DD Nora wanted me to make a key lime cake with coconut icing for the wedding. She had a recipe for the icing, but not for the cake. I did a lot of experimenting over the last few months before finally coming up with a recipe we approved of. Many of the recipes I found contained lime gelatin, but we didn't care for the color of that cake and the flavor wasn't quite what we were looking for either. I'm definitely not a professional baker and assembling the cake outdoors on a very windy day was rather daunting, but fortunately it all stayed together.
Today I'm going to post the recipe I used for the wedding cake. One thing that we discovered added a nice lime flavor was the lime oil. I ordered this from the King Arthur baking catalog. I had experimented with lime zest, but the oil was definitely our preferred flavor booster.
Key Lime Cake
1 box Duncan Hines lemon cake mix
3 Tbps. instant lemon pudding mix (dry)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup oil
5 Tbsps. key lime juice (I used bottled juice)
3 drops green food coloring
1/4 tsp. lime oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease, flour, and line baking pans with waxed paper. In a large bowl stir together the cake mix, instant pudding, water, oil, eggs, key lime juice, food coloring, and lime oil. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then on medium for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans and then bake according to the time recommended for the size pans you are using. (For 8" round pans it takes about 35-45 mins.) Test to see if the cake is done. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 mins. and then carefully turn out onto cooling racks. While the cake is cooling you can make:
Coconut Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp. coconut extract (I used McCormick)
5 cups powdered sugar (sift)
1/4 cup cream (approximately)
In mixing bowl cream butter, shortening, salt, and coconut extract. Add powdered sugar and cream and mix well. This should be plenty for a two layer 8" or 9" cake. Frost cake and then you can add fresh coconut on the sides and top of the cake if you wish. This frosting is delicious!
I had not used coconut extract much before, but have decided it is a wonderful flavor even if you don't like actual coconut. I recently tried this frosting on a chocolate mayonnaise cake and it was a great combination.
As we cleaned up from the wedding I was very happy to see this:
Aren't the little cake toppers that Nora painted cute?
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