Recipe Test: Key Lime Cake (Loving It Vegan)


I had a birthday recently. It was my second birthday in isolation, although I honestly prefer to spend my birthdays on my own. What I do not like to do is to have to make a cake for myself and know I will not be able to eat the whole thing. But birthdays are birthdays, and they need cake.

I'd had my eye on this recipe for Key Lime Cake from Loving it Vegan for actual years. I couldn't get key limes, so I used regular, and decided to forego the food coloring. I didn't have the right size cake pans so I just made a single layer cake in an 8-inch pan. I probably got overzealous sprinkling lime zest on top. Because I didn't have the right pans, I had to bake this longer than instructed, and therefore overcooked the edges, but the frosting soaking in softened them up such that it ended up not being a big deal.

In the end, I was really glad I made this, in spite of all of that. It was my birthday. This, more than the other things, seemed to mark my year in isolation--from last year's pineapple upside down cake to this year's key lime, two fruity cakes separated by 12 months of hard times.

The lime flavor in this cake is intense, but in a good way. The frosting was startlingly sweet to me but it's important to bear in mind I haven't had frosting in perhaps two years, maybe longer, and I definitely licked my mixer's beaters clean after making it, so it was clearly not something that put me off. I think if you make this I'd recommend leaving it white. It so beautifully showcases what's possible in vegan cooking, because white cakes with eggs are so complicated, plus the lime zest tells you what to expect.

Here's to me, and to living through a year on my own. I know it was more than that--closer to 14 months, in the end--but I will probably always think of it as these bookends, the birthdays I didn't take myself on a special trip, or have friends over to eat my cake, or just sit in a café with a slice of vegan cake someone else made. These were the two birthdays I made the best of, in hopes that the next ones would prove better.

Besides baking myself a cake, I did take myself out into nature on my birthday. Here are some of my favorite views from that day.

Here's to you, too, who have lived through it all and hope to come out on the other side living a very different life in the future.


  1. Happy birthday! What a wonderful cake.
    I have never seen key limes here... I don't know if we even have them in Australia. I am not sure what they are meant to taste like. We just have regular limes, so that is what I always use.

    1. I've had key limes, and they aren't all THAT different. They're smaller and a bit less sweet. I think we just seem to like the phrase "key lime" around here--they sound fancy or something.

    2. Good to know I am not too far off the flavour mark with my regular limes!


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