Papaya Bars



PrintJump to Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase.

These Papaya Bars are a silky smooth custard using fresh papaya fruit on a bed of short bread crust. Pack these bars up with a Grinder Sandwich and this Italian Pasta Salad for the perfect picnic.

Papaya Bars.

If you’ve ever ended up with a large ripe papaya and wondered to yourself: “What should I make with it?” This is the answer. These papaya bars are buttery, soft and set into a silky smooth and fruity custard.

Ingredients You’ll Need for Papaya Bars

Cookie base in a baking pan.
  1. Papaya puree – The fresh papaya puree that you want comes from a red papaya (not a green one!). You also want it to be very ripe. And then add it to a food processor and blend it until smooth. You want a very smooth puree for these bars.
  2. Eggs – This will help the custard filling set properly.
  3. Honey – I love honey in this dessert. It really accentuates the flavor of papaya.
  4. Lemon juice – Lemon gives a nice tartness to this recipe, similar to a lemon bar.

For the rest of the ingredients, please see the recipe index card.

What are Papaya Bars?

Papaya bars are modeled after lemon bars. There is a base of shortbread crust that is salty and buttery. The crust is topped with a tropical custard made with papaya puree.

Filling being poured into the cookie crust.

How to Make Papaya Bars

  1. Make the crust. This is the easiest part of the recipe. You pulse together flour, sugar, salt and butter until it resembles a course meal. Press the course crumbs into the baking dish.
  2. Bake the crust. Bake the packed course crumbs until the edges are set.
  3. Make the filling. Whisk together flour, salt and sugar. Then whisk in the papaya puree, eggs, lemon juice and honey. Pour the filling on top of the hot crust.
  4. Bake the bars until set. And then you take them out of the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  5. Dust the top with powdered sugar. Now, make it snow! Dust liberally with powdered sugar and enjoy.
Papaya Bars on parchment paper.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you find a papaya that is much bigger in size than the 1.5 pounds recommended below, just puree the extra and freeze it. Thaw it in the fridge when you’re ready to use it.
Papaya Bars.

Other Fruit-Based Desserts

If you tried this Papaya Bars Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting!

4.74 from 46 votes

Papaya Bars Recipe

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 9
These Papaya Bars are a silky smooth custard using fresh papaya fruit on a bed of short bread crust. Perfect for picnics or summer-y get togethers.


  • 9-inch baking dish
  • Whisk
  • Rubber spatula
  • Food processor



  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup very cold unsalted butter, diced


  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • *3/4 cup red papaya puree, from a red papaya that weighed: 1.5 pounds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons good-flavored honey, I used wildflower


  • Powdered sugar, optional

Equipment: 9-inch baking dish


    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare this 9-inch baking dish by buttering it, placing a piece of parchment on the bottom of the dish and then flouring it. Set aside.
    • To the jar of a food processor, add the flour, salt and dark brown sugar. Pulse until combined. Add the cubes of butter and then pulse once more until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with a few larger chunks throughout. Transfer the butter and flour mixture to the prepared baking dish and press firmly so the layer is even. Place in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes, and until the edges are set.
    • Meanwhile, let’s make the filling! To medium bowl, add the sugar, flour and salt, and mix. Whisk in the papaya puree, eggs, lemon juice and honey. The filling should appear glossy and smooth.
    • Pour the filling over the hot crust and transfer back to the oven for a remaining 20-25 minutes. You’ll know the papaya bars are done when the filling appears set. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack until it reaches room temperature.
    • Run a sharp knife along the sides and gently lift the parchment

    *To make papaya puree, peel and deseed the papaya. Cut the papaya into chunks and add to the jar of a food processor. Pulse until the papaya is completely smooth.


      Tips and Tricks:
      If you find a papaya that is much bigger in size than the 1.5 pounds recommended below, just puree the extra and freeze it. Thaw it in the fridge when you’re ready to use it.
      How to Store this Recipe: 
      These keep in the fridge for up to one week in an airtight container.
      9-inch baking dish | Whisk | Silicon Spatula


      Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg

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

      Additional Info

      Course: Dessert
      Cuisine: American
      Like this Recipe? Please Rate & comment below!

      Cozy Latin-Inspired Comfort Food Recipes

      Hi! I'm Adrianna and this is my cozy space on the internet that is super-charged by butter, flour and copious amounts of pasta. Stay awhile, will you!

      Leave a comment

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Leave a rating!


      1. 5 stars
        Just found this recipe searching for ANYTHING to do with this papaya I ended up with. I just made them, and added a mango I had lying around into the puree. Came out amazing!

      2. 5 stars
        Never thought about using papaya this way, I just made these and they turned out amazing! I was out of lemons, and made without it, but I’m sure it’s even better with it cause I missed the acidity. Also I used oat flour instead and it worked out really well, just cooked a lil longer (20-25 min).

      3. 5 stars
        Do you think I could cook the crust and then crumble it up and put it in individual dessert shot glasses? Then top the crust with the unbaked filling?

      4. 5 stars
        These turned out so yummy! I actually doubled the recipe and cooked it in a 9×13 glass dish. I did give the crust more time to cook, about 20 minutes and I gave the custard more time as well. About 30 to 35 minutes. I used fresh papya puree. I didn’t think the recipe was overly sweet. Personally, I thought it could be a little sweeter.

      5. 1 star
        The crust needed more butter (1/2 cup instead of 1/4 cup) than the recipe calls for to hold it together, and the papaya is unnoticeable with the lemon juice. The cooking time is also off, needed to be doubled to set properly.

      6. 3 stars
        A nice mix of salty and sweet, but much too sweet for our tastes — will try it again with 1/4 cup sugar. FYI, I used Bob’s Red Mill GF 1:1 flour and it worked fine for anyone out there who want to go GF. I do have a question, has anyone tried it with coconut oil instead of butter? (I used ghee, and it was fine, but I have some family members who are GF AND dairy free.)

      7. 5 stars
        I didn’t have the right dish so my crust was a little overcooked but that was my bad. I didn’t have parchment paper but used cooking oil spray and flour to line my pan. It ended up coming off super easy. I don’t like papaya but this was delicious and the kids love it. It is a little on the sweet side but I liked that. I’m excited to try adding new fruits next time and maybe some more butter to the crust

      8. 2 stars
        recipe said 1.5 of a papaya and i did just that Probably should have measured instead oops.. im a bit reckless. so it turned out way too liquidy.

        did the crust just fine, i agree it did turn out floury

        used a bread pan because well. that’s all i had. was an absolute disaster. probably would have all turned out different if i did it in the right pan.

        in general i just don’t like papaya but..! Will be trying again to get it correct.

      9. I made with coconut flour for the base which was a nice combo with the papaya.
        too sweet for me though so I’d reduce the sugar in the filling next time round.