Key Lime Pound Cake with Key Lime Cream Cheese Icing…omg!

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Next week is my older sister Cynthia’s birthday.  She was my first friend, my first confidante and my first co-conspirator.  She loved tennis and french, classical music and fashion.  She was the best big sister.  She watched out for me and was always there for me especially when I went through my “wild” stage.  She never judged and has unfailingly given me the best advice she could our whole lives together.  We share the early years in Puerto Rico before Tommy and Pamela were born.  We shared Crayola crayons while coloring and spent hours playing “little dolls”.  While in college the clouds of cigarette smoke billowing out of her bedroom were epic during our late night girl-talkathons.

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Here she is circa 1974 after a tennis match and cooling dip in the pool.  Slender, feminine and a helluva flirt she drove her college beaus mad.  Today we both have a passion for books and the sophisticated appointment of rooms.  Pearls thrill us beyond measure.  And she has a thing for lemon cakes (but she calls them “lemon kuchens”).  “Kuchen” being cake in German.  Every single time she comes home to Fort Lauderdale, which is three or four times a year, she’ll ask me, “How ’bout that lemon kuchen? and I always answer, “What about it?”.  I answer that way because I once baked her a lemon pound cake, from scratch, and ultimately she never had any because she never made time during that trip to come over to my house.  So no more lemon kuchen!  Until now.  I’ve been on a pound cake kick, not surprising when you see my girth.  I’m certain I’ve gained at  least 4 pounds since I started on this mission.  I craved… no, lusted after a dense, lemony-bright, tart and rich pound cake topped with a crown of smooth, creamy citrus icing.  As you can well imagine the development process has been a short visit to Dante’s fifth hell.  Not.  Also, here in South Florida, it’s key lime season and I would venture to say that here in this tropical end of the state, key lime cake comes in close right after key lime pie in popularity.

Creamy yellow is the shade you want in a key lime. In this case big is better. Look for limes the size of ping-pong balls.
Creamy yellow is the shade you want in a key lime. In this case big is better. Look for limes the size of ping-pong balls.
I participated in a one day travel writing class downtown and took these slices to suck up. It worked. It’s the miracle cake.

 

I was lucky enough to have a plethora of key limes given to me and have juiced and zested my fingers down to the bone.  Consequently long after the season is over I will have juice and zest safely tucked away in my freezer portioned out and labeled rendering me capable of baking great quantities of my new favorite pound cake.  This cake bakes up beautifully.  It would make an exquisite wedding cake, the icing decorated with the dramatic “pop” of fresh blackberries or raspberries.  On the other end of the “pretty” spectrum around the “practical” end James mentioned to me in passing me that for the past several days he has had a thick wedge for breakfast.  I’m telling you people, you cannot stay away from this cake.  It’ll sing out to you from the next room.  It’s the devil.  And if loving it is wrong, I don’t want to be right.  Yes, the cake is sweet, however the substantial addition of lime zest propels it to a new world of citrus wonder.  The crumb is heavy and dense, incredibly moist while at the same time smooth and somehow almost weightless.  The icing is a recipe in richness.  The cream cheese works in tandem with the lemon to make a “dolce-crostata”, or sweet-tart heaven in your mouth.  That being the case I look forward to having a key lime cake baked the next time Cynthia comes down for all of us to delight in and savor.  Happy, happy birthday, sweet sister.

Key Lime Pound Cake with Key Lime Cream Cheese Icing

  • Servings: one 10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

  •  4 sticks butter, that’s 1 pound, room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk, (I always keep a good number of those small, 5 ounce cans in my pantry.)
  • 4 teaspoons key lime zest, minced
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 300°.  Cover inside of 10 inch tube pan with non-stick spray.  My pan is 10  1/2″ and it’s just fine.  Set aside.
  2. Using a stand-up mixer or electric hand-held, beat the butter well until light in color and fluffy.  Add the sugar and again beat well for at least 5 minutes.  I use a stand up mixer and beat the mixture 10-15 minutes.  I don’t like a “grainy” cake.
  3. One at a time add the eggs and beat only until the yellow disappears.
  4. Stir juice, milk, zest and vanilla together.
  5. Now mixing by hand, gradually flour to the butter-egg mixture alternating with the key lime juice and milk mixture.  Begin and end with flour.  Mix well but just enough to incorporate all ingredients.  You don’t want a tough pound cake!
  6. Pour evenly into the tube pan and tap pan on the counter to loosen any air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a cooling rack for 20-25 minutes in the pan then transfer from pan to cooling rack and allow to cool another hour or until completely cool.

The cake is far better the following day or 2 days later.

Key Lime Cream Cheese Icing

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice
  • 2-3 teaspoons key lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Using a hand mixer beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until well mixed.
  2. Add confectioner’s sugar and beat well until completely smooth and fluffy.
  3. Add key lime juice, zest and vanilla and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Ice cake.

This makes quite a bit of icing.  After icing the entire  pound cake I fill the middle hole with the excess icing.  When the cake is served icing can be taken from the middle and dolloped along the side the slice of cake.

http://www.theirreverentkitchen.com

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268 thoughts on “Key Lime Pound Cake with Key Lime Cream Cheese Icing…omg!”

  1. Thank you for the wonderful story about your sister Cynthia. I have never met her but I feel like I have know her through you telling your stories. The cake looks awesome I’m going to attempt to make it, I’ll let you know how I did! Nothing I make compares to not only your baking and your cooking, but I will try my best! I Love You My Sister!! 😘😘💋💋❤️❤️😃😃

    1. Awww, girlfriend, thank you! Make this cake… It’s epic. Truly. If you can’t get key lime use a freshly juiced mixture (equal parts) of lime and lemon and zest, too. Miss you! Can’t wait for May and BOSTON!!!!👏👍😎💃👑

      1. I want to make this cake!!! Thanks for the sub if key limes are not available. I’m in California, and we do have them in some stores sometimes, but ///i don’t know when is the “season”.
        I was going to ask what is the difference in key limes and regular? I guess the key limes are lemon-y?

      2. If the Key limes in your store are dark green I’d go with regular limes making sure they’re ripe and heavy with juice. Hispanic markets usually have great quality limes. Key limes are more tart than conventional limes but you’ll not be able to tell the difference in this cake. Sure hope you like it!

  2. I love, love the picture of Cynthia. The way she is holding her sun glasses with her long gracefull fingers and the beautiful smile on her face says “the devil made me do it but I did it elegantly”!!!!! You know how much I love key lime, I will enjoy this recipe. I am so happy you are writing again, I love your stories…..

  3. This looks yummy! I love key lime pie, so I’m sure going to love this if I can find some key limes!!! Not sure if I can in virginia! Might have to have u ship me some!!!

    1. You can substitute key lime juice that you can buy from your grocery store. Key limes are even tough to get here in Florida.

      1. Especially when they’re out of season! But I still can’t bring myself to buy bottled key lime or lime juice. That “tinned” after taste sets my teeth on edge. When key limes are out of season I buy regular Persian limes; those are the ones found at the grocery store. I find fresh typically beats bottled hands down.

    1. Jan, it’s the yellow outside of a key lime. Key limes are found in the Florida keys and south Florida. Regular lemons may be used as well and taste tremendous! Take care when you zest citrus not to zest the white part of the fruit, the pith. It’s bitter. You can pick up a micro planer to zest your citrus or grate fresh nutmeg at target or any kitchen store.

      1. I live in Brooksville, north of Tampa, and enjoy my own key lime tree on the courtyard. Instead of squeezing and zesting I cut the limes in half and put them through a juicer. The zest and juice are one, and the solids go to the wast bucket. Key lime pies are a family favorite, followed closely by key lime pound cake. My sister’s birthday is tomorrow – I loved your story!

    2. The skin of the key lime, but not the underlying pith, which is bitter. Use a zester or a cooking rasp to remove it.

  4. Enjoyed your story about you & your sister ! You write so eloquently ! The Cake looks “out of this world” good !!!

      1. Sorry, that “Print Option” is not printer friendly. It’s only printing on the right half of the page and printing the whole post, not just your recipe. Not the end of the world, just thought you should know it’s not a viable option.

      2. Hey, Jordan. Back to the printing problem. That’s the WordPress layout, from what I understand, and this particular layout is meant to be viewed as opposed to printed. I wish I had known before changing the whole blog! As you said, not the end of the world but know I share that frustration with you!

      3. I don’t know what I did to get lucky, but I saw the word “print,” clicked it and it printed perfectly in two pages. Usually, when I try to print from a website, I get all kinds of stuff I don’t want printed as well, but this was perfect. Thanks. (I don’t know how I’m going to find Key limes in Nebraska, but I’m going to try. How many do you think I’d need for that half-cup of juice?)

      4. Regular lime are fine! Just make certain they’re ripe and juicy. Don’t use that bottled stuff….nasty! Glad you were able to successfully print. I so hope you enjoy it!

    1. Absolutely, Jessie! Big, juicy, yellow ones are fine. Those hard, green key limes in the store are a nightmare to work with and usually dry as a bone…an old bone!

  5. Hi Alicia,
    I have a dear friend who suffers from celiac disease and she would love this cake. Have you a gluten free option? Many thanks in advance.

    1. Pam,
      They have an all-purpose gluten free flour at Walmart that is made by glutino, and I use it for my son’s gluten intolerance. I’ve tried it myself in other things, and it works greats D tastes great. I think I’m going to make this on Friday with it for an event at my church. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    1. I’ve always made it in a 10″ tube but I’m sure you could make it in a bundt pan. I’d go for a larger size one and one light in color rather than dark so the outside doesn’t bake too fast. Good luck!

    1. Sure! How about a lemon or key lime glaze with lemon juice, confectioner’s sugar and at tbs or two of milk? Drizzle it over the top… lovely!

  6. I know what I will be doing this weekend! I absolutely love anything key lime regardless of the calories involved, lol. Cannot wait to make it and I am sure it will taste as good as your photo looks. Lovely story about your sister. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

      1. Made this cake today. Followed the instructions exactly, however, the icing was a little thin so I added more confectioners sugar but it still was not the consistency that was in your photo. Put in in the refrigerator and will see how it turns out. Tasted amazing though. Any other suggestions?

      2. Don’t add the lime juice all at once try using half until you think it’s the right spreadable consistency,.you can always add more..

    1. Linda, if you scroll down to the bottom of the post and hit the “share” button you’ll see the print option come up. Glad you like the recipe!

  7. I freeze my key lime juice all the time, but have not been satisfied with frozen zest. How do you freeze your zest?

    1. Jane, it’s kind of a pain but, as you know, well worth it! I measure 1 and 2 tsp portions then wrap them tightly in Stretch Tight (plastic wrap). Like little bundle with twisty ties. Then into a freezer bag. I gently squeeze out as much air as i can. And I use it within a few months.

  8. Wow! Sounds yummy and after having just returned from Key West over Spring Break, this would sure bring up happy memories!! Do you suppose it would work using an all purpose gluten-free flour?? Might just have to give it a try!

  9. I want to make this cake because it sounds delicious. My question is, when do you add the 1t. Vanilla to the cake mixture? Does it matter? Your directions are wonderfully thorough and clear other than that.

    Thank you for sharing your recipe. I live in Raleigh, NC, and I picked up a bag of key limes yesterday. I thought about making a pie, but this sounds much better.

    Linda Armstrong

    1. Hey, Linda! My son just graduated from Chapel Hill last May! I can’t believe I missed that so thanks for pointing it out. I add the vanilla to the key lime juice and milk right before starting the alternate folding of the flour. If your key limes are dry grab some lemons. They’re just fine to use. Enjoy!

    2. Even though it looks and sounds delicious it is definitely a bypass operation cake one pound of butter ,WOW and the cream cheese plus more butter in the frosting is certainly not heart healthy! To each his own!!

      1. Giorgi, it’s a POUND CAKE. You’re not supposed to eat the whole thing. One piece will most certainly not kill you.

  10. Hello! This looks FABULOUS and I would love to make it for Easter. I love the taste of lime, but don’t have key limes available. I see that you say lemon will work, but what about “normal” limes? Thanks for the delicious recipe! 🙂

    1. Absolutely! If you have room in your freezer this cake freezes beautifully. You could make it the week before, wrap it well and freeze it. Bring it out a few day before to defrost in the fridge and ice the day before or of Easter.

    1. Laurie, I think you have to go to the blog and now I’m seeing…somehow…the share button which holds the print option is gone. Working on that.

      1. This is way after the question. I hope it helps:
        I’m old school, and I copied the whole thing and pasted into MS Word, then reformatted it to save paper and space. Reducing the size of the photos, deleting the duplicate photo, putting the ingredients into 2 columns, etc., I got the whole recipe down to 2 pages. Even including the description of your sister 😉

  11. I’m so excited to see this recipe. I would like to try and make this recipe for a couples bridal shower. Can I make this recipe into mini cupcakes? Can they be make a couple of days before the shower and frozen? Then thawed the day of shower and then frost?

  12. Got the cake all made according to the directions and it didn’t taste very lime like. I looked back at the ingredients and realized that the how-to part left out adding in the lime zest and vanilla. Fortunately I still had it in the mixing bowl so I added those two ingredients and a little bit of store-bought but real lime juice and it has a little bit more lime zest to it. Hope it still does after baking!

  13. Having just read your story I have to now make this! I’m a great fan of lime cheesecake made with cream cheese. I’ve never thought of freezing juice and zest, what a great tip as that’s usually the process that puts me off baking.
    I’m in the UK and not familiar with confectioners sugar ( I’m guessing it to be caster sugar) – any replies welcome. 💚

      1. Confectioner’s sugar is finer than caster sugar; so fine that it appears more like a powder, and is sometimes called “powdered sugar.”Caster Sugar is simply the regular sugar, ground to very fine (you can do it in a good blender), but still granules.

      2. It is Icing Sugar that we use for normal cake icing much finer than caster sugar & mixes in better with the cream cheese

    1. Jane… I moved from South Florida to the UK not too long ago!! The closer thing to Confectioners sugar is really Icing Sugar (I use Tate Lyle)… Caster is still a bit grainy!! Hope this helps!!! And thank you Alicia… this brings a bit of home over here!!!!!

    2. We call it icing sugar here in Australia it is powdered sugar basically we use it to ice most of our cakes & biscuits

    1. Sandra, I should probably use unsalted but often I have only salted in the house and if I want to bake and not go back out to the store I use what I have!

  14. I noticed that you didn’t mention when to add the vanilla in the lb. cake but I assume with the eggs, butter and sugar mixture. But you know what happens when one assumes?

    1. Yes, Deanna, I do. My sisters and I say all the time to each other, “It makes a silly fool out of you and me!” But that’s NOT what we’re thinking! Anyway, that’s fine to add the zest and vanilla then or with the juice/milk addition.

    1. I’m sure you can. I always use my tube pan, it was my grandmother’s, but I would divide the batter evenly between two loaf pans, not filling more than 2/3 full, and keep an eye on the baking time. Use a wooden toothpick to check for doneness. Good luck and let me know!

  15. Yum! My taste buds are tingling at the anticipation of a slice passing my palate. Can’t wait to bake this for Easter. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Just a thought….. I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale with Key Lime trees galore.I now reside near Syracuse NY. (low and behold, no Key Limes). There is someone or two who sells bottled Key Lime Juice. I do find them in my larger grocery store chains. I use it for marinades, pies and jellies all the time! I know I would be lost without it! Nellies and Joes is the brand I get here and in FT. Lauderdale.

  17. Not long after I put this cake in the oven I saw the zest I had prepared sitting there on the counter. Am I going blind, or do the directions omit adding the zest? It’s too late now, but I will definitely put it in the icing and hope it’s still good. The batter tasted amazing. I know the vanilla was omitted and I added tht last, as I do the flavoring in any pound cake, but I didn’t even think about the zest. I still think this s going to be a wonderful cake.

    1. Wendy, I SO apologize! You’re right. Somehow I missed putting the addition of the vanilla and zest. However! I’ve made this cake so often I should know the ingredients by heart but then I pour another glass of wine or talk with my 93 year old father about the haircut I have to give him and all of a sudden I forgot something! The cake always came out great. As long as you don’t beat the batter too hard it’s a forgiving cake. The post has been updated. So sorry!

    1. Ann, an authentic key lime cake will look pretty yellow…vanilla-y. Ripe key limes and their juice are a pale yellow shade. But the zest in it is lovely!

  18. There is no leavening agent listed. No baking powder or soda yet it calls for all purpose flour. Am use to adding salt as well. Does it work like this?

      1. I have a lot of different pound cake recipes and they do not have leavening agents in them. This sounds scrumptious. I will try soon!

  19. I was immediately drawn to this recipe because I’m a girl who loves all things citrus, but now that I’m living in the Southwest key limes are a thing of the past. I’m thrilled that you can do this with a combination of limes and lemons. I never thought of that!
    I found an extremely similar recipe for a lemon pound cake (just like Starbucks), and will attest that they freeze quite well. I’ve been eating a ‘slab’ of one I pulled out of the freezer for breakfast all week. Nothing better to wake you up in the morning than a zesty bright piece of cake! Now I’m going to keep this one for when I want some lime flavor too!

  20. Oh boy !This sounds amazing to me, but the rest of the family does not like lemon or lime. So if make it I will have to eat it myself. I love cake and I could eat it but probably should not eat the whole thing ! I gonna try it anyway

      1. This cake looks fresh, light and delicious! For the person that was asking about a gluten free option…. My daughter has Celiac and I also am gluten intolerant (after years of denial, I feel so much better being gluten free!). One thing we both missed was my mother’s lemon pound cake. So… Using her original recipe – similar to yours – I substituted Betty Crocker Gluten Free All Purpose flour and also Sorghum Flour. Hers calls for 3 cups, so I used 2 cups Betty Crock and 1 cup sorghum flour. Nothing else; just substituted the flour; all other ingredients stayed the same. It turned out fantastic! The BC flour seems to be the lightest and most like regular flour. No grittyness. We were SO excited! I hope this helps anyone else inquiring about a gluten free option. I can’t wait to try this key lime version!

  21. I really have enjoyed your Lime Pound Cake recipe; delicious! Most of all, I enjoyed your story of your sister. I had a younger sister named Cynthia and I felt about her in the way you described your love for your sister. Sadly, she passed away about 12yrs ago and I miss her very much. Her favorite was an orange pound cake. Maybe I will try using orange in place of lime in her memory. Thanks again for the memories.

    1. Connie, I’m sorry for your heartache. Coincidentally I have been wondering about using this recipe and fresh orange juice and zest as well. I think the office has gotten bored with lemon lately, but being as it’s close to Easter I was planning on baking something…now I’m thinking orange might be the ticket.

  22. This looks great, I hope to try it. In regards to the gluten free option, I usually sub 4 oz of gluten free flour for each cup of regular flour. A standard cup of gluten free flour to cup of regular flour measure will make the cake dry. I use Better Batter Flour but I would think it would be close with other standard gluten free flours.

  23. Loved your story…your well written words were mentally editable and delicious. Have a question?I am not a big fan of really sweet foods, but I could eat my weight in tart foods. Could I cut down on the sugar for both cake and icing?

    1. Certainly you could make a tart syrup for the cake with lemon juice, a small amount of water and minimal granulated sugar. I don’t know how the cake would turn out with less sugar though. Maybe cut back by a quarter cup?

  24. I had no problem printing the recipe. Just go under the recipe and hit the print button. Print only page 4 and you will have the recipe without all of the photos, blog info and comments (there are about 20 pages total). Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I am excited to take it to my family Easter dinner celebration!

  25. Tis recipe looks really good. I make k lime pies but never a cake I’m not questioning you (well, I guess I am) but you do mean evaporated, not condensed milk? Thanks. Will certainly be making t.

    1. Linda, yes. Evaporated. It has less water than conventional milk and keeps the batter from getting watery after the addition of the lemon or lime juice.

  26. This looks like the one I want to try; I have never found a pound cake that had any taste! You’d think with a pound of butter and sugar they would be awesome, but I haven’t found one and I’m hoping this will be it since I love key lime pie. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You’re so welcome! I understand what you’re saying about all that butter and sugar then the cake turns out dry with no flavor. Not this cake!

  27. This is gonna be my birthday cake I’ll make myself cause my dang family forgets it every year… so anyhoo if she wants to speak German going all the way is much better so she should say Zitrone Kuchen.

  28. Your Key Lime Cake looks and sounds delicious and I can’t wait to make it. I am wondering if the lime flavor will be too strong if I use Nellie and Joe’s bottled key lime juice instead of the fresh. I know that fresh is always better but in this instance, I don’t often see those little limes in our grocery stores in Anchorage, Alaska. I can always find the bottled stuff. The 2nd thing I am wondering is if this can be made in a Bundt pan instead of a tube pan. I love the way a Bundt cake slices up so nicely and besides, I don’t even own a tube pan. My only concern would be that the cake might be more prone to stick in the Bundt pan. Hopefully, Baker’s Joy would alleviate that problem. I thank you for any help you can give me!

    1. Baker’s Joy, yes ma’am! I think the bunds would be fine as long as you have ample space once the batter is poured. Fresh is always better but if you only have bottled then so be it. Buy a lemon or two for the zest. Gotta have the zest!

      1. Absolutely!! That’s a given! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I will actually try to find Key limes here first but I wanted to be sure to have a backup plan. I’m making this cake one way or the other!!!

  29. I was looking for a good cake with that sharp citrus taste, cant find key limes in PA, but used a combination of lemon and lime. I have a new favourite lemon cake. Though I might cut the recipe in half for the icing, this cake doesn’t need much, so good on its own.

  30. I love your story, and I am going to the store first thing tomorrow to get everything I need to make this. It sounds WONDERFUL. I think I’ll make it for Easter dinner also. Thank you

  31. Made the cake and the batter tastes amazing , but it is very thick. Is this right? Ahhhhh….have never made a pound cake before, but I am a good baker (or so says my hips!). Its in the oven right now and will know how it turns out soon!

  32. Hi there- thank you for sharing this recipe! Just made it today and it’s delicious! My question is- can I keep it stored in refrigerator overnight as I don’t have a proper cake plate with the lid? Thank you!

      1. It ended up taking 2 1/2 hours but turned out really well. Super moist. I can’t ever seem to bake a moist pound cake but it looks like this is a keeper!

      2. I’m so glad!! It’s a super cake and if you saw my hips you’d see it’s a keeper in my house as well!! I AM back to working out.:)

  33. I made this cake the other night for my book club. It smelled amazing and the batter was delicious but the cake itself was VERY dry. It was edible but not good (the frosting was definitely the best part)
    What did I do wrong? I followed the instructions to the T!

    1. I had the same problem…super dense and dry…and I was a stickler with following this recipe. I just tracked the recipe down trying to figure out if not adding soda or powder was the issue….but others say the cake turned out great. Confussed. 😦

      1. Hey, Jac! I really don’t know what to tell you. Most people had great results although a few had the opposite problem in that the cake turned out too moist. Pound cakes don’t rise much, very little in fact so I don’t think it’s an issue with leavening. I’m so sorry it didn’t turn out well and that I can’t give you a definitive solution.

      2. Thank you!! It sounded so good I was hoping you could tell me what I screwed up! Lol!! The smell was so yummy I might give it another go! Thank you so much for replying!!! 😃

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

  34. We love the cake! Our Key Lime tree is loaded with new blossoms, so we harvested all the limes left on the tree and baked this cake.

    Wish there was an option to share a photo of this beautiful cake. Just take my word that it is delicious! Thank you for recipe, it’s a keeper.

    Jeanne from Central Florida

    1. Jeanne, you have made my weekend! My heart sings!! I completely stress out when someone writes in that their cake didn’t turn out perfectly. And just wait until tomorrow when you have some. It’s even better an day or two later!

  35. I was so excited to make this cake. It was for a lady’s 70th birthday. I have made hundreds of pound cakes, but this one was not good at all. The frosting was delicious.. And I am wondering what did I do wrong.. It was so heavy and thick.. I felt really bad for the lady I made it for… I went by everything you said..but I am going to try and make another one.. I just don’t know what happened… HELP!!!

    1. Maria, it IS a dense cake. It’s rich and heavy. If you over mix the batte r it will affect the texture. Regular limes are more tart and bitter. Also all ovens are different in terms of temperatures. I just don’t know! I’ve had many comments on successful cakes and a handful that weren’t happy with the end result. But being a pound cake it won’t be light and fluffy!

      1. The same thing happened to me. I know it is a dense cake but your directions were not good. Also your frosting was runny because you said to add 1/4 cup of lime juice. Why do you keep deleting my comments? I am just trying to help you,as you can see there are many disappointed bakers…..

      2. Emily, I can’t tell you what the problem was. Yes, there have been some disappointed bakers. There have also been quite a few ecstatic bakers. 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar with a half a pound of cream cheese should make a pretty thick icing. I don’t know what else to tell you. I’m sorry.

      3. Hi Alicia, 4 cups of powder sugar and 1/2 pound cream cheese would make a thick frosting but your recipe said to add 1/4 cup of key lime juice for flavor and when I did that it thinned out the frosting. All you mention in your reply to me was “4 cups of powder sugar and 1/2 pound of cream cheese should make a pretty thick frosting”. What about the 1/4 cup of lime juice that your recipe called for? You did not address that in your reply…

      4. Thank you for your feedback. As always, I will strive to make the recipes as clear as possible in the future. I wish you the best.

  36. My first attempt at this cake is finished and on the counter now!! looks delish but havent tasted it yet…..how should i store it? covered on the counter or in the refriderator?

    1. I kept mine in a huge plastic container on the counter. It’s really a deep bowl with a flat bottom. The top clips all around. I found it at the grocery store in the plastic storage section. I turned it upside down and it’s perfect for cakes! It’s fine to refrigerate it, too. Either way just make certain it’s well covered or wrapped. Hope you like it!!

  37. I see that Marcy baked it for two and a half hours, maybe that’s the change for my next attempt. I will agree that the icing is DELICIOUS!

    1. Clare, I’m sorry! I beat the heck out of the butter and sugar but have a light hand when I incorporate the eggs so as not to over beat. It barely rises as it is a poundcake. It’s heavy, dense and rich. I hope that helps!

  38. I’m concerned about the tube pan leaking. Any tips you can offer would be appreciated. Also, my tube pan is 91/2 ” slightly smaller than what you use. Will that effect the baking time?

    1. Bonnie, I can’t help with a leaking pan besides suggesting to put it on a cookie sheet when you put it in the oven to catch any leaks. I think you should be okay with the tube pan that you have just keep an eye on the baking time time. It’s so dense it requires quite a stretch in the oven!

      1. Bonniejoy and Alicia, I have a solution to leaky tube pan that was passed down from my grandmother. Cut the bottom off of a large brown paper grocery bag. Slit it down the side so you have a large sheet of brown paper. Kitchen parchment paper or wax paper will also work. Take the tube out of the pan and center it on the paper. (Plain, inside of the bag side up.) Trace a circle around this part of the pan that is an inch or so wider that the pan. Cut out this paper circle. Make an “x” in the center of the paper circle just large enough for the circle to fit over the tube. Put the tube back in the outer part of the pan and smooth the outsides of the circle against the sides of the pan and the inside slits against the tube. Grease and flour your pan (or use Baker’s Joy) as usual. Include the paper as if it were attached to the pan. When you pour in your cake batter, be sure not to let it drip between the paper and the pan. Bake and cool as usual. When your cake is done and cooled, carefully remove the paper. Hope this works for you. We’ve done it in our family for over 100 years.

  39. Made it today. smelled and looked wonderful. let it cool for 20 minutes in the pan and when I tempted to remove the cake it fell into 5 big pieces. Also, all the outside crust fell off. Any ideas? Maybe I can make a trifle out of it but so disappointed I cried. Any idea what went wrong? Had to extend baking time a few minutes but it was done.

  40. I made this for our Easter lunch. I was thrilled to find key limes in our area at this time of year. I bought them early in the week and by yesterday they were perfect. Took a little time to get enough zest off those little limes, but it was well worth it. It was a big hit in our house. Definitely a keeper. I could have reduced the amount of juice in the frosting, but still great.

  41. I made this yesterday for today’s Easter dinner, and it was a big hit! It’s delicious with or without the icing. I didn’t have access to key limes so I used regular limes, and it was wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

  42. Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it for Easter dinner (a lemon version), and it was simply delicious. We’ll be keeping this recipe and enjoying it many times in years to come – thanks!!

    Diana

  43. I made this for Easter. Really big hit with family and friends, they loved it especially the icing. Used the limes in the story in Indiana. Had to use a total of 4 because they were dry even after popping them in the microwave. Should have used less juice for icing as it was loose but they just spread it over each slice. Will try with lemons next. Yum!

  44. Followed the directions. Reread them. Batter was VERY thick. Spoonable into Tube pan but most definitely not pourable. Although cake flavor was great, the texture was quite tough. Actually hard to slice. Icing was great. Is this how pound cake is supposed to be?

    1. No, it’s not. It is a thick batter but if over-beaten will toughen up. If you iced the cake try storing it in an airtight container. The moisture from the icing may soften the cake.

  45. Thanks for the recipe: I , too , was excited and it was very heavy – my crew kept eating it even though it was heavy and I’m trying to critique it and…. having read all the comments – used unsalted butter, plan to change that, what all purpose flour did you use! something needs to be altered and not sure what else to do. Obviously many tried it -if it can be made with success my plan is to do just that – some did and some did not!!! don’t think i would ever cook it more than your recipe stated – the timing was ok it was something else that needs to done differently!

    1. Hey, Glenda! Glad your people liked it! It IS a poundcake, rich and heavy. Typically I use King Arthur unbleached AP, sometimes organic sometimes not depending on what I find. I’ve made this cake so many times I have to take it to friend’s houses to get it out of mine! Gained a little weight on that one! Let me know what you come up with in terms of changes.

  46. Thanks for sharing…my daughter aka luv bug followed the recipe and it was a success in our house…..can’t wait to make this a spring tradition!!!

    1. I’m so glad, Lyndal!! It just breaks my heart when it doesn’t come out for someone but it’s not as if I’m in their kitchen! So yay for y’all!!!

  47. Just finished making this for a youth cake auction at church tomorrow. I hope my husband buys this cake for us. It looks incredible and smells even better than that.

  48. Update. This cake just sold for $550.00. How awesome is that. And the buyer let me taste a slice and it was delish.

    1. Jeez Louise, Tracy! I’m at Greek Easter at friends too much to drink AND I just caught my reflection of myself…fat and, well, fat!! That SO makes my week! Χριστός Ανέστη! Happy Greek Easter! Christ is risen!!

  49. Made mine a few weeks ago with lemons since I had 10 gorgeous lemons on hand. This was my first ever attempt at a pound cake and it was divine! I had some raspberries on hand as well and made a sauce with those. When I plated the cake I drizzled the raspberry sauce over it!!!!!! Oh wow!!! Amazing is all i have to say! Thank you for this recipe!

  50. I am 77 years old. A guess which is probably on the low side is that I have made over 500 pound cakes in my life time. I baked over 100 in each of the past two years at Thanksgiving as a fundraiser at our church. I was intrigued by the idea of a key lime pound cake. My initial reaction was that the cake had too much flour in relation to the amount of sugar and despite using 6 eggs as opposed to 5, there was not enough liquid. Despite my misgivings, I decided to try it. My results were pretty near disastrous. As a number of your readers stated, the cake was extremely dry and when I removed it from the pan, it broke into 4 or 5 pieces. The flavor was good-thankfully so, since I had worked hard on the key limes to get the juice. However, standing on its own, there was no way I could take it to the church picnic. I made a simple syrup using sugar, water and more key lime juice. I sprinkled this on the cake pieces. I cut them into bite sized pieces and used them as a base for a simple trifle, with a custard, fruit and whipped cream. The remaining pieces I put into a plastic bag. My daughter who had not been aware of my experience, asked if she could have some. After eating it, her only comment was “This cake surely is dry and crumbly.”
    In my experience,pound cakes always rise 1 1/2 to 2 inches.
    I plan to try the cake again, using my own amounts of ingredients.

    1. I appreciate your feedback. I’ve made pound cakes, as you, for years but I can’t say 500! I’ve made this cake so many times my clothes don’t fit but I’ve not had the problem of dryness. I’m so sorry it didn’t work for you. I don’t use any exotic ingredients, my flours are typically King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill, both all-purpose. I use only large eggs and grocery store butter at room temperature. I have a cookbook entitled “Southern Living Country Cooking” which contains seven recipes for pound cakes. Four of those seven do not use any baking soda or powder. As to it’s dryness, I don’t know! I’ve had many who commented they had no problems and a few who said it was too wet. I’m glad you were able to somewhat salvage it by making a trifle. I know how maddening it can be to juice those little key limes! A lot of time and effort went into your cake. I’m sorry it didn’t come out right.

  51. Can’t wait to try! Sent my husband out this morning for the key lime juice (not sure he will find it in Missouri) but told him I will make it with lemons/juice if we can’t come up with key lime! Love your writing!

  52. Oh my. I made this this today with key limes picked right off the tree in my back yard. It is the most delicious pound cake I’ve ever had! Here in Florida I have more key limes than I know what to do with & it’s nice to have a recipe besides just pie. I used a 10 cup Viking bundt & had excess batter which I baked in a small loaf pan at the same time, I pulled the small one out after an hour but baked the bundt for the full time. Everything was perfect, Including the cream cheese glaze. The cake was dense, but at the same time light & super flavorful. Thank you for an excellent recipe!

  53. I totally forgot I saved this to my favorites on my iPhone MONTHS ago! I’m glad I came across it again! Question: Do you think I could use coconut flour in place of regular flour and get the same outcome? I was just wondering if it’s been tried. If not, I guess I will give it a shot and let you know, hahaha.

    Thank you!

    1. Hey, Hollie! I’m sorry I’m so late in getting back to you. Been traveling etc. I’ve not tried coconut flour in lieu of all-purpose but, from what I’ve read the ratio of CF to AP is 1/4 CF to every cup of AP. Given the number of eggs you should be okay! If you haven’t tried it yet, let me know. Good luck!

    1. Absolutely! Use regular limes but also regular lemons. Maybe 2/3 lime juice to 1/3 lemon juice. That’ll cut cut some of the sharpness of the limes, more like Key Limes. Bake it low and slow and you’ll have a magnificent pound cake!

  54. Cake sounds wonderful! However, printing was a pain. When selecting the print button included with post…it comes up at 78 pages because it includes comments. Please figure a way to have a print friendly option! Thanks.

    1. Hey, Laurie! I understand too well your frustration with the printing option. Apparently the issue is with WordPress, specifically the layout of the blog. It’s meant to be viewed on the computer as opposed to printed. The same thing happens to me; only the right side of paper gets printed. What you can do regarding the number of pages printed is to change the “All” button to the “Pages” option right underneath “All” and type in the exact pages you want i.e. 7-9. Hope that helps and thank you for the feedback!

  55. looks great and will try this weekend but I do not see baking powder in the list of ingredients? is that because it was forgotten or is it not needed.

    1. Hey, Tanya! In this particular recipe it’s not called for. I’ve been asked this before and in looking at my pound cake recipes, and I have umpteen!, I’ve found some include leavening, some don’t. This cake is super dense and tender but it doesn’t rise all that much. Oh, and the icing is not stiff…it’s runny and yummy. I serve the excess on the side or fill the hole in the middle with it. Enjoy!

  56. Hi Alicia! Thanks from the entire internet for posting this recipe! I’m a foodie, and more than anything a professional amateur baker!! Just made this cake for Mother’s Day (I split it between myself & my mother in law…to say the least it is divine! I could literally eat the crust and icing, and be totally satisfied! As a matter of fact, I did have to cut the top of the cake to make it level, and was so happy it overflowed so I could! Thanks again…it’s marvelous!!

    1. Can’t say, Lynn. It depends on how juicy your key limes are. If you think you may not have enough juice I’d back it up with 3-4 regular limes to juice if necessary . Hope that helps!

  57. I just made this cake. Followed the instructions, used basic ingredients and it turned out perfectly! This is a new family favorite! We are in love with this cake! Thank you for this amazing recipe!! Trying to share a pic. I hope it comes through. Thanks again Alicia!
    IMG_6954.JPG

      1. I will absolutely share! And the cake is so perfectly dense, not dry at all. I just don’t understand some of the comments. Did the pic come through?

      1. Thank you so much for such a great, flavorful recipe! I made it yesterday using my new aluminum 10 1/2 inch square tube pan and baked it for 1 hour 30 minutes. I think I slightly overcooked it as it was not as moist as I’d like. I’m still getting used to using aluminum instead of nonstick pans. I think I’ll try it again with my large Nordicware bundt pan which is slightly smaller for a taller cake.

        Still loved the flavor and this recipe is a keeper!

  58. Thank you for the recipe, I made it last evening and we had some today with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. It is a lovely cake and so easy to make and yes I did beat the flour and sugar for some time and it is not grainy. Makes a big cake. Will be interested to see how much nicer it is each day. We are hosting a reception in August and plan on using this cake.

  59. If you don’t have access to Key Limes, in the juice aisle of most markets is a product called Nelly & Joes Key Lime Juice. It tastes exactly like Keys but you don’t have to try to squeeze juice out of those little rocks. I don’t know about an alternative for the zest.

    1. Actually, there is a better product. Limes. Regular, green, Persian limes. Take the zest off then juice them. You’ll never know the difference between the key limes. But you will with a bottled product. Bottled juice is cloudy and has a metallic aftertaste. I wouldn’t use it for anything.

  60. I made this in a bunt pan. Followed all instructions exactly, including baking time. It turned out perfect and is amazing!! I didn’t read the comments prior to baking and key limes aren’t available here so I did use Nellie and Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice rather than fresh squeezed lemons or limes for the cake. I used fresh squeezed lime juice for the icing and lime zest in both. Thanks for posting. Love it!

  61. Was a little disappointed in the results. Cake was a little too dense for my liking. The icing was so good, I could eat it alone.

    1. Rebecca, I’ve only used a tube pan. This is a big, heavy cake. It’s a pound cake so no light and fluffy here. I don’t know how long you would bake it…or how it would come out. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  62. I’ve been craving a yummy dessert and have been dissatisfied time and time again. So I decided to bake one. Since I LOVE a good key lime pie (hard to find), and I LOVE a nice moist flavorful cake, I thought this cake merged the best of both worlds. I did everything exact, even though I was tempted to take short cuts, like use lime juice. And I was careful not to overmix, mixing just until the flour was no longer sitting on top.

    I was SOOOO saddened by the outcome. It was stiff and dry. However, the flavor was spot on. That’s what made me so sad. When I reflect on what went wrong, all I can think of is that the cook time was like 15 minutes too long even though the top of the cake wasn’t very dark. But it had completely pulled away from the sides of the pan, which is a sign of being over done but not burned. I want to try it again, but getting the juice and zest from all those limes were an absolute NIGHTMARE. The prep time was well over an hour and the labor would be worth it if a delicious moist cake was the outcome. Now I have this huge cake that I can’t eat, nobody else in my house will eat it and I would hate to throw in away. I wish there was a way to revamp it into something yummy, like on those reality cooking shows. Still on a hunt for a delicious dessert. Thanks for the recipe. Great flavor.

    1. Hey, Janelle. I’m sorry the cake didn’t turn out as you had expected. I know the feeing well of a recipe that, somehow, went wrong. I’ll tell you though, I bought some time ago a citrus “press” (?) for everything from key limes to oranges and I use it all the time. Slice the fruit in half, drop one half in, cut side down, and squeeze the two handles together. Juice in a jiffy! You can gwt them at the grocery store. Bed Bath and Beyond, Target etc. As to a huge cake sitting in your house, what if you made a key lima and blackberry trifle? The fruit, whipped cream and liquor would moisten the cake and you would still have that delicious key lime flavor. Just a thought. Again, I’m so sorry the cake didn’t come out as expected. Thank you for your comment.

  63. I just made this cake, so far batter and frosting on beaters was to die for…We are waiting on the birthday boy for the final opinion!😊

  64. Regarding the print problem. Highlight the entire recipe, right click, choose “Copy”. Go to your word processor and, using your keyboard hold the “CTRL” key and hit the “V” key on keyboard. Print and/or save the recipe. I have a file for just these instances.

  65. Your comment list is crazy. I have a beautiful Myer lemon tree with great big Jenkins on it right now can’t wait to try this cake with them.

    1. Beth, leave the whole cake out at room temp for 30 minutes or 15 minutes for slices and that seems to bring back the tenderness. I’ve also kept it on the counter in a covered cake stand without refrigerating it and my family has never had any problems with it going bad but, typically, I refrigerate any baked good with butter or cream cheese in the icing. Hope that helps!

  66. My first time making a pound cake. Followed directions to the letter. The first slice that night was great. I put it in the fridge and the next day the cake was hard and dry. The flavor was great. I guess I shouldn’t have put it in the fridge??

    1. Hey, Tracey! I’m so sorry your cake dried out in the refrigerator but I’ve had that happen, too. You can put the cake in a clean, plastic garbage bag with a slice of bread included. The cake with absorb the bread’s moisture and will have freshened up the next day. What I do with this cake is leave it out secure under a glass cake cover. I don’t ice it until the day I’m serving it. Hope that helps!

  67. So we have fresh lime juice from our tree here in Florida but no zest because we already squeezed all the limes and threw them away. Any suggestions?? Do I have to use the zest or could I add more juice instead? I’m not a huge fan of zest cuz I don’t usually like the texture but if it’s required…thanks!

  68. Girl! I made this pound cake a couple of months ago and took half of it to work ! After everyone had a piece, they would come to my cubicle with an OMG! look on their face – LOL! The men in my family (hubby and our 17 year old son) NYAMED (Jamaican way of saying that they gobbled it up 🙂 ) it up! I will be making it again this weekend. Thanks again for a wonderful recipe!

    1. Thank YOU! That makes my heart happy! If you loved that check out the peanut butter cake squares I posted a week or two ago. Giiirrrrlll…you won’t be able to keep your hands off them…and they’re supremely easy! Let me know if you try them.

      1. That will DEFINITELY be my next project. Thanks again for being generous with your recipes!!!

  69. Help. Mine was one of those that was WAY too dense. I think over mixing may be my problem. I reviewed the instructions and may have discovered my problem. The recipe states “mixing by hand…” I interpeded that as, use a hand electric mixer. Should I have mixed by hand? Thanks

    1. Susan, I’m so sorry! I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. It’s the hand mixer’s fault! And, yes, it at that point the batter should be gently mixed by hand. Don’t feel alone. I’ve done that before with this same cake when I’ve had too much on my mind and without thinking I’ve gone and beaten the batter too hard and too much. I cubed the finished cake and folded it into some freshly whipped cream and fresh fruit to somewhat rescue it. Hope that helps!

      1. Laugh of the day, took the cake anyway to ladies meeting, warned them, reaction”hmmmm a little dense but good, and one even asked for your recipe. Good show! And no one understood how I confused the instructions…I keep telling people they have no idea how my mind works! Happy Spring!

  70. I made this cake for a easter dinner. It was truly one of the best pound cakes I have ever made. The directions were concise and the slices even looked like your picture. Thank you for sharing the recipe along with your story about your sister.

  71. Why is your key lime poundcake with Key lime cream cheese icing recipe calling for 4 cups of ALL PURPOSE flour but no salt or baking powder? I need to find out before I try to bake this cake please reply asap. Thank you.

    1. The buttermilk and eggs act as, somewhat, a leavening agent in this cake. Keep in mind it is a POUND cake. It’s heavy and dense, not light or fluffy. You’ll find, in doing research, many pound cakes call for leavening and many don’t. If the batter in this recipe is overworked the cake will come out like a brick so try to maintain a light touch. Hope that helps!

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