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Key Lime Pound Cake

Key Lime Pound Cake has a melt-in-your-mouth texture and great key lime flavor. With a ribbon of lime curd filling, this cake is rich, tangy and velvety.

I love a great pound cake and I love Key Lime Pie. I wanted to marry these two favorites into a pound cake with plenty of lime flavor. Easier said than done, my friends.

I could’ve just added some lime zest and a glaze and called it a day. But, hey, that’s not really good enough, is it?

As I do with all my pound cake variations, I started with my basic pound cake recipe and began tinkering.

It took months of baking hundreds of pounds cakes to create my basic Pound Cake recipe. If you’re a baking geek like me, you can read all about how I adjusted the ingredient percentages in this comprehensive post about creating a great cake recipe.

I have also created a comprehensive “Cake Batter Course” which explains step by step and ingredient by ingredient how I created a great pound cake by adapting the “original” recipe. If you’re interested, over 7 classes you can learn all about the ingredients and mixing methods for cake batter.

It’s pretty detailed stuff, but what you learn about baking can be applied to all your recipes, not just cake batter. And it’s free here on Baking Sense.

Anyway, back to this Key Lime Pound Cake.

How to make the best Key Lime Pound Cake:

  • Put a layer of lime curd IN the cake to really drive home the zesty lime flavor. The problem is how to stop the curd from sinking all the way down and out of the cake.
  • I tested the recipe with varying amounts of lime curd to see how much can go in the cake without totally breaking the structure. I settled on 2/3 of a cup.
  • The proportions of the cake ingredients were tweaked to support the lime curd filling. A little extra flour thickened the batter just enough to hold in the curd.
  • I tried adding a layer of graham cracker crumbs to keep the curd from sinking. I nixed that idea because the flavor of the graham crackers muted the lime.

It took 6 attempts before I finally got the moist and tangy Key Lime Pound Cake I had envisioned.

Scroll through the process photos to see how to make Key Lime Pound Cake:

A mixing bowl with dry ingredients, a small bowl with egg mixture, a cup with lime juice and 2 sticks of butter.
Prepare and gather all the cake components before you begin mixing.
four photos of cake batter in a mixing bowl.
1. Mix the softened butter into the dry ingredients 2. Add the lime juice and mix on high speed to aerate. 3. Add the eggs. 4. Mix until smooth.
a cake pan filled with batter and lime curd.
1. Drizzle the lime curd over the batter. 2. Top with remaining batter and smooth the batter to cover the curd.
key lime pound cake before and after baking.
1. It’s ok if a little curd shows through. It will sink as the cake bakes. 2. The top of the cake will crack as it rises.
Photo 1 is a bowl of sugar and lime zest with lime juice added. Photo 2 is a bowl of glaze after mixing.
1. Add the lime zest and juice to the powdered sugar. 2. The glaze should have the texture of pancake batter.
1. Drizzle the glaze over the slightly warm cake. 2. Allow the glaze to drip over the sides. 3. Leave the cake on the rack until the glaze is set.

Here are some other pound cake recipes for you to try:

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Print Recipe
5 from 4 reviews

Key Lime Pound Cake Recipe

Key Lime Pound Cake has a melt-in-your-mouth texture and great key lime flavor from a ribbon of lime curd filling.
Prep Time30 mins
Bake Time40 mins
Cooling Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
16 slices

Ingredients

Cake Batter

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 oz sour cream (1/4 cup)
  • finely grated zest from 2 limes
  • 1 oz lime juice (2 tablespoons)
  • 9 oz cake flour (2 cups)
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 10 oz granulated sugar (1 1/4 cups)
  • 9 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 6 oz Lime Curd (2/3 cup, no gelatin)

Assembly

  • 8 oz confectioner's sugar (2 cups)
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice (2 tablespoons)
  • finely grated zest from 1 lime

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to at 350°F. Butter and flour a 10" tube pan or Bundt pan. Combine the eggs, yolks, vanilla, sour cream and lime zest in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
    3 large eggs, 3 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 oz sour cream, finely grated zest from 2 limes
  • Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar to the flour and mix at low speed for 30 seconds. With the mixer running on low, add the butter a tablespoon at a time to the flour. Mix until combined. Add the lime juice and increase the speed to medium high. Mix for a full 2-3 minutes. The batter will lighten in color and texture. If you're using a hand mixer add another minute or two to the mixing time.
    9 oz cake flour, ¼ teaspoon table salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 10 oz granulated sugar, 9 oz unsalted butter, 1 oz lime juice
  • Scrape the bowl and beater thoroughly. On low speed, add the egg mixture in 3 increments, scraping the bowl after each addition. Mix just until the eggs are incorporated.
  • Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth to an even layer. Drizzle the lime curd over the center of the batter, trying not let it touch the sides or middle of the pan. Dollop the remaining batter over the curd and spread to cover. A little curd may show through on top, that's ok.
    6 oz Lime Curd
  • Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (about 40 minutes). A crack will probably form on the top of the cake.

Finish the Cake

  • In a small bowl, combine the confectioner's sugar with the lime juice and zest. If it’s very thick add just a few drops of water or lime juice at a time until the glaze is the texture of pancake batter. Whisk until smooth.
    8 oz confectioner's sugar, 1 oz fresh lime juice, finely grated zest from 1 lime
  • Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn it out onto cooling rack set over a clean sheet pan. Allow the cake to cool until it's slightly warm.
  • Drizzle the lime glaze over the top of the cake. Allow the glaze to drip down the middle and sides of the cake.
  • The glaze will set as the cake finishes cooling. Transfer to a serving plate.

Equipment

My Book
KA Stand Mixer
Microplane
Cooling Rack
Half Sheet Pans
Angel Food Pan
Bundt Pan

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Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 516IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!
Recipe Rating




Judy

Friday 15th of July 2022

I have curd left over from the key lime here cake cake recipe. It has gelatin . Can I use that?

Eileen Gray

Saturday 16th of July 2022

Yes.