My tribe loves dessert. I don’t make it very often, but when I do, it is loved and savored.

Last weekend, I knew that I wanted to make something sweet, but I really didn’t want SWEET. I wanted something a little bit sweet and a little bit tart.

I love lemon squares – always have. I decided to try something a little bit different and make these key lime squares.

But then, there’s Michael. He loves dessert, too, but he can’t have all the sugar and carbs.

So I set out to make something sugar-free and low-carb. If my calculations are correct, these are less than 5 grams of carbs each! Perfect!

And delicious!!

The first thing you’ll need to do – a bit in advance – is make the sugar-free sweetened condensed milk. That’s right. It’s like Eagle Brand, but without the sugar. You’ll want to make this beforehand so it is completely cooled. Overnight may be your best bet, but a couple of hours in advance is necessary. I doubled this recipe.

Sugar-Free Condensed Milk:

  • 2 1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of butter (half a stick)
  • 1/2 cup of Swerve confectioners “sugar”
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Add the first three ingredients to a saucepan. Simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes or until thickened and reduced by half. Mine took just under 30 minutes. Stir often and don’t leave the kitchen while it’s cooking. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and allow to cool to room temperature before pouring into a container and storing it – sealed – in the refrigerator – where it can stay safely for a week.

And now…the main event!

Sugar-Free Low-Carb Key Lime Squares

Shortbread Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups of almond flour (I used superfine)
  • 2/3 cup of Splenda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a 9X13 baking dish and press firmly into the bottom, edge to edge. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until just golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven.

Filling:

  • 1 8-oz. package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 cups of sugar-free condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup of key lime juice

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and most of the lime zest until smooth. Reserve a bit of zest for garnish. Beat in the egg yolks a few at a time until well combined. Slowly beat in the condensed milk and lime juice until everything is smooth.

Spread the filling over the baked crust and return to the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, making sure it does not brown AT ALL. Remove and cool to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 1 hour to firm everything up.

Cut into squares and top with whipped cream and lime zest.

Well Duh #1: You will think the crust mixture isn’t wet enough to stick together. It is. I promise. If you’ve never baked with almond flour before, it takes some getting used to.

Well Duh #2: I didn’t really let my crust cool. I mixed the filling while the crust was baking and poured the filling in pretty much immediately after baking the crust. It was fine. I promise.

Well Duh #3: Don’t throw away the egg whites. That’s a LOT of egg whites! Use them for an egg white scramble or omelette. Or add sugar and make meringues! Just don’t throw them away!

Well Duh #4: Most lemon squares recipes don’t call for cream cheese. I found it necessary to help everything firm up since I was using sugar-free condensed milk. And it tastes delicious!

Well Duh #5: I used regular whipped cream from a can since I wasn’t using much, but you can totally make your own and use a sugar-free sweetener.

This was LOVED by the tribe. Everybody really enjoyed it! Michael loved that he could indulge a bit without killing it with sugar or carbs. I will definitely be making these again – VERY soon!

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