lime basil cake with a too-tart icing

July 29, 2011 § 2 Comments

cake with glaze

I tend to have trouble with buying too much produce. Normally, I don’t think that’s too much of a problem because I eat like a ravenous hippopotamus. But considering last weekend was a weekend when the fridge needed to be emptied, it’s a real problem. My heap of limes just needed to be gotten rid of, so when I found a recipe for Meyer lemon pound cake, I thought ‘Aha! I can use my rapidly yellowing limes in this!’

yellowing lime
lime basil syrup

Adding the basil to the lime simple syrup was a spur of the moment thing. I’ve been loving the flavor combination of lemon-basil lately and decided I couldn’t go too wrong with lime basil, and I don’t think I did.

golden loaf

Turns out, I underestimated the tartness of limes and the sweetness of Meyer lemons (I’ve never tried one, actually). In the cake, it was fine, but the proportions of lime juice in the icing are really mouth-puckering tart. So posting this recipe, I’m recommending that you nix the icing and just eat the pound cake, because it’s pretty good as is.

one tangy bite

Lime Pound Cake
adapted from

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
Zest of 3 limes
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, divided
1/4 cup skim milk combined with yogurt to the consistency of cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan.  Line the pan with parchment paper and allow the excess to hang over the sides.

Cream the butter sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, followed by the lime zest.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In another bowl, combine lime juice, the heavy cream, and vanilla. Add the flour and cream mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour the batter into the loaf pan, smooth the top, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester/toothpick comes out clean.

Lime Basil Syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
5-6 basil leaves

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, basil, and lime juice and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let sit for several minutes to allow the basil to fully infuse the syrup with flavor, then remove.

When the cake is done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and set it on a rack over a tray lined with foil (for easy clean up).  With a toothpick, prick holes all over the cake.  Spoon the basil lime syrup over pricked cake.  Let the cake cool completely.

Lime Glaze
1 cup powered sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and the lime juice until smooth. Drizzle over the tops of the cake and allow the glaze to drip off the sides.


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