This cake. One year later this cake is making a resurgence. I never dreamed it would be so popular; it was viewed and shared by thousands all over the world. I posted it as an applaud to my older sister, Cynthia, on her birthday. The older we get the crazier I am about her. We’ve both changed over the years; we’ve each had our triumphs and struggles but this cake need not change. I baked it so many times…just yesterday for my life-long friend, Andrea, who had a rather important birthday to celebrate. Our birthdays are a week and a half apart so we’re almost twins. Our families lived one street away from each other, her brother and sisters went to school with my brother and sisters. One of my earliest memories of Ange was when we were in 2nd or 3rd grade at East Side Elementary School. Our teacher told us to take out our spelling books, a thin volume sporting a gray cover with stick people moving about happily and with purpose. I clearly remember being pleased because spelling was one of my few strong suits. The teacher droned on, “Class, please open your books to page…”, when all of a sudden, whoosh! BLEAH! From somewhere inside of me came an explosion of vomit splattering all over my favorite text-book. Banished to the infirmary I remember passing a woman from the janitorial staff in the hallway and feeling horrible that she had to clean up some little girl’s mess. In the infirmary I lay on my bed, bored stiff and somewhat bothered, waiting for Mama to come pick me up. I would be there quite a while as Mama was always notoriously late and it was so unnecessary as I felt fine. Staring at the ceiling I let my thoughts drift when I realized there was a tapping sound being made. More like a light knock and it was coming from the cubicle next to mine. I whispered, “Who is it?”. “It’s Andrea!”, she whispered back. On tiptoe I excitedly stood up on the bed and peered over the metal divider wall. There she was, scrawny ol’ Ange grinning right back up at me. “What are ya doin’?”, I asked. “Nothin’.”, she replied. “Ya wanna jump on the beds?”, I asked. With a twinkle in her eye she popped right up and answered, “YEAH!”. And so we did. Up and down we bounced and twirled, singing little songs and giggling until Mama came. As we walked out I heard Andrea say to Miss Pickrell, the principal’s secretary, “I feel better now, Miss Pickrell, so I’m just gonna go back to class.” “Okay, honey!” was all the secretary said. And that’s how it’s always been. Andrea is a strong and golden ray of sunshine in my life. Always has been, always will be. I make her laugh, she makes me laugh. We tell each other how beautiful and sexy we are and, really, we are. We wear hats…and well. We lunch regularly. Together we live the words, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” To my fellow Pisces, my sister mermaid, on this, your 60th birthday, I send you love, laughter and Key Lime Pound Cake.
Key Lime Pound Cake with Key Lime Cream Cheese Icing
- 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
- Pre-heat 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.
- 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.
- One at a time add the eggs and beat only until the yellow disappears.
- Stir juice, milk, zest and vanilla together.
- 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!
- Pour evenly into the tube pan and tap pan on the counter to loosen any air bubbles.
- Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool on a cooling rack for 15-20 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
- Using a hand mixer beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until well mixed.
- Add confectioner’s sugar and beat well until completely smooth and fluffy.
- Add key lime juice, zest and vanilla and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Ice cake.
This makes quite a bit of icing. It’s runny and creamy, smooth and sweet but with the tartness we’ve all come to love and expect from Key Limes. If you’re in an area where Key Limes are not available they’re easily replaced with 2/3 parts fresh lime juice and 1/3 part fresh lemon juice. 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. Or, as in the photos, the leftover icing can be served on the side in a pretty, little bowl.