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Buttery, rich, refreshing, and dense – this key lime pound cake is sure to be a winner among even your pickiest eater! It only requires around 10 minutes of prep time and is so easy to make. This recipe makes a perfectly moist cake every time. Serve it by itself, or top with a lime glaze and whipped cream.
Where Did Pound Cake Get Its name?
Traditionally, pound cake was made with one pound each of butter, flour, sugar and eggs. That’s where it got it’s name. If you are interested, this website offers a ton of interesting informations on the history of the pound cake recipe! Overtime this cake has evolved into many different recipes though and this recipe base has become my favorite. The baking powder really helps the cake rise without making it too “fluffy” the way that extra eggs do. I love the addition of vanilla to this recipe in combination with the raw sugar. The lime juice and zest also really adds a nice tartness that pairs well with the sweetness of this cake.
Key Lime Pound Cake Ingredients
All purpose flour- I found that this flour works the best. It can be subbed for bread flour if you have that on hand, but try to steer clear from any self-rising flour. It is best to weigh the flour for this recipe if possible.
Baking powder- this helps the pound cake rise without getting too fluffy. Make sure to measure this ingredient carefully.
Salt- This adds depth to the flavors in this cake.
Raw sugar- this can be subbed for white granulated sugar (which will also combine better with the butter). My family usually prefers the taste of raw sugar vs white sugar so unless I am working with pastries, this is my choice of sweetener. Raw sugar has a slight molasses flavor that adds a richness and depth to this cake without tasting like pure brown sugar. If you use sugar in the raw, note that it won’t have a smooth texture when combined with the butter the same way you get when you cream butter and white sugar together. Don’t let that scare you away though! I’ve tried this recipe both ways and for this variation of the pound cake, the only difference in end product is taste.
Butter- it is really important that the butter is softened for this recipe. Cold or melted butter won’t combine well and will throw off the consistency of the pound cake.
Vanilla extract- I use a full tablespoon for this cake.
Lime Juice- I usually opt for key limes however if you are unable to find key limes, regular limes work just as well. It really makes a difference in taste to use fresh limes though vs lime juice.
Lime zest- I prefer to find limes with smooth peels when I work with lime zest. Limes with rough peels are often too bitter and overpowering.
Milk- I use whole milk but you can sub for 2%. I found that fat free milk doesn’t add the same richness that I like in the pound cake, even though we only are using half a cup for this recipe.
Eggs- Large whole eggs work best.
Confectioners sugar- this is used for the glaze: skip this ingredient if you plan on making with no glaze.
How To make Key Lime Pound Cake
- Set your oven to 350 and prep your loaf pan with parchment papery. Spray parchment paper and exposed sides of your loaf pan with non stick cooking spray and then set aside.
2. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder together in a medium size bowl. Whisk well and set aside for later.
3. Cream your butter and sugar by using a stand alone mixer or a hand mixer on high for about 3-5 minutes. You will know that it is ready when it becomes light and fluffy to scoop. If you are using white sugar, look for stiff peaks. If you are using the sugar in the raw, don’t worry if you don’t see this. Instead, test the texture. It is important to use softened butter here to get the right consistency for the pound cake.
4. Add in one whole egg at a time. Mix well between each egg at a medium speed, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula between each additional egg.
5. Add the lime zest and lime juice to the pound cake batter and combine well.
6. Add in 1/3 of your flour mixture and mix well. Then add half of your milk and mix again. Follow by adding another 1/3 of your flour mixture and mixing. Add the remaining milk then mix. Finally, add the final 1/3 of your flour mixture and mix well. Once the last 1/3 of flour is combined, turn off your mixer.
7. Pour your pound cake batter into your baking pan and smooth the top with your spatula. The batter should be pretty thick and resemble a cornbread batter at this point.
8. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Test the pound cake with a tooth pick at 50 minutes. If it comes out with batter on it, cook another 5 minutes and test again. You want to make sure not to overcook the cake. Once it comes out with just a few crumbs, take it out of the oven and begin to cool. If the toothpick comes out completely clean, you have likely overcooked the cake.
9. Let cool for 10 minutes, then use a butter knife to separate the edges of the pound cake from your baking pan. Then using the sides of the parchment paper, lift the pound cake out of the pan and set on a rack to cool for about 30 minutes while you make the glaze.
To make lime glaze FOR THE
This glaze is super easy and takes less than a minute to make.
Combine 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar with 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice. These proportions make the perfect thick glaze in my opinion. From here though, you can begin to add more lime juice in a tablespoon at a time in order to achieve your perfect consistency.
Pour the glaze overtop of the whole pound cake, or drizzle over individual slices. Garnish with a lime slice, add some whipped cream, and enjoy!
If you liked this recipe, check out my Cream Cheese Apple Dip Recipe too!