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Key Lime Layer Cake

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Key Lime Cake

Moist cake layered with buttercream and tart key lime filling.  A perfect summer treat!

Key lime pie is one of my favorite desserts.  It’s just so refreshing and fun!  Whenever I am pondering the question of what dessert to try in a restaurant I am always caught between chocolate and anything key lime.

I’ve already done a few key lime recipes here on Easybaked, but never a cake.  Until today…..

Key Lime Cake

The key lime filling is tart, but the sweet buttercream layered with it makes each bite a refreshing treat!

Here’s how to make it: (printable recipe)


  • One boxed yellow cake mix (with eggs, oil and water to make according to package)
  • 1 cup of key lime juice
  • 1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 sticks (8 oz.) of salted butter
  • 2 sticks (8 oz.) of unsalted butter
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of clear vanilla
  • 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers

DIRECTIONS:    (make filling 1st to save time)


  • Make cake mix according to package and bake in two 8 or 9 inch round pans.
  • Turn cakes out of pans onto a cooling rack and cool completely.


  • In a medium mixing bowl blend together key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk and egg until combined.
  • Pour into a small casserole dish and bake at 325F degrees for 15-20 minutes until center is set.
  • Cool completely (I make this 1st and place it in the fridge while I make the cake and frosting)


  • In a large mixing bowl, add softened butters, powdered sugar and vanilla.
  • Beat on high for several minutes until frosting is light and very fluffy.

Putting the cake together:

  • Trim the tops of cakes to make them flat using a large serrated knife.
  • Cut each cake into 2 layers using the same serrated knife.
  • Place 1st layer on a serving plate and lightly layer with frosting.
  • Spread 1/3 of the cooled key lime filling over layer
  • Place 2nd layer on top and repeat until last layer has been placed on top.
  • Frost entire cake (top and sides) with buttercream frosting.
  • Crush a few graham crackers and gently press the crumbs along the sides of the cake.
  • Decorate as desired.  I used little dollops of extra frosting and little lime green chocolates.

Key lime cake!!!(Aren’t they cute?!?)

Key Lime Cake!!

Key Lime Cake!!

Key Lime Cake!! 

My thoughts:  I love this cake so much!  It’s not only one of my favorite flavors, but it’s pretty and it holds together so well and cuts beautifully!  If you love key lime like I do, this is the cake for you!  I hope you get a chance to try it!!!    Enjoy!  ~r

Key Lime Cake!!!

Other layer cake recipes you might enjoy:

Strawberry layer cakePeanut Butter Cup Layer CakeStrawberry-Lemonade Layer CakeMedovnik in Prague


About Ruthanne

Ruthanne is a scientist with a passion for baking and food photography. Using her kitchen as a lab, she loves experimenting with a variety of flavors and ingredients to create unique, fun and ultimately tasty delights! Thus she created EasyBaked, a website where sugar and chocolate overflow in fun and easy recipes. Her Motto: Money can’t buy happiness -- but it can buy marshmallows, and that’s nearly the same thing!

33 responses »

  1. What a beautiful cake and your photo’s are amazing. I just love key lime pie and I know the cake is heavenly!

  2. Love key-lime anything and this cake looks perfect! I made one a while back and it didn’t stand up as well as yours. PInning! 🙂

  3. I’m obsessed with key lime pie! Though I don’t have the same dilemma as you because I’m not a fan of chocolate. 🙂

    This cake looks totally amazing, I will definitely be pinning this to try soon!

    • You don’t like CHOCOLATE?!? How did I not know this about you? Lol- well at least your dessert choices are less complicated. I hate cooked fruit desserts, which is helpful in eliminating lots of options!

  4. Great photo’s.I want a piece of that cake!

  5. SO amazing! I’m very glad I’ve found your blog: stunning photos and gorgeous recipes 🙂

  6. I love key lime pie, so this sounds good to me!

  7. huntfortheverybest

    I love key lime pie so i’d love this too!

  8. This looks awesome!! Love all the layers!

  9. I’ve never baked key lime dessert, but this recipe is something I must try!

  10. Hi, this looks amazing! I plan to make it the day before though. Should I refrigerate it before eating?

  11. This is an amazing cake!!! All about it is delicious, and was such a success for my party. Sold out! Everyone loved it and had to make a good comment about it. I made two cakes, for two different parties. I froze one of them for a week for my second party, and it kept really well. I put it in the fridge through the night and out of the fridge about 5 hours before serving it. By the time of serving, it was perfectly smooth and moist. My mistake with the first cake for my first party was to keep it in the fridge until the time of serving it, it tasted great, but it wasn’t as soft. I would recommend to take it out of the fridge at least an hour before serving it. Thanks a lot for this recipe! I’m already passing it a long to all my friends 🙂

  12. This cake is AMAZING. Everyone raved about it! My filling came out a bit runny (should have cooked it a couple of minutes longer!) but no one cared it was so delicious. Perfect blend of tart/tangy/sweet! Thank you so much for sharing!

  13. What exactly is the key lime juice?

    • It is juice squeezed from key limes (available in most produce sections of grocery stores). If you can’t find them, you can use juice from limes.

  14. Hello there! I’m doing a double batch and I put the filling in a 10″ cake pan to bake. It is not even close to set after 20 mins (i figure a double batch would need more time, but it’s REALLY not set yet) and it’s bubbling/browning around the edges pretty badly. Sound normal to you? Thoughts on what I could do different next time? Thanks!

    • Hi Jenny 🙂 SO sorry it took me forever to reply to you- I took a two year break from blogging- but I’m back! I’d recommend you bake it in two separate smaller pans if you do a double batch. It sounds like the center just wasn’t keeping up with the edges in setting. Hope this helps!

  15. Just made but my filling didn’t firm like it should, even after cooling in refrigerator. The edges had bubbled and ended up grainy and loose. Taste was great but assembly was difficult so didn’t look great. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Debra, SO sorry it took me forever to reply to you- I took a two year break from blogging- but I’m back! I’m not sure what happened- I’ve always had it turn out pretty firm and the edges were for sure not grainy or loose… I wonder if you maybe under-baked it? My edges get pretty brown (I just don’t use the top part of those) and the center should be set and not jiggly when you pull it out of the oven to cool. Hope this helps!!! 🙂

  16. Hi there! This cake looks so wonderful. I made the filling last night, along with a Facetime cooking/sharing time with my brother, and his turned out great and mine was very liquidy and I couldn’t use it. (My husband and I did manage to eat quite a bit of it with a spoon!) The flavor was wonderful but it never set up in the oven. It had sort of a “scrambled egg” feel to it, very grainy and separating from the lime juiced when it was done. I am wondering why mine didn’t turn out and my brother’s was perfect? The only difference in making it was that I beat it with my stand mixer–should I have just done it by hand, maybe using a wire whisk? My brother did his with a hand mixer but only until combined. I’d love to try it again but I want to know how to improve it. Thanks so much for posting your recipes!

    • Hi Jo! I am so sorry this didn’t work out for you… (but I LOVE the Facetime cooking idea! I’m totally going to steal it!) I honestly have never had this recipe NOT work- so I don’t have too many ideas for you. I don’t ever use a mixer for the filling- I just stir it together- so that might have been the reason (over-mixing)… Again- so sorry your filling didn’t work! :/

  17. I’m so discouraged that as several others have commented, my filling never set in the oven, remained grainy and loose even after 30 minutes. What are you doing that we aren’t? I combined the lime juice, condensed milk and egg in a metal bowl and stirred with a wooden spoon only until completely blended. I poured the mixture into a 8 1/2” x 6” casserole dish and placed on the middle rack @ 325 degrees. Why is something that appears to be fairly simple with only three ingredients creating such different results for people? I do a lot of baking and my oven temps are not off. I REALLY want to make this work for a birthday cake I am making. Should I try making it in a glass pie plate so that it has a larger surface area?

    • Hi Cheryl, I am SO sad that this keeps happening to people. I just used this filling in a different dessert and it worked for me. Several other people have mentioned baking it longer, so you could try that. I also wonder if egg size matters. I use Large or XL eggs, and since they are the primary binding agent when this bakes, it could be that you simply need to add another egg. I hope SO much that you can get this to work!


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