven (the same for lemon bars), and now… it’s perfect! Thansk for the inspiration!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! Your filling, after baking and refrigeration should be quite firm to the touch! Have you baked it yet?

      • Laura says

        Hi! They turned out perfectly!! I was just worried about how runny it was coming out of the blender … I didn’t realize how much it would really firm up! SO delicious!!! thank you!

  14. Jen says

    I just made these and they are firming up in the fridge right now. The batter was delicious so I’m looking forward to the finished product. I would like to know why you bake the bars (once the filling is added) instead of just putting them in the fridge? Will they not be firm enough if not baked a bit?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! Yep, you’ve got it! Baking these bars helps them firm up to the consistency they should be. Enjoy!

  15. Lindsay says

    I made these last night. They’re amazing. Thank you!

    Would there be another way to reduce the amount of fat and sugar in them? Maybe add pea protein and less coconut oil? I have a vision of these being 100% healthy and being able to eat them in abundance :D

  16. Tiffany says

    Yum! I made these with lemons instead and they were bomb! One adjustment I did make was add a whole can of the coconut cream because it started looking curdled in my food processor. The texture smoothed right out, and baked up beautifully! Also, on a funny side note, I’m realizing that I bought your West Elm couch, haha! I thought you looked familiar for some reason! We are loving the couch! Keep churning out the awesomeness ??⚡️

  17. Cyndi says

    For the coconut cream, if you don’t have another purpose for the rest of the coconut milk after the cream is skimmed off the top and don’t want to waste it, there are several brands that carry canned/boxed coconut cream. My family gets one from Natural Grocers in the midwest, but I think that Whole Foods also carries it, and it’s also available online. We use it for coconut ice cream, too, since it really helps the ice cream not harden as much.

  18. Julia says

    Amazing recipe! I made these for my boyfriend who is gluten free and lactose intolerant and you was amazed by how creamy and delicious they were. Easy to make and so yummy.

  19. Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) says

    Made these for a dinner party last Saturday and they came out great! I soaked my cashews over night and it worked wonderfully. I’m definitely going to be making these again.

  20. Faith says

    I made the lemon bars with lime before because I had limes, not lemons, and they turned out great! I brought some cut into small pieces to work and everyone loved them/were surprised they were vegan! I just made another batch and am sad I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to enjoy one!

  21. Chantal says

    Hello Dana
    I made these on Monday for a co-worker that is vegan, they were delicious! I noticed your recipe 7 ingredient vegan key lime pies, would you say this one’s filling is better or is the 7 ing one?

  22. Susie says

    I made these for my hubs and 3 kids. They loved them. We’ve been eating vegan off and on for 12 years. Hubs says this is the best vegan dessert I’ve ever made. Thank you.

  23. Kiran says

    I am allergic to coconut. Would it be possible to substitute with regular cream? Really want to try this recipe

    Please let me know

    thanks
    Kiran

  24. Katie K says

    I made these last night! Er, sort of, I used a classic graham cracker/vegan butter crust (dude, because seriously, I need an excuse to eat that stuff out of the bowl). But I used your filling and it was great! It’s like a slightly toastier version of a dairy/egg key lime pie. I want to try it with macadamia nuts next time, nut prices be damned – do those grind down smoothly like cashews after soaking?

  25. Miranda says

    I made these for a vegan BBQ I had on the Fourth of July (where I was the only vegan… but I was hosting, so it was fine!) and everyone RAVED about these. And to put that into perspective, I had told them for hours all about how I’d planned this special dessert — and then they found out I hadn’t actually made them yet, but everyone stuck around for an extra 2 hours for these to be done. By that point, you’d think their standards would be pretty high (even impossibly high), but no one could stop praising the bars and everyone asked for the recipe.

    (And in case you’re thinking they just loved these bars because they were starved, I assure you that I fed them well with your Pizza Burgers beforehand and they were *stuffed*. They also loved the pizza burgers.)

    Thank you, Dana, for another great recipe! Absolutely scrumptious :)

  26. Darcie says

    Hi,

    My cashew cream is always a little gritty. Any suggestions? I have a good blender but maybe I should try the food processor? Or just blending it longer?D

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Assuming they were soaked long enough, it’s probably your blender or there wasn’t enough liquid to get the mixture going. Try adding more coconut cream next time. Otherwise, I suggest upgrading to a high speed blender.

  27. Christina @ The Blissful Balance says

    I cannot wait to try these!! I love key lime pie, and I’ve been meaning to make some, but I just might have to make these instead. Gorgeous!

  28. Lynsey says

    Can’t wait to try these, key lime pie was one of my favourite desserts but now I have cut out dairy I thought my key lime pie days were over! Looking forward to giving these a go! L x

  29. Catharine says

    I made these for Fourth of July dessert and they were a big hit! perfect make-ahead recipe and just the right ratio of crust to citrusy filling for our liking. Will definitely be making again!

  30. Dee says

    Dana, I have to say I love that you use maple syrup as a sweetener here – so many healthy dessert recipes call for dates and while I love them, when you work all day and need to make a quick dessert, so much easier to grab maple syrup!

  31. Anne@ASaladForAllSeasons says

    Wow….these look pretty amazing. I’m surprised to find cashews as part of the filling….but that’s what is so intriguing to me about this recipe. And I can’t wait to try it. Beautiful photos!

  32. Tori//Gringalicious says

    Yes, yes, YES! I can’t imagine a yummier summer treat than these sweet lime pie bars!!!

  33. HealthClubRecipes says

    Hi,
    Nice sharing again. I have tried Creamy Lemon Bars and that was very nice. I will try this one today.

  34. Sarah | Well and Full says

    These lime pie bars look so delicious, Dana! The texture looks spot-on, too :) Hope you have a great 4th of July weekend, sending hugs! <3

  35. Megan says

    I doubled the batch because these looked too good! And they are amazing!! It was a little too much crust for my taste, next time I will make half of the suggested amount of crust! Right off the bat I used 4tbs of oil per instructions and I thought it seemed a little too moist, but it came out great. I also used a mix of pecans and almonds for the crust and added some lime zest to top it off.

  36. Deborah @ The Harvest Kitchen says

    These lime bars look incredible! Great summery dessert! Can’t wait to make them!

  37. Cassie says

    This sounds bad but I’ve NEVER tried key lime pie! Yes, I know it’s awful, but hey, these might be a first! They look phenomenal!

  38. Taz says

    Hi I can’t have coconut based products and cashews, so is there any alternatives to the coconut oil, coconut cream and cashews used in this recipe?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Unfortunately nothing comes to mind off the top of my head. Maybe macadamia nuts, olive oil and almond milk?

    • Linda says

      I guess you’re allergic to nuts?!
      I would try a cream cheese and egg base instead. If you can have seeds, maybe some sunflower seeds mixed in will be good.
      Sorry for hijacking the response…

  39. Anne Gannon says

    Yesssssssss
    Pulling out needed kitchen accessories now!
    Thank you so much for sharing your incredible talent!!
    Xoxo
    Anne

  40. Chandler says

    These look amazing!! My mom looooves anything key lime/lime/lemon. May have to make these for her for her birthday coming up!!! Oh and I think you mean “jiggly”, not “giggly”. ?