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Key Lime Pound Cake

This Key lime pound cake was inspired from a basic pound cake recipe that I like to play around with. It's now the only cake requested at every gathering. The unfrosted cake freezes well. —Pat Stewart, Canton, Georgia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1 hour 15 min.
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons grated key lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons Key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon grated key lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon Key lime juice
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Lime slices, optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10-in. fluted tube pan. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lime zest, vanilla and lime juice. Add flour alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Transfer to prepared pan.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, lime zest and lime juice until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Spread over cake. If desired, garnish with lime slices and additional zest.

Test Kitchen tip
  • To remove cakes easily, use solid shortening to grease plain and fluted tube pans.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 piece: 575 calories, 36g fat (22g saturated fat), 161mg cholesterol, 306mg sodium, 57g carbohydrate (33g sugars, 1g fiber), 7g protein.

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    Average Rating:
    • Karen
      Jan 28, 2021

      The name should be changed to Key Lime "Pound's" Cake....This has to be a record weight cake ....I even put it on my kitchen and it weight a whopping 5 1/2 lbs...the best thing of this was the icing ...a lot of flavor in the icing.hardly any flavor in the cake...Will not save this receipt and am taking the cake to work because they will eat any thing

    • faunta
      Aug 1, 2020

      The flour can be over worked in this recipe which can cause it to be overly heavy or even gooey. Gently mix in the flour, w/alternating w/milk, just until flour disappear; opposed to the directions which state, "beat well" after each addition. The beating overworks the four gluten. As dense as it was, I still found it on the dry side. I will not be making this cake again. I'm still searching for a good pound cake recipe I can always go to ....Any suggestions? lol

    • mpflute
      Jul 10, 2020

      This was one of the worst cakes I've ever made or tasted. It was very dry and heavy and there was little flavor to the cake. I didn't frost it because usually a pound cake can stand on its own--not this one.

    • Jeannie
      Jun 9, 2020

      I just made this last night and I think it’s excellent. I did add extra zest and lime juice after reading some reviews and it has wonderful flavor. I think I added about an extra tablespoon of juice and teaspoon of zest (Im not sure because I didn’t measure these ingredients). I’m making the icing this morning and will wait to ice before serving for my Dad’s 83rd birthday dinner this evening.

    • Kim
      May 27, 2020

      Made this today and followed the recipe exactly. It turned out GREAT! A definite keeper.

    • Krista
      May 18, 2020

      I made this for the first time ,it is truly a pound cake dense and delicious. Very easy to make, my family enjoyed it. I will tweek it a bit by adding a little more key lime juice.

    • Redhorse89
      May 14, 2020

      I am not very experienced at baking cakes, but love key lime, and gave this recipe a try. The first thing out of the gate that I noticed was a lack of baking powder and salt. I decided to err on the side of caution and added a standard measure of each. The cake came out dense (which is what pound cakes are), but not much lime flavor. The frosting was excellent, although I "limed" it up a bit and added extra juice. I would bake this again, maybe adding more lime juice to the cake.

    • Linda
      May 10, 2020

      Something is very wrong with this recipie, very dense maybe missing baking powder or soda, tasteless- a waste of ingredients, the only thing good was the icing.

    • shawnba
      May 2, 2020

      This was a really good pound cake. Dense and moist, very buttery, not too sweet. Full disclosure, I’m allergic to citrus rind, so my cake lacked the lime punch it could have had. I’ve ordered some lime extract/emulsion to see if I get the punch of flavor I was missing. All in all, we liked it, and are always looking for ways to use up our key limes! VFE

    • jon.ruth.alumbaugh
      Apr 28, 2020

      As a Taste of Home Volunteer Field Editor, it was a pleasure to give this cake a bake. The recipe is easy and simple. I believe it is supposed to be dense since it is a pound cake so I have no complaint about that. It's buttery in taste/flavor. And I liked the way the outer crust came out a bit crunchy with a creamy inside. Even so, it lacked what you would expect for a citrus-y baked good. It was hard to detect the lime flavor. I would have increased the amount of rind and perhaps amped up the flavor with lime extract. I love frosting but for most people, I think it would be way too much icing to put on the cake. Perhaps using less would be a good idea or even a lime-y glaze to keep that citrus flavor alive. All in all, I think this is a versatile recipe with a lot of potential to be great. It just needed a few tweaks to take it to the next pound cake level.