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Coconut Key Lime Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

And you’ll be eating the frosting by the spoonful…

Ahhh, Key limes. Their tart, aromatic flavor makes you feel like you should be sitting in a comfy chair with a cocktail in hand and the salty sea breeze in your hair, doesn’t it? But since we can’t always get away to the sandy beaches of the sunshine state, sometimes a refreshing little dessert can help our imagination.

We love the zesty flavors of a classic Key lime pie, but our cake brings you that perfect pucker with much less effort. The cake is a cinch to mix up, and you won’t believe how delicious the cream cheese frosting is that tops it. We love cream cheese frosting on just about anything, but the coconut and lime zest sprinkled on top give this one a nice bite that isn’t like anything we’ve had before. We’re not saying it’s happened in our kitchen… but you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful.

We love to serve this on a summer day (it’s always a hit at cookouts!) because the combination of lime and coconut is so refreshing, but it’s sure to brighten your day in the middle of winter too. The citrus zing in this cake is mellow and light but still vibrant against the chewy bite of coconut. We just adore the combination of flavors and the ease of which it all comes together, whether we’re sitting in the tropics or not!

Note: There’s been some feedback that this cake came out too dry. The original recipe was missing the milk and has been updated accordingly!

Serves 8-10

1 hour 15 minutes

  • For Cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup fresh key lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For Frosting:
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh key lime juice
  • Lime zest and shredded coconut to garnish
  1. For Cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan with butter or non-stick spray, lining the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then mix in vanilla, and salt.
  5. With mixer on low, add half the flour and beat until just combined. Add milk and lime juice, beat until combined. Repeat with remaining flour.
  6. Fold in shredded coconut and lime zest and pour into prepared cake pan.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.
  8. For frosting:
  9. In a large bowl, combine butter and cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer on high until smooth.
  10. Add powdered sugar in 1 cup increments, beating well after each addition until desired consistency is reached.
  11. Spread over top of cooled cake and garnish with lime zest and coconut, if using.

Adapted from Barbara Bakes.

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