Key Lime Poke Cake


Step aside, pie. There’s a new Key lime favorite in town, and this sweet and tart confection is one you’ll make on repeat.

Key Lime Poke Cake
Makes 1 (12-inch) cake
  • 1 (16.25-ounce) box white cake mix*
  • 6 large eggs, divided
  • 1 cup Key lime juice*, divided ½ cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons lime gelatin
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 teaspoons lime zest, divided
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1½ cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • Garnish: fresh lime slices, graham cracker pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly spray a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with baking spray with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, 3 eggs, ½ cup lime juice, ½ cup water, oil, and gelatin with a mixer at medium speed until thick and smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes in warm cake at 1-inch intervals.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven, whisk together ¼ cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons zest, and remaining ½ cup lime juice. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until steaming (do not boil).
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3 eggs and remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar. Gradually whisk hot lime mixture into egg mixture. Pour egg mixture into pan, and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 10 minutes. Strain mixture through a fi ne-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, discarding solids. Gradually stir in butter until melted and well combined.
  6. Spread lime mixture onto warm cake. Gently tap pan on counter 4 to 5 times to release any air bubbles. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly on lime mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Let cake stand for 30 minutes, and then refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
  7. Just before serving, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar with a mixer at medium-low speed until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in remaining 2 teaspoons zest. Gradually add cream until combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl; gradually increase mixer speed to medium-high, beating until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Spread onto cake. Garnish with lime and graham cracker pieces, if desired.
*We used Betty Crocker White Cake Mix and Nellie and Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice.