This Key Lime Layer Cake recipe is one of my older recipes. It's an interesting cake in that it's made with oil rather than butter and it gets its lime flavor from a full cup of bottled Key lime juice. The first time I made it as a three layer cake, but I recently tested a half batch and made a 6-inch Key Lime Layer Cake. I haven't had any reviews for it lately, but there are a lot of old ones in the comments so you can see what other people thought about the recipe. I've also added more recent notes.
Baking With Arthritis
The recipe is from Melinda Winner, who cooks, bakes and writes (or wrote, looks like it hasn't been updated) a blog about managing arthritis. In fact, some of her recipes include tips on how to complete certain tasks that might be difficult for the arthritic – like holding a lime. In the original recipe (no longer able to link) for this cake, she tells you how to zest one without pain.
Melinda has made this cake many times and my intention was to follow her recipe to the letter, but as usual I went off course and made some changes. Instead of a 6 layer cake, I made a 3 layer cake….and since I didn’t need quite so much frosting, I reduced that and ended up changing the recipe a bit. Still, the recipe is Melinda's in spirit and it's great! It's very tart, so if you like lime you'll be happy.
Six Inch Key Lime Cake
I finally got a chance to make this again, but this time I halved the recipe and made a two layer 6-inch cake. I can see why people like this recipe so much. If made properly, the cake is moist and very flavorful. It's not a light and fluffy yellow cake, but rather a dense and open crumb cake. It's also super easy to make. You can use a handheld mixer, but you can also just beat everything together by hand, which is what I did for the six inch version.
The original frosting recipe calls for 3 ¾ cups confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar). If you prefer tart over sweet, start with 2 cups of confectioners' sugar and go from there. You can even throw in a little spoonful or two of sour cream and some extra lime juice. This frosting is very, very tasty. But like other frostings with a high ratio of cream cheese and not a lot of sugar, it tends to be softer and is best kept refrigerated until shortly before serving time.
Key Lime Layer Cake
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour (330 grams)
- 2 cups granulated sugar (400 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil (or canola) or use ½ cup each neutral oil and coconut oil
- 1 cup fresh or bottled key lime juice (Nelly & Joe's)
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime zest
Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese softened (230 grams)
- 8 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter, softened (114 grams)**
- 3 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar (1 pound) (Can use less)** (442 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut toasted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 3 9-inch round baking pans with flour-added cooking spray or grease, line with parchment and dust with flour.
- Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a mixing bowl.
- Add eggs, oil and lime juice mix on medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy.
- Add sour cream and zest; mix until smooth. Pour cake batter evenly into cake pans and bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean (mine took 32 minutes).
- Cool in pans for 5 minutes and then turn cakes out onto cooling racks. Cool for 1 hour.
- Spread frosting over cakes, stack and ice the whole cake with frosting. Spread toasted coconut over top and down sides.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla, then add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Beat in the lime juice – beating and scraping sides of bowl all the while, then (if not sweet enough) add remaining powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until you reach desired consistency and sweetness. Adjust with more lime juice if desired.
- Toasted Coconut: Spread on baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated 375 for about 5-10 minutes. Stir often. Let cool. I like to cook mine until some of the coconut is lightly browned.