Fudgy, bursting with Key Lime flavor and irresistible! The texture of these Key Lime Brownie Bars is very similar to brownies and tasting the glaze gives one the sense of being in the tropics. Perfect for summer entertaining and picnics. Recipe includes an equally irresistible gluten free version.
Taste of the Tropics in a Bar:
Key Lime “Brownie” Bars for Cinco de Mayo
Friends, once again, get your pucker on! This time around, it’s for some serious Key Lime action for Cinco de Mayo and summer. You knew this was coming, right?
As many of you know, I just adore citrus of any kind. I mean, even my favorite cocktail in the universe is the classic Margarita and its several incarnations. Yes, I capitalize the word Margarita. It’s out of respect. 😉
Thus far, I have featured three (3) Margarita cocktail recipes here on the blog: Coconut Ginger Lime Margarita with a killer coconut-ginger agave simple syrup kicked up savory-style with the addition of whole black peppercorns for a little heat. This cocktail tastes like it was barbecued, with a little smokey-heat, just perfect for lovers of BBQ. Sparkling Tart Cherry Margarita bursting with tart cherry flavor is my favorite summertime “girly” Margarita. And, Sparkling Apple Cider Margarita with a serious punch of apple cider and spices is my favorite Margarita in the Fall. As you would guess, there will be more Margarita cocktail action coming soon.
By the way, did you know there is a lime shortage this year? It’s true. Have mercy. I had a hard time finding them in my local markets, but scored big time with a few bags of these little wonders—Key Limes. As you can see, we’re getting ready early for Cinco de Mayo. 😉 So, be sure to stock up when you find them for the holiday!
Meanwhile, when it comes to citrus, Key Limes (capitalized as well out of respect, ha!) are my ultimate favorite fruit. Y’all, I make a wicked Key Lime Pie that I am just itchin’ to share with you and the second “cheesecake cake” I ever made was a truly wicked Key Lime Margarita Cheesecake Cake. This cake was inspired by my husband, The Big Lug, and featured last spring in my post entitled, “On Love, Gratitude and Margaritas”.
As I shared in my last post featuring Best Ever Lemon Brownie Bars, I have an out of control Lemon Love board over at Pinterest. In fact, I love citrus so much that I just started a brand new board, Luscious Lime, for lime and Key Lime recipes starting with this one. Citrus is truly sublime and I cannot get enough of it. In fact, as I mentioned previously, each morning I enjoy a warm mug of lemon water sweetened with stevia before breakfast. But, my reasons and the health benefits for doing so are for another post. 🙂
In my post featuring Best Ever Lemon Brownie Bars, I mentioned that I had baked the original recipe first, but I couldn’t resist tinkering with it. What I meant was, not only did I tinker with it, I also made this version for Key Lime Brownie Bars. Just for you. You just didn’t know it yet. 🙂 Then, as you know, I simply could not resist baking these incredible bars with C4C (Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour) to once again put the proverbial “rubber to the road” in a recipe test. Once again, this spectacular gluten free flour blend did not let me down. In fact, in this particular recipe, C4C performed flawlessly. No one, and I mean no one, will know these bars are gluten free! That’s a bona fide promise.
Just take a gander at that moist Key Lime Brownie Cake and luscious Key Lime Glaze…
As I mentioned in my last post, Lemon Brownie Bars or Key Lime Brownie Bars seems like a strange name for these sunny citrus bars due to the word “brownie” which conjures up thoughts of decadent chocolate bars. However, I believe the word “brownie” is fitting—especially considering the texture. We’re talkin’ brownie texture in this sublime bar. I have to say, these citrus bars are the most magical bars I have ever baked. Ever. I was truly amazed that this simple recipe, with so few ingredients, could impress me as much as it did. These Key Lime Brownie Bars taste phenomenal and are extremely addicting!
What will be surprising to many bakers is how easily these Key Lime Brownie Bars pull together. They are “easy peasy lemon squeezy” in the truest sense of the popular phrase. In fact, the most time-consuming part is zesting and juicing the limes. However, the payoff for this “hard work” is huge. Everyone will think you spent much more time creating these bad boys. Family and friends will love you more and complete strangers will become instant friends after indulging in these bars. 🙂
Four Important Tips for Baking Success with Key Lime Brownie Bars
This is what I have learned after making this recipe for Lemon Brownie Bars and Key Lime Brownie Bars four (4) times this past week—which included the original recipe and gluten free version.
- Be sure to bring butter fully to room temperature. It is imperative to have your butter softened to room temperature as outlined for the second tip.
- Mix the ingredients in the order stated in the recipe. The fat in the softened butter coats the flour and sugar then becoming well saturated thus creating a very moist and exceptional crumb. Do not cream the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs and flour mixture. This will create a too “cakey” texture and drier crumb. Remember, we are after dense and fudgy here.
- After blending together the dry ingredients, do not “beat” in the butter, eggs, lime juice and zest and then continue beating for 2 minutes or more. This is a serious “no-no” and will just cause the batter to become aerated (incorporating air). This will then cause too many air pockets after baking as well as create an undesirable drier crumb. It is essential to “stir” in, by hand (or using the ‘stir’ setting of a stand mixer), the wet ingredients and not aerate the batter. This is how the fudgiest of brownies are mixed, by hand. Again, fudgy is what we are after.
- Do not overbake. Just as with chocolate brownies, overbaking will create a dry brownie. Bake for exactly 25 minutes and no longer. Be sure that your oven is properly calibrated or use an oven thermometer to ensure the proper temperature.
What makes our Key Lime Brownie Bars wicked good? Fudgy and bursting with Key Lime flavor with a moist, light and tender crumb, these citrus bars are irresistibly good and are made in a snap. The ratio of ingredients and techniques used in our recipe make these scrumptious bars easy to prepare while the tips ensure baking success. The Key Lime glaze is divine and keeps these bars moist. Casual or elegant, these delightful brownie bars are perfect for summer entertaining and picnics. There’s even an option for an equally irresistible gluten free version that will knock the socks off the entire gluten free crowd! Real deal, no joke. Bona fide, wicked good.
For the Key Lime lovers in your life, bake up some Key Lime Brownie Bars to serve up as a special spring or summer treat. Again, they’re just perfect for outdoor entertaining and picnics!
- For the Key Lime Brownie Batter
- 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour, such as Gold Medal®
- 1 cup (200 grams) organic granulated cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon (2.4 grams) kosher salt
- 2/3 cup (150 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 large eggs + 1 large egg white (mine weighed 137 grams w/o shells)
- 1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon (7 grams) freshly grated Key Lime zest
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (40 ml) freshly squeezed Key Lime juice
- For the Key Lime Glaze
- ¾ cup (94 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (20 ml) freshly squeezed Key Lime juice
- 2½ teaspoons (5 grams) freshly grated Key Lime zest
- Special Equipment & Supplies
- Parchment paper for lining baking pan, such as Beyond Gourmet™
Tips:For Gluten Free Option: Substitute 1 cup (128 grams) Cup4Cup (C4C) Gluten-Free Flour, available at Williams-Sonoma, for regular all-purpose wheat flour called for in recipe. Be sure to bring butter fully to room temperature. It is imperative to have your butter softened to room temperature as outlined in the next tip. Mix the ingredients in the order stated in the recipe. The fat in the softened butter coats the flour and sugar then becoming well saturated thus creating a very moist and exceptional crumb. Do not cream the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs and flour mixture. This will create a “too cakey” texture and drier crumb. Remember, we are after dense and fudgy here. After blending together the dry ingredients, do not “beat” in the butter, eggs, lime juice and zest and then continue beating for 2 minutes or more. This is a serious “no-no” and will just cause the batter to become aerated (incorporating air). This will then cause too many air pockets after baking as well as create an undesirable drier crumb. It is essential to “stir” in, by hand (or using the ‘stir’ setting of a stand mixer), the wet ingredients and not aerate the batter. This is how the fudgiest of brownies are mixed, by hand. Again, fudgy is what we are after. Do not overbake. Just as with chocolate brownies, overbaking will create a dry brownie. Bake for exactly 25 minutes and no longer. Be sure that your oven is properly calibrated or use an oven thermometer to ensure the proper temperature. After measuring confectioners’ sugar for glaze, sift to prevent lumps. If making the glaze in advance, keep it covered with plastic food wrap to keep it smooth and prevent it from drying out. Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com
Recipe Adapted From: Best Ever Lemon Brownie Bars by Wicked Good Kitchen™ Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.