Lime Cake from Scratch

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You are going to love this bright and flavorful Lime Cake from Scratch! I love all sorts of cakes year round, but when summer arrives, I'm in the mood for something a little fruity!

Bring me strawberry cake, lemon cake, coconut cake, Piña Colada Cake, and now, lime cake! (By the way, don't miss our post of 100+ Cakes with Fruit!!)

The BEST Lime Cake Recipe from scratch with Lime Curd and Cream Cheese Frosting! Cake recipe by Online cake tutorials, recipes, cake videos, and more.

In the past week, we have tried at least six versions of lime cake, along with various combinations of frostings and fillings. This was the clear winner! 

Lime Extract vs. Lime Simple Syrup

One thing that we discovered in our experimenting is that it is difficult to achieve a strong lime flavored cake from lime juice and zest alone.

We found the same for our favorite lemon cake recipe but we had lemon extract to bump up the flavor.

However, lime extracts are a bit more difficult to find at the grocery store.

In the end, brushing our lime cake layers with lime syrup and lime curd was the key to giving us a delicious lime cake!

**This recipe would taste great with buttercream also, but we decided to use cream cheese frosting which was divine ;0)  

Reverse Creaming Method of Mixing

** This recipe calls for the Reverse Creaming Method of Mixing. This refers to the order that the ingredients are mixed, and the result is a cake with a tighter crumb and velvety texture.

If you have never made a cake with the Reverse Creaming Method, you may want to watch our free video tutorial:  Reverse Creaming Method of Mixing-Video Tutorial. 

Moist and Delicious Lime Cake From Scratch with Lime Curd and Cream Cheese Frosting! Recipe by Cake recipes, online cake tutorials, videos, and more!

We frosted our cake with a delicious Cream Cheese Frosting. Find the recipe here!: Cream Cheese Frosting

Enjoy these other cakes with Lime

We've made lots of lime cakes over the years! Here are just a few of our favorites:

This Lime Cake From Scratch Recipe is the BEST! Wonderful flavor and so moist! Perfect for summertime gatherings!
This Lime Cake From Scratch Recipe is the BEST! Wonderful flavor and so moist! Perfect for summertime gatherings!

Lime Cake from Scratch

Delicious Lime Layer Cake from Scratch with Lime Curd Filling
Course: Dessert
Servings: 15
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  • 2 ½ cups cake flour (285g)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300g)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (3g)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder (12g)
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened (169g) unsalted butter, softened slightly, still cold to the touch (do not soften in the microwave) you can cut into ½ inch slices onto waxed paper to soften more quickly.
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature (If in a hurry, place eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.)
  • 1 cup milk (242g)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (18g)
  • ¼ cup lime juice (We used Nellie & Joe's bottled Key Lime Juice.) (59g)
  • zest of 2 limes - best done with a microplane (just the green layer of the peel)


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice


  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (150g)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch (30g)
  • 1 cup water (236g)
  • 2 egg yolks slightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (28g)
  • 1 Tablespoon grated lime zest
  • 4 Tablespoons lime juice (55g)



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 x 2 inch round pans. I split the layers for four layers to assemble the cake, your could also bake in three 8 x 2 pans. This will give you more lime curd per slice. I used the reverse creaming method for this recipe.
  • In the bowl of your mixer combine the cake flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and lime zest.
  • In a separate bowl combine eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and lime juice. Blend with a fork.
  • Whisk the dry ingredients for 30 seconds to combine. Begin with your mixer on low speed, gradually increasing to medium speed as you add the slices of butter a few pieces at a time. Beat until the dry ingredients are crumbly and moistened by the butter. The look & texture will be similar to coarse sand. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure there is no dry flour.
  • Slowly add approximately ½ of the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and beat at medium speed for 1 ½ minutes, the batter will become thick and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and add the remaining egg mixture in 2 additions, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes (25 to 30 minutes if you bake in 3 pans) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool 10 minutes then turn out. Makes 6 ½ cups of batter, works well for cupcakes.

For the Lime Simple Syrup

  • In a saucepan over medium heat bring the water and sugar to a boil. Turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Cool. If you want the mixture to be a thicker consistency, cook longer over low heat.
  • Brush a small amount of the syrup onto your cake layers before you begin assembling your cake. Apply sparingly so that the cake does not become soggy. We apply while the cakes are still warm but you could also do this at room temp just before assembling. We prefer to use a pastry brush. With lime juice added to the mixture it will last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

For the Lime Curd

  • Combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan, pour in water. Over medium heat, stir the mixture constantly until it thickens and comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Spoon about ½ cup of the hot mixture into a small bowl containing the egg yolks and stir quickly until combined.
  • Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, approximately 1 min. The mixture will thicken slightly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the butter, lime juice and lime zest. Cool before using.

To Assemble the Cake

  • After lightly brushing our layers with lime syrup, we filled with the lime curd, and then crumb coated and frosted the cake with our Cream Cheese Frosting recipe (linked above the recipe).
4.56 from 160 votes (160 ratings without comment)

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  1. Made using the traditional creaming method, worked perfectly! Next time I would skip the lime syrup as my curd seemed limey enough. I plan on trying as cupcakes next. Such a delicious recipe and the cake keeps well for a number of days (If you can keep people away from it!!)

  2. I'm making this cake for the fourth time tonight. I made it once about 3 and 1/2 years ago, and my son decided he wanted it as his birthday cake that year. He's asked for it every year since then for his birthday, too! It's his favorite cake. One thing that always puzzles me is how the instructions say to lightly brush the layers with the lime simple syrup, which I do. But then I have almost the whole amount left. Why do we make so much simple syrup? Am I using too little? I'm using a pastry brush to put it on, and I'm always concerned about the layers getting too soggy, but they look to be plenty wet with the syrup that I do use. I also wonder about the technique you used to decorate your cake in the photo. I have attempted that a couple of times myself, and it's not as pretty as yours, but then I don't display it with your cake photo next to it, so everyone still oohs and ahhs over how pretty it looks--lol. I would like to improve in my technique, however! Thank you for the great recipe!

    1. Hi Krista, I'm sorry that I messed this- but I'll answer for anyone that has the same question. Please feel free to reduce the amount of simple syrup. I'm sure that we did not use the full amount either- we just lightly brush it on but do not want to make it soggy by soaking the layers completely. This is just a basic simple syrup recipe but you can certainly half it (or more).

      As or the decoration, these are rosettes piped with a tip 21- I don't believe that we have a tutorial on this exact design, but you can find out more details on piping rosettes (and other star tip piping) in our basics of star tip piping tutorial.

      Thanks for your feedback, I'm so glad that your son loves the recipe!

  3. Can you make this cake in a 9 x1 13 pan. I’m making it for my son and he does not like all the sweet frosting. The simple syrup may be OK but buttercream frosting and even whipped cream frosting he does not like.

    1. Hi Karen! Yes, that should be fine! It may be a little short as this recipe makes about 6.5 cups of batter and according to Wilton's batter chart, a 9x13, 2 inch tall cake would use 10 cups of batter. However, I think it will still be good!

      The lime simple syrup gives a boost of lime flavor to replace any lime flavor that has baked out. You can reduce the amount of sugar if you'd like! Sugar acts as a preservative so that it is less perishable at room temperature.