Creamy Lemon-Lime Bars

by Kathy Strahs on January 4, 2012 · 25 comments

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From now on whenever I think of lemon bars I’ll be reminded of the time that I first met a group of cousins I never knew I had. We all convened at my parents’ house (it turns out they don’t live that far away) for dinner the day after Christmas, just ten days ago. Their great-great-great-grandfather was my great-great-grandfather. I did the calculation and determined that makes us 3rd cousins once removed. It’s a distant relation, but family is family.

One of my “new” cousins, about my same age, brought over lemon bars that day. I hadn’t had them in forever and hers were fantastic. I learned that both she and her sister love to cook and that her sister even has her own special occasion cake business. Even though we’re only 3rd cousins once removed I felt connected over this.

This little reunion prompted me to share a recipe for Creamy Lemon-Lime Bars today. The recipe, which I adapted from the side of a can of sweetened condensed milk, is more reminiscent of key lime pie than the traditional lemon bars my cousin made. They have a rich, creamy texture but are still very sweet, tart and refreshing. I brought limes into the mix to make things a little interesting (plus I love limes).

Creamy Lemon-Lime Bars

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

beti January 5, 2012 at 12:48 AM

they look so beautiful! this is perfection


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) January 5, 2012 at 5:46 AM

What fun to discover a bunch of cousins you never knew you had! And how nice that you can share your love of cooking with them.
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)´s last blog post ..Recipe for kale salad with mushrooms and mustard vinaigrette


Sommer@ASpicyPerspective January 5, 2012 at 6:18 AM

Honestly, who doesn’t love lemon bars?!? This looks just like how my grandma used to make them.
Sommer@ASpicyPerspective´s last blog post ..Roasted Red Pepper Soup


Maria January 5, 2012 at 9:01 AM

These are going to be a hit at our house!
Maria´s last blog post ..Roasted Chickpea Fajitas


Kalyn January 5, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Anything with lemon or lime is my favorite dessert; sounds delish!
Kalyn´s last blog post ..Recipe for West African Chicken and Peanut Stew with Chiles, Ginger, and Green Onions


*Just Fran* January 5, 2012 at 10:37 AM

I love lemon bars, and these look FAB. Can’t wait to try them. Lime for an extra kick sounds GREAT.
*Just Fran*´s last blog post ..Friends (and A Giveaway!)


Courtney January 5, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I love lemon bars! Adding lime to them sounds so yummy, too!


Simply Tia January 5, 2012 at 5:27 PM

These lemon-lime bars look fabulous. Adding them to my list of To-Try recipes! And good for you meeting new family.

Happy New Year!
Simply Tia´s last blog post ..Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo


Casey January 5, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Oh my gosh, these sound amazing!! I’m usually the chocolate dessert kind of gal, but I’m a total sucker for key lime pie. I would love to give these a try! Thanks for the recipe 🙂
Casey´s last blog post ..Top 11 of 2011


Geechie Mama January 5, 2012 at 8:10 PM

This is such a coincidence, I just woke up in the middle of the night with a craving for lemon squares. I got up to search online for recipes and after finding a bunch of suspicious looking recipes, I gave up and closed all of the pages. Then I looked over at my Top Sites and saw a screenshot of your site and what looked like lemon squares. Lo and behold! I always prefer your recipes (and the Neelys), before searching elsewhere.

By the way, that third, sixth, eighth cousin, removed two, ten, twenty times has no meaning in my culture. My folk are from the south, we’re African-American and a cousin is a cousin, an aunti is an aunti, and big mama’s big mama no matter how close or distant the relation. My husband is African, from central Africa, and he says the same principle is used throughout Africa, so we know where it comes from.

Family is family no matter how close or how distant the connection. I’ve never understood these rules they use out in the US/Europe – second, third, fourth cousins removed once, two, three times. Lol, what kind of crazy?? It’s family!

Never even heard of those rules till we moved to the big city. Lawd.


Cookin' Canuck January 6, 2012 at 12:42 PM

What a wonderful story, Kathy. How fun to be connected with relatives, distant or not. These bars look wonderful!
Cookin’ Canuck´s last blog post ..Lean Bison & Barley Soup Recipe with Green Peas


Sam February 13, 2012 at 9:07 AM

If you wanted to omit the lime juice, should you double up on lemon or just stick with the 1/3?? 🙂


Kathy Strahs February 13, 2012 at 10:43 AM

hi Sam – just use an additional 1/3 cup of lemon juice (for a total of 2/3 cup lemon juice)


ReginaTerrae May 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Thank you! I couldn’t remember what brand of condensed milk I had seen this recipe on, and had lost it. I like it better than the others I’ve tried.

I also recently met some distant cousins (4th and 5th!), and food was also a big part of the reunion (they’re Lebanese, and hosted, and did all the wonderful cooking).


Theresa July 19, 2012 at 8:26 PM

I love lemon but have never had these before – do you serve them at room temp or refrigerated? how do you store them? Thanks and sorry for my ignorance!


Kathy Strahs July 19, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Hi Theresa – Since they’re custard based I prefer to keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Theresa July 21, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Thanks! having the girls over next week for lunch I can’t wait to give these a try!


Solange July 21, 2012 at 4:45 PM

I am baking these right now… I didn’t have limes so am just making a lemon version. I hope they taste as good as they look when we eat them this afternoon.


Ash G July 25, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I have this in the oven right now! I can’t wait to taste it.

I didn’t notice the 1 tbs. of granulated sugar until after I put the crust in the oven, since it is not listed in the directions. I should have realized the crust needed sugar, but alas, it is late.


wendy cloud September 22, 2012 at 8:31 AM

where did the tablespoon of sugar go in the directions?????


Kathy Strahs September 22, 2012 at 8:55 AM

It goes in the crust – sorry about that, I’ll update the recipe right now.


sharon April 16, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Delicious! These are the perfect springtime dessert with their rich, creamy texture and their bright lemon flavor. So easy and so good!


Rosa Bood October 12, 2014 at 11:51 PM

Is 2 large eggs correct? Martha Stewart uses 4 large egg yolks in her very similar recipe…hmmm. I want to be sure! Thanks.


Kathy Strahs October 13, 2014 at 6:33 AM

It worked for me!


Rosa Bood October 18, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Did anyone else find that 2/3 cup total of lemon/lime juice made the filling too wet? My filling did not set up well enough when I made this recipe exactly as called for. I made a second batch with only 1/2 cup total juice which made the squares set up perfectly. I’d appreciate feedback. Thank you! 🙂


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