This Fresh Lemon Lime Cake recipe combines lemon and lime juice and zest in a moist pound cake to create the perfect tart and tangy dessert!
When lemon and lime combine, some pretty magical things happen. When you combine that lemon and lime with a moist and delicious cream cheese pound cake, things get pretty epic.
And that’s just what this Fresh Lemon Lime Cake is… EPIC.
Seriously. This is one of my absolute favorite cakes ever. I know I say that about lots of my recipes, but this one is just different.
We tested this a hundred different ways – to the extent that we were almost tired of cake… almost… and found that the combination of lemon and lime zest in the cake and lemon and lime juice in a soak/glaze gave it great flavor without being too much.
And that glazey/soakey thing is worth mentioning, too. I love the “soak” that’s in my Pineapple Juice Cake and my Orange Juice Cake, so I knew I wanted something similar. But using 3/4 of a cup of lemon and lime juice would make it so tart, you wouldn’t be able to eat it. So we scaled things back, added in some powdered sugar, and made the soak more of a glaze. Poking holes in the top of the cake and pouring that glaze over it while it’s warm means all that deliciousness gets down into the cake adding flavor and keeping it moist. It looks like a big ol’ glazed old fashioned doughnut, doesn’t it?
The biggest challenge is zesting the lemons and limes. It does take a little time, but that zest is money when it comes to flavoring the cake, so it’s worth it. Just be sure to use fresh citrus when zesting as older peel tends to lose its flavor. The same goes for the juice.
You’ll need to use a zester, fine grater, or microplane to make this a little easier. You could certainly peel the rind off and finely chop it, but you’ll need to make sure to not get too much pith (that’s the white stuff under the peel) because it’s pretty bitter and will throw your flavors off. I have a citrus zester, but I use a microplane because it has tons of other uses in the kitchen. (affiliate link)
And with any pound cake, there’s a fine line between beating it enough and too much. I always tell folks that beating the sugar and fat, in this case butter and cream cheese, can really take a while – like 5 minutes. But after that step, once you add eggs, flour, and liquid, you only want to beat it enough to just get everything combined.
And be sure that all your ingredients are at room temp. It means that everything is going to emulsify better, giving you a better textured cake.
Ok, now go make this. If you’re a lover of lemon and lime, you won’t regret it.
Fresh Lemon Lime Cake
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temp
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease and flour a 9"x5" loaf pan. Set aside.
- Use a mixer to beat the cream cheese, butter, and sugar together for about 5 minutes. Add the eggs individually, mixing until each is just combined.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add the dry ingredients, milk, and lemon and lime zest to the mixture. Mix until combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- In a small bowl, make the glaze by stirring the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lime juice, and water together.
- Leave the cake in the pan and use a skewer or toothpick to poke holes all over the top of the cake. Pour the glaze over the hot cake. Allow it to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a serving platter. Cool completely and serve. Store in an airtight container on the counter.