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Make a Divine Sweet and Tangy Key Lime Pound Cake

Authentic Florida Key Lime Pound Cake

Make a Divine Sweet and Tangy Key Lime Pound Cake

If you love the tangy taste of key limes matched with the sweetness of cake, try this Authentic Florida Key Lime Pound Cake that will satisfy any sweet tooth craving. And just wait until your pour the key lime glaze on top!

Recipe Instructions

Begin by preheating oven at 325 degrees. 

There are a few steps to this recipe, so read through the instructions before you begin. 

If you don’t have access to Florida key limes, I recommend substituting regular limes. Consider bottled key lime juice as a final choice. In my book, fresh is still better than bottled.  Also, I use a lemon hand press for squeezing the key limes, as it works better than a juicer due to the small size of the limes.  

Shopping Ingredients

Assemble ingredients before you start

Cake Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks); ½ cup shortening (Crisco); 3 cups of sugar; 6 large eggs; 1 cup milk; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1 teaspoon lime zest (zest before you juice the limes!); ¼ cup of key lime juice (I used 6-10 key limes, if fresh); 3 cups of all-purpose flour; ½ teaspoon baking powder; 1/8 teaspoon salt 

Total key limes needed for cake + glaze: Approximately 15-18 depending on size and ripeness, for 1/3 -1/2 cup total juice

Cake Glaze Ingredients

2 cups powdered sugar; 4 tablespoons of fresh key lime juice (8 key limes if fresh, more if older); 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease and flour two tube pans


There are several different sets of ingredients to prepare for assembling it all in one mixture. Follow these steps:

Grease and flour 2- 9″ X 5″ loaf pans.

Place two sticks of unsalted butter in a bowl to get to room temperature.

Assemble first bowl of wet ingredients 

1. In a heavy electric mixer at medium speed, beat 1 cup of room temperature butter and 1/2 cup of shortening until creamy

2. Gradually add 3 cups of sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes

3. Add 6 large eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended 

Second ingredient, set aside 

1 cup milk

Assemble third set of ingredients – juice and zest, set aside

Key limes are tart and ideal for this recipe but limes will work

1. Zest (which means grating the outside of the key limes to get shavings from the lime skin) using a rasp for 1 teaspoon lime zest (zest before you juice the limes!)

2. Cut the limes in 1/2 and squeeze, with a hand squeezer, ¼ cup of key lime juice (I used 6-10 key limes, depending if fresh)

3. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Assemble zest, key lime juice and vanilla in a small bowl

Assemble dry ingredients in separate bowl, set aside

1. 3 cups of all-purpose flour

2. ½ teaspoon baking powder

3. 1/8 teaspoon salt

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt


In the large bowl of the butter mixture/eggs mixture, add a little flour mixture a bit at a time, alternating with the milk – beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed.

Next slowly stir in the lime zest, lime juice and vanilla.

Pour batter into the two greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If still wet from the batter, keep in oven until done. Top will be slightly golden.

Place cake on a wire rack to let cool.

When the cake has cooled to room temperature, remove from pans, place on a plate and pour the Key Lime Glaze over the top. 

Key Lime Glaze Recipe

2 cups powdered sugar

4 tablespoons of fresh key lime juice (8 key limes if fresh, more if older)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together powdered sugar, fresh key lime juice, and vanilla until lumps have dissolved and mixture is smooth. Spread the glaze over the cooled cake. (If the glaze is too thick to pour over, add a little more lime juice and alternately, if the glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar.)

If you want to dust the individual pieces with powdered sugar, it makes for a nice finish.

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