Margarita Lime Bars Recipe

4.96 from 23 votes
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Margarita bars are a delicious take on ooey gooey butter cake bars. Deliciously creamy with a hint of refreshing lime.

These easy lime bars make a cool and tasty summer dessert. Sweet, creamy bars with a hint of lime, they will remind you of a margarita! They are the perfect addition to a Tex-Mex meal like tacos and Mexican rice.

Cheesecake squares with slice of lime on top.


 

Lime Bars are a perfect summer treat!

If you have a sweet tooth like me, you will love these bars! The perfect dessert for Summer. They are made with an easy crust using a cake mix and topped with a sweet, tart, creamy layer of goodness.

Margarita Bars stacked on top of each other with limes in the background.

Ingredients needed

  • Yellow cake mix – Use your favorite boxed yellow cake mix.
  • Butter – Unsalted butter is used.
  • Egg – One egg for the crust and two eggs for the creamy layer.
  • Lime juice – Fresh lime juice is needed.
  • Lime zest – Fresh lime zest adds amazing lime flavor and color.
  • Cream Cheese – Softened cream cheese is used to make the creamy layer.
  • Powdered sugar – Powdered sugar, sometimes called confectioners sugar.
  • Vanilla extract – Adds a warm sweetness.
  • Optional – Tequila. If you would like a hint of tequila, substitute 1/8th of the lime juice with tequila.

Regular Limes or Key Limes

I have used both for this recipe. Regular limes tend to be a little more tart and Key limes are sweeter. Both will work fine for this recipe.

Margarita Bars lined up on parchment paper with a wedge of lime.

How to make Margarita Bars

Scroll to the bottom for full printable recipe and ingredient list. 

Step one: Crust – Start with mixing the yellow cake mix, egg, melted butter, and lime zest together to combine.

Step two: Line an 8×8 baking dish with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Cover the bottom of the prepared prepared pan with the crust mixture. Press to form a crust.

Step three: Filling – To make the filling, mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, eggs, lime juice, and lime zest.

Step four: If you want to make these and adult dessert, substitute 1/8 cup of the lime juice with tequila. This is optional.

Step five: Pour the mixture over the crust and bake for 40 minutes.

Tip – Don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t look done or the center slightly jiggles. Let the bars cool for 15-20 minutes and they will set. Add a dusting of a little powdered sugar and place in the refrigerator to cool.

Step six: Let them cool completely. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Recipe tips

  • Make sure you are using full fat cream cheese that is softened to room temperature. This makes it much easier to get a creamy texture.
  • Be sure to cover the whole baking dish bottom with the cake mix crust.
  • It’s important to let them chill before cutting.
  • If you have a larger crowd, you can double the recipe and use a 9 x 13 baking dish. This will make the bars thinner.

How to store Margarita Lime Bars Recipe

Store: You can make this recipe ahead of time. These dessert bars can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.

Can you freeze Margarita Bars?

Yes, you can freeze these lime bars. Once the bars are completely cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer bag in the freezer. They will last up to 3 months.

Margarita lime bar recipe FAQ’s

Do margarita bars have tequila in them?

Tequila is optional for this recipe. Make them tequila lime bars by substituting some of the lime juice with a little tequila.

Why are my margarita bars soggy?

If they are soggy, too much liquid might have been added to the recipe.

How do I know when my bars are done?

The center should be mostly set when they are done. There might be a slight jiggle but once they completely cool they will be done and set.

More Summer Desserts

Squares of cheesecake bars on table.
4.96 from 23 votes

Margarita Lime Bars

By Heather
Margarita Bars are a delicious take on ooey gooey butter cake bars. Deliciously creamy with a hint of refreshing lime.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

Crust

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp lime zest

Center

  • 1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lime zest

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8×8 baking dish with foil. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a bowl, mix cake mix, butter, egg and 1 teaspoon zest until combined.
    Press the mixture into the bottom of baking dish, forming a crust.
  • With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, lime juice, eggs and zest. Mix until creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour over crust and bake for 40-45 minutes. The edges will be slightly brown and center might appear not set. 
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Store in the refrigerator.

Notes

For a boozy margarita bar, use 1/8 cup tequila and 1/8 cup lime juice in place of 1/4 cup lime juice. 

Nutrition

Calories: 664kcal | Carbohydrates: 117g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 795mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 81g | Vitamin A: 590IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 2.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Had to make some tweaks, but then it turned out great. For my 8×8 I had to reduce the amount of crust (just over half to fill the bottom). And then I had to pre-bake the crust for 15 min. Otherwise the edges of the crust rose over the filling and got burnt while the middle was under baked. To get a smooth filling I had to blend the cream cheese and powdered sugar first before adding the eggs and then the lime juice and vanilla. After those small changes it turned out just like the pictures, and we all loved them! 😊

  2. 5 stars
    I made these today for a Mexican themed dinner party. I was a bit nervous when we cut into it and the center was goey. Maybe because I did 1/2 tequila and 1/2 lime juice? No matter, everyone raved about how good it was.

  3. How creamy should the inside be? Baked for 45 min. Let it set. Refrigerated it and the inside is still like soft serve. Is this how is it supposed to be?

  4. To double the recipe would you need two cake mixes? Seems like one would be good for a 9×13 dish.

  5. 5 stars
    Wow, these were really delicious! I made these fir a girls night in and they didn’t disappoint. In fact, I had to share the recipe! I will definitely be making these again.

  6. Do you have to line a glass Pyrex dish with foil? I was going to serve the bars out of this dish but don’t want the foil in it.

    1. Hi Renee, no you don’t have to line with foil. Just make sure to spray the dish with non-stick cooking spray. Hope you enjoy.