How to Make Key Lime Cake Recipe

Learning how to make key lime cake recipes is a necessity to enjoy the flavor. These must be made with real “key lime”. Many people use the standard lime which most of us are use to make this cake recipe but there is a difference. First you will notice the obvious difference when purchasing by the size. It is about half the size of the normal green lime. A key lime is usually picked when green but when it is ripe it turns yellow. It has a strong aroma and the skin is thinner than regular larger limes.

Limes and Key LimesLeft: LIMES Right: KEY LIMES

When you have learned how to make the key lime cake you will be able to taste the difference then when making one with regular lime. They are not interchangeable in recipes. The key lime is more acidic than lime so the taste is a little more tart and bitter. The two limes are quite different in taste when baking or cooking. 

I became so familiar with key limes when I moved to Florida. From Day 1 I heard about the big craze for this fruit, especially in the “key lime desserts” but no knew how to make key lime cake recipes. For several years I thought this fruit was native and only found in Florida; particularly in “The Keys”.

To my surprise, I found this fruit under other names like Mexican lime and West Indian lime has also made its mark on many other parts of the world. Traders carried the key lime with them all through Europe, Middle East and elsewhere. Spanish settlers brought this fruit with them to South Florida and here it was given the name “Key lime”. 

Many people and restaurants, particularly in South Florida are well known for their recipes using Key limes; drinks, meat and seafood marinades and desserts.  Most I will say are for the Key lime pie recipes but that is because they never learned how to make key lime cake recipes and enjoy the wonderful flavor.


how to make key lime cake recipeHow to Make Key Lime Layer Cake Recipe

This key lime cake recipe and the frosting only have a hint of key lime. By spreading this wonderfully flavored key lime cake filling between the layers, the taste is delicious.

Filling: This filling should be made ahead of time and refrigerated; it can even be made a day ahead.

  • 1 Cup sugar
  • ¼ Cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup water
  • 4 Large beaten egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ Cup key lime juice

Cake layers:

  • 3 ½ Cups cake flour
  • 4 Teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup softened butter
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon key lime juice
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 7 Egg whites at room temperature


  • 12 Ounces white chocolate pieces
  • 12 Ounces softened cream cheese
  • ½ Cup softened butter
  • 1 Tablespoon key lime juice

For Filling: Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan.

Gradually add water while stirring until smooth.

Over medium heat bring to a boil white stirring; boil 1 minute or until mixture thickens.

Stir some of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks.

Stir yolk mixture back into hot mixture in saucepan; stir until blended.

REDUCE heat to low; add butter and cook 5 minutes while stirring.

Remove from heat and stir in the key lime juice.

Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate 2 hours or more.

For cake: Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Grease 3 nine inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.

Grease pans again and dust lightly with flour.

Combine and sift flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and 1 ¾ cups of sugar until very light and fluffy; beat in key lime juice and vanilla.

Add flour mixture alternately with milk to the creamed mixture; beat until smooth.

In a clean bowl beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy; gradually add the remaining ¼ cup sugar.

Beat whites and sugar until stiff peaks form; gently fold egg whites into batter.

Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans.

Bake about 25 minutes or until pick comes out clean.

Cool cakes in pans 5 minutes; remove from pans, remove parchment paper and cool completely.

For Frosting: Melt white chocolate and cool.

Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth; add the key lime juice and cooled white chocolate.

Mix until well blended.

Spread cold key lime filling between layers; frost sides and top with frosting.

Store in refrigerator.

key lime layer cake recipeA Piece of Key Lime Layer Cake


This is a very flavorful key lime cake recipe.

  • 1 Large angel food cake
  • 3 Cups sweetened canned condensed milk
  • 6 Egg yolks
  • 2/3 Cup Key lime juice
  • 1 Cup whipping cream
  • Flaked coconut

Beat with mixer the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and key lime juice until well blended.

Cook and stir in top of double boiler until mixture thickens a little about 10 minutes.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours; it will set up when cold.

To assemble key lime cake recipe:

Split cake crosswise to make 4 layers.

Whip the cream until stiff; fold whipped cream into cold key lime mixture.

Put layers together on a serving plate; spread each layer with whipped cream key lime mixture.

Frost top and sides with remaining mixture; sprinkle cake with coconut.

Refrigerate several hours before serving.

KEY LIME CAKE RECIPE (a delicious sponge cake recipe)

Learn how to make a key lime cake recipe as a sponge cake.

  • 2 ½ Cups sifted flour
  • 2 ½ Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 6 Eggs divided
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • ¾ Cup boiling water
  • ¼ Cup key lime juice
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla

Sift together flour, salt and baking powder THREE times; set aside.

Beat egg yolks until thick; add sugar and beat until creamy.

Add the boiling water a little at a time while beating; add key lime juice and vanilla.

Add flour mixture a little at a time while mixing well.

Beat egg whites to soft peaks; FOLD whites by hand into batter.

Spoon batter into an ungreased tube pan; bake about 45 minutes.

Remove from oven, invert and cool completely.


Learn how to make a key lime cake recipe with bottled key lime juice.

  • 1 Package (15 ¼ Ounces) yellow cake mix
  • 1 Can (14 Ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Can (13.5 Ounces) unsweetened coconut milk (Divided)
  • 10 Tablespoons bottled key lime juice (Divided)
  • 2 Cups whipping cream
  • ¼ Cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Grease and flour the bottom of 9X13 inch cake pan.

Prepare cake mix and bake according to package directions; cool 5 minutes.

In medium bowl combine condensed milk and 1 CUP of the coconut milk.

Add 6 TABLESPOONS key lime juice mixing until well combined.

With wood spoon handle poke holes in warm cake NOT touching bottom.

Pour the milk mixture over the warm cake; cover and refrigerate until chilled.

In a large mixing bowl combine whipping cream and powdered sugar.

Add REMAINING coconut milk and REMAINING 4 TABLESPOONS key lime juice.

Beat on high speed of mixer until thickened and spreadable.

Top with shredded coconut; store in refrigerator.


Make a key lime cake recipe with graham crackers.

  • About 12 ounces cookie or graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 8 Cups vanilla ice cream (Softened)
  • 1 Cup shredded coconut PLUS for topping (Toasted; Divided)
  • 6 Tablespoons canned cream of coconut
  • 1 Teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 Carton (8 Ounces) whipped topping (Thawed)

Line bottom of 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper.

Combine crumbs and melted butter together; blend well.

Press crumb mixture into bottom of prepared pan.

In large bowl combine ice cream and 1 CUP of the coconut.

Add the cream of coconut and lime zest; mix until combined.

Spoon ice cream mixture into prepared pan; cover with plastic wrap.

Freeze at least 8 hours.

Top with whipped topping and sprinkle with toasted coconut before serving.


Learn how to make a key lime cake recipe with lime gelatin and cake mix.


  • 1 Package (4 Ounces) lime gelatin
  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • ½ Cup cold water
  • 1 Package lemon supreme cake mix


  • 1 Tub (8 Ounces) whipped topping 
  • 1 Package (4 Ounces) lemon instant pudding

Preheat oven; grease and flour 9X13 inch cake pan.

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water; stir in cold water.

Let gelatin set at room temperature to cool.

Prepare cake according to package directions; bake in prepared pan.

With a toothpick make holes over top of cake about 1 inch apart.

Slowly spoon gelatin mixture over top of the cake.

Refrigerate the cake until cold.

Mix softened whipped topping with the lemon pudding.

Spread topping over the cake; store in refrigerator.


Learn how to make a key lime cake recipe with a coconut cake.


  • 1 Cup shredded coconut (Packed; toasted)
  • 2 ¼ Cups cake flour 
  • 3 Teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup solid shortening (Room temperature)
  • 1 ¼ Cups sugar Divided)
  • 3 Eggs (Separated; at room temperature)
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Cup milk
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon cream of tartar


  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons key lime juice
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • 2 Tablespoons softened butter
  • ¾ Cup shredded coconut (Packed in cup)


  • 1 ½ Cups sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/3 Cup water
  • 3 Egg WHITES (At room temperature)
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ Teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ Teaspoon vanilla


  • 1 ½ Cups shredded coconut (Toasted)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees;

Grease, line with parchment, grease and flour 2 round cake pans (8 inches).

FOR CAKE combine flour, baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt in bowl; set aside.

Cream shortening in a large mixing bowl; beat in ¾ CUP of sugar until fluffy.

Beat in egg YOLKS one at a time beating after each addition; beat in vanilla.

Fold in 1 cup of toasted coconut; set aside.

Beat in the flour mixture alternating with milk; beat until batter is smooth.

With CLEAN bowl and beaters beat egg WHITES and ¼ teaspoon salt until foamy.

Beat in cream of tartar until soft peaks; slowly beat in ½ CUP of sugar.

Continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold ¼ meringue into the cake batter; fold in remaining meringue.

Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until pick comes out clean.

Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.

FOR FILLING combine in saucepan the sugar and next 4 filling ingredients.

Over medium high heat stir and cook mixture until it comes to a rolling boil.

Cook and stir until it thickens; stir in butter and set off to cool.

TO ASSEMBLE split each cake in half horizontally with serrated knife.

Place one of the halves on a cake plate cut side up.

Spread with 1/3 of the filling leaving ½ inch border.

Sprinkle ¼ cup coconut over top; top with cake layer cut side down.

Spread filling and then coconut; top with layer 3, then filling and coconut.

Place last layer on top; make frosting.

FOR FROSTING combine sugar, corn syrup and water in saucepan; cover.

Over moderate heat bring mixture to a boil stirring occasionally to dissolve.

Uncover; cook (No stirring) until it registers 240F degrees on candy thermometer.

In heatproof bowl combine egg whites salt and cream of tartar.

Beat on high speed until frothy; slowly pour in hot mixture while besting.

Beat in vanilla; continue beating until bowl is no longer hot.

NOTE: If frosting gets too stiff beat in up to 1-2 tablespoons hot water for consistency.

Spread frosting over sides and top of cake; top with 1 ½ cups toasted coconut.