Key Lime Sour Cream Pound Cake

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Celebrating these warmer days with this sweet Key Lime Pound Cake…with a key lime icing, of course! The perfect treat for spring and summertime baking. Sweet sour cream pound cake with fresh key lime juice and zest swirled into every bite. The best part? This cake is made in one bowl and you don’t even need a mixer! Be sure to finish this cake with a mouthwatering key lime icing that makes this cake effortlessly gorgeous and even MORE delicious.

key lime pound cake turned at an angle on wire cooling rack with two slices laying in front on marble surface, with a knife and key limes around, a stack of plates, an empty glass, and an glass with white flowers behind.

About The Recipe

With Spring right around the corner and the weather finally warming up, we wanted to share something that really celebrated (and tasted!) like warm weather. One of our most popular recipes last spring and summer was our Key Lime Pie Bars!

Thankfully, our local grocery store is starting to get key limes in. So, since you all loved our key lime recipes last year, we knew we wanted to make something with them asap!

And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good pound cake?!

Though, I will admit, it took a few attempts to finally get this cake right. We originally were trying to make this recipe with buttermilk, but it was just…not working.

From unevenly baking to completely collapsing after baking. We were just not having any luck.

Honestly, we almost gave up on the recipe! But, it just sounded too good to let go of. So, we ran to the store and bought some sour cream just to see if we could salvage this recipe.

And I am SO glad we did!

front shot of key lime pound cake with two slices laying in front with a knife beside, key limes and white flowers around, a stack of plates, a glass with flowers, an empty glass, and a bowl of key limes behind.

This cake went from a disaster to the most delicious citrus pound cake!

It’s tender, dense, moist, perfectly balanced between citrusy key lime and sweetness. All of our friends and family loved this cake. We had to make at least two or three more just to have enough to share with everyone!

It’s seriously such a crowd pleaser and oh-so simple to make. Though, one of my favorite part is how effortlessly pretty this cake is!

What’s The Difference Between Key Limes and Regular Limes?

More often than not, a key lime is much smaller than the regular limes you find at the grocery store. Though, that’s not the only difference! More often than not, key limes tend to be sweeter in flavor than traditional limes and are more aromatic.

Key limes provide the perfect flavor for this cake, but if you can’t find key limes at your local store, you can use regular limes in this recipe and not really be able to tell a difference in flavor!

Reasons You Will Love This Key Lime Pound Cake

  • Made in one bowl and doesn’t require a mixer!
  • Minimal prep time.
  • Sweet, citrusy, and just melts in your mouth.
  • A serious crowd pleaser.
  • Perfect for any and all occasions!
overhead shot of key lime pound cake with white flowers, slices key limes, and a knife beside on marble surface.

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

For The Cake:

  • Sour Cream – This is so important for the texture of this cake! Not only does it keep this cake moist and rich, but it also provides the perfect crumb.
  • Vegetable Oil – We used vegetable oil in this cake to keep it moist, as well as really let the key lime flavor shine!
  • Large Eggs – Remember to set out the eggs ahead of time to allow them to come to room temperature.
  • Key Lime Juice – Helps provide the delicious flavor in this cake!
  • All-Purpose Flour – No need for any fancy flours for this recipe. All-purpose flour gives this cake the perfect structure.
  • Granulated Sugar – Adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this cake.
  • Lime Zest – Since key limes are quite a hassle to zest, it’s best to use lime zest to get the zest needed for this recipe!
  • Baking Powder – Provides the perfect amount of rise to this cake.
  • Baking Soda – Since there are acidic ingredients in this recipe, we added just a dash of baking soda to ensure the perfect rise in this loaf!
  • Salt – Just a dash of salt to cut some sweetness and enhance the flavor.
salt, baking soda, baking powder, lime zest, eggs, sugar, oil, flour, sour cream, flour, and lime juice on marble surface.

For The Icing:

  • Powdered Sugar – Also known as confectioners sugar, it’s the perfect sugar to make icing with!
  • Key Lime Juice – Really gives this icing a delicious punch of flavor.
powdered sugar and lime juice in bowls on marble counter

How To Make Key Lime Pound Cake

Step 1: Make cake batter

In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs, egg yolk, and lime juice.

Whisk in flour, sugar, zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Step 2: Bake

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 65 minutes, or until cake tests done. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before turning out.

Step 3: Make icing

In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lime juice until smooth.

Spread over top of cooled cake.

key lime pound cake on small wire cooling rack with sliced key limes around, white flowers, a knife beside, and a bowl of key limes behind on marble surface.

How To Zest A Lime

The best way to zest a lime is with a zester! Though, if you don’t have one, a very fine cheese grater will do, but it’s really worth investing in a zester, as it’s a great tool to have. From there, thoroughly wash the lime and dry it with a towel.

Now, you’re ready to zest! Hold the zester at an angle over a plate (just in case some falls off!) and push/pull your lime until you reach the white of the rind. Once you see white, stop zesting and rotate the lime! Continue as you did before and repeat until the entire lime has been zested.

Depending on the size of your limes, you may need more than one!

How To Store

Once this loaf is cooled, you will need to keep it in a zip top bag and in the fridge! It’s a very moist loaf and won’t last very long if left at room temperature. You can also freeze this loaf as a whole or in individual slices. Just be sure to wrap the slices in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer safe container or zip top bag!

Substitutions

  • If desired, you can use full-fat greek yogurt can be used instead of sour cream.
  • Regular limes can be used in this recipe instead of key limes.
  • This recipe can be made vegan if unsweetened/plain plant-based yogurt and your favorite vegan egg substitute are used. We like to use aquafaba!

Looking for more recipes like this? Here are a few you may like: Lemon and Sour Cream Pound Cake, Key Lime Pie Bars, Key Lime Shortbread Cookies, Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake

close up of key lime pound cake turned at an angle with two slices laying in front, key lies and white flowers around on marble surface.

Expert Tips

  • Check the expiration date on your baking soda and baking powder.
  • Remember to preheat your oven.
  • Be careful to not over-mix your cake batter!
  • Let the cake cool completely before icing.

When you make this Key Lime Sour Cream Pound Cake, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

key lime pound cake turned at an angle on wire cooling rack with two slices laying in front on marble surface, with a knife and key limes around, a stack of plates, an empty glass, and an glass with white flowers behind.
4.54 from 15 votes

Key Lime Sour Cream Pound Cake

Author: Traci
This Key Lime and Sour Cream Pound Cake is sweet, dense, and full of bright key lime flavor! Bonus? It's easy to make, a real crowd pleaser, and is the perfect cake to make for any and every occasion!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1⅛ cups sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • Tablespoons key lime juice
  • cups all purpose flour
  • 1⅛ cups granulated sugar
  • Tablespoons key lime zest
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoons salt

Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons key lime juice

Instructions

Cake

  • Heat oven to 350 °F.
  • Spray a 9 inch loaf pan with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs, egg yolk, and lime juice.
  • Whisk in flour, sugar, zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Whisk until smooth.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 65 minutes, or until cake tests done.
  • Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before turning out.

Icing

  • In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lime juice until smooth.
  • Spread over top of cooled cake.

Notes

Substitutions:
  • If desired, you can use full-fat greek yogurt can be used instead of sour cream.
  • Regular limes can be used in this recipe instead of key limes.
  • This recipe can be made vegan if unsweetened/plain plant-based yogurt and your favorite vegan egg substitute are used. We like to use aquafaba!
 
Expert Tips:
  • Check the expiration date on your baking soda and baking powder.
  • Remember to preheat your oven.
  • Be careful to not over-mix your cake batter!
  • Let the cake cool completely before icing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 248mg | Potassium: 83mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 244IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

– Still Hungry? –

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4 Comments

    1. Hi Chere! This recipe can definitely be made in a bundt pan. Just keep in mind that bake time may need to be adjusted and it may need to be covered with foil while baking to keep the top from getting too brown! Hope this helps and please let us know if you have any other questions 😊 x, Caylie