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.
View Recipe
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. These bars are awesome! Just made a batch and everyone loved them! 25 mins exactly for the shortbread and custard. Perfect. Next time I will try cutting the butter into the flour mixture to see if it can make a more crumbly base. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. My neighbor’s passion fruit vine drops so much fruit on our yard, I had to find something other than pavlova and eating them on my cottage cheese. This recipe was a mega hit with my husband and guests. Glad I can freeze the juice for future baking too!

    1. Hey Marian, I am so glad you found this recipe then! That sounds like it worked out perfect, and I am thrilled to hear it was enjoyed by so many!! Thanks for your feedback!

  3. Oh. My. Goodness! I made these Passion Fruit Bars and they are one of the best dessert bars I’ve ever made. Highly recommend them! The crust stayed just crisp enough but easy to bite, very buttery tasting. The texture and flavor of the filling was perfection. I did read the comments and reduced the sugar to 1.5 cups and they tasted just sweet enough/tart enough to me. Enjoy!

    1. Hey Juliet, I am thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe so much! I love hearing that you were able to adjust it and make it perfect for you, thank you so much for your feedback!

  4. We have a huge passion fruit vine covering a tree in our yard in FL and I am struggling to find cool things to do with the fruit. It just drops a ton of fruit all the time. (at least this time of year)

    1. Hey Priscilla, that sounds amazing! I am jealous, I hope this recipe is one you love! I have a few recipes on my site that use passion fruit! I will link them for you. https://www.sugarhero.com/coconut-macaroon-tart/ https://www.sugarhero.com/passion-fruit-raspberry-pound-cake/ https://www.sugarhero.com/passion-fruit-curd/ https://www.sugarhero.com/passion-fruit-tarts/ https://www.sugarhero.com/peach-passion-pops/ I hope these recipes help!! I would love to hear how it goes if you give any of them a try!

  5. These are lovely. I will mention that they did not truly solidify until they had spent a night in the refrigerator. Maybe that was not everyone’s experience, but for me, I’m glad I didn’t try to cut them into bars before thoroughly chilling them. They also taste more passionfruity chilled, for some reason. A great take on classic lemon bars and so easy!

    1. Hi Jennie, I am so thrilled to hear they came together for you! Thank you for your response, if you are interested in trouble shooting and see why it may have taken longer to set feel free to shoot me an email. Thank you for your response! I am glad you enjoyed them!

  6. These are so delicious! I love maracuya. I can’t get the fresh ones here, but I use the frozen pulp for juice and I’ve made maracuya cheesecake a couple of times. I’ve been wanting to make maracuya bars for a while now and I thought I might have to develop my own recipe. I was so happy to find yours and even happier when I tasted the results. It’s everything I dreamed it would be and it’s a big hit with everyone else. Thank you!

  7. Aloha Sugar Hero,
    Made this with the Passion fruit concentrate from The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley. OMG, wow! So easy and sooooo good!!! The concentrate calls for a 1:1 ratio with water; however, this was too tart for my taste and I went with 1:2 ratio and I got a more smooth and palatable flavor. Thank you for a wonderful and easy recipe that will now be a regular go to dessert for all occasions!!!

  8. This crust was amazing! So easy and was still crunchy after two days in the fridge. No soggy bottom! Will have to adapt this to other pies/bars. 🙂 Also, i had fresh passion fruit juice (frozen) from the asian market that had seeds and pulp in it. even after straining out the pulp and chopping it a bit more, it made for some unclean cuts when cutting the bars. Still delicious though, and the seeds gave it extra texture.

  9. I’ve never had passion fruit before but I ordered some from a vendor here in Beijing who imports exotic foods in small quantities and delivers to the door. These came from GuangXi province and they were incredibly tart. I couldn’t imagine how I would use them. This was perfect! My daughter’s favorite treat is lemon squares, but she said this rivals them! Thanks!

    1. Oh my gosh I’m so jealous you found fresh passion fruit! It’s hard to track down where I live. Thrilled to hear that they worked well in this recipe and that the bars were a hit!