How To Make Key Lime Cake Recipe

Are you ready to indulge in a dessert that is tangy, sweet, and utterly irresistible? Look no further than the delightful world of Key Lime Cake. This article will guide you through a step-by-step process on how to make a mouthwatering Key Lime Cake recipe that will have your taste buds dancing with delight. From the zesty lime-infused batter to the creamy frosting that perfectly complements the citrus flavors, this cake is a true masterpiece. So grab your apron, gather your ingredients, and let’s dive into the delectable journey of creating a Key Lime Cake that will impress and satisfy any sweet tooth.


To make a delicious key lime cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:

All-purpose flour

The foundation of any good cake, all-purpose flour provides the structure and texture for the key lime cake. It’s important to use all-purpose flour rather than cake flour, as the latter may result in a lighter, fluffier texture.

Baking powder

Baking powder is a leavening agent that helps the cake rise and become light and airy. It works by creating bubbles of carbon dioxide gas when mixed with liquid and heat is applied.


Salt is a key ingredient in baking that enhances the flavor of the cake. Just a pinch of salt can make a noticeable difference, as it balances out the sweetness and brings out the other flavors in the cake.

Unsalted butter

Unsalted butter is used in this recipe to control the amount of salt in the cake. It also adds richness and moisture to the batter, resulting in a tender and flavorful cake.

Granulated sugar

Sugar not only sweetens the cake but also contributes to its texture and moisture. It combines with the butter to create air pockets while creaming, resulting in a fluffy and light cake.

Key lime juice

Key lime juice is the star of this recipe, providing the refreshing and tangy flavor that makes key lime cake so irresistible. It adds a zesty and bright note to the cake, balancing out the sweetness.

Key lime zest

The zest of key lime contains aromatic oils that add a burst of citrus flavor to the cake. It’s important to use fresh key lime zest for the best results, as it provides a vibrant and natural taste.


Eggs act as a binder in the cake, holding the other ingredients together. They also add moisture and richness to the batter, resulting in a tender and velvety texture.

Whole milk

Whole milk provides the necessary liquid for the cake batter. Its fat content contributes to the richness and tenderness of the cake.

Vanilla extract

Vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor of the cake, adding a hint of warmth and sweetness. It complements the tanginess of the key lime and brings all the flavors together harmoniously.


Once you have gathered all the ingredients, you can begin preparing the key lime cake:

Preparing the oven

Preheat your oven to a temperature of 350°F (175°C). This will ensure that it is at the optimal temperature when you are ready to bake the cake.

Preparing the cake pans

Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. This will prevent the cake from sticking to the pans and ensure that it bakes evenly. Alternatively, you can line the pans with parchment paper for easy removal of the cakes after baking.

Mixing the dry ingredients

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and ½ teaspoon of salt. This will ensure that the dry ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the cake batter.

Creaming the butter and sugar

In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1 cup of unsalted butter and 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Use an electric mixer on medium-high speed for approximately 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture is pale in color and has a smooth texture.

Adding the key lime juice and zest

To the creamed butter and sugar mixture, add ⅓ cup of key lime juice and 1 tablespoon of key lime zest. Mix until well combined, ensuring that the tangy key lime flavor is evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Incorporating the eggs

One at a time, add 3 eggs to the batter, mixing well after each addition. This will ensure that the eggs are fully incorporated and contribute to the richness and structure of the cake.

Alternating the flour mixture and milk

Gradually add the dry flour mixture to the batter, alternating with ½ cup of whole milk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined after each addition. This technique helps to create a light and fluffy cake texture.

Adding the vanilla extract

Mix in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, ensuring that it is evenly distributed throughout the batter. The vanilla extract adds a delightful aroma and depth of flavor to the cake.

Pouring the batter into the pans

Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula. This will ensure that the cakes bake evenly and result in a level surface for frosting and decoration.

Baking the cakes

Place the cake pans in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. The cakes should be lightly golden brown and spring back when gently touched.

Key Lime Frosting

While the cakes are cooling, you can prepare the key lime frosting:

Unsalted butter

In a mixing bowl, cream together ½ cup of unsalted butter until smooth and creamy. This will serve as the base of the key lime frosting.

Cream cheese

Add 4 ounces of cream cheese to the creamed butter and mix until well combined. The cream cheese adds a tangy and creamy element to the frosting, complementing the key lime flavor.

Powdered sugar

Gradually add 3 cups of powdered sugar to the mixture, mixing well after each addition. The powdered sugar adds sweetness and helps to thicken the frosting.

Key lime juice

Mix in 2 tablespoons of key lime juice, ensuring that it is evenly incorporated into the frosting. This will provide a tangy and refreshing taste to balance out the sweetness of the sugar.

Key lime zest

Finally, fold in 1 tablespoon of key lime zest, ensuring that it is evenly distributed throughout the frosting. The zest adds a vibrant and citrusy flavor that enhances the overall taste of the cake.


With the cakes cooled and the frosting prepared, it’s time to assemble the key lime cake:

Cooling the cakes

Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans before proceeding with the assembly. This will prevent them from crumbling or breaking during the process.

Trimming the cakes

If necessary, level the tops of the cakes with a serrated knife to create a flat and even surface. This will ensure that the cakes stack evenly and result in a professional-looking finished cake.

Frosting the cakes

Place one of the cooled cakes on a serving plate and spread a generous layer of the key lime frosting evenly on top. Carefully place the second cake on top and frost the entire cake, starting with the top and then moving to the sides. Use a spatula or cake decorating tool to create a smooth and even finish.

How To Make Key Lime Cake Recipe


To add the finishing touch to your key lime cake, you can decorate it with key lime slices and zest:

Key lime slices

Cut a few key limes into thin slices and arrange them in a decorative pattern on top of the frosted cake. This will not only provide an appealing visual element but also give a hint to the delicious citrus flavor inside.

Key lime zest

Sprinkle some freshly grated key lime zest over the top of the cake or along the edges. The zest adds a pop of color and intensifies the citrusy aroma of the cake.

Now that you have followed these comprehensive steps, your delectable key lime cake is ready to be enjoyed! Whether it’s for a special occasion or simply as a treat for yourself, this homemade key lime cake is sure to impress with its tangy sweetness and beautiful presentation. Happy baking!

How To Make Key Lime Cake Recipe

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