Indulge in the Irresistible Key Lime Cake Recipe by Paula Deen

Are you ready to satisfy your sweet tooth with a delectable treat? Look no further than Paula Deen’s irresistible Key Lime Cake recipe. With its tangy and refreshing flavor, this dessert is bound to become a favorite among your family and friends. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting your culinary journey, this recipe is approachable and easy to follow. So put on your apron, grab your baking tools, and get ready to embark on a mouth-watering adventure.

Indulge in the Irresistible Key Lime Cake Recipe by Paula Deen | 101 Simple Recipe
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Introduction to Key Lime Cake

Discover the origins and popularity of the delicious Key Lime Cake recipe by Paula Deen.

Key lime cake is a delightful dessert that has gained widespread popularity, thanks to the mouthwatering recipe created by the renowned chef, Paula Deen. This delectable treat is a perfect fusion of tangy citrus flavors and moist cake, making it a favorite among dessert lovers.

The key lime cake recipe originated from the Florida Keys, where the small, tart key limes grow abundantly. The locals in the area quickly discovered the irresistible combination of the zesty lime and a sweet, buttery cake. This unique flavor profile led to the creation of the iconic key lime pie, which eventually inspired Paula Deen to develop her own twist on the classic dessert.

Paula Deen, a well-known celebrity chef, is admired for her ability to infuse Southern flavors into her recipes. Her key lime cake gained immense popularity due to its perfect balance of tanginess and sweetness. The recipe has the power to transport your taste buds to a tropical paradise with each bite.

History of Key Lime Cake

Key lime cake has a rich history that can be traced back to the early 20th century. The origin of this delightful dessert can be attributed to the Key West locals who had an abundance of key limes at their disposal.

The key lime cake gained prominence in the 1920s when home cooks started experimenting with the flavors of the region. They combined the tangy juice of key limes with the sweetness of a cake batter to create a refreshing and indulgent dessert.

Over the years, this humble creation became an iconic part of Key West cuisine. It was served in local restaurants, and its reputation spread across the state of Florida. Today, people from all around the world seek out this unique dessert, particularly Paula Deen’s recipe, to experience a taste of the Florida Keys.

Why Paula Deen’s Recipe Stands Out

Paula Deen’s key lime cake recipe stands out among the countless variations available due to its attention to detail and superior flavor profile.

One of the key factors that sets Paula Deen’s recipe apart is the use of freshly squeezed key lime juice. The natural tanginess of the key limes adds a refreshing twist to the cake, providing a burst of flavor with every bite. Additionally, her recipe incorporates just the right amount of sweetness, ensuring a perfectly balanced dessert.

Furthermore, Paula Deen’s recipe embraces the Southern tradition of incorporating butter into her cakes, resulting in a moist and tender texture. The buttery richness of the cake complements the tanginess of the key lime perfectly, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

The Key Ingredients for Success

To recreate Paula Deen’s irresistible key lime cake, you’ll need a few essential ingredients. These include fresh key limes, all-purpose flour, sugar, butter, eggs, buttermilk, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt.

The process starts with creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, followed by adding the eggs one at a time. Next, the dry ingredients are mixed together in a separate bowl, and the key lime juice and zest are added to the buttermilk. The dry and wet ingredients are then alternately added to the butter mixture, resulting in a smooth batter.

The prepared batter is poured into a greased cake pan and baked until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Once the cake has cooled, it can be frosted with a tangy key lime glaze or a rich cream cheese frosting for added decadence.

Whether you are a fan of citrus desserts or simply looking to try something new, Paula Deen’s key lime cake recipe is a must-try. Its refreshing flavor profile and moist texture make it an irresistible treat that will leave you craving for more.

If you’re a fan of Paula Deen’s recipes, you might also enjoy this collection of Southern cooking recipes. It includes traditional favorites like fried chicken, biscuits, and more.

Gathering the Key Ingredients

Learn about the essential components that make up this mouthwatering cake.

Fresh Key Limes: The Star of the Show

When it comes to making an exquisite Key Lime Cake, fresh key limes are an absolute must. These small tropical fruits are the star of the show, imparting a tangy and refreshing flavor to the cake. While regular limes can be used as a substitute, it is the unique tartness and aroma of key limes that truly set this cake apart.

When selecting key limes, it’s important to choose those that are bright green and feel heavy for their size. This ensures that they are juicy and packed with flavor. Avoid limes that have a dull color or feel mushy, as they may not provide the desired taste.

Before using the key limes, make sure to wash them thoroughly under cold water to remove any dirt or residue. Once cleaned, zest and juice the limes, reserving both for the cake batter and the tangy glaze that completes this delectable dessert.

Choosing the Right Flour and Sugar

The choice of flour and sugar plays a crucial role in achieving the perfect texture and sweetness for your Key Lime Cake. To ensure a light and tender crumb, it is recommended to use cake flour. Cake flour has a lower protein content compared to all-purpose flour, resulting in a softer and more delicate cake.

When it comes to the sweetness level, granulated sugar is the go-to choice for most bakers. However, to add a touch of caramel undertones and enhance the flavor profile, you can substitute a portion of the granulated sugar with light brown sugar. The molasses in the brown sugar provides a subtle richness that complements the tangy lime flavor beautifully.

Exploring Other Flavor Enhancements

While the key lime flavor is the star attraction, there are other flavor enhancements that can take your Key Lime Cake to the next level. One popular addition is using graham cracker crumbs in the crust or sprinkled on top of the cake for a hint of sweetness and crunch. This adds another layer of complexity to the dessert and pays homage to the classic Key Lime Pie.

Additionally, a small amount of vanilla extract can be added to the batter to round out the flavors and provide a subtle hint of warmth. You can also consider folding in a handful of shredded coconut into the batter for a tropical twist that pairs perfectly with the zesty citrus notes.

With these flavor enhancements, you can elevate Paula Deen’s Key Lime Cake recipe and create a dessert that not only satisfies your craving for something sweet but also tantalizes your taste buds with its irresistible blend of flavors.

Looking for more delicious dessert recipes? Check out this collection of cake recipes by Paula Deen. You’ll find everything from chocolate cakes to fruity cakes.

The Art of Mixing and Baking

Uncover the secrets to properly mix and bake the Key Lime Cake for optimal taste and texture.

The Perfect Batter Consistency

When it comes to making a Key Lime Cake, achieving the perfect batter consistency is crucial. This will ensure that your cake turns out moist and tender, with a light and fluffy texture. To achieve this, it is important to follow the recipe instructions accurately and pay attention to the ratio of wet and dry ingredients.

Start by creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This helps to incorporate air into the batter, resulting in a lighter texture. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, ensuring that each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. This step helps to create a smooth and cohesive batter.

Next, alternate adding the dry ingredients (such as flour, baking powder, and salt) with the wet ingredients (such as milk and lime juice). This helps to prevent the batter from becoming too dense and ensures that all the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout.

To check if the batter consistency is correct, it should be thick and smooth, but still pourable. It should easily slide off a spoon without being too runny or too stiff. If it’s too thick, add a tablespoon of milk at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. On the other hand, if it’s too thin, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it thickens up.

✨ Pro Tip: A well-mixed batter is the foundation of a delicious Key Lime Cake, so take your time and make sure all the ingredients are properly incorporated.

Baking Time and Temperature

The baking time and temperature are crucial elements in achieving a perfectly baked Key Lime Cake. It is important to follow the recipe instructions for the recommended time and temperature, as they have been tested to give the best results.

Preheat your oven to the specified temperature before placing the cake batter in. This ensures that the oven is properly heated and ready to bake the cake. If the oven is not preheated, it may affect the rise and overall texture of the cake.

Place the cake pan in the center of the oven to ensure even heat distribution. Avoid placing it too close to the sides or bottom of the oven, as this can result in uneven baking. It is also recommended to rotate the cake halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning.

The baking time indicated in the recipe is a general guideline. However, every oven is different, so it’s important to keep an eye on the cake as it bakes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, the cake is done. If there is wet batter on the toothpick, continue baking for a few more minutes.

✨ Pro Tip: Avoid opening the oven door too often during baking, as it can cause the cake to sink or become dry. Only open the oven door when necessary to check for doneness.

Testing for Doneness

Testing for doneness is an essential step to ensure that your Key Lime Cake is perfectly baked. Here are a few methods you can use to test if your cake is done:

  1. Insert a toothpick or cake tester into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, the cake is done.
  2. Gently press the center of the cake with your finger. If it springs back and feels firm to the touch, it is done.
  3. Check the color of the cake. It should be golden brown and evenly colored on the top and sides.

Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the pan for a few minutes. Then, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting or serving.

✨ Pro Tip: Remember that baking times may vary depending on your oven, so always rely on visual cues and the toothpick test to ensure your cake is fully baked.

Frosting and Garnishing

When it comes to the perfect Key Lime Cake, the frosting and garnishing are what truly elevate this dessert to a whole new level. Not only do they add a delightful finish, but they also enhance the overall taste and presentation. Let’s explore the various options for frosting and garnishing that will make your Key Lime Cake irresistible.

Cream Cheese Frosting: Classic and Creamy

If you’re a fan of the classic and creamy combination, then the Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect choice for your Key Lime Cake. Made with a blend of cream cheese, powdered sugar, and a touch of vanilla extract, this frosting adds a rich and luscious layer of flavor. The tanginess of the cream cheese beautifully complements the tartness of the key lime, creating a harmonious balance of tastes.

To make the Cream Cheese Frosting even more decadent, consider adding a tablespoon of lime zest. This will infuse the frosting with a burst of citrusy goodness and bring out the refreshing flavor of the key lime. The vibrant green color of the zest also adds a visually appealing touch to your cake.

Whipped Cream Topping: Light and Airy

If you prefer a lighter and airy texture for your Key Lime Cake, then the Whipped Cream Topping is the way to go. Made by whipping heavy cream with powdered sugar, this topping creates a velvety and smooth layer that melts in your mouth. The lightness of the whipped cream allows the zesty key lime flavor to shine through.

To enhance the taste of the Whipped Cream Topping, you can add a teaspoon of lime juice while whipping the cream. This will give the topping an extra zing and a refreshing twist. You can also sprinkle some lime zest on top to add a pop of color and a burst of citrus aroma. This combination of flavors and textures will take your Key Lime Cake to the next level.

Decorating with Zest and Lime Slices

When it comes to garnishing your Key Lime Cake, the possibilities are endless. One popular option is to decorate the cake with lime zest. Simply sprinkle some zest on top of the frosting or gently press it onto the sides of the cake. This adds a bright and vibrant appearance to your dessert while enhancing the citrusy flavor.

Another creative way to garnish your Key Lime Cake is by adding lime slices. Thinly slice a lime and place the slices on top of the cake in an attractive pattern or arrange them along the sides of the cake. Not only does this make the cake visually appealing, but it also gives your guests a hint of what flavors to expect.

Now that you know the various options for frosting and garnishing, it’s time to indulge in the irresistible Key Lime Cake recipe by Paula Deen. Whether you choose the classic Cream Cheese Frosting or the light Whipped Cream Topping, don’t forget to add a touch of zest and lime slices for that extra wow factor. Get ready to impress your taste buds and wow your guests with this heavenly dessert.

Alternative Variations to Try

Explore different twists on the traditional Key Lime Cake that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Whether you’re a fan of tropical flavors, crave a creamy and tangy dessert, or have dietary restrictions that call for gluten-free options, there’s a variation of this classic recipe that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Get ready to indulge in these irresistible alternatives to the traditional Key Lime Cake recipe by Paula Deen.

Coconut Key Lime Cake: A Tropical Twist

Add a touch of the tropics to your Key Lime Cake by creating a Coconut Key Lime Cake. This variation combines the refreshing tanginess of key lime with the sweet and nutty flavor of coconut. The result is a delightful, tropical dessert that will transport you to a sunny beach with each bite.

To make this twist on the classic recipe, simply incorporate coconut into the batter by adding shredded coconut to the cake mix. You can also enhance the coconut flavor by using coconut milk instead of regular milk in the recipe. Additionally, consider adding a layer of coconut cream frosting between the cake layers for an extra burst of coconut goodness.

The Coconut Key Lime Cake is perfect for those who love the combination of tangy citrus and tropical flavors. It’s a great option for summer parties, beach-themed events, or anytime you want to add a bit of sunshine to your dessert table.

Key Lime Cheesecake: Creamy and Tangy

If you’re a fan of both key lime pie and cheesecake, why not combine the two into a Key Lime Cheesecake? This creamy and tangy dessert is the perfect marriage of two beloved treats. The smooth and velvety texture of the cheesecake pairs beautifully with the bright and tangy key lime flavor, creating a dessert that’s truly indulgent.

To make this delicious twist on the traditional Key Lime Cake, start with a classic cheesecake recipe and add key lime juice and zest to the batter. You can also incorporate a graham cracker crust to mimic the crust of a key lime pie. Top it off with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of lime zest for an extra touch of elegance.

The Key Lime Cheesecake is a crowd-pleaser that will satisfy even the most discerning dessert lovers. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply treating yourself to a special dessert, this variation is sure to impress.

Gluten-Free Key Lime Cake: Catering to Dietary Restrictions

For those with dietary restrictions, a gluten-free Key Lime Cake is the perfect solution. This variation allows you to enjoy the delightful flavors of the traditional recipe while catering to your dietary needs. Whether you have a gluten intolerance or simply prefer to avoid gluten, this alternative will ensure that you don’t miss out on the indulgence of Key Lime Cake.

To make this gluten-free version, substitute regular flour with a gluten-free flour blend of your choice. Be sure to check the labels of your ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free. You can also add a pinch of xanthan gum to the batter to help with texture and binding. The result will be a cake that’s just as delicious and moist as the original recipe.

The Gluten-Free Key Lime Cake is a fantastic option for those with dietary restrictions, allowing them to indulge in a classic dessert without worrying about gluten. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply treating yourself, this variation is sure to be a hit.

If you’re in the mood for something different, try this key lime cake recipe by Paula Deen. It’s a refreshing twist on a classic dessert.

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for reading our article on the Key Lime Cake recipe by Paula Deen! We hope you enjoyed learning how to make this delicious dessert. If you have any further questions or need clarification on any of the steps, please refer to the FAQs below:

No. Questions Answers
1. Can I use bottled key lime juice instead of fresh key limes? Yes, you can substitute bottled key lime juice for fresh key limes. However, the flavor may be slightly different, so adjust the quantity according to your taste.
2. Can I make this recipe ahead of time? Yes, you can make the key lime cake ahead of time. Simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving.
3. Can I use regular limes instead of key limes? Yes, you can use regular limes if you cannot find key limes. Keep in mind that the flavor may be slightly different, but it will still be delicious!
4. Can I freeze the key lime cake? Yes, you can freeze the key lime cake. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe container. It will keep well for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
5. Can I use whipped cream instead of cream cheese frosting? Yes, you can use whipped cream as an alternative to cream cheese frosting. It will give the cake a lighter and fluffier texture.
6. Can I add other toppings to the key lime cake? Absolutely! You can get creative with the toppings for your key lime cake. Some popular options include shredded coconut, lime zest, or even a drizzle of raspberry sauce.

Thank You for Reading!

We hope you found this article helpful in creating your own Key Lime Cake using Paula Deen’s recipe. If you have any feedback or would like to share your baking experience, we would love to hear from you. Don’t forget to bookmark our website and visit again for more delicious recipes and cooking tips. Happy baking!

Jump to Recipe

Indulge in the Irresistible Key Lime Cake Recipe by Paula Deen | 101 Simple Recipe

Key Lime Cake Recipe

Learn how to make a delicious Key Lime Cake with this recipe by Paula Deen. The cake is moist, tangy, and bursting with refreshing lime flavor. It's perfect for any special occasion or as a summertime treat.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 380 kcal


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon key lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk.
  • Stir in the key lime juice and zest until well combined. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once the cakes have cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting and garnish with extra key lime zest, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Keyword key lime cake recipe, Paula Deen, dessert