These Passion Fruit Bars have a super-crispy buttery crust with a perfectly balanced tart and tropical filling!

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Sweet Tart Lilikoi Bars

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a little obsessed with passion fruit. The flavor, the concept—even the name. When I hear “passion fruit” in my head, it’s invariably being said by someone with a sultry accent, all slow esses and coy head tilts and eyebrow wiggles. It’s a name that’s basically begging you to love it, and when you combine the wink-and-a-nod name with the tart tropical taste, how could I not feel passionate about it?

Last week I posted a picture of some frozen passion fruit puree on Instagram and Facebook, and got several questions about what I do with it. Gather round, friends, I am happy to spread the gospel of the passion fruit! It’s a pretty easy ingredient to use. Basically, since it’s so tart, I substitute it in baking recipes where I might use lemon juice instead.

So, for instance, in the past I’ve used it to make passion fruit curd, and passion fruit pound cake, and passion fruit tarts. Instead of the pure sour pucker of lemon juice, it has a lovely balance of tart and tropical flavors. It makes everything just a little more interesting, and I knew it would be the perfect way to shake up traditional lemon bars.

Table of Contents

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The Perfect Crust to Filling Ratio

Everyone has their ideal lemon bar, and everyone’s ideal is a bit different. Slim and dainty, or a tower of curd piled sky-high? Crumbly shortbread crust or crispy buttery crust? Extra-sour flavor or moderately sweet? Firm or soft? Zest or no zest? The questions, they are endless.

So in addition to boasting my favorite fruit flavor (call me, passion fruit!), these bars are also my dream texture. The base is a super-crispy buttery crust that comes together in a minute and doesn’t require any chilling. (Chilling is way too high maintenance for me. Hello, you’re the crust, basically the curd delivery system. You don’t get special treatment!) They have the perfect filling-to-crust ratio, and they set enough to easily and neatly cut, but not so much that you feel like you’re chewing gummy worms. In short, purrrrrr.

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I knew that I loved these bars, but the real test came when we served them to a few friends. Some of them thought they were lemon bars before they tasted them, and were so surprised—and happy!—to find a whole new flavor waiting for them! They were a universal hit, and I think I made a few more passion fruit converts that day.

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💡Tips and FAQs

Here are my two secret weapons for making these bars: frozen passion fruit pulp and non-melting powdered sugar.

  • Frozen passion fruit pulp. The passion fruit pulp is from a local Mexican grocery store—if your area has a sizable Latino population, chances are the freezer section might have a similar product! You can probably substitute the pulp of fresh passion fruit, but those are much harder for me to track down, and I haven’t tried it myself. If you use the frozen puree, just make sure it’s defrosted (duh) before making the recipe.
  • Non-melting powdered sugar. This is one of those professional tricks that I think everyone should know about. If you’ve ever made a dessert and sprinkled a gorgeous layer of powdered sugar on top, only to find that it’s absorbed moisture from the dessert and turned into a wet, gloopy mess, this is the product for you! It’s basically powdered sugar microscopically coated with fat, so that the sugar doesn’t absorb any moisture and stays pristine for days. It is a lifesaver for desserts like these bars, which often start to get damp and gross-looking in a matter of minutes. The texture is a little finer than powdered sugar—maybe a cross between powdered sugar and corn starch?—which you can kind of tell in the close-up pictures. Taste-wise, I can’t tell a difference between regular powdered sugar, especially since it’s usually used in very small amounts as a garnish.

Where to buy non-melting powdered sugar:

I bought mine from a local LA culinary supply store (Surfas, holla!). You can buy it from Surfas online, or King Arthur Flour also carries their own brand.

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These bars taste like rainbows and happiness and small woodland creatures frolicking in dappled sunlight….or maybe just like really good, really spring-y treats. Either way, give them a try!

Passion Fruit Tarts

These Passion Fruit Tarts are rich and creamy, with a light fruity taste that whispers of warm afternoons and island vacations, but with a white chocolate finish that brings your feet back down to the ground.
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Close up of a chocolate and pistachio covered Peach Passion Pop with more pops in the background.

Peach Passion Pops

These Peach Passion Pops taste like summer on a stick! You will LOVE the mix of peach and passion fruit flavors. These homemade popsicles are a little bit sweet, a little bit tart, and completely refreshing! Dip them in chocolate for extra indulgence. 
View Recipe
Close up of Passion Fruit Bar held by a hand.

Passion Fruit Bars

4.82 from 16 votes
These Passion Fruit Bars have a super-crispy buttery crust with a perfectly balanced tart and tropical filling!
Prep10 minutes
Cook30 minutes
Total40 minutes
Yields16

Ingredients

For the Crust:

For the Filling:

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Instructions 

To Make the Crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13 pan with foil so that it extends up the sides, and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Once mixed, add the flour and stir with a spatula until combined and no streaks of flour remain. Scrape the dough into the pan and press it into an even layer. It might seem a little greasy—this is normal.
  • Bake the crust for 25-30 minutes at 350 F, until it’s golden brown on top. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling so it’s ready to go as soon as the crust is done.

To Make the Filling:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and passion fruit puree. Sift the flour on top of the egg mixture, and whisk it in as well.
  • When the crust is done baking, slide the rack part-way out of the oven. Pour the filling over the hot crust and slide it back into the oven. Reduce the temperature to 325 F and bake for 25-30 minutes. It’s done when the center barely jiggles when you tap the pan.
  • Once done, remove the pan from the oven and let it cool until it reaches room temperature.
  • For the cleanest cuts, refrigerate the bars and cut them when completely cold. To cut, remove the bars from the pan using the foil as handles. Use a large sharp chef’s knife and wipe it off often between cuts.
  • Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar before serving. Store Passion Fruit Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Measuring Tips

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?

Nutrition

Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 732IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
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Meet Elizabeth!

Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

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4.82 from 16 votes

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58 Comments

  1. The metric measurement for the flour in the crust is incorrect. I think you meant 360g not 3.6 kg

  2. We had a bunch of passionfruit from our garden and this was the perfect recipe for them!!! We can’t stop eating them and will have to keep making them to share with friends and family!

  3. These are SO GOOD. I used 1.5 cups sugar in the filling and it was plenty (though I do like my sweet-sour desserts on the sour side). I also didn’t use foil or parchment under the crust, fwiw; parchment paper is expensive! I just sprayed the pan and it was totally fine. That said, everything else about this recipe was PERFECT. I had a package of Goya passionfruit puree in the freezer that I needed to use up, and now I immediately want to buy more just to make these again.

    1. Hi Rachel! I’m so glad you enjoyed these fruit bars – they are delightful. Thanks for sharing!

  4. We’ve made these several times. They’re so easy and even better than lemon bars. We get the passion fruit pulp as the Latino market nearby. 🙂 Thanks for your excellent recipes!

  5. I followed this recipe exactly and was not pleased with the outcome. It took so many passion fruits to get 354g of the fruit puree that I wasted my whole harvest this year. The shortbread crust was not sweet and flaky like other recipes and the passion fruit layer was gummy – as others have also reported. I did reduce the sugar in the filling to 1.5 cups (301g) as also recommended by other reviewers. I won’t make this again. There are other lemon bar recipes that you can just substitute the passion fruit puree in place of the lemon juice and get great results. Sorry to post a semi-negative review but this just wasn’t very good. Plus 25-30 minutes for the final bake was much too long – I should have checked it at 15-18 minutes and it may still have been jiggly when tapping the pan but waited until 20 minutes and by then it was firm.