Key Lime Cake

Key Lime Cake

Weather: 26 degrees, sunny
What I’m listening to:
The Cranberries

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope you’re wearing your green today like this bright and fresh Key Lime Cake. 

IMG 7089 Key Lime Cake

There’s quite a story behind this cake. For several years, I have made cupcakes for all three of my kids’ birthdays. We all know that cupcakes have been “in” for a number of years now, but that’s not really why I made them. I made them because they’re easier than decorating a cake. I am not comfortable with my [non-existent] cake decorating skills. Cakes stress me out. Hello, intimidation. I haven’t had a lot of practice with them and the very last thing I ever wanted to do was try to make a cake for one of my children’s birthdays and have it fail miserably. There would be tears… and birthday pictures to prove it. Yikes.

IMG 7153 Key Lime Cake

Well, my oldest son turns nine this week and I was planning to make my go-to cupcakes (I had it all planned out down to the design and the flavor). To my surprise and utter dismay, he declared that he was getting bigger and therefore, it was time for a bigger cake. Gasp! It was time to muster up my courage and face my cake-decorating fears.

candles1 Key Lime Cake

My son’s favorite color is green and his favorite flavor is lime, so I searched high and low for a Key Lime Cake recipe. I was surprised to find that almost every search result I turned up was a lime cake made with Jello and a boxed cake mix. Finally, I found a very yummy from scratch Key Lime Cupcake recipe that I adapted into a two-layer round cake. The result is a delicious, tender cake with a nice key lime flavor and color, and a cream cheese frosting that makes the whole thing truly taste like the famous key lime pie. The birthday boy is very pleased. And I’ve gotten a little more brave this week thanks to my 9-year-old son.

Key Lime Cake

Yield: 1 two-layer 9 inch round cake

IMG 7151 Key Lime Cake

Adapted from Bon Appetit via My Madison Bistro

Ingredients

    For Cake:
  • 1-3/4c cake flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/2c butter, lightly softened
  • 1-1/4c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-1/2T fresh key lime juice
  • 1T key lime zest
  • 1-3 drops green food coloring gel (I used Wilton Leaf Green)
  • 3/4c buttermilk
  • For Frosting:
  • 1/2c butter, lightly softened
  • 8oz cream cheese, lightly softened
  • 2-1/2-3c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1T key lime zest (optional depending on how you plan to decorate the cake and if you want flecks of green in your frosting)
  • green food coloring gel (optional depending on how you plan to decorate the cake)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low until it’s softened a bit. Add the sugar and increase the speed to medium. Beat until fluffy, about four minutes. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lime juice, zest, and food coloring and beat until mixed. (The mixture will look curdled.)
  4. Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Mix on low until just combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly between two pans and spread flat with an offset spatula.
  6. Bake 25 minutes. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese icing.
  7. For Frosting:
  8. Beat the butter and cream together vigorously until combined and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar on a low speed until the consistency you desire is achieved. If using, fold in zest and food color.

Notes

For cupcakes, reduce baking time to 20 minutes.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.alaskafromscratch.com/2012/03/17/key-lime-cake/
 Key Lime Cake

32 comments
Coley
Coley

Anyone have an idea how many cupcakes this would make?
I'm wondering if I'll need to to make a "double batch" to get the number I require.

Rana Lee
Rana Lee

First, I think it's funny that you say you have non-existent decorating skills, because your cake came out beautiful! I have to say, I searched all over to find a true "from scratch" key lime recipe and I am so happy I found yours! It tastes amazing - just like Key lime pie, but only cake! I made one for my husband who begged for one after watching me make one for a friend's birthday. However, my layers came out a bit on the small side (this may have to do with us living at 6200ft) so I was thinking of maybe increasing the recipe by 1/2 and making a third layer. All that aside, I will definitely make this cake recipe a regular in our household! love it!!!

limey
limey

Love this recipe, and can't wait to try it today!  My son loves Key Lime pie, and his birthday is tomorrow.  I used to use box mixes, but have taken to liking the taste of fresh food!  Thanks again!

limey
limey

Do you think I could do cupcakes with this recipe?  I wonder how long I would need to cook them?  I can't wait to make this recipe, my son will be so excited!

Elizabethmce
Elizabethmce

Thanks so much for post a 'from scratch' recipe for this cake.  My son turns 12 on Saturday, and while he usually requests a key lime pie for his birthday, this year he has requested a key lime cake.  Like you mentioned, all the recipes I have seen call for a box mix and green jello.  I look forward to making this cake on friday!

tphil
tphil

Love this cake, it was delicious. I made two, one for my husband and one to take to work. They loved it. That cake was gone in 15 min at my job. Thanks for posting your recipies. You do a fantastic job!

AmandaNolan
AmandaNolan

This cake sounds amazing and I plan on making it for my boyfriend's birthday. My question is whether or not the cake is tart? and if not, what I could do to increase the tartness. Thank you :)

toni payne
toni payne

My husband and friends love this cake. I put toasted pecans in frosting.My problem with layers being small may come from not being sure how much flour I used, did you use cake flour and is it 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder?

toni payne
toni payne

Made this cake, very moist. should layers be small. Looks as if another layer is needed,

Anonymous
Anonymous

Did you change your baking time and temp for your altitude?

Linda W.
Linda W.

I made this for my garden club and it was wonderful! I did two sheet cakes instead of stacked rounds, but still played with designs in the ombre frosting on top. :)

Tawonda
Tawonda

Just one comment "Yummy"

WiltedxRose
WiltedxRose

I made this cake for my boyfriend's birthday, he absolutely loves key lime pie, and adored this cake. The flavors were so rich and delicious and the cake was wonderfully moist. I'll definitely be making this again! The frosting on your cake is gorgeous and delicious as well :)

MVV
MVV

Best key lime cake ever!!!! I use the frosting as a filler and than frost the cake with coconut whipped cream and sprinkled with graham cracker crumb. It was delicious!!!!

Czrsk
Czrsk

Michigan here. Your cake got great reviews from my cousin is Wisconsin, now it's my turn. I can't wait. Yummm

Erika
Erika

This is so many levels of amazingness!!! Thanks for the how to on the ombre icing also...

Chelsea
Chelsea

Came across this post on Tastespotting and I love it! I'm a cake decorator myself and ombre buttercream has always eluded me. Yours looks absolutely beautiful (I don't suppose there will be a tutorial available? :D ) and I'm sure it tasted like heaven. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

sara
sara

Great cake! So pretty...love the frosting. And the flavor sounds fantastic - so much better to do it all natural rather than with Jello!

Honeywhatscooking
Honeywhatscooking

this cake looks gorgeous and sensational. love the color and flavors. Wow, 26 degrees and sunny in Alaska, that sounds pretty nice. :-)

Debbie
Debbie

The cake looks great!

Dana
Dana

Super cute cake! Those look like some cake decorating skills!

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

@tphil I'm thrilled you enjoyed this cake so much (and made two!). Thanks for coming back to let me know!

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

 @AmandaNolan If you want to increase the tartness level, you could amp up the key lime zest and juice in the cake and the frosting. My best advice would be to taste it as you go and increase the amounts as needed to reach your desired tartness. Hope this helps! :) Enjoy!

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

 @toni payne Yes, I used cake flour (1-3/4c). 1/2 teaspoon baking powder is correct along with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda as well. The toasted pecans sound like a lovely touch. :)

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

 @toni payne Happy to hear that the cake is moist! I don't specifically recall the layers being small, but I do think the cake would be marvelous with another layer or two. Great idea. Just be sure to increase the frosting, too. :) 

Alaska from Scratch
Alaska from Scratch

All my recipes are standard instructions; I don't live at altitude. Hope this helps!

Alaska from Scratch
Alaska from Scratch

What a great choice for a garden club! I love it. I'm so glad you enjoyed it (and I'm happy to hear it works well as sheet cakes). Thanks for letting me know. :)

Alaska from Scratch
Alaska from Scratch

Chelsea, Thanks so much! Here are the decorating instructions: Separate your frosting into 3 parts - white, then light green, then darker green. Frost between the two layers in white, then reserve the rest of the white for the top of the cake. Beginning at the bottom, frost around the cake with the darkest green. Then switch to the lighter green around the middle of the cake. Switch to white for the top of the cake. Smooth (this will blend the color edges together). Then, holding an offset spatula horizontally, press the round tip into the frosting beginning at the bottom and turn the cake (I used a turntable), gradually pulling upward until you reach the top edge. Then, switch to the top of the cake, beginning in the center and working outward, spinning the cake until you reach the edge. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions!

Alaska from Scratch
Alaska from Scratch

Thanks, Honey What's Cooking! That is very kind of you. As for the weather, my husband did a polar plunge yesterday... :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Cake Recipe taken from Alaskafromscratch Makes a 9-inch [...]

  2. [...] Every party needs a cake and this key lime one is SO [...]

  3. [...] Thanks to Pinterest, I found Alaska from Scratch’s Jello-less take on Key Lime Cake. [...]

  4. [...] I did some googling, and found a recipe for a pretty key lime cake on a blog called Alaska From Scratch. [...]

  5. [...] of a let-down, actually – he wasn’t as orange or muscular as I anticipated), and (3) I made a key lime cake that turned out really [...]

  6. [...] Don’t tell lemon curd but I think I love this Key Lime Curd even more, if that’s possible. Tart and sweet and intensely citrus-flavored. Curd is simple to make – the most difficult thing about it is squeezing the juice out of the tiny little key limes. You’ll want to buy a bag of them, you’ll need probably 8-10 of the cute little buggers. If you have leftovers, I have a couple other fabulous recipes using key limes like Strawberry Key Limeade and my Key Lime Cake. [...]

  7. […] I was a big fan of this one. Made it for our friends’ birthday dinner. I searched a lot online for a recipe that sounded right to me and finally settled on this one from “Alaska from Scratch“. […]