You are going to love this recipe for lime cake! It features three fluffy layers of homemade lime cake. It’s topped with luscious lime curd and cream cheese lime frosting.
This is going to become your instant favorite recipe for lime cake! Fresh tangy limes are the star of this delicious cake! The moist layers are hinted with lime zest, filled with lime curd and frosted with honey lime cream cheese.
The idea for this lime cake with cream cheese frosting was inspired by my Lime Slice. I loved the idea of making lime the star of a dessert!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS CAKE
- Lime cake– This cake has a moist, tender texture and is hinted with lime flavor!
- Three layers- This cake is made with three 8-inch round layers.
- Lime curd– Homemade lime curd turns this cake into a lime curd cake! Lime curd is spread in between the layers and drizzled over the cake!
- Lime cream cheese frosting– Cream cheese frosting with honey and lime makes the best lime cake filling and topping!
Below are notes about some of the ingredients for this curd cake. See recipe card below for full list of ingredients and their quantities.
- All-purpose flour-When you measure the flour, spoon your flour into your measuring cup then level it off with the back of a knife.
- Unsalted butter-Take the butter out 2 hours before making the cake.
- Oil– Use canola or vegetable.
- Vanilla extract
- Limes- Use key limes or regular limes. We are using both the zest and juice in this recipe. The oils in the zest add lots of tart citrus flavor.
- Milk- Use whole, room temperature milk.
- Sour cream- Use full fat, room temperature sour cream.
- Eggs and yolks- Use large eggs, room temperature eggs.
- Cream cheese– Use full fat, room temperature cream cheese.
Here are the instructions on how to make a lime cake. Please see recipe card below for full instructions including measurements.
Step One-Beat the butter and sugar. Beat room temperature butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Step Two- Mix in the oil. Add the oil. Beat for an additional minute.
Step Three- Add the eggs. With the mixer on medium, add the eggs one at a time. Beat til eggs are incorporated fully.
Step Four-Add the vanilla extract and sour cream. Beat until just combined.
Step Five- Combine dry ingredients. Whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl.
Step Six- Add the dry ingredients and milk. Mix in half the dry ingredients. Beat on low speed. Add the milk followed by the rest of the dry ingredients.
Step Seven- Bake the cake. Pour the batter into three 8-inch cake pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow cakes to cool completely.
Step Eight- Make the lime curd. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks in a saucepan. Stir in the lime zest, lime juice and salt.
Place pan on low heat and stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Remove pot from heat, then add the butter. Stir until the butter has melted.
Step Nine-Make the cream cheese frosting. Beat the butter and the cream cheese with a mixer until combined. With the mixer to low and add the powdered sugar, lime zest, vanilla extract and salt. Beat 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
ASSEMBLING THE CAKE
- First, use a serrated knife trim the domes of the cake layers. Cover the layers with plastic wrap and freeze them for 30 minutes before decorating.
- Place the first layer on your cake stand or turntable, spread ¾ cup of frosting. Pipe a border of frosting around the edge of the cake. This will keep the curd filling secure. Pipe another circle of frosting in the middle of the cake. Fill the middle of the two circles of frosting with lime curd.
- Next, spread about 3/4 cup of frosting on top of the lime curd layer.
- Repeat with the second layer.
- Place the third layer upside down so that the bottom of the layer is on top of the cake. This gives will make sure the top is even and flat.
- Spread a light layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Freeze the cake for 15 minutes. Freezing the cake will ensure crumbs don’t get into your second coat of frosting.
- Frost the rest of the cake. If making a naked cake, use a cake scraper to scrape off any excess frosting.
DECORATING THE CAKE
Pour some of the lime curd into a squeeze bottle or use a teaspoon to drizzle lime curd along the edge of the cake. Add a little extra lime juice to the curd if you need to thin it out.
Decorate the top of the cake with more frosting and lime slices. I used a Wilton 1M piping tip to pipe the frosting on top.
- Limes – instead of limes, you can use lemons
- Lime curd – leave out the lime curd and simply decorate the cake with the cream cheese frosting
I have not tried making a gluten free version of this cake. For a delicious gluten free lime cake, try this Gluten Free Lime and Coconut Cake by the Gluten Free Blogger.
This cake can be made using regular limes or key limes. To make a key lime cake from scratch, use key limes in place of regular limes.
Instead of drizzling lime curd along the cake’s edge, pour and spread it in an even layer on the top of the the frosted cake. Pipe frosting on top, if you like.
Below is a list of some equipment that is useful for making this cake.
- 3 8-inch round cake pans
- Parchment paper-I prefer buttering my cake pans and lining them with a round of parchment paper.
- A microplane- I love using a microplane to zest my limes.
- A serrated knife-to trim the tops of the layers
- Piping bags– for piping frosting
- Ateco 808 tip– for piping borders of frosting on two of the layers. Alternatively, use a zip lock with the end snipped off.
- Wilton 1M tip- for piping decorative frosting on top of cake. Alternatively, leave out the decorations or use your favorite piping tip!
- A plastic squeeze bottle-for drizzling the lemon curd on top. You could also use a teaspoon to drizzle the lemon curd on top.
On average, one lime should give you about 2 teaspoons of zest.
An average lime should give you about 2 tablespoons of lime juice. To get the most juice possible, roll your lime on the counter or microwave it for about 20 seconds.
According to this article from Allrecipes called Does Cream Cheese Frosting Need to Be Refrigerated? cream cheese frosting will last 2 hours at room temperature or up to 2 weeks refrigerated in an airtight container.
STORING AND FREEZING
Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
The frosted cake can be frozen up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
Unfrosted cake layers can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw before decorating.
Avoid the white part of the rind when zesting the limes. You want only the outer green zest. The white rind can be bitter.
If you’re going to pipe frosting on top of the cake, chill frosting in the fridge. 20 minutes should be enough to help ensure the frosting will hold its shape once piped.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3¾ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup oil canola or vegetable
- 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons fresh key lime zest or zest from regular limes
- 1¼ cups whole milk room temperature
- ¾ cup full fat sour cream room temperature
- 2 tablespoons key lime zest or zest from regular limes
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter cold
- 1 cup key lime juice or juice from regular limes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Honey Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 8 ounces full fat cream cheese room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 teaspoons key lime zest or zest from regular limes
- 2 teaspoons key lime juice or juice from regular limes
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 7 cups powdered sugar sifted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 3 8″ cake pans with butter. Line with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper with butter.
- In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a hand held mixer cream the butter, lime zest, and sugar for 2 minutes
- Add the oil and beat for another minute.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time til incorporated.
- Add the vanilla extract followed by the sour cream. Beat til just incorporated.
- Add in half the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed til just incorporated. Beat in the milk followed by the other half of the dry ingredients.
- Pour cake batter evenly among the three pans. Bake for 24-29 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Place cake pans on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Separate the yolks from the whites. Zest and juice the limes.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and yolks.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, zest, juice and salt. Whisk til combined. Place pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the eggs and yolks mixture.
- Stir constantly with a wire whisk (or use a rubber spatula) until mixture thickens (it should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon), about 5-7 minutes.
- Turn heat to low, then add the cold, cubed butter. Stir until the butter has melted.
- Pour curd into a sealable, heat safe container such as a jar with a lid or a bowl. If you’ve poured it into a bowl, place some plastic wrap directly on top to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool completely before using.
Honey Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium for one minute.
- Add the butter and honey. Beat for 2-3 minutes until combined and fluffy.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and salt. Turn mixer to medium high and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
Assembling the Cake
- Use a serrated knife trim the domes of the cake layers. Cover the layers with plastic wrap and freeze them for 30 minutes before decorating. Place the first layer on your cake stand or turntable, spread ¾ cup of frosting.
- Pipe a border of frosting around the edge of the cake. This will keep the curd filling secure. Pipe another circle of frosting in the middle of the cake. Fill the middle of the two circles of frosting with lime curd.
- Spread about ¾ cup of frosting on top of the lime curd layer. Repeat with the second layer. Place the third layer upside down so that the bottom of the layer is on top of the cake. This gives will make sure the top is even and flat.
- Spread a light layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Freeze the cake for 15 minutes. Freezing the cake will ensure crumbs don't get into your second coat of frosting. Frost the rest of the cake. If making a naked cake, use a cake scraper to scrape off any excess frosting.
- Pour some of the lime curd into a squeeze bottle or use a teaspoon to drizzle lime curd along the edge of the cake. Add a little extra lime juice to the curd if you need to thin it out.
- Decorate the top of the cake with more frosting and lime slices. I used a Wilton 1M piping tip to pipe the frosting on top. Slice and enjoy!