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Key Lime Bundt Cake

This sweet and tart Key Lime Bundt Cake is a must-bake for citrus lovers. Dial up the lime flavor with a simple glaze or just dust with confectioners’ sugar for a simple, delicious dessert!

Key Lime Bundt Cake

All of my fellow citrus fans pay attention because this Key Lime Bundt Cake recipe just may be the one you’ve been longing to try. It has just the right amount of sweet, tart lime flavor packed into a simple Bundt cake. Top that with a glaze made with even more lime, and you’ll find yourself firmly in lime bliss.

I’ve seen so many lime cake recipes over the years that use artificial lime flavor in the form of gelatin mix or some other addition. I love that this cake gets its lime flavor only from limes. While those other additions may get a bigger flavor, that doesn’t necessarily mean a better flavor. Try making this Key Lime Bundt cake from scratch, and I think you’ll agree!

slices of Key Lime Bundt Cake served on white plates

I know it’s tempting to take a shortcut with bottled lime juice, but fresh is really just so much better, especially when it’s the main flavor focus like it is in this cake. Juicing all of those little limes adds a bit of labor, but it’s worth it. Plus, fresh limes are the only way you’ll get the zest. You definitely don’t want to skip the zest when making this cake, or you’ll be missing out on a big part of the flavor.

The batter for this cake really fills up a 10-cup bundt pan, so you might want to go with a 12-cup if you’re worried about spills. I’ll admit I have a few minutes of anxiety watching this one bake in a 10-cup pan, but it works for me. If you go with a 10-cup pan, just be sure you’ve measured everything accurately so you don’t have a disaster.

slice of Key Lime Bundt Cake

The simple glaze for this cake adds even more lime flavor to make this cake a delicious lime celebration. The lime flavor isn’t overwhelming, but if you prefer to tone it down, just a dusting of confectioners’ sugar on top of the cake is a good alternative. Personally, I like the extra lime goodness of the glaze, but I think the confectioners’ sugar gives you a good alternative.

I just can’t get enough of this soft and sweet, lightly tart cake. It’s at the top of my list whenever I have access to some good key limes. Whether it’s for a casual gathering, a picnic, a family dinner, or whatever occasion you decide to celebrate, this Key Lime Bundt Cake is a great dessert option for all of you citrus lovers.

Find more Bundt cake recipes in the Recipe Index.

More Lime Desserts

Key Lime Bundt Cake

Yield 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Key Lime Bundt Cake has just the right amount of amazing sweet, tart lime flavor. A must-bake for citrus lovers!

slices of Key Lime Bundt Cake served on white plates

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 3 cups + 2 tablespoons (375g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon key lime zest (3 to 4 medium key limes)*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (237ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice (5 to 6 medium key limes)*

For the glaze:

  • 3/4 cup (82g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons key lime juice (2 to 3 medium key limes)*

Instructions

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan.**
  2. Whisk together the flour, zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the lime juice.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three portions, alternating with two portions of the milk. Mix just until combined.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and spread evenly.
  6. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze:

  1. Whisk together the confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Add more juice, a small amount at a time, until it's the desired consistency.
  2. Spoon or brush the glaze over the cooled cake.

Notes

*You can substitute Persian limes if you can't find key limes. The flavor may be a bit different, but you'll still get a pretty fantastic cake. Persian limes are larger, so you won't need as many to get the same amount of juice and zest.

**This cake fills a 10-cup pan very full, so go with a 12-cup if you're concerned about potential spills.

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    28 Comments on “Key Lime Bundt Cake”

  1. This cake looks so moist. I have that very same Bundt pan and it always seems to produce a very dark crusty finish. Is buttermilk ban acceptable substitute for regular milk?

    • Hi, Cheryl. I’ve only made this cake with regular milk, so I can’t give you a definitive answer. I think buttermilk will be fine, although it’s possible you’d need more baking soda.

  2. Can you make this cake a day or 2 in advance?

  3. This cake looks amazing! So moist and delicious. Can’t wait to try this!

  4. Hello! I love key lime so I  made this cake today and the flavor was amazing!! But even though I greased and flour the pan, it stuck pretty bad, any advice?
    (By the way, we are still eating that yummy mess)

    • I highly recommend generously using a cooking spray with flour, like Baker’s Joy or Pam for baking. You can also wait to spray until just before you add the batter to keep it from gravitating toward the bottom of the pan.

  5. I’m not sure where you live, but do you easily find key limes in your grocery store?

  6. The recipe calls for 3 cups flour plus 2 tbls. Does all this go into the cake mix or are the 2 tbls to flour the pan? This sounds delicious! Looking forward to making it this afternoon.

  7. Instead of using fresh key limes can I use Key lime juice that can be purchased in a bottle?

  8. What changes need to be made for an altitude over 6000 feet?

  9. Which type of salt is best used Table or Course salt?

    • Hi, Linda. I usually use table salt for baking. If you want to use a coarser salt, just keep in mind that you may need to use more to get the same “saltiness” as table salt. A fine Kosher salt is generally interchangeable with table salt, but a coarser one may need a little adjustment.

  10. Hello Jennifer!!

    Just made this cake with one SMALL change….  I used thawed out “frozen limeade concentrate”!!!

    The EXACT amount as called for in your cake recipe  ((1/3 cup)) as well as the glaze ((“about 1.75TBS)).

    Can we just say…..  OMG!!!!!

    I looked at 3 different grocery stores in my area for “key limes” with no luck ((only the Persian)).

    I have a different recipe for “sour orange pie” that calls for “frozen orange juice concentrate”, so I thought, what the heck, if it worked for THAT, let’s TRY the “lime aid” for THIS!!!!

    I’m SOOOO glad I did!!!!

    It was VERY “lime-ee”, refreshing, tangy, sweet, moist and delicious ALL rolled up in one AMAZING cake!!!

    Thank you for such an AWESOME, AWESOME cake recipe!!!!

  11. While searching for a specific recipe for Mini Bundt Cakes I discovered your site.. Several of your recipes interest me but I do have a question. I have been baking for years (>60) and my collection of pans include a lot of dark decorative pans which I love. You mentioned “never” use dark pans…why??
    I remember that recipes noted to decrease the temperature when using dark pans, is this not sufficient?
    I would hate to have to replace my extensive collection; besides, I believe my husband would have a heart attack.
    Thanks you.

    • Hi, Janet. Dark pans tend to cook the outside edges faster, which can leave the center under-baked. Often, to get the center baked thoroughly, the outside edges get over-baked. I never use dark pans unless I don’t have another option because of this uneven baking issue. Decreasing the oven temperature will often help, but it can take some tinkering to figure out just what to do. All of that just means that using a pan that doesn’t require any type of adjustments is much easier and more reliable. That being said, if you’ve figured out ways to work around those issues with your pans, then I wouldn’t worry too much about replacing them. I had several dark pans early in my baking days, and I just replaced them with lighter pans as the need arose. I hope that helps!

  12. Thanks Jennifer. I did notice my edges were a little more crispier the last time I used one of these pans. I think I will follow your lead and look for replacements as needed. I looking forward to trying your Key Lime Bundt Cake and your Mini Coconut Bundt Cakes..
    Happy Baking,
    Jan.

  13. I made this recipe twice now, first with key limes, second with lemons. Both were amazing. The only thing I changed was using my kefir instead of the milk. I didn’t have a bundt pan before and only used a regular pan but it turned out great that I finally got me a proper bundt pan. I now have this secret weapon to whip up for any party, any occasion, any time! Thank you so much!

  14. Hi

    I am unable to print the recipes? I click on print and it brings me back to top of page?

    Help

    Thx

    Ann

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