Key Lime Pound Cake from Southern Living Magazine, March 2011

Key Lime Pound Cake | Taking On Magazines |

Have you ever seen a recipe in a magazine that looked so good you bought said magazine for just that one dish? Have you ever then made that one dish and been sorely disappointed, almost the the point of vowing never to buy that magazine again?

Well, this isn’t the case with this cake. Sorry for that, but it’s pretty hard to create drama with cooking and recipe reviews so I have to create it in any little way I can. In fact, I didn’t buy this Southern Living magazine. It was given to me by someone who specifically expressed interest in my going through these pound cakes.

I did, however, agree to take on this issue after seeing this specific pound cake nestled on page 116. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any key limes this time so I had to resort to my trusty bottle of Nellie and Joe’s.  It’s not squeezed fresh, but it’s darn close and a whole lot easier to get juice from.

The Process

If you’ve read any of my previous pound cake posts, you know the drill. Lots of butter, sugar, and eggs. Yes, all my yolks continue to be doubles so I only used three, but I added an additional tablespoon of egg white for each egg so my cake would rise like it was supposed to.

In addition to the big three of ingredients, this recipe also calls for a bit of salt, baking powder (which was interesting since the Buttermilk Pound Cake didn’t), milk, vanilla extract, lime zest and key lime juice.

I peeked in the oven midway through cooking and the cake was rising perfectly so I knew I had done the right thing with the egg whites. At exactly an hour and fifteen minutes I removed the cake to a rack to cool a bit and started making the glaze, which is a combination of confectioners’ sugar, key lime juice and vanilla extract.

After the cake cooled for 15 minutes, I removed it from the pan and immediately brushed on the glaze, per instructions. I always am tempted to ignore instructions that call for me to dirty up another utensil. I really thought about using my spoon to just drizzle the glaze on since I had used it to mix it up anyhow.

But it just look so much more cool with the brushed coating. I’m glad I followed instructions.

The Verdict

This cake absolutely lived up to every expectation I had of it. It did not let down in any area. It’s rich, decadent and delicious. The key lime shines and sings with every bite. It’s glorious.

I’m not the only one that thinks so. Hubby has already assured me that it won’t last until Monday and that we’re hiding it from the group of friends that will be coming over tonight. Dudette’s on the same page with us. She’d say more but she’s too busy stuffing cake in her cute little mouth as I type.

This cake makes the whole magazine worth while. I could have hated every other recipe and article in it but still considered it a win because of this one amazing dish.

Key Lime Pound Cake from Southern Living Magazine, March 2011
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ cup fresh Key lime juice

Key Lime Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
  2. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (12-cup) tube pan.
  3. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.
  4. Prepare Key Lime Glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, fresh Key lime juice, and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Immediately brush over top and sides of cake. Cool completely (about 1 hour).


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115 Responses to Key Lime Pound Cake from Southern Living Magazine, March 2011

  1. I saw your Facebook post earlier about the "natives lurking" to get a taste so I knew this one must smell fabulous. I will be reserving a few of the limes we usually use for cocktails just so I can try this out. You definitely sold the sizzle :]

  2. I'm so lazy, I almost always used bottled juice instead of squeezing it myself. I know I shouldn't be like that, but if I'm going to buy limes, I'd rather use the whole thing for something rather than stand there and squeeze the juice out of it. 😉

  3. doggybloggy says:

    wow that is one moist looking cake – looks great.

  4. Dana says:

    Wow, that cake looks SO good! Totally worth the effort!

  5. Becky says:

    That is one beautiful pound cake. I can taste the lime, and you know How much I like lime.I use Nellie & Joe's Key Lime Juice when I make Key Lime pie or cupcakes. Great pics.

  6. Really wonderful looking cake! I totally think the cake would be worth buying the magazine. It is a beauty!

  7. I saw Key Lime in the title and came right over!It looks and sounds so good! I wish I lived next door! xo

  8. Yum! This cake looks absolutely perfect!

  9. Lisa says:

    That looks like one truly delicious cake. Wish I could have a piece. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cake up.

  10. Oh that looks fantatic and I love love love Nellie and Joe's.I am definitely going to try this one!

  11. Marash Girl says:

    You ask an interesting question at the beginning of this post. I still remember the wonderful orange (probably pound) cake that we ate at my mom's friend's house. Upon request, she gave my mom the recipe, but no matter how we tried, the cake never came out right — i.e., it never rose! And my mom was an experienced cake baker. The creator of the cake never came clean about the secret she never imparted!!! So if you have a workable recipe for orange cake, I would love it, just for my mom's sake, if nothing else!

    • Katheryn Cramer says:

      I bet you can turn this key lime cake into an orange cake with no problem at all. Just use orange whenever this recipe calls for the limes. You could do the same if you prefer lemon. The texture of the cake as shown in the picture just looks so perfect, I want a slice right now. Good luck everybody.

      • Wendy says:

        You can use orange juice in the place of the lime juice and use one tsp of orange extract and it will turn out perfect!!

        • melonie h says:

          same goes with fresh lemons and lemon extract. i make one that also has cream cheese in it. i even sneak some of this batter, its delicious. i will try this cake with the limes though but seriously you don't have to use the key limes, too much trouble that is if you can find them. also use them at room temperature. also heard that you can put in microwave for a few seconds and they will produc more juice. never tried it though

    • Clarice says:

      Did you ever get a orange cake recipe?

    • jzgplj says:

      You might try the one from Cooks Country. It looks like a very intense Orange cake.

    • DoughGirl says:

      I hope that you have found a good recipe for the orange cake by now. In case you haven't, I offer mine to you. Now, usually, I stray from cakes that use a boxed mix. I avoid them like the plague, in fact. I ate this at a friend's house, and got the recipe from her. I only tried it because orange is my dad's favorite. I tweaked it a little, and my mom and dad loved it. My mom is not a fan of sweets, but she asks me about once every two weeks if I will make her this cake. Ironically, it's the easiest cake recipe I have! Here you go….
      —1 box of buttered golden cake.
      —1 package (3oz.) dry lemon pudding
      —3/4 cup OJ (preferably freshly squeezed. Simply Orange brand juice with high pulp is also good if you are in a hurry or feeling lazy!)
      —1/2 cup vegetable oil
      —4 large eggs
      —1/2 teaspoon orange zest
      * * * * Combine dry ingredients, mix well. Then add oil. Then, one at a time, add the eggs. Beat with a mixer until smooth and fluffy
      * * * * Bake in a greased & floured bundt cake pan 50-60 minutes at 325 degrees F.
      —1/2 cup of OJ
      —2/3 cup powdered sugar
      —1/4 cup butter
      —Orange zest. approx. 3/4 teaspoon.
      (NOTE: This is the recipe I was given for the glaze (minus the zest. I added that.) I've never gotten it to set up just the way I want it, so I am always adding a little more of this & a little more of that. So, the glaze, you might have to tweak a little bit to get just right for the taste and texture. And the amount of zest you'll want to use just depends on how much flavor you want in the cake topping. Because of all that, I recommend you start on the glaze ahead of time, before the cake comes out of the oven. Sorry I can't give you better instructions that that!)
      * * * * Allow cake to cool. Brush glaze onto the bottom for extra flavor, then eject, and brush glaze onto the top with warm glaze.

  12. Drick says:

    so glad you made this one, maybe I will have to give it a go… I know I commented a while back of a key lime pound cake (not this one) that was sadly off in taste…. and I have only used that bottled juice for hurried key lime pies, good to know it is good in other things too…

  13. This is an awesome cake. I've made a Key Lime Pound Cake before and it's amazing. I always brush the glaze on my pound cakes. The finish reminds me of a gigantic glazed doughnut.

  14. Chris's Gourmet says:

    Your pound cake looks great … looks like it melts in your mouth. Great job!

  15. Wow! ur pound cake is mouthwatering;)

  16. Key lime pound cake with a key line glaze? I love it! I love everything key lime, so that's not a stretch! :) Thanks for sharing this recipe, I've got it saved!

  17. I'm a sucker for anything made with citrus and this picture is making my mouth water big time. This looks and sounds fabulous and I'm bookmarking this cake, I think it would be wonderful served with some fresh berries on the side.

  18. Now Serving says:

    Looks so moist and delicious! You must enter it to my event – crazy for cakes -

  19. Marisa says:

    This sounds amazing. I NEED to make this for family. I know that this is a recipe they will all love. It looks so fluffy, and with all that delicious glaze on top…yummm!!

  20. joanna says:

    this looks FANTASTIC! I might try making this on saturday, thanks for the idea!

  21. Ameena says:

    I love how you made the pound cake bundt style instead of the traditional rectangular shape. It looks amazing!! Nice job with the bait and switch, for a second I thought, how could this NOT be amazingly delicious??

  22. Pauline says:

    love the look of this plus just happen to be a lime fan, great combo :-)

  23. mangiabella says:

    oh girl, this looks spectacular!!!!!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I actually made this cake last night, and I really didn't care for it. Very little "pucker" in the cake, and far too dense for my taste.

    • Bobbie Mealling says:

      Try beating your eggs in a separate bowl until they are really fluffy and then add them to your batter, this makes a really light cake.

    • FloridaGal says:

      Pound cake is always dense.

      It sounds absolutely delicious to me. My mother made pound cakes almost every weekend when I was growing up, but never a Key Lime one.

    • Katheryn Cramer says:

      Try this and you should get that pucker so many of us like. Instead of 1 cup of milk, use 3/4 cup milk. Instead of 1/4 cup lime juice, use 1/2 cup lime juice. That way you still have the same total amount of liquid but enough of the lime juice to get the flavor you want. Also, I have found that the bottled juices tend to have a stronger flavor than the fresh fruit juice. That could be the solution for the lime pucker in this cake. Good luck and let us know your results.

  25. Pingback: 7 Quick Takes Friday (volume 25) | Taking On Magazines One Recipe at a TimeTaking On Magazines One Recipe at a Time

  26. Solange Barbi Campos says:

    o que é shortening??? sou brasileira e não achei tradução

  27. Tina says:

    Where do you find key lime juice? With the juices? Dairy or bottled? I never seen key lime juice! Thanks, can't wait to try the recipe, we are great fans of key lime!!

    • Hi Tina! I found a bottle of Nellie and Joe's key lime juice in the baking section of my grocery store. If you don't find it there, just ask a clerk using the brand name. It may take a couple stores before you find one that carries the stuff. Good luck!

  28. Bobbie Mealling says:

    I also made this cake from the magazine, it is the only pound cake I make now. I love the lime taste with the sweet taste, they set off each other so well. I do wait until the cake is cool to apply the glaze, it does not run off the cake like it does when the cake is still warm. This recipe is easy and taste great. I have already made it so many times the page I took from the magazine is looking torn and splatted with cake mix. It looks just like my old cook book, that has pages that are well marked with flour and sugar.

    • Hi Bobbie. I thought the lime and sugar balanced each other perfectly too. I wonder how the glaze would be if it was doubled up; some on while warm, then more once it cools. I really like the look of it covering everything.

  29. Katelyn says:

    Can you just use all butter instead of the shortening?

    • Hi Katelyn. You can, but it might change the texture of the cake. Shortening is 100% fat while butter has 15% or so water in it. The flavor will be awesome, but the texture could change.

  30. Alice Mathis says:

    What is lime zest? and where do yo find it in the grocery store?. I love the cake, trid it from your previous posting,

    • The zest is simply the very outer green part of the lime's rind that's been removed with a fine grater. Be sure to remove only that top green layer and not the white pith underneath, which is bitter.

  31. Audrey Cloyd says:

    I’m a bit confused about the number of whole eggs, yolks and whites that were used for your recipe. With thanks and anticipation, Audrey Martina.

    • Hi Audrey. Follow what is on the official recipe. At the time I wrote this, we had chickens and they were laying eggs with double yolks so I had to add some egg white to equal things out. If you follow it as shown in the little box, it'll turn out great.

  32. Lynne says:

    Love this basic pound cake recipe I got this from my ex-mother-in-law. Substitute milk for sour cream
    Great old fashion homemade pound cake it the shortening that makes the difference.

  33. theequeenmum says:

    I do not have a stand mixer, can this be made with a regular hand mixer? I've already purchased the key limes and I am excited to make this.

    • Happy Saturday! At the time I made this, I didn't have a stand mixer either so I used my hand mixer and yes, it worked just fine. In fact, I'd probably still use the hand mixer for something like this instead of pulling out the clunky stand mixer if I made it again. I hope you love it as much as we did!

  34. Suzanne says:

    Do you have any thoughts on adjusting the recipe for high altitude. I live in Denver and can never seem to get pound cakes to turn out right. Thank you!

  35. Kristie says:

    This came out AMAZING!! I did substitute 1 cup milk for 1/2 c. milk, 1/2 c. sour cream and a splash of heavy cream all mixed together…best cake I ever made!!!

  36. Wahoo! I'm so glad you loved it as much as we did!

  37. Diane says:

    I have to say that after subscribing to Southern Living for years (and mother years prior to that–she's 82 so that gives you some idea of my age), the recipes shared in it have very seldom failed to be good and often great. I have also learned over the years to always make a new (to me) recipe exactly by the directions the first time and then make changes if desired or needed over time. Thanks for sharing this one–it's a keeper!!

  38. Ruth Stone says:

    Sounds wonderful. I hope I save it the right way so I can try it. Thanks so much for sharing. Ruth Stone

  39. Teresa says:

    I can never remember if you use salted or unsalted butter when it calls for butter in a recipe. Which is used for this recipe? Thanks.

  40. Jean says:

    I like the Key Lime cake and that look like I can make it.

  41. cathy smith says:

    So glad to see someone who has actually made the recipe they are posting instead of just copying and pasting someone else's not knowing whether it is good or not. Kudo's to you!!

    • Thanks, Cathy. While my family may be a bit surprised at the way some of the dishes turn out, we enjoy the adventure of trying new (and often delicious) foods. Hope you enjoy them too!

  42. christy says:

    Do you take the cake out of the pan before glazing it?

  43. When you said you added an additional tbsp. of egg white per egg…..did you mean actual egg whites? Or egg white powder? I'm guessing that would be another 6 egg whites, since that's about how much egg white is in an egg.

  44. Jody says:

    can i make this pound cake with self rising flour. I never have all those ingredients in the house for plain flour.

    • I Jody, yes, you can make it with self-rising flour, but if you do, don't add the baking powder or salt. Even with that, there's about double the baking powder in the flour as in the cake so I'm not sure how it will affect the final result. It'll probably be fine but I can't make any promises.

  45. Sally Kapfer says:

    Could you make this recipe with oranges or lemons as well, and come out just as good?

    • Hi Sally, I think lemons would turn out well, but I'm not so sure about the oranges. I think the flavor would be very mild and would lack the tartness that makes the cake and glaze so phenomenal.

  46. Nancy Henson says:

    I just made this cake. It is very moist and absolutely delicious. I used Nellie and Joes key lime juice. Very easy to make.

  47. tina says:

    Can u make this cake gluton free?

  48. Courtney W says:

    I made this key lime pound cake the other day expect I forgot to get the fresh limes. But I bought the key lime juice instead. It turned out great it was totally moist I love it and the kids do too. Thanks for the great recipes.

  49. dottie says:

    Can i use a bundt pan

  50. Diethood -noun- The state of being on a diet... always! says:

    I love this pretty cake!! And that flavor!! How do you stop at one slice?!

  51. thatskinnychickcanbake says:

    I'm a huge fan of pound cake…and a key lime version sounds extraordinary!!!

  52. Harriett B says:

    These Recipes remind me so much of all the sweet delights my grandmother use to make..her favorite was Lemon Pound Cake very close to the Key Lime Poundcake here on this page…. so many memories ….. Im drooling just thinking about

  53. Harriett B says:

    These Recipes remind me so much of all the sweet delights my grandmother use to make..her favorite was Lemon Pound Cake very close to the Key Lime Poundcake here on this page…. so many memories ….. Im drooling just thinking about

  54. Sharla says:

    I'm a little confused on the "process." Did you use a different number of eggs to perfect the recipe?

  55. Ocie Mae sims says:

    Please add me to your list. I love your
    Recipes, I’m just learning how to bake
    And cakes are one of my favorite. I’ve
    Only made two successful ones.

  56. This. website Is awesome, would like to get recipes. in my emailmail

  57. wekesah says:

    Lovely..add me to your mailing list..from kenya

  58. Jackie says:

    It just doesn't taste the same when you don't use fresh Florida key limes in a cake.

  59. Christine says:

    Has anyone modified the cake for low fat and low sugar?

  60. Greg Peterson says:

    Nice cake!!

  61. Betty Seago says:

    Can you use cake flour

  62. Gwen. Flowers says:

    This recipe looks rich and tasty. I’m gona try it on weekend.

  63. Trina says:

    Can I use buttered flavored Crisco shortening in conjunction with the softened butter?

  64. Linda says:

    looks great

  65. Bobbie Scott says:

    Saw this on Facebook. Love Pound cake. This one looks incredible. Thanks

  66. Trish says:

    I would love to try this! Looks wonderful! Sadly, I'm a Canadian and I don't think I've ever seen bottled Key Lime Juice or even fresh Key Limes for that matter! Sigh…

  67. kecha says:

    Can’t wait to try this!!

  68. CN moser says:

    About three years ago my son bought his wife a birthday cake (key lime) of course at Publix bakery in St Augustine
    Florida. I have NEVER tasted anything so wonderful!!!! You guessed it. They no longer have the recipe. I have
    wept. Now I shall try the above recipe and hope it can come close to Publix. CN.

  69. mary says:

    The cakes really look tasty. I am going to try to make the key lime cake soon.

  70. Bijean Jackson says:

    I’M GOING TO make this CAKE FOR desert on SUNDAY

  71. Ann says:

    I sit down at my computer and right in front of me is the beautiful yummy looking key lime pound cake. Oh my, I have all the ingredients but not the time right now. Must run errands today. WILL be making this soon. One of my favorite cakes is the pound cake. I made the sour cream pound cake a couple of weeks ago and oh my!! Delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  72. Annette Johnson says:

    I love to make southen cake and pie so i eould love to have all of your southern recipes i can bake some them for family and friends.

  73. Linda says:

    Thanks for the recipe. The food distribution project I helped found gets key lime juice and people do not what to do with it. I just wrote it out to print it out this week. I plan on making it with a dash of green food coloring for St. Patrick’s Day. Just limey mates.

  74. Debbie says:

    Save for Joel

  75. Carlethia Austin says:

    Yes i really like all of the recipes that were listed, an I’m also going to try the key lime pound cake asap… Thank U

  76. Cynthia Carter says:

    i must try this, looks so light and moist. And I love key lime anyway!!

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