Key Lime Cake Recipe

Indulge in the tangy zest of our Key Lime Cake Recipe, a perfect blend of citrus and sweet for an irresistible dessert. This article will guide you through the steps of creating a delicious homemade key lime cake from scratch, complete with a creamy cream cheese frosting.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to make a flavorful and moist key lime cake from scratch.
  • Discover the key ingredients needed for this tangy dessert.
  • Follow step-by-step instructions to prepare the cake batter and bake it to perfection.
  • Explore different variations of key lime cake, such as bundt cake and pound cake.
  • Understand the potential health benefits of key lime cake as part of a balanced diet.

Ingredients Required

List of Ingredients:

To make this key lime cake, you will need the following ingredients:

  1. Canola or olive oil
  2. Eggs
  3. Whole milk
  4. Fresh lime zest
  5. Fresh lime juice
  6. Sugar
  7. Flour
  8. Baking powder
  9. Baking soda
  10. Salt
  11. Butter
  12. Cream cheese
  13. Powdered sugar
  14. Fresh limes for garnish

These simple and readily available ingredients are the key to creating a moist and flavorful key lime cake.

Preparing the Cake Batter

To create a delicious homemade key lime cake, the first step is to prepare the cake batter. This involves mixing the dry and wet ingredients separately before combining them to form a smooth and tangy batter.

Preparing the Cake Batter

Mixing Dry Ingredients

In a mixing bowl, combine the following dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Using a whisk or spoon, thoroughly mix these dry ingredients together until they are well-incorporated. This ensures that the leavening agents and salt are evenly distributed throughout the batter, resulting in a consistent texture and flavor.

Mixing Wet Ingredients

In a separate bowl, combine the following wet ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of canola or olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lime zest (from approximately 2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice (from approximately 2 limes)

Use a whisk or fork to thoroughly whisk the wet ingredients until they are well-blended. The combination of oil, eggs, milk, lime zest, and lime juice adds moisture, richness, and a burst of tangy flavor to the key lime cake.

Once the dry and wet ingredients are mixed separately, gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Stir gently until the ingredients are just combined, being careful not to overmix. Overmixing can result in a dense and tough cake.

The result is a smooth and tangy cake batter that is ready to be poured into prepared cake pans and baked to perfection.

Baking the Cake

Once you have prepared the key lime cake batter, it’s time to bake it to perfection. This section will guide you through the process of preparing the cake pan, pouring the batter, and ensuring a successful baking process.

Preparing the Pan

Before pouring the batter into the cake pans, it’s important to prepare them to prevent sticking. Start by greasing the pans generously with butter or a non-stick cooking spray. Make sure to coat the bottom and sides of the pans evenly. This will ensure that your key lime cake releases easily from the pan after baking.

Pouring the Batter

Once your cake pans are well-greased, it’s time to pour the key lime cake batter into them. Divide the batter evenly between the pans to ensure that the cakes bake uniformly. Use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the batter evenly, smoothing out the surface for an even rise.

Baking Process

Now it’s time to bake the key lime cakes in a preheated oven. Set the oven to the specified temperature in your recipe and allow it to preheat fully. Place the prepared cake pans in the oven and bake according to the recommended time. You can test the doneness of the cakes by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean or with a few crumbs, the cakes are ready.

Remember to avoid opening the oven door frequently during the baking process, as this can cause the cakes to deflate. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Cooling the cakes ensures that they set and become easier to handle when assembling and frosting your key lime cake.

Making Key Lime Frosting

Ingredients for Frosting

The key lime frosting is the perfect complement to the tangy key lime cake. To make the frosting, you will need:

  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered sugar
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Fresh lime zest

Cream together the softened butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, lime juice, and lime zest. Continue to mix until well combined and smooth.

This creamy and citrusy frosting adds a burst of flavor to the key lime cake, perfectly complementing its tangy taste.

Assembling the Cake

Once the key lime cakes have cooled completely, it’s time to assemble the cake. Follow these steps to create a stunning key lime cake with cream cheese frosting:

Cooling the Cake

  1. Ensure that both cake layers have cooled completely before assembling the cake. This will prevent the frosting from melting and sliding off.
  2. Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand.

Frosting the Cake

  1. Spread a generous layer of the key lime frosting on top of the first cake layer.
  2. Add the second cake layer on top of the frosting.
  3. Repeat the process by spreading another layer of frosting on top of the second cake layer.
  4. Using a spatula or a cake scraper, frost the sides of the cake, smoothing out the frosting for a clean finish.

Note: Reserve a small portion of the frosting for any additional decorations or piping, if desired.

For best results, make sure the frosting is evenly distributed and covers the entire cake. This will ensure that each slice of the key lime cake is beautifully presented with a luscious layer of cream cheese frosting.

After frosting the cake, it’s recommended to allow it to chill in the refrigerator for a while to allow the frosting to set. This will make it easier to slice and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Key lime cake is a delightful dessert that can be enjoyed in various ways. Whether you prefer it on its own or paired with complementary flavors, there are plenty of serving suggestions to enhance your culinary experience. Here are some ideas:

  1. Whipped Cream: Top slices of the key lime cake with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. The light and airy texture of the whipped cream perfectly balances the tangy flavor of the cake.
  2. Grated Lime Zest: Sprinkle some freshly grated lime zest over the cake for an extra burst of citrus aroma and flavor. The vibrant green zest adds a visual appeal and enhances the overall taste.
  3. Fresh Berries: Serve the key lime cake with a side of fresh berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. The juicy and sweet berries provide a refreshing contrast to the tanginess of the cake.
  4. Ice Cream: For a decadent treat, serve the key lime cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The creamy and smooth ice cream complements the tangy cake, creating a delightful flavor combination.

These serving suggestions are just a starting point. Feel free to get creative and experiment with different toppings or accompaniments to suit your taste preferences. Regardless of how you choose to serve it, this tangy and refreshing key lime dessert is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any gathering or celebration.

Tips for Perfect Key Lime Cake

Follow these tips to ensure that your key lime cake turns out perfect every time:

  1. Use fresh lime juice and zest for the best citrus flavor. The vibrant taste of freshly squeezed lime juice and the aromatic zest will elevate the tanginess of your key lime cake.
  2. Grease your cake pans well to prevent sticking. This will ensure that your key lime cake comes out of the pans easily and in perfect shape.
  3. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting to avoid melting the frosting. Patience is key! Letting the cakes cool ensures that the creamy frosting stays intact and doesn’t slide off the cake.
  4. And finally, refrigerate the cake for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together. Cooling the cake in the refrigerator will enhance the taste and texture of the key lime cake, making it even more delectable.

Variations to Try

While the classic key lime cake recipe is delightful on its own, you can also experiment with variations. Get creative and explore different ways to enjoy the tangy goodness of key lime cake.

Key Lime Bundt Cake

Try making a key lime bundt cake by pouring the batter into a bundt cake pan and adjusting the baking time accordingly. The unique shape adds visual appeal to the cake, and the key lime flavors infuse every bite.

Key Lime Pound Cake

Another option is to make a key lime pound cake by incorporating the tangy key lime flavors into a dense and buttery pound cake recipe. The richness of the pound cake enhances the citrusy notes, resulting in a decadent dessert.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match different recipes or add your own personal touch to the variations. Whether you choose to make a key lime bundt cake or a key lime pound cake, these options offer a twist on the classic key lime cake recipe, allowing you to enjoy the bright and refreshing flavors in a different way.

Health Benefits of Key Lime Cake

While indulging in key lime cake may not be the healthiest dessert option, it does offer some potential health benefits. Key limes, the star ingredient in this delectable treat, are packed with essential nutrients that can support overall wellbeing. Here are some health benefits of key lime cake:

  1. Rich in Vitamin C: Key limes are a fantastic source of vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in supporting immune health. Consuming key lime cake can help boost your immune system, protecting your body against common illnesses.
  2. High in Antioxidants: Key limes are loaded with antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. These antioxidants can promote cellular health and protect against chronic diseases.
  3. Good Source of Fiber: Key limes contain dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and promotes healthy bowel movements. Enjoying key lime cake can contribute to your daily fiber intake and support digestive health.

While these health benefits are noteworthy, it’s important to remember that moderation is key. Key lime cake should be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet to fully reap its potential benefits. So go ahead and savor a slice of this tangy dessert while keeping your overall health and wellness in mind.


Indulge your taste buds with the tangy delight of a homemade key lime cake. This delectable dessert combines the refreshing flavors of fresh lime zest and juice with a moist and flavorful cake base. Topped with a creamy cream cheese frosting, this key lime cake is a showstopper that will impress your family and friends.

To create your own scrumptious key lime cake, follow the step-by-step instructions provided in this recipe. From mixing the batter to baking the cake to preparing the frosting and assembling the layers, each stage is crucial to achieving the perfect balance of citrus and sweetness.

Whether you’re hosting a party or simply craving a tangy treat, this key lime cake is the perfect choice. Its vibrant flavors and beautiful presentation make it a standout dessert option that is sure to impress. So, grab those fresh limes and get ready to indulge in a slice of deliciousness!

Also, discover these recipes:

chocolate pound cake recipe

strawberry dump cake recipe


What is key lime cake made of?

Key lime cake is made of a delicious combination of ingredients that are perfect for creating a tangy and flavorful dessert. The main ingredients include canola or olive oil, eggs, whole milk, fresh lime zest, fresh lime juice, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and fresh limes. These simple and readily available ingredients come together to create a moist and delectable key lime cake.

What can I do with a bunch of limes?

If you find yourself with a bunch of limes, there are plenty of ways to put them to good use. One delicious option is to make a key lime cake, which is a perfect dessert for any occasion. You can also use limes to make a refreshing key lime pie, create a zesty limeade, or infuse water with lime for a flavorful twist. Additionally, you can add lime juice and zest to savory dishes like seafood, salads, or marinades to add a tangy and citrusy flavor.

How many calories in a key lime cake?

The number of calories in a key lime cake can vary depending on the specific recipe and serving size. On average, a slice of key lime cake can range from 300 to 500 calories. It’s important to remember that indulging in this delicious dessert should be done in moderation, considering the calorie content. However, the tangy and refreshing flavors of the key lime cake make it a worthwhile treat, especially for special occasions or celebrations.

Why is it called key lime?

The term “key lime” refers to the specific type of lime used in key lime cakes and other key lime-flavored desserts. Key limes are called “key” limes because they were originally cultivated in the Florida Keys, a chain of islands located off the southern coast of Florida. These limes are smaller and more tart than regular limes, giving the key lime cake its distinct and refreshing flavor. The use of key limes adds an authentic and tangy twist to the key lime cake, making it a unique and delightful dessert.

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