Our contributor, Olivia Bogacki, is sharing a new cake recipe today…
It’s officially May, which means we’re that much closer to summer weather, summer dresses, and summer desserts. One of my favourite summer desserts (but really any season) is Key Lime Pie, which is a rather bold statement for a cake baker. In fact, I will almost always opt for key lime pie over cake if it’s on a dessert menu. Shocking, I know. I honestly scan dessert menus to see if it’s on there and am a little disappointed when it’s not. In light of that, I figured why not make my favourite dessert INTO a cake. And just like that, the Key Lime Pie Cake was born.
Wanting to do it justice, I incorporated all of the elements of a good key lime pie: sweet and crunchy graham cracker crust, tart key lime filling, and billowy meringue. I added graham cracker crumbs into the cake layers and made a graham cracker crumble for some added crunch. The crumble is totally my favourite part! The texture it adds is amazing. The key lime curd adds a pinch of tartness and pairs perfectly with the light-as-air meringue.
This cake is super simple to make, and the rustic style makes it a cinch to decorate, too. To make decorating even easier, I recommend topping each cake layer with meringue individually before stacking. The meringue is thick and sticky, so it’s trickier to spread on the layers once they’re stacked.
If you’re looking for a cake to wow your guests this summer or just want a treat to indulge in yourself, this cake is for you! It’s honestly one of the best tasting cakes I have ever made, and I’ll say that only ONE piece of it was given away (somewhat reluctantly, too). If you love Key Lime Pie as much as I do, I hope you will love this cake!
KEY LIME PIE CAKE
a recipe by Olivia Bogacki
(makes one 6” 3-layer cake – 10 servings)
For the Cake:
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup buttermilk (room temperature)
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour three 6″ cake rounds, line with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt. Set aside
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth.
- Add sugar and beat on med-high until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
- Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk). Fully incorporating after each addition. Do not overmix.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pans. Smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
For the Key Lime Curd:
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup key lime juice (approx. 8 key limes)
2 teaspoons key lime zest
1/4 cups unsalted butter, cubed
- Place eggs and sugar into a small pot, whisk to combine. Add lime juice, zest, and salt, and whisk until well combined.
- Cook over medium-low heat stirring constantly until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
- Reduce heat to low, add butter and stir until smooth.
- Transfer to a glass bowl and lay plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for 3 hours to set.
For the Graham Cracker Crumble:
½ cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or vegetable oil)
2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 300F and line a sheet pan with parchment or a silicone mat.
- Whisk all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix until small clumps form.
- Spread evenly and bake for 15mins. Cool completely before using on cake.
For the Meringue:
3 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer*, whisk until combined.
- Place bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double-boiler. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Carefully transfer the bowl onto the stand mixer.
- With the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes. When done, the outside of the mixer bowl should return to room temperature and the meringue should look fluffy and glossy and hold a stiff peak.
For the Assembly:
Place one layer of the cake onto a cake stand or serving plate. Top with 1 cup of meringue. Spread roughly but evenly.** Top with approximately 1/4 cup of the key lime curd and sprinkle with crumble as desired. Repeat with remaining layers.
* Ensure there is NO trace of egg yolks in your whites and that your mixer bowl and whisk is completely grease free or your meringue may not stiffen.
** I recommend topping each cake layer with meringue before stacking. The meringue is thick, so it’s trickier to spread on the layers once they’re stacked.