Tart and Sweet Key Lime Cake is a Bake Sale Beauty

Tart and Sweet Key Lime Cake is a Bake Sale Beauty

I grew up in southern California, land of all things citrus. And I still love citrus more than just about anything. Oranges, tangerines, tangelos, grapefruits, lemons and limes. So, any time we can find a recipe that indulges our household love of citrus, we are all over it. And this delicious key lime cake definitely fills the bill.

Every year at church our young women hold a dessert auction to raise money for their summer camp. Two years ago my aspiring chef found this recipe online and decided it would be her contribution to the camp fun. Of course, mom being mom, I made some alterations to the recipe. Changed a few ingredients, removed a couple. Apparently that editing gene extends to my kitchen as well. I rarely find a recipe that can’t be improved with a little of this and a little of that.

It turned out to be an excellent contribution. Not only did it fetch a top price, but when it was time for this year’s bake sale, last year’s winner called her a couple of weeks before the sale to make sure she’d be providing an encore.

When I first looked at the recipe I wasn’t sure it wasn’t going to turn into a “mom, can you finish this for me?” recipe, but she made it through the whole process on her own. It’s not a difficult recipe, but it does involve multiple steps and a sugar bath so this isn’t a “I’m in a hurry” cake. Mom was on hand to answer questions and guide her through some new techniques (drizzling glaze still needs some work as you can see in the picture), but this recipe is simple enough that you can easily entrust it to your junior chefs.


key lime cakeKey Lime Cake



  • 1 ½ cups butter
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 6 Eggs
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour

Sugar Bath

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ½ cup Lemon Juice
  • ½ cup Lime Juice


  • 4-ounces cream cheese
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Lime Zest


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Begin by preparing the cake. Cream butter and cream cheese. Beat in sugar and eggs. Add flour, mixing until well combined. Spread batter in a well-greased and floured bundt pan. Bake for 65-75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

While the cake is in the oven, prepare the lemon-lime bath by combining sugar, lemon and lime juices in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove cake from oven and pour ½ sugar bath over hot cake while it is still in the pan. Allow liquid to soak into cake and then invert cake onto serving platter and brush remaining liquid over top and sides of cake.

Beat cream cheese and butter until well-blended and creamy. Beat in lemon and lime juices and zest. Gradually add powdered sugar until it reaches drizzling consistency.

Allow cake to cool and then drizzle glaze over cake.

Garnish with thin slices of lime, if desired.

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