Spring is here! Bright and cheery, light and fluffy, this buttermilk lime cake is adorably appropriate to celebrate the arrival of spring. Or as it may be, the perfect cake to cheer up a recently bedridden friend. After all, what are bakers for if not to be the providers of cheerfully pink cakes to sick friends?
FACT: Cake soothes woes.
Although maybe not tummy aches.
Do you have a few limes? How about buttermilk? Well then you are halfway to cake, my friends. If you short on limes, a combination of both lemon and lime works wonders as well. The zesty brightness of fresh lime pairs exceptionally well with the soft tang of buttermilk.
And to literally top it off, we get playful and indulge our sweet tooth with a creamy cherry limeade buttercream frosting.
For the cake itself I've deviated quite bit the source recipe but the pink + lime cake remains my visual inspiration. After a few variations with a buttermilk base and adjusted ratios I've found the perfect recipe for an absolutely delightful lime cake. Honestly, it doesn't even need frosting! Never the less, all celebration cakes should be dressed accordingly and so I'm including my adapted version of the Maraschino Cherry Buttercream frosting. Maraschino Cherry "juice" adds both color and flavoring to this frosting recipe, double whammy. As odd as it may seem to consume the colored liquid from the jar of cherries, it really dose lend a delightfully playful cherry flavor and vibrant pink tint to the frosting. If you prefer a more natural frosting see below for a lime-juice-only suggestion.
Buttermilk Lime Cake + Cherry Limeade Buttercream Frosting
Buttermilk Lime Cake
Baking Notes: For the best flavor please use fresh limes not bottled concentrate. If you short on limes, a combination of both lemon and lime juice works wonders as well. This cake is delightful on it's own, dusted with powdered sugar, or topped with sweet buttercream frosting.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 2/3 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons lime juice (or 3 large limes, juiced. Reserve remaining juice for frosting)
- Zest of the limes, about 1 tablespoon
Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Prepare two 8 to 9-inch cake pans, eitherline with parchment or lightly grease and flour the pans.
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a second bowl, combine buttermilk, vanilla, lime juice, lime zest. Set aside.
In stand mixer or using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Alternating between wet and dry ingredients, add remaining items to the batter. Begin with a third of the milk mixture, stir until just combined, then add about half of the flour mixture, stir until just combined. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Divide cake batter evenly between two cake pans. Bake at 350°F for about 25 to 30 minutes.
Allow cakes to cool completely before slicing or frosting.
Cherry Limeade Buttercream Frosting
Notes: Maraschino Cherry "juice" from the jar of cherries adds both color and flavoring to this frosting. If omitting the cherries, you can substitute with a cherry flavored extract or other desired flavoring. You may also consider adding a few drops of food dye to create pink colored frosting. Alternatively, you can achieve an au natural lime frosting using only lime juice and the remaining ingredients.
- 4 to 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla extract)
- 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice, liquid from 10 oz jar (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- Pinch of Salt
In stand mixer or using electric mixer on low speed, whisk together about 1 cup of powdered sugar with softened butter. Whisk until just combined, adding remaining powdered sugar in thirds. Once fully combined, add extract and juice(s). Increase speedand continue to beat about 3 minutes or more, until fully incorporated. Add more or less juice and sugar as needed to reach desired taste and consistency.
Assembly: Split each cake, resulting in flour thin layers. Use an offset spatula to spread frosting over the cooled cakes, garnish with maraschino cherries, candied lime wedges, sprinkles, or whatever your happy heart desires.