Tangy Delight: Key Lime Cake Recipe

Indulge in the exquisite flavors of key lime cake recipe, a dessert that seamlessly blends sophistication with vibrant zest. If you’re fond of nuanced culinary experiences, this recipe promises to tantalize your taste buds.

Bursting with zesty key lime flavor, this cake is a delightful twist on the classic citrus treat. The combination of moist cake layers infused with fresh key lime juice and topped with a creamy lime frosting creates a truly indulgent experience for your taste buds. Try pairing it with an ice cream recipe to elevate your dessert experience even further.

Whether you’re baking for a special occasion or simply satisfying a craving, this key lime cake recipe is guaranteed to impress with its vibrant taste and irresistible moist texture. Pair it with a light and creamy banana mousse for a delightful contrast, and you’ll have a dessert that truly stands out. So, let’s dive into the kitchen and whip up this citrusy delight together!

Key Lime Cake Recipe

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with our key lime cake recipe! This delightful dessert combines the tangy zest of key lime with the sweetness of cake for a flavor explosion that’ll leave you craving more. 

With moist cake layers infused with fresh key lime juice and a creamy lime frosting, this recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for any occasion. So, roll up your sleeves and let’s embark on a culinary adventure that promises to satisfy your cravings and impress your guests!

Ingredients Required

To whip up your Key Lime Cake, you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Eggs
  • Key lime juice
  • Key lime zest
  • Vanilla extract
  • Buttermilk
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cream cheese
  • Heavy cream

These simple ingredients come together to create a cake that’s bursting with tangy citrus flavor and irresistible sweetness.

Preparation Of Cake Batter

Here’s how to prepare the batter for your Key Lime Cake:

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to the specified temperature and preparing your cake pans with parchment paper or non-stick spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together softened unsalted butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  5. Mix in freshly squeezed key lime juice, key lime zest, and vanilla extract for a burst of citrus flavor.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans, spreading it out into an even layer.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for the specified time or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Once baked, remove the cake layers from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Baking The Cake Layers

baking the layer

Baking the cake layers for your key lime cake is a breeze! Here’s how:

  1. Once you’ve prepared the cake batter according to the recipe instructions, evenly divide it between your prepared cake pans.
  2. Place the pans in the preheated oven, making sure they’re positioned in the center for even baking.
  3. Bake the cake layers at the specified temperature for the recommended time, or until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Avoid opening the oven door too frequently during baking to prevent the cakes from sinking.
  5. Once baked, carefully remove the cake pans from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes.
  6. After cooling slightly, gently run a knife around the edges of the cake layers to loosen them from the pans.
  7. Invert the pans onto the wire rack and carefully remove the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
  8. Now that your cake layers are perfectly baked and cooled, you’re ready to move on to the next step: making the key lime frosting!

Making The Key Lime Frosting

Creating the perfect Key Lime Frosting is easier than you think! Here’s how:

  1. Begin by ensuring your cream cheese and unsalted butter are softened to room temperature for easy blending.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese and butter, and beat together until smooth and creamy.
  3. Gradually add powdered sugar to the mixture, beating well after each addition until fully incorporated and the frosting is smooth.
  4. Mix in freshly squeezed key lime juice and key lime zest, adding a burst of citrus flavor to the frosting.
  5. If needed, adjust the consistency of the frosting by adding more powdered sugar for a thicker consistency or a splash of milk or cream for a smoother texture.
  6. Once you’ve achieved the desired consistency and flavor, your Key Lime Frosting is ready to use!
  7. Spread a generous layer of frosting between each cooled cake layer, then frost the top and sides of the cake evenly.
  8. For an extra touch of elegance, garnish the cake with additional key lime zest or slices before serving.
  9. Now, sit back and admire your masterpiece before slicing into this irresistible Key Lime Cake!

Assembling The Cake Layers

Assembling the layers of your key lime cake is the fun part! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start with your cooled cake layers and place one layer on a serving plate or cake stand.
  2. If desired, use a serrated knife to level off the top of the cake layer to ensure a flat surface.
  3. Spread a generous layer of Key Lime Frosting evenly over the top of the first cake layer, using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
  4. Carefully place the second cake layer on top of the frosted first layer.
  5. Repeat the process by spreading another layer of frosting on top of the second cake layer.
  6. If you have additional cake layers, continue layering and frosting until all layers are stacked.
  7. Once all the layers are assembled, spread a thin layer of frosting around the sides of the cake to create a crumb coat. This will seal in any loose crumbs and create a smooth surface for the final layer of frosting.
  8. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set the crumb coat.
  9. After chilling, apply a final layer of frosting to the top and sides of the cake, using smooth, even strokes to create a polished finish.
  10. Decorate the cake as desired with additional key lime zest, slices, or other decorative elements.
  11. Finally, stand back and admire your beautifully assembled key lime cake before slicing and serving to eager guests!

Decorating The Cake

decoring the cake

Decorating your key lime cake is the cherry on top of the baking adventure! Here’s how to add those finishing touches:

  1. Start by ensuring your cake is fully assembled and frosted with a smooth layer of Key Lime Frosting.
  2. For a simple yet elegant decoration, sprinkle finely grated key lime zest over the top of the cake.
  3. If you want to add a pop of color, arrange thin slices of fresh key lime in a decorative pattern on the top of the cake.
  4. Alternatively, pipe decorative borders or swirls around the top edge of the cake using a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip.
  5. If you’re feeling extra creative, consider adding edible flowers, fresh berries, or mint leaves as a garnish around the base of the cake for a visually stunning presentation.
  6. Don’t forget to personalize your creation! Add a special message or celebratory phrase using piped frosting or decorative cake toppers to make the cake truly unique.
  7. Once you’re satisfied with the decoration, step back and admire your masterpiece before serving it up to your eager guests.
  8. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and let your creativity shine as you decorate your key lime cake!

Serving Suggestions

So now, enhance the Key Lime Cake experience with these delightful serving suggestions that will elevate every bite to new heights!

Pairing with Refreshing Beverages:

Unleash the full potential of your key lime cake by serving it alongside a selection of refreshing beverages. Offer guests a choice of cold brew coffee, iced tea, or sparkling water infused with lime slices to complement the cake’s tangy flavor. For a more indulgent treat, consider serving a chilled glass of coconut milk or a zesty lemonade cocktail to create a perfect harmony of flavors.

Garnish Galore:

Add an extra layer of visual appeal and flavor complexity by garnishing individual slices of key lime cake with a variety of toppings. Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes or crushed graham crackers over each slice for a tropical twist, or drizzle a tangy raspberry coulis or mango puree for a burst of fruity goodness. For a touch of elegance, top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh mint leaf for a stunning presentation that will impress even the most discerning guests.

Ice Cream Extravaganza:

Take your key lime cake to the next level by serving it with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream or tangy sorbet. The combination of warm cake and cold, velvety ice cream creates a delightful contrast in temperatures and textures that will tantalize your taste buds. Encourage guests to customize their dessert experience by offering a selection of ice cream flavors, such as coconut, mango, or even key lime itself, for a truly indulgent treat.

Dessert Buffet Showcase:

Transform your key lime cake into the centerpiece of a stunning dessert buffet by pairing it with an array of complementary treats. Arrange a selection of mini desserts, such as key lime pie bars, citrus-infused macarons, or coconut cream cupcakes, alongside the cake for a visually striking display that offers something for everyone. Incorporate fresh fruit platters, chocolate truffles, and assorted candies to provide additional options and create a dessert spread that is as visually stunning as it is delicious.

Brunch Bonanza:

Elevate your next brunch gathering by featuring key lime cake as the star of the dessert table. Serve slices of cake alongside a selection of brunch classics, such as fresh fruit salad, yogurt parfaits, and savory quiches, for a balanced and satisfying meal. Encourage guests to indulge in a slice of cake alongside their morning coffee or mimosa for a sweet and refreshing start to the day. With its bright citrus flavor and moist texture, key lime cake is the perfect addition to any brunch spread and is sure to leave guests coming back for seconds.

Storage Tips

Keep your key lime cake fresh and delicious with these handy storage tips:

Room Temperature Storage

Store your key lime cake at room temperature in an airtight container or cake dome for up to 2-3 days. This allows the cake to maintain its moisture and freshness without the need for refrigeration. Be sure to place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper underneath the cake to prevent it from sticking to the container.


If you need to store the cake for a longer period or if your kitchen is particularly warm, refrigeration is the way to go. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out, then place it in the refrigerator. Stored this way, the key lime cake will stay fresh for up to 5-7 days.


For longer-term storage, consider freezing individual slices or the entire cake. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil or freezer paper to prevent freezer burn. Alternatively, you can place the cake in an airtight freezer bag. Frozen key lime cake will keep well for up to 2-3 months.


When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen key lime cake, allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. This gradual thawing process helps preserve the cake’s texture and prevents it from becoming too moist or soggy. Once thawed, bring the cake to room temperature before serving for the best flavor and consistency.


If you prefer your key lime cake served warm, you can gently reheat individual slices in the microwave or oven. Simply place the slice on a microwave-safe plate and heat it in 10-15 second intervals until warmed to your liking. Alternatively, you can reheat slices in a preheated oven at a low temperature (around 250°F or 120°C) for 5-10 minutes until warmed through. Be careful not to overheat the cake, as this can cause it to dry out.


In conclusion, our tangy delight key lime cake recipe offers a perfect blend of zesty citrus flavor and indulgent sweetness, making it a standout dessert for any occasion. With its moist and tender crumb, paired with a creamy key lime frosting, this cake is sure to impress both novice bakers and seasoned pastry enthusiasts alike. 

Whether enjoyed as a refreshing treat on a summer afternoon or as a centerpiece for special celebrations, this key lime cake is bound to leave a lasting impression with its vibrant taste and irresistible charm. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to savor every tangy-sweet bite of this delectable delight!


What Is Key Lime Cake Made Of?

Key lime cake is made of all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, butter, eggs, key lime juice, key lime zest, vanilla extract, buttermilk, baking powder, and salt.

Do Key Limes Taste Different Than Regular Limes?

Yes, key limes have a distinct flavor compared to regular limes, offering a slightly sweeter and more aromatic taste profile.

How To Make A Cake Fluffy?

To make a cake fluffy, ensure you incorporate enough air into the batter by creaming the butter and sugar properly, using room temperature ingredients, and folding in whipped egg whites or adding baking powder for leavening.

What’s In A Key Lime?

Key limes contain juice and zest, which are commonly used in recipes to impart a tangy citrus flavor.