Key Lime Cake Recipe

Key lime cake, the last slice left

The last slice of key lime cake.

I love anything with citrus flavors. They’re so invigorating and fresh and I love enhancing my foods with them when I get the opportunity. We had a mini barbecue over the weekend and we had the meal all set, now we just needed something sweet. This was my opportunity. Mark bought a bag of juicy key limes and I decided to mix something sweet with some zingy citrus. That’s how the citrus lime cake was conceived. Everyone could not stop talking about it, and when I finally tried it, I knew why.  The cake was moist, buttery, and the lime flavor added something special. The great thing about this cake is the subtlety of the lime. You know it’s in there, but its not making your face pucker after each bite. The flavor is very mild, but just enough to know that it is there. Just about everyone had seconds and my sister had thirds. By the end of the night, there was one slice left.

Fresh Key limes

Fresh key limes


  • 1 teaspoon key lime zest (approx. 2 key limes)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (approx. 3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Lime Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 block of cream cheese
  • 1 cube butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed key lime juice (approx. 2 key limes)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon milk

Frosting Directions

Beat cream cheese and butter until it is creamy. Slowly mix in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Add key lime juice and teaspoon of milk. Beat until creamy and smooth (about 2 minutes).

Cake Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Add eggs, then beat on med-high for 2 minutes until creamy. Stir in cold milk and vanilla (cake batter should look coagulated after cold milk is stirred in). Fold in flour, salt and baking powder. Pour batter into a lightly greased 8 x 8 baking pan (I actually used a bundt pan, and it worked out great, too). Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool, then frost it. Decorate cake with key lime wedges or other fruit.

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  • Debbie Opel
    Posted August 16, 2009 at 8:33 PM | Permalink

    want to try recipe sounds great but what size pan and at what temperature? thanks, deb

  • Posted August 17, 2009 at 6:40 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for catching that Debbie :-) I posted that information. I would love to hear how it turned out for you.

  • Bonnie B. Outlaw
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    Which kind of flour, plain, self rising or cake flour?

    Also how much does a cube equal as far as a cube of butter? (whole stick?)

  • Posted September 16, 2009 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    I used unbleached all-purpose flour. As for the butter, 1 cube = 1 stick = 1/2 cup
    I would love to know how this turns out for you! – Eliza

  • Bonnie B. Outlaw
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    THANKS so very much!
    Recipe looks scrumptious!

  • Ana Cecilia Seijas
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

    Hi, love your blog. What is the equivalent of a cube of butter? Thank you for your time,

  • Posted January 25, 2010 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

    Hi Ana, glad you like it! A cube of butter is equivalent to 1 stick of butter.

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