Lime Cake made with two layers of fluffy white cake, flavored with rum and fresh lime. The cake is filled with fresh lime curd, brushed with a mint simple syrup, and frosted in a whipped vanilla rum buttercream frosting. It tastes like a Mojito in cake form! This unique and impressive cake is full of incredible flavor.
Published: July 2022. Updated: June 2023.
Why you’ll love this Mojito Cake:
- Fluffy Cake Layers – The cake layers are ultra plush and moist, with fresh lime and rum for flavor.
- Lime Curd – Lime Curd is incredibly easy to make and adds a pop of fresh lime flavor to this cake.
- Mint Simple Syrup – This takes just 5 minutes to make and makes a very moist cake. It also rounds out the flavors found in a mojito!
- Whipped Buttercream – Mixing the buttercream for a few extra minutes gives it an ultra light, whipped texture that’s just dreamy!
- Party Worthy – This mojito cake recipe is so flavorful and unique – it’s sure to impress at any celebration.
- Butter – I always use salted buter for the best flavor, but feel free to use unsalted butter if you prefer.
- Fresh Limes – Be sure to use fresh limes for your lime juice, or use bottled key lime juice instead of regular limes, if you want key lime flavor.
- Rum – I used a very basic spiced rum for this recipe, but you could also use white rum.
- Eggs – Be sure to let these come to room temperature before baking.
- Milk – I used 2% milk. Let it come to room temperature before baking.
- Sour Cream – Use full fat for best results and let it come to room temperature before baking.
- Cake Flour – This gives a more plush, light texture to the cake than all-purpose flour.
- Greek Yogurt – You can use full fat greek yogurt in place of the sour cream.
- Non-Alcoholic – If you need to omit the alcohol, use equal parts milk in place of the rum in the cake batter.
How to Make this Lime Cake Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Make Lime Curd. Make the lime curd first, as it needs time to chill and set up in the fridge. This curd takes 5 egg yolks, and the 5 remaining egg whites will be used in the cake layers!
Step 2: Make Simple Syrup. Make your mint simple syrup, as it also needs time to chill in the fridge.
Step 3: Make Cake Batter. Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, until you have a light and fluffy mixture. Gently mix in the remaining dry and wet ingredients as directed in the recipe card. Gentle mixing is the key to a light – not dense – cake.
Step 5: Bake. Pour the batter into your prepared pans and bake. Let the cakes cool completely before decorating.
Step 6: Make Frosting. Make the Whipped Vanilla Rum Frosting once you’re ready to assemble the cake. Just look at that light texture!
Step 7: Assemble your Lime Cake. Brush each cake layer with mint simple syrup. Spread a layer of frosting on the first cake layer, then pipe a border to hold in the lime curd.
Step 8: Finish Frosting the Cake. Top with the remaining cake layer and apply a thin crumb coat. Chill the cake to set this coat of frosting, and then add the remaining frosting.
Serving + Storing this Cake:
Once the fully assembled lime cake has chilled, place lime slices, a little key lime zest, and a mint leaf or two on top of the cake for decoration, then slice and serve! You can also keep the fully assembled cake in the fridge overnight before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Leftovers keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Expert Success Tips:
- Separating Eggs – Keep a small bowl nearby, and separate the eggs in it, one at a time, so that you don’t accidentally end up with whites in your yolks or vice versa, if the whole egg falls apart while you’re trying to separate it.
- Mojito Syrup – Use the leftover mint mojito syrup for cocktails!
- Oven Thermometer – An oven thermometer will tell you if your oven is actually running at the temperature you set it to. Your oven may not be accurate. Accurate oven temperature is crucial for most bakes, so I leave an oven thermometer in at all times to keep an eye on my oven’s calibration.
- Kitchen Scale – A food scale is the best way to make sure your flour is at the proper weight, since amounts will vary SO widely based on how you measure it, as well as the measuring cup you use, as they are not standardized.
Lime curd is naturally yellow – it looks similar to lemon curd. If you want it to look more like lime, add a few drops of green food coloring.
You likely under mixed the eggs or over mixed the dry ingredients into the batter. Mix the cake ingredients as indicated, for the time indicated in the recipe card to avoid a dense cake.
You likely softened the butter and cream cheese for too long, or the frosting has been sitting out in a warm room. Be sure to mix the cream cheese in last as directed in the recipe, as this will help keep the frosting stable. Pop the frosting and cake in the fridge until things stiffen up. Remember to also NEVER put frosting on a cake until it is completely cooled, or it will just melt and slide off.
Yes, you can use two 8-inch cake pans and the bake time will be a tad longer since they are deeper. You can also bake all the batter in a 9×13 pan, starting with 5-7 minutes less than the bake time, checking for doneness in the same way. You can also halve the recipe and bake one round layer or bake in a 9×9 or 8×8 square pan.
- Buttercream Frosting – If you don’t want a slightly whipped texture to your frosting, only beat the butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes instead of 3.
- Non Alcoholic Cake – You can omit the alcohol in the cake and frosting if needed. The frosting needs no substitution, and you can sub milk in equal parts for the rum in the cake.
- White Cake Mix – You could use white cake mix in a pinch for the cake layers.
- Citrus Flavors – You can use lemon juice or orange juice in place of the lime juice in the cake and frosting if you want a lemon or an orange cake. Use store bought lemon curd or orange marmalade, as I’m not 100% sure if the lime curd works the same with other citrus juice.
- Offset Spatula – Offset spatulas make frosting a cake so easy! They’re also great for spreading batter evenly.
- Cake Turntable – If you make at least a few cakes a year, a cake turntable makes the frosting process so easy!
- Piping Bag & Piping Tip – I like to use a reusable piping bag and a Wilton 1A or 2A piping tip, but you can use a plastic bag with the corner snipped off in a pinch.
- Pastry Brush – A pastry brush comes in handy for brushing on the simple syrup, and I use it all the time brushing milk on biscuits, egg wash on pies, etc.
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For the Lime Curd
- 5 large egg yolks reserve the whites for the cake
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 large lime, zested
- 3/4 cup fresh lime juice about 6 large limes
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 6 tbsp salted butter, cubed
For the Mint Simple Syrup
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 large handful fresh mint leaves
For the Cake Layers
- 2 and 1/3 cups cake flour, spooned & leveled 255 grams
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 7 tbsp salted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 and 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature I used 2%
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp spiced rum
- 1 large lime, zested
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
For the Vanilla Rum Whipped Frosting
- 1 cup + 6 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature 22 tbsp, or 310 grams
- 5 and 3/4 cups to 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tbsp mint simple syrup
- 3-4 tbsp spiced rum
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature & cubed Use the full-fat block kind
- fresh lime slices, lime zest, and mint leaves
- Make the Lime Curd: Place a strainer over a medium bowl. Add egg yolks, eggs, and sugar to a medium saucepan. Whisk until well combined. Whisk in the lime juice, lime zest, and salt. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat, for 4-5 minutes or until the temperature on a candy thermometer reaches 185° F. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon, and hold a trail when you drag your finger through the curd. Remove the saucepan from the heat immediately at this point, and strain it into the medium bowl. Whisk the butter into the hot curd mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, until fully combined. Whisk in the vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd and chill in the fridge at least 3 hours or up to 1 week before using. Tip: Use a bit of green food coloring to make this look more like lime – it is naturally more yellow.
- Make the Mint Simple Syrup: Add sugar and water to a small pot on the stove, along with the handful of mint leaves. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to low, and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow the mint leaves to steep for 20-30 minutes. Strain out the mint leaves and pop the simple syrup in the fridge until ready to use. Make-Ahead Tip: This can be made up to 1 week ahead.
- Prep: Make sure all your ingredients have come to room temperature as indicated. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Prepare two 9-inch round cake tins. Rub shortening all over the inside of each pan with a paper towel, coating each evenly and completely. Cut a round of parchment paper to fit inside each (tracing is the easiest way). Place this on top of the greased pan bottom, then grease over the parchment paper. Add a handful of flour, and tap the pan around to evenly coat the entire inside with flour, tapping out the excess.
- Make the Cake Batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the softened butter for about 30 seconds, until creamy. Add the vegetable oil and cream together with the butter for 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 full minutes. The mixture will be fluffy. Add the egg whites, two at a time and then the last one on its own, beating on medium high speed between each addition for 45 seconds. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and lime zest and mix in on medium low speed until just combined.Slowly pour in the dry ingredients while the mixer runs on low speed. Mix just until the last streaks of flour are disappearing into the batter, then turn off the mixer and use a spatula to make sure everything is folded in. Finally, slowly pour in the milk, rum, and lime juice while the mixer runs on low speed. Mix until just combined – don't over mix!
- Bake: Pour batter evenly into your prepared tins. (You can eyeball this or use a kitchen scale to help with precision.) Bake the cakes for 21-26 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center will pull out moist crumbs and the cakes shouldn't jiggle in the center when you move the pan. Let cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. (If the centers dip a bit, that's normal with this cake.)Then, invert onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting and assembling.
- Make the Vanilla Rum Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter. Add powdered sugar in 3 additions, mixing on medium speed between each, until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix. Beat in the cream cheese last – this will prevent weepy frosting. Taste and adjust as desired.
- Assemble & Frost the Cake: Brush each cake layer with mint simple syrup, using a pastry brush. Place the first cake layer on a cake stand protected with wax paper strips, or a turntable. (A turntable is the easiest!) Top the layer with 1 generous cup of frosting, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula. Pipe a border around the cake, and add 1/3 cup of lime curd inside the ring, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula. Place the second cake layer on, and pop in the fridge to chill for 5-10 minutes so nothing will slide around. Add a thin layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Use a cake scraper to smooth out and remove excess frosting. This is your crumb coat, so don't fret if it isn't perfect. Pop the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes or until the frosting is set. Then, use the remaining frosting to frost the cake, using the cake scraper to smooth the top and sides.Chill the entire cake in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until the frosting is set before covering (with plastic wrap or a cake lid) or serving.Tip: If your frosting is getting too soft at any point from sitting out, pop it back in the fridge for a bit to firm back up. If it gets a bit too firm in the fridge, beat it with your mixer to make it spreadable again.
- Serve + Store: Once the fully assembled cake has chilled for at least 30 minutes, decorate with lime wedges and mint, then slice and serve! You can also keep the fully assembled cake in the fridge overnight before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, and let come to room temp a bit before serving, as the frosting will become quite solid. Leftovers keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.