key lime crumb cake


Crumb cake, cheese cakes and oversized cookies are a baking-passion of mine. They seem to be the staples of this blog. I had a craving for key lime pie, but really didn't. It was just the key limes I was craving. Why or how did I come up with this? The creative recipe side of my brain produced a "pop-up" bubble that said "crumb cake + key lime....just do it!'.


Could you use lemon instead? Absolutely!

Add in 1 ts of lime (regular lime) zest to the liquid for an extra boost of flavor.





key lime crumb cake
print recipe

Cook notes: You will need the juice of 15-20 key limes. You will use it in the cake batter and the key lime filling. You will need the zest of about 3 limes.
This cake does bake up fast, since the cake part is thin. Should be done at the 25 minute mark. You can use a cake tester to see if its done, although this could be hard as the cream cheese filling might get in the way. Another way to see if it’s done is see if middle is jiggly.

¼ cup canola oil, plus more for pan
½ stick unsalted butter, melted.
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
½ cup + 2 TB granulated white sugar
1 ts baking powder
½ ts coarse salt
1 large egg
½ cup + 1TB half & half
3 ts key lime juice

Crumb Topping: (I wanted thick crumb topping so I doubled this part.)
1 cups flour
1 cups packed light brown sugar
¾ ts coarse salt
2 ts of lime zest (not key lime zest)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled

For the crumb topping:
In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients, pour melted butter over mixture, and toss with a rubber spatula until large crumbs form. Set aside.

Key lime filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temp.
1 large egg yolk
2-3 TB white sugar
1 TB fresh lime zest
1 TB key lime juice

For the cream cheese mixture:
Mix all in a bowl (really well) until ready to use.

For cake:
Place rack in center of oven, and heat oven to 350°.
Lightly butter a 9 x 13 baking pan and dust with flour, and tap to remove excess. (I’ve also used the Pam with Flour and it worked just fine); set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together 2 ¼ cups flour, add in the granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together egg, butter, half & half, canola oil, and key lime juice (add this in at the very last minute to avoid curdling).

Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.
Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, and set aside. (to keep batter from sticking to your hand or spoon, just wet or oil your fingers or a spoon and spread evenly throughout pan).
The batter should be about half an inch or more high. It will cook/rise to an inch thick. (Don’t worry if the batter is very thin and hard to get into the corners, it does spread out as it’s baking).
Next put on the cream cheese mixture; I did this in vertical lines in the pan. You can make swirls if you want, just do not push down. Next add on the crumbs, do not push down. Then transfer pan to oven, and bake for 10 minutes, rotate pan. Then cook another 12-14 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Using a serrated knife or bench scraper, cut into 3-inch squares. Store in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to two days.


  1. I love the picture of the limes! This looks so delicious.

  2. I need to find some key limes immediately. Love this!

  3. Absolutely mouthwatering. Beautiful recipe!

  4. I LOVE key lime anything AND I really really love crumble topping. I could JUST eat crumble topping and be so happy. Or take a bath in that cream cheese filling layer. DIVINE!!

  5. I'm making this for Josh- he'll explode! Key lime pie is his favorite dessert and this sounds even better. Creative lady

  6. Yum! I just made a crumb cake last week, but it didn't have anything hiding inside. Key lime cream cheese sounds great!

  7. Gosh this looks good. I can feel myself salivating when thinking of the tart limes. :)

  8. Key lime is one of my favorite flavors. These bars look amazing!

  9. what a fabulous recipe, Dawn! I like the way you think, woman.

  10. Key lime is a great idea. They look delicious.

  11. Fantastic idea! That crumb cake looks amazing.

  12. i've been neglecting the lime in my baking and that's a shame!

  13. You, my dear are one smart cookie. The filling in that cake would have me swooning.

  14. Lord, Lord. I heart you so much! 8D

  15. i've never been much for limes, but this may have done me in. love that filling!!

  16. oooohhh! Key lime crumb cake sounds so perfect for warm days of summer! I'm not great at crust, but I could definitely make this happen!

  17. These look like they're packed with moist, sweet, zesty flavor and the lime/cheese combo would make them suuuper addicting!

  18. These are looking so good! What a great way to enjoy the keylime flavours!

  19. Oh that sounds so perfect to end a summer picnic or bbq.


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