}]; Noreen's Kitchen: A Taste of the Keys! Key Lime Pound Cake! The Perfect Summer Dessert!

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Taste of the Keys! Key Lime Pound Cake! The Perfect Summer Dessert!

Spring has arrived for many of us, even if I did see my friends in Flagstaff, AZ receiving snow and below freezing temperatures on May 1st!  UGH!  Today I wanted to share with you a recipe for a delicious key lime pound cake that is sure to chase the winter doldrums and put you in the mood for a tropical holiday! 

This pound cake is sweet, but not too sweet, it is tangy and refreshing and perfect!  I am a pound cake fan!  An aficionado, if you will.  We love it plain and with flavor.  My grandmother made a five flavor pound cake that was to die for!  This one is a close second!  This key lime pound cake is just delicious.  A few weeks ago, a friend from church tagged me in a post on Facebook for a recipe for a key lime pound cake with a cream cheese frosting.  She told me how good that it looked and suggested that I be the one to make it for an upcoming potluck supper at church.  So how could I refuse?  She would love it and so would everyone else.  However I did not use the recipe from the post.   I used my own pound cake recipe and I boosted the flavor by making this a key lime pound cake.

Like all good pound cakes this one starts with an entire pound of butter!  Yes, an entire pound.  Remember, this makes a large cake or two standard size loaves of pound cake, so this is going to serve a lot of people.  In all, this should serve between 24 and 30.  You don’t need a large slice to be satisfied.  This is rich and buttery and delicious.  Be sure to use good quality butter and not margarine which is nothing more than whipped oil and will give you a very disappointing, substandard outcome.  So use the butter you will be glad you did.  I prefer to use locally produced roll butter if I can find it, but I also love Cabot Cooperative Creamery butter.  That is the one that I regularly reach for in the grocer's case. 

Eggs, flour, milk and sugar round out the basics and then the flavorizers to boost this cake and make it an amazing tropical, treat reminiscent of a vacation in the keys and a reminder of what Papa himself, Earnest Hemingway may have once enjoyed on a balmy, breezy afternoon on the veranda while writing one of his classic novels.  A bit much?  Maybe, but who cares?  Key limes are very small and sometimes hard to come by so I usually use Nellie and Joe's Famous Key West Lime Juice.  Since you need a half a cup for the cake and over a quarter cup for the glaze, that is a lot of tiny little limes to squeeze.  So use the juice in the bottle.  It is really good quality.  I have it on hand all the time.  However, you will still need to use fresh limes to grate 4 tablespoons of zest for the cake and an additional two for the topping.  So about six limes will give you that amount.  You can use the limes for other things like your tea or your gin an tonic if you are so inclined.  They won't go to waste!  I have also used vanilla extract as well as lime extract and lime crystals.  If do not have or cannot find the latter two items, don't sweat it, your cake will be delicious with or without.  The extract and the True Lime powder simply boost the lime flavor and tang of this cake and take it over the top!

I have used a mixer to make the batter, you should be sure to take the time to cream the butter and the sugar until they have become nearly white in color and light and fluffy.  Then add the eggs one at a time and the flavorings and then alternately the flour and milk.  You always want to end with the flour.  Be careful not to over mix and not to whip any additional air into the batter once the flour and milk have been added.  You want your pound cake to be dense not full of air. 

This cake goes in for a long slow bake.  I have used a tube pan.  You can use that or a bundt pan or two standard loaf pans 9 x 5 inches.  The tube or bundt pan bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 40 minutes while the loaves take just 1 hour and 15 minutes.  You will want to do the toothpick test to be sure that they are done properly.  Remember, no moisture on the pick or it goes back to finish for a few minutes longer.  Remove the cake and allow it to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

When cooled, simply make up your glaze, drizzle on top and sprinkle with the remaining lime zest.  Voila!  A beautiful tropical treat perfect for any summer gathering or celebration!

This is delicious on it's own but dare I say, topped with a dollop of homemade whipped cream will really take this memorable cake over the top!  I promise people will be asking for the recipe!

I hope that you will give this key lime pound cake a try some time soon and I hope you love it! 

Happy Eating!

 Key Lime Pound Cake

4 sticks (1 pound) real butter, softened
    Do not use margarine!!
3 cups granulated sugar
6 eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lime extract (optional)
4 cups all purpose flour (not self rising)
1/2 cup key lime juice
4 tablespoons fresh lime zest
1 teaspoon lime juice crystals (optional)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
5 tablespoons key lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime zest for topping

Step by Step Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Beat butter with mixer until light and fluffy.

Add sugar to butter and cream together until light and fluffy, at least three to five minutes.

Using the mixer on low speed, add eggs one at a time waiting 30 seconds between each addition to make sure the eggs are well incorporated.

Add extracts, lime juice, lime zest and lime juice crystals if using.  Stir to combine. 

Add flour and milk in three additions.  Alternating between 1/3 flour and then 1/2 milk, then another 1/3 of the flour, the remaining 1/2 of the milk and ending with the rest of the flour.  Blend just until well combined.

The cake can be made in a large 10 cup Bundt pan or 10 cup tube or Angel Food cake pan or in 2 standard 9 x 5 loaf pans.  Spray the pans well and if desired, line with parchment paper to ensure good release.  Make sure to spray the parchment paper as well.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes for the loaves or 1 hour and 40 minutes for the Bundt or Tube pan.  The cake is done when a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and free of any visible moisture.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan and place on a rack to cool completely.

Mix powdered sugar and lime juice together to create a glaze that will drizzle nicely off the spoon.  Spoon over the cake evenly and allow to drip down the sides of the cake.

Sprinkle lime zest over the glazed cake.

Allow glaze to set completely before cutting the cake. 

Store cake in airtight containers, tins, or wrapped well in plastic wrap to retain freshness.

Here is a printable PDF version of this recipe:

See how I made this in my  YouTube Video:


  1. Is the butter salted or no salt,Where do you buy keylime juice? Trader joes? How about the crystals? Well thanks a lot!! This looks good!! I think I would dye the batter green to go with the keylimee theme,anyways thanks for having a great youtube channel.

    1. Gina, thanks for your comment! I only ever use salted butter. That is why there is no salt in this cake recipe. I buy my key lime juice (Nellie and Joe's brand) at Walmart. I get the True Lime crystals from the True Lemon website but you may be able to find them at a local market in small packets. I don't use food coloring if I can avoid it. I don't find the need to add the extra "stuff" to my food. Thanks for coming by!


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