Simple Key Lime Pound Cake

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The Best Key Lime Cake


When I hear key lime I think of Florida and the Caribbean, mixed drinks, pie and Jimmy Buffet. I don’t think of pound cake. However, this pound cake changed that.

I ran across this recipe for key lime pound cake in Southern Living magazine a couple of years ago and it sounded very unappetizing to me. My taste buds wanted no part of this.

However, around the same time, I had a friend request I make a key lime pound cake. Coincidence, I think not, so I surrendered to the Spirit’s key lime call and made this key lime pound cake.

Simple Key Lime Pound Cake

Friends, I was shocked. This cake was amazingly good.

Seriously, who knew that key lime, butter, sugar and flour could produce such a tangy, tasty cake?

This cake had the perfect balance of flavors. The key lime was not overwhelming and balanced well with the butter.

The cake had a lovely sweet, but not overly sweet taste. It was then topped with a tart, zesty key lime/powdered sugar glaze that added just the right punch.

Now, not only was it delicious, it was simple to whip up with basic ingredients. Plus, it’s a great cake for your spring and summer gatherings, that totes and freezes well.

Y’all, this was such a huge pound cake surprise. I now call it my Jimmy Buffet cake, because it’s a little piece of the tropics in a pound cake. You might say, it’s a pound cake in paradise.


  • Butter 
  • Shortening
  • Sugar
  • Eggs 
  • All purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Milk 
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Lime zest
  • Fresh key lime juice
  • Powdered sugar
Easy Key Lime Pound Cake


  • Beat butter and shortening until creamy. Add sugar and eggs
  • Stir together flour, baking powder.
  • Add to butter mixture with milk
  • Stir in vanilla, lime zest and key lime juice.
  • Pour batter into a greased and floured tube or bundt pan.
  • Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
  • Prepare key lime glaze by mixing key lime juice, powdered sugar and vanilla.
  • Brush on cake while cake is warm.
  • Cool completely.
Simple Key Lime Pound Cake


According to this post from Leaf.TV key limes are more aromatic and intense than limes. I found this to also be the case with key lime juice and lime juice.

I have made this recipe twice and could not find key limes either time. I substituted bottled key lime juice for the fresh key lime juice the first time I made it and fresh squeezed lime juice the second time.

Though both cakes turned out supper yummy, the cake made with the bottled key lime juice had more key lime punch and flavor. So, yes, you can use lime juice to replace freshly squeezed key lime juice, but it will not pack the same punch. I recommend using bottled key lime juice if you can’t find key limes.

Southern Living Key Lime Pound Cake


This cake completely surprised me. Like a pound cake, it’s moist, has a fine crumb and a dense texture. The butter flavor of your traditional pound cake blends so well with the key lime. It’s packs a brilliant flavor and is so easy to make. It’s a nice addition to your summer recipe collection.

In case you have any queries regarding the recipe feel free to reach out via the comment section or the contact page. Also, if you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear about your experiences.

I have linked to our related recipes below and I’m sure you will love them.

Key Lime Pound Cake Recipe
Print Jump to Recipe Pin Recipe

Southern Living Key Lime Pound Cake (From Scratch)

Easy and moist homemade pound cake recipe with tangy key lime flavor.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword butter, pound cake, key lime, lime, glaze, southern living
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooling Time In Pan 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 18 slices
Calories 400kcal
Cost $6


  • Stand or Hand Mixer
  • Long Spatula
  • Bundt or Tube Pan


Ingredients In Key Lime Pound Cake

  • 1 cup Butter Softened
  • ½ cup Shortening
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 6 Eggs Room temperature
  • 3 cups All purpose flour
  • ½ tsp Baking powder
  • tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Milk Room temperature
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Lime zest
  • ¼ cup Fresh key lime juice

Ingredients In Key Lime Glaze


Instructions For Key Lime Pound Cake

  • Preheat oven to 325°
  • Beat butter and shortening until creamy.
  • Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
  • Stir together flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add to butter mixture alternately with milk. Begin and end with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
  • Stir in vanilla, lime zest and key lime juice.
  • Pour batter into a greased and floured tube or bundt pan.
  • Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Prepare key lime glaze and immediately brush over top and sides of cake.
  • Cool completely.

Instructions For Key Lime Glaze

  • Whisk together powdered sugar, key lime juice and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Apply to cake immediately.


The recipe calls for fresh key lime juice.  Since key limes can be challenging to find at times, you can substitute bottled key lime juice or fresh squeezed lime juice. I have made the cake with both bottled key lime juice and lime juice.  Though both were yummy, the cake with the bottled key lime juice had more  key lime flavor.
As with most pound cakes, this cake freezes super well.  Check out my post on freezing pound cake for tips.


Calories: 400kcal


  1. Rhonda Franklin says:

    I love that Key Lime Cake recipe soooo good.

    1. Thank you for this comment. So, glad you liked it. I love that the cake is not overly key limey, but that the glaze is loaded with tangy key lime flavor.

  2. Carolyn Brown says:

    I wang to make this cake what type of milk

    1. Hi, thanks for the question. I used regular whole milk and it turned out delicious. Please comment if you make it. I hope you like this tangy gem as much as I do.

  3. Rocella Carlysle says:

    What milk do you use? Pet milk, evaporate milk

    1. Thanks for your question. I used regular whole milk and the cake came out amazing. This cake will not disappoint. Please leave a comment if you make it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  4. Claudette M. Benton says:

    I’m dying to make this cake

    1. This is an amazing cake especially for summer. Please let me know if you try it and how you like it. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Hi, This sounds delicious! I really want to make this cake. Can I use butter instead of shorting?

    1. I think that will work. You’re just substituting 1/2 cup. This is a really good cake. Let me know how it turns out.

  6. 5 stars
    The first time I made this cake my family and I were in !ove… Moist, delicious, flavorful!

    1. Oh, I am so glad. I didn’t know if I’d like it when I first tried it, but it is a gem. Thanks for your sweet comment.

  7. Hello I baked this cake about an hour ago. It rose and then it sunk down in the center; not all the way down. It had pulled away from the sides of my tube pan but kind of stuck a little. Cake looks raggedy.?. But the pieces that fell away from the cake has a very good taste. I’m wondering if my tube pan is too large for this cake, 18 cup Nordic Ware?

    1. Hi, I’m so sorry this didn’t come out correctly. I think you’re right about the tube pan being to large. I used a Nordic Anniversary Bundt. It’s a 10 – 15 cup capacity bundt pan. I’m so glad you got to taste some, as it is so delicious. I hope you’ll try it again with a smaller tube or bundt pan. Thanks for your comment and let me know if you bake it again.

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