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Key Lime Pound Cake

This Key Lime Pound Cake combines the richness of a pound cake with the zesty freshness of key lime pie. The moist pound cake has a citrusy burst of lime juice and zest, creating a perfect balance of flavors. The simple lime glaze on top adds a sweet and tangy finish.

This cake is an absolute crowd-pleaser and its simplicity and classic taste make it a dessert that can be enjoyed year-round.

Key Lime Pound Cake partially sliced on a round white serving platter.
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This Key Lime Pound Cake is one of my new favorite treats! The dense, moist pound cake is infused with the zing of lime juice and zest. It tastes like vacation on a plate! 

What I love most about this pound cake recipe is the simplicity – just throw together some butter, sugar, and other goodies you already have in the kitchen, and voila, you've got a masterpiece in the making.

And when it's baking time, the aroma that fills your kitchen is downright intoxicating – lime heaven!

The best part is the simple lime glaze that goes over the top. It’s just a mixture of melted butter, lime juice, and powdered sugar, but it truly sets the key lime pound cake over the top. For serving I love to dust it with a touch of powdered sugar right before serving for that extra touch.

Ingredient Notes

See the printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.

Ingredients to make Key Lime Pound Cake set out on the counter.
  • Flour: Provides the structure and texture to the key lime pound cake.
  • Baking Powder: Helps the cake rise and become light and fluffy.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the cake.
  • Butter: Adds richness and a buttery flavor to the pound cake.
  • Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the key lime pound cake.
  • Sour Cream: Adds moisture and a creamy texture to the cake.
  • Eggs: Bind the ingredients together.
  • Vanilla Extract: Enhances the overall flavor with a hint of sweetness.
  • Lime Juice: Infuses the key lime pound cake with a zesty and citrusy flavor.
  • Lime Zest: Adds aromatic citrus flavors to the pound cake.
  • The lime glaze is made with butter, lime juice, and powdered sugar and is the perfect finishing touch. 

How To Make Key Lime Pound Cake

First, preheat your oven to 325º. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. We don't want that cake sticking!

Flour baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
Butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.

Now, let's tackle the dry ingredients. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Give them a good mix and set it aside. Then, in a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy.

Sour cream is added to the butter-sugar mixture in a mixing bowl.
Eggs are added to the wet ingredients in the mixing bowl.
Lime zest is added to the cake batter in the mixing bowl.

Next, add the sour cream, eggs, vanilla extract, lime juice, and lime zest. Keep mixing until it's all smooth.

Flour is added to wet ingredients in the mixing bowl.
Key Lime Pound Cake Batter in the mixing bowl.

Time to add the dry ingredients back in. Add them in two batches, mixing it up each time. This helps keep things nice and smooth, considering it's a hefty amount of flour.

Key Lime Pound Cake batter in Bundt Pan.
Baked Key Lime Pound Cake in Bundt Pan.

Spoon that beautiful batter into your prepared Bundt pan. Bake it in the center of the oven for about 85-90 minutes. Check with a toothpick – it should come out clean.

Key Lime Pound Cake cooling on wire rack.
Glaze for Key Lime Pound Cake in a mixing bowl.

Once it's out of the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes. Loosen the cake from the pan with a butterknife, then turn it onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Now, the finishing touch – that glaze. Melt butter, mix it with lemon juice and powdered sugar, then drizzle it over the cooled cake.

Key Lime Pound Cake topped with glaze and lime zest.

Make-Ahead and Storing, Freezing

Make Ahead: To prepare this Key Lime Pound Cake ahead of time, you can follow the instructions up to the baking stage and refrigerate the batter in the Bundt pan. When ready to bake, simply place it in the preheated oven and adjust the baking time as needed, considering the chilled batter.

Store: Leftover pound cake should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. For longer storage, you can refrigerate the cake, making sure it remains covered to prevent drying.

Freeze: To freeze the Key Lime Pound Cake, wrap it securely in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. It's best not to add the glaze before freezing. Store in the freezer for up to two months. Thaw the cake in the refrigerator before bringing it to room temperature for serving.

Recipe Tips

  • Add the dry ingredients gradually to the wet ingredients. This prevents lumps and ensures an even distribution of ingredients.
  • Keep a close eye on the baking time, and use a toothpick to check for doneness. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, it's ready.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. This helps in a smoother release.
  • Adjust the quantities in the glaze to fit the flavor and consistency you want. 

Substitutions and Variations

  • Sub lemon or orange. Switch out the lime zest and juice for orange or lemon for a totally new flavor. 
  • Add coconut. Add shredded coconut to the batter and sprinkle more over the top for even more tropical flavor. 
  • Give it a margarita twist. For an adult twist, add a splash of tequila to the batter and a hint of orange liqueur.

Recipe FAQS

How do I prevent the cake from sticking to the bundt pan?

Make sure your Bundt pan is well-greased before adding the batter. Also, don’t forget to loosen all the edges with a butter knife before flipping the cake over. 

What can I use instead of sour cream?

The sour cream adds moisture and a creamy texture. If you don’t have it, you can use plain yogurt as a substitute. 

Slice of Key Lime Pound Cake on a white plate.

Here are a few more Lime Desserts you might like!

I love this Key Lime Pound Cake because it's a burst of citrusy goodness in every bite, and the dense, moist texture is just perfect. The zesty lime flavor and easy preparation make it a delicious cake everyone will enjoy!

Key Lime Pound Cake on a round white serving platter.

Key Lime Pound Cake Recipe

Author: Judy Wilson
This Key Lime Pound Cake combines the richness of a pound cake with the zesty freshness of key lime pie. The simple lime glaze on top adds a sweet and tangy finish.
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 42 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 449 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • Zest of 2 limes

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a large mixing bowl.
  • Beat in sour cream, then eggs, vanilla, lime juice, and zest until smooth.
  • Add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. I find adding only half a time best since it’s such a large amount.
  • Spoon batter into prepared Bundt pan.
  • Place in the center of the oven and bake for 85-90 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a butterknife or icing spatula, and turn onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Once cool, whisk the icing ingredients together, and drizzle over the cake.

Notes

Leftover pound cake should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. For longer storage, please refrigerate the cake, making sure it remains covered to prevent drying.

Nutrition

Calories: 449kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 7gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 134mgSodium: 283mgPotassium: 99mgFiber: 1gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 713IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 2mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and should only be used as a general guideline. It is an estimate that will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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