Tantalizingly Tangy Key Lime Cake

I’ve always been a fan of key lime anything, and this key lime cake recipe is no exception! I’ve been baking this cake for years, and it never fails to impress. With its moist and flavorful crumb, creamy and tangy frosting, and the sweet and tart flavor of key limes, this cake is a guaranteed…

I’ve always been a fan of key lime anything, and this key lime cake recipe is no exception! I’ve been baking this cake for years, and it never fails to impress. With its moist and flavorful crumb, creamy and tangy frosting, and the sweet and tart flavor of key limes, this cake is a guaranteed hit.

Key Lime Cake Recipe

Prep Time

60 mins

Cook Time

35 mins

Additional Time

50 mins

Total Time

145 mins


6 servings

Key Lime Cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Key lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons Key lime juice
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup Key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Key lime zest
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 ½ cups frozen blackberries
  • 3 tablespoons Key lime juice
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon milk, or more as needed
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup of butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of Key lime zest, and 2 tablespoons of Key lime juice. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of butter, and 3/4 cup of Key lime juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the 1 tablespoon of Key lime zest and 2 beaten eggs.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the frozen blackberries, 3 tablespoons of Key lime juice, and the cooled Key lime mixture. Pour the mixture over the cake and spread evenly.
  • In a medium bowl, beat together the 1/2 cup of butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon of milk until smooth. Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled cake.
  • In a medium bowl, whip together the heavy cream, 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the frosted cake and garnish with fresh Key lime slices.
  • Ready to serve! Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 590
  • Total Fat: 27.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 16g
  • Cholesterol: 121mg
  • Sodium: 332mg
  • Carbohydrates: 81.7g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Sugars: 57.4g
  • Protein: 5.2g

What is the origin of key lime cake?

Key Lime Cake originated in the United States, where it is a popular dessert. It is believed to have been created in the late 1800s by a Key West, Florida cook named Aunt Sally, who was inspired by the tart flavor of the local Key limes. The cake itself is a light, citrus-flavored sponge cake made with freshly squeezed Key lime juice, eggs, and butter. The cake is often topped with a creamy lime frosting or a whipped cream topping, and is often served with a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs.

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Key Lime Cake is a popular choice for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings. It is also a favorite among home bakers and can easily be found in restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores. The cake is often paired with other tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple, or coconut for a truly unique flavor experience.

Key Lime Cake has become a staple of American cuisine and continues to be enjoyed around the world. While the exact origin of the dessert may never be known, it is certain that the sweet and tart flavor of Key Lime Cake will continue to delight taste buds for years to come.

What are the traditional ingredients of key lime cake?

Key lime cake typically contains traditional ingredients such as key lime juice, butter, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Additionally, some recipes may call for additional ingredients such as cream cheese, sour cream, or cream of tartar. The flavors of key lime cake vary depending on the ingredients used and the type of recipe. It is usually a light and fluffy cake with a subtle lime flavor.

The key lime juice is the star ingredient in key lime cake. It adds a tart and tangy flavor that balances out the sweetness of the cake. Key lime juice is usually freshly squeezed from key limes, but bottled key lime juice can also be used.

Butter gives the cake a rich flavor and helps to add a moist texture. Eggs act as a binding agent and provide structure. Sugar adds sweetness and helps to create a light and fluffy texture when combined with the other ingredients. Flour provides the foundation of the cake and is usually enriched with baking powder and salt to give the cake a light texture.

Some recipes call for additional ingredients such as cream cheese, sour cream, or cream of tartar. Cream cheese adds a rich flavor and a creamy texture to the cake. Sour cream helps to create a moist texture, while cream of tartar provides additional structure and helps to create a light texture.

In conclusion, traditional ingredients for a key lime cake include key lime juice, butter, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Additionally, some recipes may call for additional ingredients such as cream cheese, sour cream, or cream of tartar.

What are the health benefits of eating key lime cake?

Eating key lime cake can provide a number of health benefits, including:

  • Improved digestion: The combination of key lime juice, butter, and eggs found in traditional key lime cake recipes can help to improve digestion and reduce bloating. Additionally, key lime juice is rich in vitamin C, which helps to break down fats in the digestive system.
  • Increased energy: The high levels of carbohydrates and protein found in key lime cake can provide a quick energy boost when eaten in moderation.
  • Reduced inflammation: Key lime juice is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Improved heart health: Key limes are rich in antioxidants and can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and improve overall cardiovascular health.
  • Improved brain function: The omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients found in key lime cake can help improve cognitive function and memory.
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What are the best tips for making key lime cake?

Follow a trusted recipe: A key lime cake recipe is essential for a successful key lime cake. Choose a recipe that has good reviews and come from a trusted source.

  • Use freshly-squeezed lime juice: The flavor of key limes is much different than regular limes, so be sure to use freshly-squeezed key lime juice for the best flavor.
  • Use key lime zest: Zest from the key lime rind adds a significant amount of flavor to the cake. Make sure to use the zest of key limes for the most authentic flavor.
  • Use real butter and eggs: Butter and eggs will help give the cake a rich, creamy texture. Do not substitute margarine or egg whites for best results.
  • Let the cake cool completely: Allowing the cake to cool completely will help it retain its shape and prevent it from sticking to the pan. This also gives the cake time to set before cutting.
  • Garnish with whipped cream and lime slices: Adding a dollop of whipped cream and a slice of key lime will give the cake a lovely presentation.

How has the recipe for key lime cake evolved over time?

Over the years, the recipe for key lime cake has seen a variety of changes and adaptations, often reflecting the tastes and preferences of the times. Originally, key lime cake was made with a basic cake batter and a key lime glaze, and it was usually served plain or with a dollop of whipped cream. In more recent years, the recipe has evolved to include a variety of ingredients such as cream cheese, cocoa powder, sour cream, and nuts. In addition, variations such as meringue topping, frosting, and various fillings have been added to the mix, making the cake much more flavorful and versatile.

What are the most popular variations of key lime cake?

The most popular variations of key lime cake include traditional layer cakes, cupcakes, and bundt cakes. Each of these variations can be customized with special ingredients to suit individual tastes.

Traditional layer key lime cakes feature two or more layers of light and fluffy cake, usually made with a combination of egg whites and key lime juice or zest. Between the layers, the cake is often filled with whipped cream or buttercream frosting, which is then topped with a garnish of key lime zest or slices.

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Key lime cupcakes are also popular, made with a light and moist cake batter and topped with a tangy key lime frosting. Those looking for something a bit more unique can opt for a key lime bundt cake, which is a rich and dense cake with a denser texture than traditional layer cakes. The bundt cake can be served plain or with a light glaze made from key lime juice and powdered sugar.

No matter which variation of key lime cake you choose, it’s sure to be a hit with family and friends. With the right ingredients and a little creativity, you can create a delicious dessert that everyone will enjoy.

What are the creative ways to serve key lime cake?

When it comes to serving key lime cake, there are many creative ways to make it an unforgettable experience. From adding unique toppings to presenting the cake in a creative way, there are endless possibilities for making key lime cake a one-of-a-kind treat.

One creative way to serve key lime cake is to top it with a variety of fresh fruits. This can be anything from a mixture of diced strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries to a single fruit such as kiwi slices. For a more decadent presentation, you can even top the cake with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Another option is to serve the cake in individual portions. This can be done by cutting the cake into small slices and arranging them on a platter or serving tray. This presentation gives each person the perfect portion and adds a visual element to the cake. You can even top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream for an extra special touch.

You can also get creative with the presentation of the cake itself. For example, you can make a tiered cake by stacking several layers of the cake and topping it with a light dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of icing. This will make your key lime cake look like a gourmet dessert.

Finally, you can take the presentation a step further by using molds or molds of different shapes to create unique designs. This could be anything from a heart-shaped cake to a star-shaped cake. The possibilities are truly endless!

No matter how you decide to serve your key lime cake, it will be sure to be an unforgettable experience. With these creative ways to serve the cake, you can create a one-of-a-kind dessert that everyone will love.

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