Baking is one of my favorite pastimes. I enjoy baking cookies, cakes, breads, pies, muffins, cupcakes, and much more.
For Thanksgiving dessert this year, I decided to bake a key lime cake. Yes, a key lime cake, not a key lime pie. A few days before Thanksgiving, I was looking for something different for dessert, something out of the ordinary. I began thinking of something citrusy and tangy—and voila, I had the idea to make a key lime cake with refreshing key lime juice and zest. I promise you, this cake is the perfect dessert!
How to Make Key Lime Cake
The cake itself is easy to make. Key lime juice and zest are among the core ingredients, which give it a fresh and natural flavor. I also decided to use oil in the mixture because oil has more moisture content than butter. Did you know that oil cakes tend to bake up loftier and stay moist and tender for longer than cakes made with butter? However, this is optional. If you prefer butter, you are welcome to use it.
The basic yellow cake for this recipe is simple and takes 30-35 minutes to bake. I would recommend layering the pan with baking parchment or paper to get a smooth texture. It also helps to make the cake come out easily.
I made this a layer cake by using two 8-inch pans. However, if you don't have two pans of that size, you are welcome to use a regular baking pan for the cake.
Delicious and Moist Cake
I was delighted with the outcome. The cake was delicious and super moist with an incredibly rich lime flavor. I was also happy with my decision to use oil in this recipe. The cream cheese frosting was light and fluffy. The cake was a hit! Everyone loved it; I think it was one of the best lime cakes I've ever made.
This cake is perfect not just for summertime, but as a holiday dessert. I hope you will try making it—and that you will enjoy it as much as we do!
For the yellow cake:
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 cup vegetable or coconut oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar (add 1/2 cup more if you prefer it to be sweeter)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime zest, grated
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the key lime cream cheese frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 8 ounces cool whip or whip cream
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime zest, grated
For the topping:
- Freshly sliced lime
- Freshly grated lime zest
- Preheat the oven to 325º F. Line two 8-inch round baking pans with parchment or baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, whole milk, lime juice, and lime zest. Use a hand mixer to whisk these ingredients at low speed. Mix until all ingredients are well combined. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, sieve the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a whisk to incorporate the ingredients evenly.
- Gradually add the dry mixture into the wet mixture. At this point, you can use a whisk or a hand mixer to combine.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from pan and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make the cream cheese frosting: In a stand mixer, combine the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Remember to start the mixer at a lower speed as the powder sugar might splatter. Cream for 5 minutes or until it's all combined.
- Add the cool whip or whipping cream, lime juice, and lime zest into the mixture. Mix until it's light and fluffy. Cool the frosting in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before assembling.
- Assemble the cake: Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of both cakes. Place the first cake on a plate or cake stand. Spread the frosting with a spatula. Garnish with some fresh lime zest. Place the second layer on and continue spreading the frosting. Use the same technique to spread the frosting. Garnish the top with freshly sliced lime and sprinkle fresh lime zest.
- Slice the cake and enjoy!
© 2019 Liza
Liza (author) from USA on April 07, 2020:
Hi Nyesha, thanks for stopping by and leave a nice comment on my key lime cake. The cake was super delicious and we loved it so much!
Nyesha Pagnou MPH from USA on April 06, 2020:
This looks like a great key lime cake. The photos make the cake look appealing. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
Liza (author) from USA on December 05, 2019:
Thank you for commenting, Liz. I have already had a request to make this again.
Liz Westwood from UK on December 05, 2019:
This is a great dessert idea. Just what we need as the festive season approaches.
Liza (author) from USA on December 04, 2019:
Hi Linda, I have a key lime tree in my hometown. Growing up, I like to drink a lime juice that my mother's made. I love the key lime flavor, and I love the citrusy smell. Nowadays, I use lime juice for cooking and baking. By the way, I also used limes to clean dishes such as the cutting board. I think it's worked excellently as a cleaning agent :)
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 03, 2019:
This sounds like a delicious cake. I don't eat limes very often and I don't think that I've ever eaten a key lime, but I love the look of your cake. I think it would a great dessert for a special event.