Key Lime Cake

To celebrate a special occasion last week, my siblings and I made a key lime cake. Because we didn’t have a lot of time to make the cake, we used the Betty Crocker boxed vanilla cake, but I highly recommend making your own recipe from scratch. We did, however, make the frosting from scratch, and we used fresh lime juice and lime zest. Check out the recipe below!


  • Two vanilla cakes (for layers, but feel free to customize to your preference)
  • Vanilla Buttercream
  • The zest of five limes
  • Lime juice, about 5 tbs (but of course, you may customize this amount as well)


When you are preparing the batter for the cakes, add in 1-2 tablespoons of lime zest and 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice. Measurements may vary if you are using a strongly vanilla flavored cake recipe. Mix these in well, then bake.

While your cakes are cooling (I suggest letting them cool on the counter for about 20 minutes, then placing them in the freezer for 5-10 minutes), you can make the buttercream.

To a large bowl, add one stick of butter. Use a mixer to beat this until it is a pale yellow, or light and fluffy. It may stick to the beaters during this process.

Add in 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, and the remaining lime zest, and mix well.

Add in 1/2 a cup of powdered/confectioners/icing sugar, mixing well, then add in another 1/2 cup. Repeat this until you have added in all 4 cups. Continue to test the buttercream, adding in lime juice to taste. You can add in a tablespoon of milk if the frosting becomes too thick, but you do not want the frosting to be too runny.

Once the cakes have cooled, take them out of the freezer, and spread buttercream over one of the layers.

Add the top layer, and crumb coat the cake – this is just a very light layer of frosting to hold in all of the cake crumbs.

Freeze the cake for another 5 minutes, then frost the rest of the cake.

I recommend doubling the frosting recipe if you want to heavily coat your cake, but depending on how strong the lime flavor is in your cake, you may only want a thin layer.

I love the lime flavors in this cake, and they would also be fabulous replaced with orange or lemon instead.



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