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Easy Coconut Lime Bars

These Easy Coconut Lime Bars have the perfect balance of tart and sweet with a tropical twist. It’s like having a refreshing little taste of summer in every bite!

Love coconut and lime together? These bars with a buttery coconut shortbread crust, luscious lime curd and coconut filling, and a sprinkle of toasted coconut on top are a must-try!

When I first started my journey to making these little squares of deliciousness, I was intending to make basic lime bars. And I did. And they were really, really good.

But I wanted a little something more. So, in my next batch, I added sweetened flaked coconut because lime + coconut = a perfect pair!

And I didn’t skimp. I put coconut in every layer: the crust (my favorite part!), the filling and on the top. But not to worry…there’s still plenty of tart, citrusy lime flavor too.

They’re very simple to make. The hands-on prep is a snap and relatively quick. And sure, there’s some time involved for the baking, cooling and chilling…but I promise it’s worth the wait!

So, whether you want a little after-dinner treat or need an easy yet impressive and delicious dessert for a picnic, potluck, holiday, or other special occasion, these lime coconut bars are sure to be a hit!

8 coconut lime bars on a glass serving tray with lime slices

Ingredients You Need

  • Sweetened flaked coconut
  • All-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar (also called confectioner’s sugar)
  • Butter (salted)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Green and yellow food coloring (optional)

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the end of the post.

For those of you who would rather photos instead of a video, here’s a quick overview:

1: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2: Line an 8x8x2-inch baking dish with parchment paper (bottom and sides).

3: Toast some of the coconut in a small pan over medium-low heat; transfer the toasted coconut to a plate and allow to cool.

3 numbered images, number 1 is a graphic of an oven, number 2 is of a baking dish lined with parchment paper, and number 3 is of coconut being toasted in a pan and then transferred to a plate

4: For the crust, place the flour, powdered sugar, coconut (not toasted), melted butter, and vanilla extract in a large bowl; mix until a slightly crumbly dough forms (similar to the consistency of cookie dough).

5: Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish; press it down until it evenly covers the bottom of the dish.

6: Bake for about 20 minutes or until the crust just starts to turn lightly golden around the edges.

3 numbered images, number 4 is of the crust ingredients in a bowl being mixed to make a dough, number 5 is of the dough in the baking dish and pressed out to cover the bottom, and number 6 is a graphic of an oven

7: Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes.

8: Meanwhile, make the filling: Place the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and lime juice in a large bowl; whisk until very well combined.

9: (Optional) Add green and yellow food coloring to make the filling a pretty green color (I do one drop green and one drop yellow).

3 numbered images, number 7 is of the baked crust in the dish, number 8 is of the filling ingredients in a bowl and then being whisked together, and number 9 is of the filling in the bowl with food coloring added

10: Pour the filling over the crust in the baking dish.

11: Place the baking dish back in the oven and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the filling is set (there should be no jiggle in the center when you very gently shake the pan).

12: Remove the baking dish from the oven and place it on a wire cooling rack.

3 numbered images, number 10 is of the filling poured over the crust in the baking dish, number 11 is a graphic of an oven, and number 12 is of the baked crust and filling in the baking dish

13: Sprinkle the toasted coconut evenly over the filling; cool to room temperature.

14: Once completely cooled, place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. This will finish setting the filling and will help make the bars easier to cut (plus, the bars are best served chilled!).

15: Remove from the baking dish, remove the parchment paper and cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!

3 numbered images, number 13 is of toasted coconut sprinkled on top of the filling, number 14 is a graphic of a refrigerator, and number 15 is of the cut bars on a cutting board with a knife on the side

Note: The above video and photos are just a brief overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post for the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and detailed step-by-step instructions.

Recipe Tips & Tidbits

  • Be sure to use a glass or ceramic baking dish for this recipe; some metal pans such as aluminum and other non-stainless-steel pans can react with acidic foods such as lime, causing the food to have an off taste or be discolored.
  • The parchment paper prevents sticking and also helps to easily lift the bars out of the baking dish after chilling. If you don’t have any parchment, you can grease the bottom and sides of the baking dish or spray with cooking spray instead. Cut the bars right in the dish.
  • To cut your squares as cleanly as possible, use a large knife and press it down through the filling and crust rather than dragging it and clean the knife with a damp paper towel between each cut.
  • It is important to let the bars cool to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator for the filling to set up properly. This will also make them easier to cut. Also, they just taste better chilled!
  • The edges of the outside pieces that touched the baking dish will likely be a little golden brown. If you don’t want any brown edges, simply cut those parts off.
3 coconut lime bars stacked on top of one another with another bar on the side and cut limes in the background

Substitutions & Variations

  • Want a stronger, more tart lime flavor? Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of grated lime zest to the filling.
  • If you’d rather just straight-up lime bars, simply omit all of the coconut from the recipe. Sprinkle the tops of the bars with powdered sugar right before serving for a pretty presentation.
  • Love lemon? You can make this recipe with fresh lemon juice instead of lime juice (either with or without coconut).
  • Fresh lime juice is always best for these bars, but you could use bottled lime juice in a pinch. The flavor will be slightly different, but the bars will still be delicious (I’ve tried it)!

Storage & Freezing

Store your coconut lime bars in the refrigerator either covered or in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days (freeze for longer storage). Place wax paper or parchment paper between any layers to prevent the bars from sticking together.

To freeze, place the bars in a freezer bag or freezer container (to prevent the bars from sticking together, place wax paper or parchment paper between any layers). Freeze for up to 2 to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

4 coconut lime bars stacked on a piece of parchment paper with cut limes and the tray of bars in the background

Serve up your yummy bars with some tea, coffee or an ice-cold drink, whichever you prefer!

I hope you try this Easy Coconut Lime Bars recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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More Dessert Bar Recipes to Try

If you made this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

4 coconut lime bars on a white plate with lime slices

Easy Coconut Lime Bars

These Easy Coconut Lime Bars have the perfect balance of tart and sweet with a tropical twist. It's like having a refreshing little taste of summer in every bite!
Print Pin Save Rate & Comment
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Cooling & Chilling Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 16
Estimated Calories: 207

Ingredients

For the Toasted Coconut Topping

  • ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut

For the Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 6 tablespoons melted salted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice, room temperature
  • green and yellow food coloring, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line an 8x8x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with parchment paper (on the bottom and up the sides; this will make it easy to lift the bars out of the dish later).

Make the Toasted Coconut Topping

  • Place the ½ cup of sweetened flaked coconut in a small pan over medium low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly golden brown.
    I prefer my toasted coconut to still have some white areas here and there; toast yours to the level you prefer. Just keep a close eye on it, because once it starts to turn golden, it can burn very quickly.
  • Immediately remove the toasted coconut to a plate; set aside to cool (we will use this to top the bars after baking).

Make the Crust

  • In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of flour, the powdered sugar, ½ cup of the sweetened flaked coconut (not the toasted coconut), the melted butter, and vanilla extract until a slightly crumbly dough forms. The consistency will be somewhat similar to cookie dough.
  • Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish; press down the dough so it evenly covers the bottom of the dish.
    I do this with my hands; you could also use the back of a spoon or the back of a measuring cup.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the crust is just starting to turn golden brown around the edges.
  • Remove the baking dish from the oven; set aside to cool for 30 minutes.

Make the Filling

  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons of flour, and the lime juice until very well combined.
  • Optional: Add green and yellow food coloring to make the filling a pretty green color; it will be more yellow without it.
    I use 1 drop of green and 1 drop of yellow for a subtle, not-overly-shamrock-green color (but you can make it whatever color you like!).
  • Pour the filling over the crust.
  • Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the filling is set (it should not jiggle in the center when you gently shake the dish).

Add the Topping and Cool

  • Remove the baking dish from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack; sprinkle the toasted coconut evenly over the top.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature (about 1½ hours).

Chill and Serve

  • Once completely cooled, place the dish in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours before serving (longer is fine).
    The chilling is required for the filling to set up properly. It will also make the bars easier to cut.
  • Using the parchment paper, lift the chilled crust and filling out of the baking dish. Remove the parchment paper, cut into 16 squares, and enjoy (best when served chilled)!

Notes

  • Be sure to use a glass or ceramic baking dish for this recipe; some metal pans such as aluminum and other non-stainless-steel pans can react with acidic foods such as lime, causing the food to have an off taste or be discolored.
  • If you don’t have any parchment paper, you can grease the bottom and sides of the baking dish or spray the dish with cooking spray instead. Cut the bars right in the dish after chilling.
  • Keep the bars stored in the refrigerator, covered or in an airtight container, for up to 3 to 4 days (put wax paper or parchment paper between any layers to prevent them from sticking to each other). Freeze for longer storage.
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