Strawberry-Lime Cream Cake

Light and luscious, this strawberry-lime cream cake is elegant and phenomenally delicious. Layer upon layer of tender white cake, fresh strawberry syrup (helps the cake stay tremendously moist!), and citrusy lime cream is enveloped in an ethereal cloud of vanilla whipped cream frosting.

While the recipe may seem daunting with all of it’s components, each one comes together quickly and all of the pieces can be made at least a day or two in advance so you can assemble the cake in a snap.

A refreshing summer cake that is so beautiful in presentation, you won’t want to eat it. But get over that fact and dig in anyway. It would be a tragedy of epic proportions to let this cake go untasted.

Strawberry-Lime Cream Cake

Strawberry-Lime Cream Cake

Yield: Serves 12

Strawberry-Lime Cream Cake

Note: this recipe looks like it has a lot of steps, and it does, but each can be made in advance and the cake assembled later. Plus, none of the steps are very difficult. The end result is worth it, trust me!


    White Cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 egg whites
  • Strawberry Syrup/Puree:
  • You can sub 1 1/2 cups of strawberry jam for the puree
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Lime Cream:
  • 4 limes, for 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • Whipped Cream Frosting:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 envelope (about 2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
  • 4 tablespoons water


  1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add buttermilk, butter and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites and beat for 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. Pour the batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. (I lined the bottom of mine with a parchment circle and greased the top of the parchment circle.) Bake the cakes for 28-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs. Don’t overbake or the cakes will be dry. Cool the cakes on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a butter knife and remove the cakes from the pans to cool completely.
  3. For the strawberry puree, combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  4. For the lime cream, zest and juice the limes into a medium bowl. You should have about 1/2 cup lime juice. Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix well. Add the whipping cream and beat until medium-stiff peaks form. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
  5. For the whipped cream frosting, in a small bowl, place the water and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let the mixture stand for 3-4 minutes until the gelatin has thickened. Microwave for 20-30 seconds until the gelatin dissolves and the mixture is warm. Remove from the microwave and let the mixture cool to room temperature (don’t let it set up!). In a large bowl, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla until slightly thickened. While beating slowly, gradually add the cooled gelatin to the whipped cream mixture. Whip at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  6. To assemble the cake, slice each cooled cake round in half horizontally to form 4 cake circles. Place one cake layer on a cake plate and spread an even layer of strawberry syrup over the top. Spread a thick layer of lime cream over the jam, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge as the top cake layers will press the cream out toward the edges. Repeat the same layering process with the next two layers. Top with the final cake layer and frost the entire cake with the whipped cream frosting. Garnish with fresh limes and strawberries, if desired. Chill for 1-2 hours before serving to let the cake set up.

Recipe Source: White cake adapted from Betty Crocker, other components adapted from my friend, Reyna M.

67 Responses to Strawberry-Lime Cream Cake

  1. Rachel Russell says:

    Made this on the weekend for mom’s bday and was AMAZING. Was worried about it falling apart like some of the readers- so chilled the layers before putting together and also made the lime cream and strawberry sauce early on the day and kept in fridge for 3 hours before putting on the cake. When lime cream was first whipped- was not thick and didn’t make peaks at all so was worried- but after put it in the fridge for a few hours- was soon thick as normal whipped cream and worked amazingly in the layers with no problems or dripping. After strawberry sauce and lime cream layers were put in between the layers- I popped the entire unfrosted cake in the freezer for about 20 min to stop any of the strawberry sauce/ lime cream from oozing out and down the cake- the cold stopped any drips in it’s tracks! Then took out and applied the final vanilla whipped cream and there was no dripping or mixing of inner and outer creams! This cake looked magazine worthy and tasted even better- HUGE hit!! THANK YOU MEL!!

  2. Karen says:

    I bake it in 8″pans and haven’t had any problem with the cake splitting or being destroyed while filling.

  3. Karen says:

    This cake is DELICIOUS.
    After making it several times I found that 0.6 of the strawberry sauce recipe and 1/2 of the lime cream recipe is sufficient to fill the cake.
    The lime cream whips up better in the Bosch than in the Kitchenaid.
    If you don’t like the graininess of the gelatin use 2 envelopes of powdered whip cream stabilizer.
    Thanks Mel for this amazing recipe!

  4. Megan says:

    I made this for a family party last night, and my niece said it was the best cake she’s ever eaten! I did substitute raspberry for the strawberry. It was completely delicious. My sister said, “Did this come from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe?” They know you’re my go-to. Thanks for another fantastic recipe!

  5. Peggy says:

    Your recipes always sound wonderful to me, and this cake is no exception! I thought I read the directions and reviews carefully, but I must have missed the directions on part of the assembly. What I missed was when assembling the layers if the cut side of the second and third layers should have the cut surface placed up or down. As I read some problems some reviewers had, I wondered if my question about cut side up or down might be part of the problem. Please help. Thanks.

  6. Salem says:

    Made this again (convinced my five year old to have it for his birthday!) and it is still as delicious as every other time I’ve made it! The white cake is SO DELICIOUS, not to mention the lime cream and strawberries!

    A couple hints that I’ve found….freeze your cooled, sliced cake for 15 minutes before assembling, and don’t use all the lime cream. In fact, I have so much leftover that I use it to frost the entire cake after its put together and I skip the other frosting step. I don’t like how the whipped frosting tastes, but there is so much lime cream and it is SO divine that I prefer that!! Granted, it is soft so it doesn’t look quite as good as a thicker frosting, but I prefer taste to looks.

    Thanks for a great recipe!

  7. Jen says:

    Mel, help! I just finished putting this cake together. Mine looks nothing like yours. In hindsight, I probably used too much strawberry syrup (mine was more like foam?? perhaps too much air incorporated by the blender?) and too much lime cream. It was all I could do to get it into the fridge and still remain on the plate! Was the intent to use up all the filling? I was dividing it into 3rds.
    Hoping it is still on the plate in a couple of hours. Although it looks like a horiffic mess, I know it is going to taste divine!
    I love your recipes and my family thanks you for getting me out of the rut of same-ol’ same-ol’.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jen – it’s been several years since I’ve made this but it definitely is a more delicate cake (even a bit slippery with all those wet ingredients/sauces). Sounds like maybe your strawberry syrup was either too much in quantity or like you said, too foamy or liquidy. I did use all the lime curd when I made it – hopefully it tastes ok. Sorry it didn’t work out perfectly!

      • Jen says:

        Thanks, Mel! It was delicious! We all loved it and I’ll try it again with less syrup and maybe letting each layer sit and soak it in before adding the lime cream. Also, on hindsight, maybe I should have let the lime cream come to room temp before assembling so that it would “flow” a little more between the layers and not crack the cake above. Thanks again!

  8. Jordan says:

    Made this cake last week for a neighborhood birthday dinner and it was such a hit! Delicious and beautiful. So worth the time! We used the leftover strawberry syrup and lime cream to top your buttermilk waffles the next two mornings. Yum! Thanks, Mel!

  9. Jazzman says:

    Someone wrote here ages ago that she waits for a reason to make this cake…

    listen guys, life is too short to wait for reasons 🙂

    to love baking, eating and sharing delicious food are always plenty good reasons to do create treats like this one 🙂 just go ahead and try every recipe you want and if you dont find someone at home who would like to enjoy take it to work, to your neighbours or invite someone to a cup of tea and a slice of cake who you´ve never invited before <3

    i love food 🙂 I am totally going to make this one <3

    • Jazzman says:

      Ok it took me 3 years but I finally made this cake 😀 with a little twist since i made a sponge cake, thickened the strawberry sirup with flax seed flour, put some sirup on the cake layers i made from sugar and the lime juice and only put the lime zests in the cream. It was delicious and this recipe and the combination of strawberries and limes for a cake were such a great idea!

  10. sarah says:

    Hey Mel! I have a quick question… I can’t seem to get my lime cream to stiffen up. Is there a trick to it? I am using a Bosch like yours, and it just gets soft peaks and it seems to be thinning, so I stopped whipping and put it in the fridge, hoping that if its cooler it will work up better. Any thoughts? Thanks! Making this for my hunny’s birthday!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sarah – it’s been a while since I’ve made this but my guess is that firming it in the refrigerator will help, especially if it’s already at soft peaks. This is definitely a creamy, delicate cake, so as long as the cream is at soft peaks, it should work ok.

  11. Cheryl D. says:

    I am just baking your Buttermilk Lime Shortbread bars and am about to make this cake. These two recipes that call for butte don’t specify salted or I salted. Does it matter if I use salted.
    Thanks for this wondful blog.

  12. Mary Ellen says:

    This is an old post… but I still found it via google, so I thought I would share this tip. I have made a similar cake before and you can avoid the filling oozing out the sides. You need to keep some strawberries whole and slice them in half. Then, put them on the outside of your layer while keeping the strawberry and lime towards the middle and moving out towards the edges. Here’s a photo. Looks pretty, too!

  13. Salem says:

    Hahaha!! So this is what we (my 3 year old, my 2 year old and I) are making for family night treats tonight. And as I’m assembling the layers, I hear my 3 year old say to himself as he is in playing with something, ” …careful or I’ll cut my finger off….(then some unintelligable mumbling)….melskitchencafe.” That’s where I started laughing and missed the rest! You are a very popular person in our house!!

  14. Lisa B says:

    I made this for my sister for her birthday. She had requested a vanilla cake with strawberry mousse after recently enjoying the same from a bakery. I couldn’t find a decent recipe, but have frequented your site and tried a few recipes (with much success and rave reviews) and thought this one looked close and promising. OMGosh!!! She (and everyone else) LOVED it!!! She said it was better than the one from the bakery!!! This was my first four-layer cake and it turned out amazing!!! I read the other comments first and decided to make the cake a day ahead and then chilled it for a few hours before cutting and assembling. I made the fillings the same day and chilled them a bit before, too. It came together perfectly. I had some extra puree and lime cream that I dolloped on top when served. Thank you for an AMAZING recipe!!!

  15. Clarissa says:

    Help! I made a valiant effort but the lime cream CURDLED!! What did I do wrong? I zested and juiced 4 limes, whisked in 1 can sweetened condensed milk, then added 2 cups heavy whipping cream and whipped the heck out of that baby. It showed no signs of thickening and so I increased the speed of my stand mixer and let it go for five more minutes or so. It turned into a lumpy mess! I’d like to try again but I don’t want to waste any more ingredients.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Clarissa – I’m sorry that happened! It’s impossible to know unless I was right there, but it sounds like it might have overmixed which could cause curdling.

  16. Jen M says:

    I don’t know how I haven’t made this before since I’ve been a faithful follower for awhile now. I made it for my mother in law’s birthday and it was amazing! Thanks for being my go-to whenever I need a recipe. You are the best!

  17. Rachel says:

    I wanted to make this cake for a picnic but was worried about it falling apart on the way or melting into a puddle of whipping cream. So I tried making cupcakes instead and it turned out great!
    I baked the cupcakes for 18 minutes which seemed perfect. Once they cooled I filled the centers with the strawberry filling. Then for the top of the cupcake I put a thin layer of the strawberry filling and then lots of the yummy lime cream.
    Then I cut up some strawberry’s and limes to decorate the top of each cupcake much like the picture of the cake. They looked great and everyone loved them! I was also surprised at how well the lime cream held up in the heat! I didn’t make any of the whipping cream since it was not necessary with cupcakes. Everyone loved them and there weren’t any left!

  18. Rhonda says:

    Great recipe. I must admit I was a bit skeptical with the order that the cake ingredients were mixed together but it turned out awesome. I just made the cake part and baked it in a 9×13 pan then we ate it with fresh strawberries and ice cream. Amazing. Thanks Mel

  19. Mel says:

    Lisa – my answer is “probably yes” but since I haven’t tried it, you’d have to experiment with method and quantities. Also, make sure to read through the comments above – I haven’t looked lately but someone may have tried it already. Good luck!

  20. Lisa says:

    I wonder… do you think something like this could possibly be adapted for cupcakes?

  21. Heather Miller says:

    Okay, I just went for it and made the cake this morning. I just wanted to share that I baked the cake last night, cut them into 4 circles and put them in 4 freezer bags. I left them on the counter over night and then put them in the freezer for just about an hour while I prepared the other parts to the cake. I assembled it and had no problems with it staying together at all! It is chilling and setting up wonderfully! The only problem I encountered was that my strawberry filling leaked out and when I tried to frost it, it made a bit of a mess…so I just embraced it and my frosting just has a pink tint to it now! My 4 year old told me that my cake is beautiful! I haven’t tried it yet, but I wasn’t too worried about the taste after reading all the comments (although I did try each and every component and separately they were all fabulous). Thanks for always providing such amazing recipes!

    • Mel says:

      Heather – thanks for checking back in! I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get to your other comment earlier but I appreciate you detailing your experience and I’m thrilled it set up well and didn’t fall apart!

  22. Heather Miller says:

    I am making this cake for my daughters first birthday tomorrow. I just made the cake tonight but it was a little crumbly. I’m going to put it in the freezer for about an hour tomorrow before I assemble it, in hopes that it doesn’t fall apart like many people have mentioned here. I want to assemble it in the morning though to make sure that I don’t have an epic fail and have to work on plan b. So my question is, (and maybe its quite stupid) but will it be okay to make in the morning and chill for more than 2 hours? That’s probably already been answered somewhere in these comments but I just want to check. I really want this cake to work out!! Thanks so much!

  23. krissy matthews says:

    I made this the other day and it was so good,especially the lime cream! But like some others my cake fell apart and was just terrible looking! What can I do different to keep this cake together?

    • Mel says:

      Krissy – it is a bit of a delicate cake, mostly because of the many layers and because of the amount of lime cream. You could try refrigerating each layer as you stack it – one by one – so it has time to firm up before adding the others. You might even pop it in the freezer for a little bit – not to freeze completely but just to stiffen up and become more stable. Sorry for the mess!

  24. Aussiemuminthekitchen says:

    I made this today and we loved it. It may just be my favorite new white cake recipe too! The cake was so moist and as h said the flavor combo is wonderful!

  25. Sarah says:

    I made this for my daughter’s birthdy party this weekend. AMAZING! We have a lime tree so I am always looking for recipes with lime. My non-cake loving husband thinks this is by far the best cake ever and can’t wait for me to make it again. TONS of compliments. The whipped cream frosting held up in the very high FL humidity and heat. I think I am going to make the extra lime cream and strawberry puree into an ice cream.

  26. KB says:

    I made this for a Sunday Dinner and the everything about the cake was FANTASTIC.
    The recipes for the fillings made a giant amount so if you ever double the cake recipe: don’t double the fillings.
    It was delicious in every way, great texture and crumb on the cake, delicious flavor combination and who doesn’t love SCM?

    The only things I would change for next time: make less filling and
    using powdered stabilizer for the whipping cream instead of the gelatin. The gelatin made the whipping cream a tiny bit “grainy” in appearance.

  27. Kristen in Seattle says:

    Oh my so first off you had me at lime!! Then you really had me at condensed milk being whipped into a frenzy!! I could not wait to make AND eat this cake, let me tell ya!! So I made the lime cream first, didn’t quiet set up but suffice it to say was absolutely delish! I was quiet content just eating it straight from my kitchen-aid bowl with the largest spoon I could find!! Strawberry syrup executed extremely well, it was tangy and sweet and everything it should be!! The cake was grub, after a few discretionary picks from the middle, that surely wouldn’t be missed I began the… assembly??? WARNING major baking/cake failure ensues!!! My syrup and cream ran and dripped and oozed and… I think you get the point! HA!! What a sweet, sticky, complete mess!! I wish I could share a pic with ya bc I’m pretty sure you’d fall off your chair laughing!! Only to get up, scratch your head and wonder where it all went wrong!! My husband and I picked through the  shattered remains of my cake and even though it surely wouldn’t win any “best looking cake” contests it was scrumptious!! I will not be defeated though, oh no don’t cry for me!! I fully intend to successfully make this cake again!! I will triumph!! 
    I love your blog, I cook from it often!! Thanks for sharing all your yummy recipes with us!!

  28. Tami says:

    I made this cake today and it was sublime. Totally delicious. I couldn’t get my lime cream layer to whip up very well but I used it anyway. The strawberry and lime flavors mesh so well together. I also poured the leftover lime cream on top of the cake and let it drip over. I still used the whipped cream but just scooped a little on each piece. It was amazing.

  29. Lisa says:

    Just made this cake! First of all, your cake is beautiful… mine however was a beautiful mess 😉 I mean it split in half with the wieght and was a crumbly disaster. Some suggestions I’d add to or make (at least if I make this again) would be:

    -freezing the halved cake pieces before assembly
    -only using the outsides of the cake and have them pointing upward during assembly (mine split in half when I used the insides pointing upwards because of the weight of the cream and sauce.
    -I would omit the last step of putting cream on the outside and use the left-over lime cream on top, which was so yummy I couldn’t keep my hands out of it. I kind of liked the strawberry and cream oozing out look, it was super yummy. I thought 4 cups of cream on/in the cake was too much for me.

    My cake tastes great but unfortunately this time it didn’t work out for me in the looks department! Would love your feedback Melanie!

    As always… LOVE YOUR BLOG!!

    • Mel says:

      Lisa – I’m sorry that your cake kind of collapsed and fell apart on you. Perhaps the filling was overloaded – you may be able to cut back on all of the filling ingredients so that it doesn’t create too much pressure inside the cake. When I was making it, my layers were definitely a bit precarious with all the filling but after refrigerating, it set up just fine. One suggestion is just to eyeball the amount of lime cream to use in between the layers and if you have some left over, that’s fine – but maybe not add all of it to the inside of the cake layers. Like Tami (another commenter) said, she dolloped the whipped cream on each piece and just smothered the cake in the lime cream. Another good possibility. Thanks for commenting – I hope it works out better if you dare try it again!

  30. I love lime and strawberry….and cakes with whipped cream as the frosting. Yum, this sounds absolutely diving and worth a few extra steps.

  31. Just wanted to stop by and let you know that I have finally made my blogroll and you are on it! Check it out at =) Love your site!

  32. Janae says:

    That is one good cake sister! I’m in love… Made this yesterday for my birthday and what a gift! At one point I really didn’t think that lime whipped cream was going to make it onto the cake – I couldn’t stop eating it! Good thing there was plenty of it. Yep, flour the pans. I thought I could get away with some cooking spray but had a bit of a hard time getting the cake to release. Everything about this cake is divine! Thanks for sharing!

  33. Carly says:

    O my goodness, this looks way too good! I must try this soon! Thanks for the recipe:)

  34. theginabean says:

    This looks so good I could just cry…

  35. grace says:

    oooh la la di dah! my favorite beverage in the summer is the strawberry limeade from sonic, so i’m obviously a fan of the combo. this marks the first cake i’ve seen making use of it–bravo!

  36. This looks and sounds fabulous!! I love strawberry and limes. Definitely going to try this recipe out!! Thanks! 🙂

  37. Ang says:

    Oops sorry – guess my page wasn’t refreshed. Thanks for your help!

  38. Ang says:

    I thought I left a comment earlier but I don’t see it. Do you use all of the zest from all of the limes??

  39. This is so pretty – I LOVE the lime green and red against the white background and the cake sounds just incredible! What a great summer treat! It would be a fun cake for Christmas too! Thanks, Chris

  40. What a beautiful cake! Those flavor combinations sound wonderful!

  41. Kira says:

    I am trying so hard to think of a reason to make this, and people to share it with!!! Book club is not at my house until Sept. – Can I wait? And I am thinking this will not fly with my almost three year old for his birthday cake . . . He was thinking a Candyland cake ????

  42. Emily Marie says:

    If I wanted to make the cake part of it a few days in advance, how would you suggest storing it? Freezing the precut rounds wrapped in plastic wrap, maybe? Or not precut, maybe? This sounds so insanely delicious!

    • Mel says:

      Emily – if it were me, I’d bake the cakes, let them cool, then wrap them in plastic wrap and put each one in a separate gallon-size freezer ziploc bag. Freeze. Then take them out and let them defrost on the counter in time to slice and assemble.

  43. Alison Wonderland says:

    I’m supposed to take a cake to a party next week, and I’ve been wondering what to make. This is a timely post! Can’t wait to give it a try. I love recipes that can be made in advance to cut down on the frenzy of assembly, thanks!

  44. Ang says:

    Just to clarify – you zest all the limes in addition to juicing them?

  45. Monette says:

    This is very tempting to make! Is it very rich/sweet?

    • Mel says:

      Monette – The lime cream is probably the sweetest component of the cake so it balanced out the other flavors well. For a cake, I’d say it’s middle of the road in richness. Several of my guests went back for seconds whereas others were fine with their first piece and said it was plenty sweet enough to satiate their dessert taste buds.

  46. Sasha says:

    oh WOW, this looks amazing! I really do trust you when you say this is worth it, its beautiful but more importantly the flavours sound like they would be insanely delicious 🙂 Such a gorgeous recipe!

  47. Sandee says:

    lets see the inside of that beauty! 🙂

  48. This sounds like the perfect summer dessert. I love the flavor combination and your cake is beautiful!

  49. StephenC says:

    I’ve changed my stripes and actually reading dessert postings. I could be talked into making this cake. I’d probably use a boxed basic white cake mix. One problem is that, having quite smoking back in early March, I’m paranoid about weight gain.

  50. Kim in MD says:

    Oh my gosh, Melanie…this looks so delicious and refreshing! I would love to make this soon (after our current heat waveheat waves ends this weekend), and was wondering if you know how long this cake keeps in the fridge? You know me and my obsession in making everything ahead of time when entertaining. Would the frosting keep well if it was made the night before serving? Something tells me yes, with the powdered sugar and gelatin, but I would love to know first hand from you what your experience was! Thanks! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kim – I think this frosted cake would keep very well made ahead one day. The inside of the cake may be even more moist (thanks to the strawberry syrup) but I don’t think that is a bad thing. You could always make all of the components ahead of time, but I did notice that my leftover lime cream (I had a bit extra) that was in a tupperware in the refrigerator was a little “weepy” the next day with excess liquid. The whipped cream frosting would hold up just fine a day before, in my opinion, thanks to the gelatin. Overall, I’d probably make and assemble the entire cake a day ahead but if you don’t have the time, several of the components could be made ahead and assembled a few hours before serving. Hope that helps!

  51. Krysta Lyn says:

    You had me at the buttermilk in the cake and the sweetened condensed milk mixed with lime in the filling! Now to just come up with a reason to make it…

  52. I love the flavors here! Looks amazing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *