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Let me tell you about this amazing key lime cake made with cake mix! It’s seriously the easiest thing to make, perfect for anyone, even if you’re not a baking pro. Imagine the perfect balance between the zesty lime and the sweet, fluffy cake. It’s an absolute delight – this is the go-to dessert that will make everyone think you spent hours in the kitchen.

slicer of cake on white plate with fork and limes behind and butter box.

Key Lime Cake with Cake Mix

Remember my Lemon Butter Cake? Well, this recipe is that cake with a key lime makeover! I’ve had nothing but good reviews about that cake, so I decided it was time to soak it in another flavor. Maybe you’re thinking Key Lime in a butter cake? But trust me, this cake is amazingly good and will be a huge hit. If you’re looking for a new key lime dessert, this is it!

This Key Lime Cake version has so much lime flavor in every single bite. There is key lime juice and zest in the cake, the syrup, and in the drizzle on top. There is no searching to find the lime flavor in this cake; it practically bursts in every bite.

ingredients in key lime cake.

Ingredients Needed

This key lime cake is made without gelatin, which I know a lot of people are looking for. It does start with a cake mix, but the secret is safe because no one will ever know, as long as you bury the box in the trash.

  • Cake Mix – You can use yellow cake mix or lemon cake mix. I used lemon cake mix because key lime cake mix is hard to find, and because I really wanted that citrus flavor.
  • Pudding Mix – Adding instant pudding mix to cake makes it super moist and fluffy.
  • Lime – You want to add tons of key lime zest and key lime juice to amp up the flavor. You can use either key lime or regular limes.
  • Butter – The first ingredient you must have in any butter cake is, of course, butter. As you all know, I absolutely love Challenge Butter. It’s the only butter I buy and use in blog life and real life because it’s the best. I’ve eaten it since I was a child (it’s my dad’s favorite). Challenge makes their butter with no added hormones or artificial ingredients, which makes the butter taste the best. When you’re making something like a butter cake, you want to use a butter you can trust, and for me, that’s Challenge Butter.

Click to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

cake on white plate with butter box and limes behind.

3 Layers of Lime Flavor

This bundt cake has lime in every single bite, thanks to the three layers of lime flavor:

  • Lime zest and juice in the lime bundt cake.
  • A lime sugar syrup soak you pour on the warm cake.
  • Lime icing drizzled on top!

How to make Key Lime Cake

  1. Add eggs, lime zest, lime juice, water, melted butter, cake mix, and pudding mix to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix to combine the cake into a thick cake batter.
  3. Place your cake batter in a bundt pan sprayed with baking spray. Bake the cake at 350°F until a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. While the cake is baking, make the lime syrup by melting sugar with key lime juice and key lime zest.
  5. Poke several holes in the cake using a long skewer.
  6. Pour the butter sauce over the cake.
  7. Cool in pan completely, then remove to serving plate.
  8. Make the drizzle: whisk together powdered sugar and lime juice.
  9. Drizzle icing over cooled cake.
slicer of cake on white plate with fork and limes behind and butter box.

Tip From Dorothy

Expert Tips

  • This key lime cake is one of the best you’ll ever make, I promise. And even through there are three different parts, it’s super easy to make!
  • Don’t spend hours trying to squeeze juice out of key limes, unless you really feel like it. I use a bottle of key lime juice I find in the juice aisle (near the lemon and lime juices). I know usually fresh is best, but not for key lime juice.
  • If you can’t find key limes for zest, regular limes are fine.
  • You can skip the glaze but it packs another punch of key lime flavor, so I am in favor of keeping it!
  • You can use lemon cake mix or yellow cake mix.
  • I also have a key lime cake from scratch recipe!


Does key lime cake need to be refrigerated?

You do not need to refrigerate this cake. It will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze key lime cake?

You can freeze this cake whole or as slices for up to 3 months.

slicer of cake on white plate with fork and limes behind and butter box.

Key Lime Cake Recipe

3.93 from 27 votes
An EASY Key Lime Butter Cake is a cake that explodes with lime flavor. The cake is soaked with lime syrup and the whole thing is topped with key lime drizzle – this cake screams key lime dessert!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Serving Size 1 serving



  • 1 15.25 ounces box cake mix (yellow or lemon)
  • ½ cup (113g) Challenge unsalted butter , melted
  • ¾ cup (178ml) water
  • ¼ cup (59ml) key lime juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 3.4 ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (about 1 medium lime or 2-3 key limes)


  • ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (57g) Challenge unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (59ml) Key Lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (about 1 medium lime or 2-3 key limes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  • 1 cup (113g) powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons (15-30ml) key lime juice
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  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick baking spray (the kind with flour) or butter and flour it.
  • Use a hand mixer or whisk to beat the cake mix, butter, eggs, water, lime juice, extract, zest, and pudding mix until a thick batter forms. Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 minutes but keep it in the pan.
  • While the cake is cooling, make the sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in the sugar, zest, and juice and cook until it just simmers (bubbles around the edges). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  • Poke several holes in the cake using a long skewer and pour the butter sauce over the cake. Cool in pan completely, then remove to serving plate.
  • Make the drizzle: whisk together powdered sugar and lime juice. Drizzle over cooled cake.
  • Store loosely covered. Best within 2 days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • You can use yellow or lemon cake mix, any brand
  • I recommend buying a bottle of key lime juice – you’ll need a lot of key limes if you juice them fresh.
  • Don’t skip the lime zest – that’s where a ton of flavor is!
  • You can use vanilla or lemon pudding mix, just make sure it’s instant

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 221mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

This post was sponsored by Challenge Dairy in 2016. All opinions are 100% my own. I promise to only endorse products I really love and Challenge is one of them!

Favorite Cake Mix Recipes

Last Updated on May 15, 2023

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Absolutely delicious!!!! I also modified it into an Orange Butter Rum Cake using fresh orange juice in place of water in the cake and rum instead of lime juice. For the sauce and drizzle, a 3/2 ratio. It came out fantastic

  2. Overflowing, gooey mess! Made according to recipe, 12 qt bundt pan…overflowed onto bottom of oven. Baked until cake tester came out clean & edges browned, but still gooey inside! Too much icing for cake size. ?