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Key Lime Pie Shortbread Cookies

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The bright and fresh citrus flavor of Key Lime Pie shines through in these fun Key Lime Pie Shortbread Cookies. An easy to make slice and bake cookie that’s topped with a sweet and tart lime glaze. Key Lime Shortbread Cookies stacked on a white plate with slices of lime.


I know the internet hates food blogger stories, but here’s the story about this key lime pie cookie recipe. You may know, I live in a tiny town in rural Missouri. By some chance of fate, I found beautiful key limes at the grocery store. This is a rare occurrence that inspired me to make a recipe for these cookies with the flavors and components of key lime pie! 

Of course, by the time I got the cookies perfected, we didn’t have key limes available here anymore. So all the pictures feature Persian limes! This might make you wonder…

Butter and cream cheese are whipped together as the first step in Key Lime Pie Shortbread Cookies.

What’s the difference between Key limes and Persian limes? 

  • Key limes are much smaller. 
  • Persian limes have thicker skins. 
  • Key limes are generally more fragrant and less acidic. 
  • Persian limes have far less seeds than a Key lime.
  • You need many more Key limes to produce as much zest and juice as you can get from one Persian lime. 

I liken the difference to a lemon versus a Meyer lemon. 

The dry ingredients and graham cracker crumbs are added next.

 These cookies are sweet and tart. Light textured and crisp. Have all the components of Key Lime Pie in cookie form, even down to the graham cracker crust! They are so fresh and citrusy. Like taking a bite of Florida sunshine. 

After the key lime pie shortbread cookie dough is made, it is shaped into logs and wrapped.

These cookies are basically a slice and bake shortbread cookie that’s topped with a glaze, which means that the process for making them is very similar to my white chocolate cranberry shortbread cookies I posted back in December. 

After chilling, the cookies are sliced and baked. A bowl with the ingredients for the glaze is ready to be mixed.

What do you need to make Key Lime Pie Cookies

  1. Approximately 2 Persian limes (or 4 Key limes), zested and juiced
  2. A stick of unsalted butter
  3. 2 ounces of cream cheese
  4. An egg
  5. Vanilla extract, link to my favorite kind
  6. Confectioners sugar, gives these cookies such a light texture
  7. Baking powder
  8. All-purpose flour
  9. Graham cracker crumbs or Nilla wafer crumbs, either work great so use what’s easiest for you
  10. Corn syrup

Tips and helpful hints for making these cookies

Start with room temperature ingredients. Limes and other citrus fruits are best stored in the fridge because it helps the fruit retain the moisture in the skin of the fruit. And a lot of times, like in this recipe, that’s important because we’re using the zest.  However, room temperature citrus fruits yield more juice, which we also need for this recipe . So refrigerate to store. Bring to room temp to use. A wire rack full of glazed Key Lime Pie Shortbread Cookies

After preparing the cookie dough and shaping into logs, the cookie dough needs a chilling time of at least 2 hours, but can be refrigerated overnight. The firmer the dough is, the easier it will be to slice and the rounder your cookie slices will be!

And finally a note on the corn syrup in the glaze. Do not omit this ingredient. When you add corn syrup to a glaze it helps give the glaze a silky texture and a shiny appearance. The glaze will stay shiny for a day or two, but will slowly lose its glossiness.  

A wire rack full of glazed Key Lime Pie Shortbread Cookies

Key Lime Pie Shortbread Cookies stacked on a white plate with slices of lime.

Key Lime Pie Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Key Lime Pie Shortbread Cookies have all the components of Key Lime Pie in cookie form, even down to crust! Like taking a bite of Florida sunshine.


For the Cookies

  • 1/2  cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp
  • 3 oz regular cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice* 
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed graham crackers or vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest*

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest


In a medium sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla, lime juice and egg and mix again until it's well blended, light and fluffy.

In the same bowl, add 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, the flour, the graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and lime zest. Give the dry ingredients a light stir. Then blend on low with your electric mixture until it's well combined.

Cut two pieces of waxed paper or plastic cling wrap. Divide the dough in half and shape each into a log approximately 7 inches long and 2.5 inches in diameter. Wrap the cookie dough logs tightly in the waxed paper. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours, but up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Slice the dough into 1/3" slices and place at least an inch apart on the cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are firm and have a slight golden brown hue at the edges.

Let the cookies set on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes after removing from the oven, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Reserve the parchment paper for later use.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lime juice and lime zest to make the glaze.

Place the leftover parchment paper under the wire racks to catch any drips. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies and let dry.

Store in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper. *


For this recipe you will need approximately 2 Persian limes or 4 Key limes to yield the amount of zest and juice needed. \

These cookies will have the brightest lime flavor and glossiest glaze the day they are baked. The longer they sit the more the flavor will mellow and the glaze will begin to lose its shine.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a review or a photo! I'd love to hear your feedback!

Pin this recipe for later!Key Lime Pie Shortbread Cookies have all the components of Key Lime Pie in cookie form, even down to crust! Like taking a bite of Florida sunshine. #keylimepie #shortbreadcookies #cookierecipe #accidentalhappybaker

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Kirsten Mouton

Sunday 1st of March 2020

Made the key lime pie shortbread cookies. Turned out really good. Was hoping the kids wouldn't like them, being lime and all. But they Both love them! I’m still inexperienced at zesting but otherwise this was easy to do! Folks at work will be sad there will be none left for them Monday!

Amy D

Monday 2nd of March 2020

Glad they turned out well for you AND that your kids liked them!

Amy D.

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