sunshine on a plate

This lime cake with blueberry filling is crazy good.  It just feels like summer to me.  It’s an update to the classic combination of lemon and blueberries, substituting lime.  The incredible cream cheese frosting adds just the right amount of sweetness.  This works great as cupcakes, too!


for the cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tbs lime zest, finely minced
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 vegetable shortening (room temp)
1 large egg
3 large egg whites (room temp)
1 1/2 cups cold water

for the filling
2 pints fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbs lime zest
2 tbs water

for the frosting

8 ounces cream cheese (room temp)
1 stick butter (room temp)
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbs lime zest, chopped into the tiniest pieces

  1. Sort through blueberries, removing any stems or bruised fruit.
  2. In a small pot, combine 2 cups blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tbs water, 2 tbs lime juice and zest.  Heat over medium high heat to a boil.  Turn heat down to low and simmer until liquid thickens into a syrup.  Remove from heat, add remaining blueberries and stir to coat.  Allow to cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line the bottom of three 8″ round cake pans with parchment paper.  Butter and flour sides and paper, knocking out excess flour.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine flours. baking powder, baking soda and salt together, using a fork or whisk to mix thoroughly.
  5. Beat butter and shortening on medium speed for 4 minutes until creamy and smooth.
  6. Add sugar, lime juice & zest and beat on medium speed until fluffy, another 3 minutes.
  7. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary, add the egg and mix with a fork until just combined.
  8. Add a third of the dry ingredients, mixing on low or with a big wooden spoon (my preference) until incorporated.  Add 3/4 cup cold water, folding in until combined.  Scrape down bowl as necessary.  Repeat once, finishing with the final addition of flour mixture.  Stir just until combined.
  9. Whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar in a clean bowl (important!) until soft peaks form.  Fold into batter.
  10. Divide the batter between 3 pans and bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  11. Allow cakes to cool on wire rack for 20 minutes, remove from pan and leave directly on wire rack until completely cool.
  12. For the frosting:  Beat cream cheese and butter until combined.  Add powdered sugar in 3 parts, stirring to combine.  Add lime juice and zest and stir thoroughly to combine.
  13. Once cakes are completely cooled, place a single layer on the serving dish.
  14. Put 1/2 cup of frosting in a fancy pastry bag (if you want to clean it) or a zip-top baggie and cut the tip of one corner off.  Pipe a ribbon of frosting on the top of the first layer along the outside edge.  The purpose is to create a “dam: to hold back the filling from spilling out from between the layers.
  15. Inside the wall of frosting, add half of the blueberry filling, spreading evenly.
  16. Add the second layer gently on top of the first layer, making another frosting dam and add remaining filling.
  17. Add the third layer, gently, on top of the first layer and place in fridge for 15 minutes.
  18. Separate 1 1/2 cups of frosting and apply a “crumb coat.”  A crumb coat is a very thin layer of frosting.  The goal is to avoid getting crumbs into the final frosting layer, so make sure only to use the segmented frosting.  Refrigerate for another 30 minutes.
  19. Apply the remaining frosting.  Start by placing the remaining frosting on the top of the cake.  Using an offset or rubber spatula, gently smooth the frosting over one side of the cake.  Use the spatula to gently position the frosting down the side in a swirling motion.
  20. Work your way around the cake, gently swirling frosting down the sides.  “Polish” the top of the cake using the same swirling motion.  Decorate with a few blueberries.
  21. Try to be humble when people tell you how awesome your cake is.

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