Gluten-free Key Lime Pie Bars (whole grain, all-purpose options)

These key lime pie bars have an extra thick layer of filling and an easy homemade coconut cookie crust! Can be made with gluten-free, whole grain or all-purpose flours. For a grain-free version, check out these paleo no-bake key lime pies.

I posted these key lime pie bars over on My Baking Addiction last month but didn’t post them here just because they’re so unhealthy. But being as today is my birthday, I figured I could post these today and get away with it. :D

Thick Key Lime Pie Bars with a homemade coconut cookie crust (gluten-free, whole grain, all-purpose flour options)

I thought that the world didn’t need another key lime pie bar recipe with a graham cracker crust so I went with something totally different.

So these bars have a coconut cookie crust! It’s super easy to make and you can use white whole wheat, 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour or all-purpose flour.

I didn’t bother with a grain-free option because there are 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk in these bars. Whoops. I was assuming that someone who eats grain-free likely wouldn’t be interested in this filling recipe.

Thick Key Lime Pie Bars with a homemade coconut cookie crust (with gluten-free, whole grain, all-purpose flour options)

I’ve been working on paleo mini key lime pies so that recipe will hopefully be coming soon! Stay tuned. :) Update: here they are – paleo no-bake key lime pies!

There’s so much sweetened condensed milk in these bars because they have double the amount of filling that most key lime pie bars have. Key lime pie is tied with peanut butter pie for my favorite dessert ever and I didn’t want a dinky layer of filling.

The filling recipe comes from the comments of a recipe on Allrecipes. I’ve been making it for at least 10 years and I’ve never had a key lime pie I like better!

Thick Key Lime Pie Bars with a homemade coconut cookie crust (gluten-free, whole grain, and all-purpose flour options)

This recipe calls for a full cup of lime juice which requires a whole bunch of limes. With the cost of limes and the number of times I had to remake these bars to get the crust right, I switched over to lime juice that comes in a glass bottle after a while (not the kind in the green plastic lime-shaped bottle!).

You could notice a difference but it was actually much better than I thought it’d be! I’ll probably use half freshly squeezed and half bottled lime juice (if I have some around) in the future. Or even only 1/4 fresh.

They freeze well so if you’re worried about overloading on sugar, which is super easy with these bars, hide them away in the freezer. ;)

And for another fun key lime treat, try this key lime pie shot. These key lime pie ice cream bars are also gluten-free, as long as you use gluten-free graham cracker crumbs.

I hope you’ll enjoy the bars! If you try them out, I’d love for you to leave a comment below. Thanks!

These key lime pie bars have an extra thick layer of filling and an easy homemade coconut cookie crust! Can be made with gluten-free, whole grain or all-purpose flours.

Thick Key Lime Pie Bars with Coconut Cookie Crust (gluten-free, whole grain options)

Rated 5.0 by 10 readers
Gluten-free Key Lime Pie Bars (whole grain, all-purpose options)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 12 bars


    For the crust:

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (not flaked coconut)
  • 1 cup (125 grams) white whole wheat or 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour or 1 cup 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter
  • For the filling:

  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line an 8"x8" pan with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. Place the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 4-6 minutes. Keep a close eye on it and stir as soon as you see it start to brown. Continue cooking for another minute or two until most of the coconut is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the toasted coconut, flour, sugar, and salt. Sprinkle the coconut extract over the top and use your hands to incorporate the butter until thoroughly combined. When pinched, it should hold together. You can alternatively pulse everything together in a food processor until well combined.
  4. Pat the dough firmly onto the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the filling ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  6. Remove the crust from the oven, let it sit for 2 minutes and then pour the filling over the crust. Bake for 15 minutes or just until set. Little pinholes or bubbles may form on the surface.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before chilling in the refrigerator for another 2 hours before serving.
  8. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Source: My post on My Baking Addiction – Key Lime Pie Bars and the filling was adapted from the comments on Easy Key Lime Pie on Allrecipes

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49 comments on “Gluten-free Key Lime Pie Bars (whole grain, all-purpose options)” — Add one!

  • Holly
    April 15, 2020 @ 5:53 pm

    Hey Erin! I was wondering if you’ve ever tried coconut sweetened condensed milk. I’m not sure if they have it in Germany so maybe not. It’s made the exact same way as with dairy except they use coconut milk and organic cane sugar. It’s a bummer because the cans only come in 11ounces so I’ll have to buy three and only use part of the third one. But I’m going to try this recipe with that see how it goes since we don’t do dairy well (except grass fed butter of course!)

    • Erin replies to Holly
      April 18, 2020 @ 9:13 am

      Hello! I hope you’re doing well. :) We don’t have that but I just found a recipe for it! If it’s supposed to work well in place of regular sweetened condensed milk, I guess it would work here. But of course the bars will then be coconut lime bars, which still sounds good to me. Thanks for the tip!

      • Holly
        replies to Erin
        April 18, 2020 @ 9:37 pm

        I should have said this before but believe it or not, it doesn’t taste like coconut in recipes. I make fudge with it and all the other things where you would use regular condensed milk and there is not a hint of coconut. I honestly believe it’s because it’s probably 80% sugar and just a little coconut milk. Condensed milk’s are mostly sugar so go figure lol I’ll try to remember to let you know how it turns out!

        • Holly
          replies to Holly
          April 30, 2020 @ 10:46 pm

          Okay so… anyone reading this please don’t use coconut milk sweetened condensed milk as a swap for the one wrh dairy. I just made this recipe and the only swap I made was that and needless to say..UGH 😑 it was a sticky, soupy mess that boiled over all over my oven. Grrrrr! This is completely 100% not the recipe and not Erin…it’s my substitution. So don’t do what I did but if you can have dairy definitely make this because the two or three bites I was able to salvage of the crust make the entire recipe worthwhile. The crunchy toasted coconut sent it over the top. Yes, it’s that good! I can only imagine how tasty it is with Erin’s filling in it. Oh well. I have got to find a dairy free swap for sweetened condensed milk and fast! ;-) (we can have grass fed butter so that’s not an issue for us). Happy cooking to all!

        • Erin replies to Holly
          May 5, 2020 @ 9:07 pm

          Hi Holly! Oh no. I’m so sad that it didn’t work out! I actually can’t have sweetened condensed milk anymore so I was hoping your sub would work. Have you tried my paleo vegan no-bake key lime pies? The filling part really tastes like classic key lime filling! My idea would be to bake this crust (because it’s a cookie crust with sugar and flour and therefore tastier than my the healthy, nut-based one ;)) until it’s cooked, let it cool, and put on the no-bake filling. It could be that the filling makes the crust soggy (just because this is always a risk when mixing crust and filling recipes) but I don’t think it would. I just realized you probably wanted to make this for Cinco de Mayo so I’m too late with my response. Sorry. :( We’re still trying to get used to our new schedule. I hope you’ve been well! By the way, my taste is up to about 90%. It’s finally improving!

        • Erin replies to Holly
          May 14, 2020 @ 7:08 am

          That’s so interesting! The other things that you’ve made with it, have they been baked or were they all no-bake? I’m wondering if it maybe doesn’t work as well in baked recipes and that’s why it didn’t work here.

        • Holly
          replies to Holly
          May 14, 2020 @ 3:04 pm

          No bake only so far (besides this one).

        • Erin replies to Holly
          May 15, 2020 @ 7:14 am

          Aha! Perhaps that’s the issue. I’m excited to try it out in some no-bake treats! Thanks again for the tip.

  • Bridget says
    April 14, 2017 @ 9:50 pm

    I am excited to try this recipe for Easter! Do you see any reason it couldn’t be doubled and made in a 9x 13 pan?

    • Erin replies to Bridget
      April 14, 2017 @ 10:01 pm

      I believe it should work! I’d love to hear how they come out. :) I hope you’ll enjoy them and that you have a happy Easter!

  • Robyn says
    August 20, 2016 @ 4:30 pm

    Hi Erin. These look amazing. Can they be made in a pie dish? What is the difference in shredded and flaked coconut? Will I find the shredded easily in the baking section? (Never used it or looked for it before.). Going to make these today for some guests in from Panama!

    • Erin replies to Robyn
      August 20, 2016 @ 6:57 pm

      Hi Robyn! You should be able to find shredded easily. You can see a picture of it here. Shredded’s on the left and flaked coconut is on the right. :) The filling is the right amount for a pie but I’m not really hopeful about the crust in a pie dish. I don’t think it’d work. I hope your guests will have a great visit and enjoy the bars!

      • Robyn
        replies to Erin
        September 4, 2016 @ 4:37 pm

        So good! I’ve made them three times already and people fight over them! Lol. Thank you!!

        • Erin replies to Robyn
          September 4, 2016 @ 6:25 pm

          Haha. That’s always a good sign! :D Did you try a pie pan or go with the 8×8? Thanks a bunch for your comment!

  • Shelly Roy says
    July 11, 2016 @ 3:16 am

    Oh Erin! Yum!
    I used cassava flour for the crust (Gluten free). Other than that, I followed your recipe exactly. Just what this momma needed for this week’s free day. Another amazing dessert! Thanks!

    • Erin replies to Shelly Roy
      July 12, 2016 @ 9:08 am

      Hi Shelly! I so want to try cassava flour. It’s supposedly going to be sold in Germany at some point soon but it’s taking forever to actually happen! It’s great to know that these work with it. :) I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the bars and thanks a ton, as always, for your feedback!

      • Dan replies to Erin
        August 15, 2016 @ 12:52 pm

        cassava flour is also known as tapioca flour

        • Erin replies to Dan
          August 15, 2016 @ 9:47 pm

          Hmm. Everything I’ve read says that they’re different. According to this, “While sometimes the terms cassava flour and tapioca flour are used interchangeably, there are in fact distinct differences. Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava root through a process of washing and pulping. The wet pulp is then squeezed to extract a starchy liquid. Once all the water evaporates from the starchy liquid, the tapioca flour remains. Alternatively, cassava flour is the whole root, simply peeled, dried and ground. This means it has more dietary fiber than tapioca flour.” Maybe they mean the same in different countries, though? In the US they have a different meaning. :)

  • Ginger Wroot
    July 7, 2016 @ 7:18 pm

    I happened upon your wonderful blog via a meandering path from Twitter, and so glad I found you! You feature so many lish-looking recipes with great-quality photos! Pinned this gf lime bar recipe, which I’ll be making from my mom who is gluten intolerant and loves lime desserts. Thanks, and I’ll be sure to come back soon to see what other yum recipes you’re baking up! -Ginger

    • Erin replies to Ginger Wroot
      July 10, 2016 @ 9:06 pm

      Thanks for pinning and for your comment! I hope that you and your mother will enjoy the bars. :) And thanks for all the kind words!

    • Shelly Roy replies to Ginger Wroot
      July 11, 2016 @ 3:17 am

      Ginger, I made these Gluten free today. I used cassava flour for the first time and they are amazing!!

      • Erin replies to Shelly Roy
        July 12, 2016 @ 9:09 am

        Thanks for sharing your tip with her! :)

  • Miranda
    July 7, 2016 @ 6:45 pm

    The coconut crust sounds like it would be wonderful with the key lime flavor! Yummy!

    • Erin replies to Miranda
      July 14, 2016 @ 7:11 pm

      It really is! Thanks. :)

  • kb says
    June 22, 2016 @ 4:20 pm

    Just curious, why did you omit the cream cheese that is often in key lime bars?These look delicious & will have to compare to my go to recipe that includes cream cheese.

    Also, Overlandtraveler needs to lighten up. You were in no way offensive to anyone, she is clearly an overly sensitive person.

    • Erin replies to kb
      June 22, 2016 @ 4:29 pm

      Hi there! I just googled key lime pie bars and only about half the recipes used cream cheese. I guess it’s just another variation I haven’t tried. :) I wanted these bars to be just like key lime pie and so they use the same filling recipe I use for pie. I hope you’ll like them if you try them! And thanks for not thinking I was offensive. I didn’t think I was but that comment did leave me a little confused. Thanks again!

  • Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction says
    June 16, 2016 @ 10:19 pm

    Love the coconut crust! These look so good!

  • Cookin Canuck says
    June 15, 2016 @ 2:39 am

    My younger son is a huge fan of anything key lime. Maybe we’ll have to make these bars together as a summertime treat.

  • Michelle | A Dish of Daily Life says
    June 14, 2016 @ 5:52 pm

    I absolutely love key lime anything and I so want to try these! All in moderation, right? Sometimes it’s nice to have a treat! I think I will be treating myself to these soon!

  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
    June 14, 2016 @ 5:10 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday!! These bars look perfect, and I mean like picture perfect! wow!

  • Brenda@SugarfreeMom says
    June 14, 2016 @ 3:32 pm

    I love the look of that crust! I often use unsweetened coconut in my crust since my boys have tree nut allergies, it’s a perfect alternative for them and everyone loves the flavor. These look scrumptious!

  • kereta sewa subang
    June 14, 2016 @ 11:30 am

    Its look sooo delicious. Perfect dish!
    thanks for sharing recipes with us here. Looking more from you dear

  • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
    June 14, 2016 @ 7:30 am

    The texture looks perfect and I LOVE the addition of coconut to the crust!

  • Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens says
    June 14, 2016 @ 3:26 am

    These bars look seriously amazing! My family loves key lime pie, so these bars would be a smash hit! Great that they can be made with whole grain or gluten free flours, too – really versatile!

  • Sheena says
    June 14, 2016 @ 12:49 am

    I love that you switched up the crust! These look like a great summer treat!

  • Lauren Kelly Nutrition says
    June 14, 2016 @ 12:28 am

    Everything in moderation except on your birthday!! Happy birthday!! I love these bars s much, what an amazing dessert. We all have to treat ourselves every now and then :)

  • The Food Hunter says
    June 13, 2016 @ 11:51 pm

    My husband is going to love these!

  • Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish says
    June 13, 2016 @ 11:40 pm

    I am LOVING that coconut cookie crust!!! PERFECTION.

  • Renee - Kudos Kitchen says
    June 13, 2016 @ 11:26 pm

    You had me at coconut cookie crust! Key lime pie just got even tastier in my book. Scrap the graham crackers! A coconut cookie crust is where it’s at!!!

  • Stephanie says
    June 13, 2016 @ 8:53 pm

    Well, I don’t care how healthy or unhealthy these are, they look AWESOME!! ;)

  • Mary F says
    June 13, 2016 @ 5:28 pm

    You mention mixing butter into the crust, yet I don’t see it as an ingredient. How much?

    • Erin replies to Mary F
      June 13, 2016 @ 5:30 pm

      Gah! So sorry about that. Thanks for letting me know! I’ve fixed it. :)

  • Jessica @ Sprinkle Some Sugar says
    June 13, 2016 @ 4:09 pm

    Love that you made key lime pie into easy-to-make bars!

  • Kelly Barcroft
    June 13, 2016 @ 4:21 am

    Happy Birthday!
    These sound awesome! I may have to try them out. I used to not like key lime anything and then I got older and I love key lime. I use the key lime juice that I can buy in a bottle at the grocery store. I am invited to a pool party later in the summer and this will be perfect to take to that party! Can’t wait!

    • Kelly Barcroft
      replies to Kelly Barcroft
      June 13, 2016 @ 4:22 am

      Oh and peanut butter pie is my favorite pie for sure!

    • Erin replies to Kelly Barcroft
      June 13, 2016 @ 9:45 am

      Thanks so much, Kelly! It’s great that you’ve grown to like key lime treats. I keep waiting for me to grow to like vegetables but it hasn’t happened yet. ;) I hope you’ll enjoy these and that they’ll be a big hit at the pool party!

  • Overlandtraveler says
    June 13, 2016 @ 1:25 am

    This looks amazing. I do take offense with the comment in your email that you “assume that no one who eats grain free would be interested in this recipe”. I am very interested in this recipe, and I do not eat grains because of an autoimmune disease, no other reason. This does not mean that I do not enjoy rich, sugar laden sweets occasionally. I hope this statement is not indicative of your inner landscape as a human being, it isn’t very nice, more judemental.

    • Erin replies to Overlandtraveler
      June 13, 2016 @ 9:36 am

      I’m sorry you found it offensive and judgemental! I certainly didn’t mean it to be. I actually thought I was quite careful with how I worded it by using the word ‘assume’ and ‘likely.’ I wrote, “I was assuming that someone who eats grain-free likely wouldn’t be interested in this filling recipe.” I guess I should have written “a lot of people who eat” and not “someone who eats.” I made this remark based off of all the comments and emails I’ve gotten about how this or that grain-free recipe looks great but because it calls for white sugar, the commenter would never make it (as written, anyway) because, as I’ve been told again and again, if one avoids grains, then one usually avoids white sugar, as well. Of course I don’t assume that the comments of some apply to all grain-free eaters (which is why I said ‘likely’). Sorry again that you found it to be judgemental!


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