Key Lime Pound Cake

A sweet, moist, dense key lime pound cake drizzled with a tart key lime glaze. A delicious Southern twist to a traditional pound cake.

Key Lime Pound Cake recipe from Barbara Bakes. A delicious Southern twist to a traditional pound cake.

Today’s post is my first post as part of a virtual progressive dinner. Every month on the last Tuesday of the month, I’ll join with a eleven other great food bloggers and participate in Progressive Eats. This month I signed up to bring to this Key Lime Pound Cake!

Lana from Never Enough Thyme is this month’s hostess, and she chose the theme Summer in the South. Lana said one of the best online resources for Southern recipes is the Southern Living web site. There were so many great recipes it was hard to narrow it down, but a luscious key lime pound cake recipe looked too irresistible not to try it.

The recipe uses both butter and shortening in the batter. I thought about changing the recipe and using all butter, but decided not to because shortening creates higher, lighter-textured baked goods, while the butter adds great flavor. So I knew a combination would give me the best of both worlds.


When I’m baking with shortening I love using the Crisco Baking Sticks. It makes measuring shortening so much easier. My cakes stuck to the pan little bit, so I used my thin, flexible icing spatula to loosen the edges. They looked a little ragged when I took them out of the pan, but after adding the glaze, they were gorgeous –  so don’t be discourage if your cakes are perfect.

I did however, make several changes to the recipe, including adjusting it for my high altitude, and baking it in two half sized bundts instead of a 12 cup tube pan. Unless I’m serving a crowd, I prefer two small bundts so I can serve one now and put one in the freezer for later.

Key Lime Pound Cake recipe from Barbara Bakes. The cake has a mild key lime flavor, but the tart glaze gives it a great burst of lime flavor.

The cake has a mild key lime flavor, but the tart glaze gives it a great burst of lime flavor. It’s a sweet, moist pound cake, but not quite as dense as most pound cakes, which made it feel like you’re eating a little lighter.

I served the cake the way they served it on Southern Living with a dollop of whipped cream and a slice of lime.

Key Lime Pound Cake

Key Lime Pound Cake


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 cups sugar*
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh Key lime juice
  • Key Lime Glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325°. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and shortening at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.

Mix in vanilla, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (12-cup) tube pan. (I used two 6-cup bundt pans.)

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (Bake half size Bundts for 50 – 55 minutes.) Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.

Prepare Key Lime Glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Immediately brush or drizzle over top and sides of cake. Cool completely before serving.


*I used 2 3/4 cups sugar and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder to adjust for my high altitude.

Adapted from Southern Living.

Thanks to Barb from Creative Culinary for creating the Progressive Eats group. Now that you’ve had your dessert first, jump over to all the delicious recipes the group put together for our Southern progressive dinner:

Main Course
Never Enough Thyme – Creole Style Smothered Chicken
The Heritage Cook – Old Bay Shrimp Boil Skewers
Stetted – Fried Green Tomatoes with Smoked Tomato Basil Aioli
Savvy Eats – Jalapeno Cornbread + How to Store Cornbread
Miss in the Kitchen – Creamy Coleslaw
Life’s a Feast – Shrimp, Grilled Peach and Quinoa Salad
Spiceroots – Maque Choux Soup
Creative Culinary – Bacon and Caramelized Onion Creamed Corn
Pastry Chef Online – Spicy Succotash
Healthy. Delicious. – Watermelon Lemonade
Barbara Bakes – Key Lime Pound Cake
That Skinny Chick Can Bake – Banana Cream Cheesecake Pie

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. says

    I made this cake following the directions. I used a regular pound cake pan.My concern is the lime juice settled in the bottom of the cake. The cake was completely cooked. EVERYONE LOVED THE TASTE AND TEXTURE. HOWEVER, I am concerned about the settling off THE Lime Juice at the bottom.I am planning on baking another one for a Birthday Gift.

    • says

      Hi Estraleta – So glad everyone loved it. I think just mixing the lime juice in better so it doesn’t separate. It should be fully incorporate in the cake batter. I’d love this for my birthday too.

  2. Barbara Van Maren says

    Can’t wait to try this- I love key limes and fortunately they have Nellie & Joes at my local Safeway. and thanks for the high altitude directions! We are at about 6500 ft. here in Lake Tahoe, CA.

  3. Terri says

    I made this pound cake for a community bake sale at my son’s high school. I sold it by the slice. It sold in minutes, literally. It is an awesome recipe. I had one person come and buy a second piece. He said it was the best he’s ever tasted. It was moist and full of flavor. I’d bake this one again in a heartbeat!

  4. elisabeth porto says

    queria a trdu;oes desses bolos maravilhos, mada para mim pelo amor de Deus em portugeus um beijo obrigada

  5. Barbara says

    Check around to find Nellie & Joe’s Famous Lime Juice in a bottle that way you don’t need to squeeze the little limes which don’t have much juice!!!!

  6. Chris Binnion says

    Hi Barbara I live in the uk what are key limes is it the same as ordinary limes that we get here ur cake sounds lovely and would love to try it

    • says

      Hi Chris – Key limes are the most common lime found throughout the world. Most U.S. supermarkets carry the larger Persian limes, and the small Key limes may be more difficult to find. I’m not sure what ordinary would be in the UK. Key limes are about the size of a ping pong ball.

  7. Kathy in Oregon says

    Hi Barbara,

    This sounds like a wonderful, light and tasty summer dessert! I would like to print it, but when I click the “print” button it brings up 2 blank pages…..?? Am I doing something wrong? I have printed many of your other recipes and they all printed just fine.

    Thanks for letting me know…and thanks for always providing us such wonderful recipes :)

    Loved your article on your first RVing experience, and glad you chose our beautiful state to explore!! :)


    • says

      Thanks Kathy – your state is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. I’m glad you enjoyed my post. Sorry you’re having trouble printing. Strange, the print feature is working fine for me. Can you try printing using another browser, Chrome or Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. Sometimes even restarting your computer will do the trick. Email me if you need me to send you a pdf to print. I know you’ll enjoy it.

      • Kathy in Oregon says

        Thank you so much Barbara. I am using Chrome, and it still won’t work. I just copied and pasted it into a Word doc, but thanks for the offer of the PDF, I would much prefer to have it in PDF format if you don’t’ mind sending it to me :)

        Yes, we are so blessed to live in the beautiful state of Oregon!!! We live about an hour from the coast…right on the Umpqua River….so we have the best of both worlds!! So glad you had a good time and enjoyed all the beauty!

        I truly enjoy all of your articles and recipes :) Thank you so much!! Kathy

  8. says

    I love this idea of a virtual potluck!! The last Tuesday of the month is going to be one of my favorite days!!
    I like your idea of a Key Lime Bundt Cake. The Key Lime Pie is too sweet for me. Just in time to make it for a friend who loves Key Lime anything. However, I’ve never bought Key Limes before (or never paid attention) Are they kept in the citrus section of the produce aisle?

    • says

      Thanks Caryn – that’s so nice. Yes, key limes are generally in the produce section along with the other lemons and limes. They’re often package with about 20 lime in little green mesh bags. Feel free to sub regular limes if you can’t find key limes.

      • says

        Made this cake on Monday. When I went to purchase the key limes, my regular market said they don’t usually carry them but that “they just happened to get some” that morning. Score!!! The cake was a big hit for my friend’s birthday!!

  9. says

    This cake looks simply out of this world. I wish I could glaze a cake so beautifully. Lovely connecting with you through Progressive eats . It’s such a delight to get to know everyone through their food.

  10. says

    I love any and all things made with key lime and this looks wonderful. I love that you include high altitude information; great idea.

    Thanks so much for joining with us Barbara; I think we have a great group and I’m delighted you are part of it!

  11. says

    I love Key lime anything and your glazed pound cake looks divine! So glad to be joining you at the Progressive Eats table…I have a feeling I’d be hankering for a second slice of your spectacular cake!

  12. says

    Barbara, you hit another home run! This key lime pound cake is absolutely beautiful (I need to take glazing lessons from you, LOL) and would the perfect ending to our Progressive Supper. Fantastic job!!

  13. says

    Gorgeous pound cake, Barbara! You know how much I love pound cake, right? :) So happy to be in this group with you and all the other talented bloggy folks! How many cups do your half-size Bundts hold (I may need to invest–love the idea of two smaller cakes)!

  14. says

    I wish Crisco was available in any sort at all in Australia but it’s not. Not in a tub and not in a stick. It just doesn’t exist. There’s not an Aussie equivalent either. I can buy it but I have to get it at the import company for 5 times what it costs you. :)

    I will spend some of my cherished Crisco on this cake because it looks delicious!