Saturday, 29 January 2011

Lime Lovers' Layer Cake

This Lime Lovers' Layer Cake completes the trio of lime and chocolate themed cakes this month. It's very different from the previous cakes; with light, fatless, sponge layers, sandwiched with tangy cream, topped with a semi-hidden, dark, chocolate ganache and, encased in a sweeter lime icing. To emphasise the lime, the cakes have been brushed lightly with lime syrup too and, some tiny chocolate touches have sneaked in here and there, there and here...

It's about time for short cut too. I enjoyed making the lime curd from scratch and it is still better than anything you can buy. There have been other fantastic recipes as well for lemon based curd,  such as the Diethoods recipe for Lemon Curd which caught my attention, from Foodbuzz. If you are in the UK and, you are stuck for time; you can try bought curd such as the Duchy one below. It's not such a problem in this recipe when you are mixing it with other ingredients such as cream. Just add a shot of lime juice to spark up the flavour to lime.


Cake Layers 1 & 2:

5   Large eggs
5oz (140g) Golden caster sugar
5 tbsp Milk
1 Lime zest
5oz (140g) Self raising flour
A good pinch of salt

Cake Layer 3: 

3   Large eggs
3oz (90g) Golden caster sugar
3 tbsp Milk
2 oz (60g) Cocoa powder
1 oz (30g) Self raising flour
1 tsp Baking powder
A pinch of salt


Lime Juice Syrup ( Juice of one lime, 2 oz (60g) sugar boiled together)

7.5 fl oz (227 ml) Double ( Heavy) cream - Yeo Valley Organic
1 tbsp Lime Curd

Decoration part 1:

3.5 oz 100g bar of Dark Chocolate ( Green and Blacks for example!)
2 tsp Butter
7.5 fl oz (227 ml) Double ( Heavy) cream - Yeo Valley Organic

Decoration part 2:
12 oz (340g) Icing Sugar
2 tbsp Lime Curd

1 tbsp Butter
Colour if desired

Sweet lime candies, sweet jellies, chocolate if desired

The amount given here can be  reduced to 8 oz of icing sugar etc if you do not want to decorate so elaborately.


3 round tins ( I used two  different sizes and cut one of the cakes to make it smaller for a tiered effect) Lined, greased and floured.


Preheat oven 140c/120c Fan/300F/Gas Mark 2

Line and prepare the cake tins.

Remove the zest from one large lime. Squeeze the juice out and combine with the sugar, heat in the microwave for one minute, stir and heat again for two minutes to make a lime syrup. Set aside for later.

Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until pale and creamy. Add the milk, lime zest and salt which should soften the batter. Sift in the flour, and fold in gently.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff with clean and dry beaters.

Gently fold the egg whites into the main mixture, trying to keep those air bubbles in.

Pour into tin and put into oven. Place in the centre of the oven. Check after 15 minutes. Cook until the sponge lightly springs back to your touch.

Repeat the above steps with the chocolate cake mixture. I used the chocolate mix in the largest tin as a base layer to reflect the chocolate on the top of the cake.

Let the cakes cool completely.

Brush the tops of the cakes with the lime syrup made earlier.

For the filling, whip the cream until stiff and then combine with the lime curd . I cut one of my cakes to make an extra layer and trimmed one down to get a tiered effect. Sandwich together.

Layers of tangy lime cream filling, stack 'em up!
For the first part of the decoration; whip the double cream until stiff. Put to one side. Melt the bar of chocolate with 2 tsp of butter for the ganache. Pour what you need to coat the top of the cake only. With the remainder add this to the whipped cream for decorating round the base of other parts of the cake. Place the cake into the fridge until the ganache hardens.
This was my favourite part of the cake with the semi-hidden ganache; soft tangy icing over bittersweet chocolate.
Sift the icing sugar and mix with the lemon curd and butter until a workable consistency. Add colour or juice as required.  Gently cover the top ganache and reveal as much as you want to with the decoration. Cover the sides of the cake with the remainder of the icing and the chocolate cream. Decorate further as desired.


This kept surprisingly well for a fatless sponge, although it was all eaten at the end of the third day. I have a fear that this type of sponge will turn to rubber if you leave it  longer than a day. I can only assume that since it was encased in various syrups, cream and icings, it had help maintaining it's 'inner freshness'!

However, the project gave me an idea for further studies about hidden ganache within or on top of the cake. I would like to make a simpler version of this cake again; with only two layers and a larger proportion of cream to cake, for a dessert cake. It has also given me an idea for a sherbert lemon cake; as in the English sweets type of sherbert, aah the possibilities....



  1. Pauline, I usually make a similar cake but with lemon curd. I love limes and must give your version a try. Looks so light and scrumptious!

    Anna's Table

  2. My husband simply loves limes. We put them in everything, almost. He would love this cake. I'm bookmarking it for his birthday. You did a magnificent job with all the layers, and filling, and icing.

  3. I've never thought of combining lime and chocolate but I bet it's good. Love the chocolate touches.

  4. Love these flavors! Especially the lemon curd!

  5. I'm a sucker for lime!! Put it in a cake with all these flavors and you definitely have a winner! Nicely done...

  6. This looks light and delicious! A lovely lime dessert to pick us up with this horrible winter weather! Great job!

  7. I've really enjoyed your lime and chocolate theme. I can't believe this cake lasted 3 days. It would have lasted about 3 minutes in my house. Can't wait for your sherbert theme.

  8. Thanks for the kind comments. I could not believe my luck when I got invited to meet a sweet shop owner the other day and got to look and taste some of the stock. Hope I can translate some of the candy to US styles as well but there is always mail order. Lots of lovely ideas coming soon.

  9. lime is the best flavour ever! looks like a great cake!

  10. This cake looks beautiful! I love the lime as well. Yum!

  11. So much goodness in one recipe. The dark chocolate and lime syrup really popped it up over the top for me. ;)

  12. *Drools on computer screen* My goodness this looks delightful! I just love all your lime cakes!

  13. You have an award waiting for you:
    Mateja @Indulging Life

  14. Another cake baker!! Hooray! This looks like a fabulous happy to have found your blog :)