I had some family over for Cinco de Mayo celebrations the other day……well, really just an excuse to eat these yummy Crockpot Chicken Tostadas that I absolutely love and are so easy to make, as well as some Bean and Cheese Taquitos since I was afraid that I might run out of the tostadas. By the way, I forgot how good simple homemade bean taquitos are! So good that I had to make them again today so I could grab some pictures and share them with you (and shove my face full of them). They will be coming shortly! I’m officially still on a Mexican food kick. Can you tell?
Anyway, I digress. What I really wanted to talk about today was cake. Because I wanted something a little different this year rather than the traditional Mexican Pastel de Tres Leches (which I dearly love, btw). And I haven’t yet dared try to make a good caramel flan – that will be a feat. Good flan does not come easily, IMO. (If you think otherwise, please share your secrets with me!)
No, this cake. This cake which is not traditional anything (I don’t think), but has won my heart over and over and which I have now officially declared as one of my top cakes of all time. This Key Lime Torte with Strawberries. It fit in so perfectly with the cuisine that I just felt right at home serving it with the rest of the meal.
My friend, Emily, introduced me to this cake many years ago. And let me tell you why I’m a fan. Because it has the most fantabulous creamy, limey, whipped cream frosting/filling that you could ever imagine. The cake is moist, cool, and refreshing. Just a burst of ZING! And then, just me, playing around with some pairings, threw some strawberries on for garnishment one time. The combination of strawberry and lime just sings.
And can I tell you a secret? The cake’s base is a boxed cake mix. Yes. It’s true. You don’t follow the instructions on the box though. We add our own fun stuff, folks – lime juice, butter…and I always throw in a little sour cream for good measure to assure a moist crumb. Honestly, sour cream is like magic.
Also, I’m still developing a version of this cake completely from scratch, but it’s just not quite there yet. And honestly, this cake mix version can stand on its own so it’s hard to even have the motivation to want to keep looking for alternatives. But, for all you purists out there, I’ll get another version, I promise! I just couldn’t contain this one anymore because when you have something good, you gotta share!
This cake is seriously a breeze to whip up. 1-2-3-voila! And while it does need to refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours (for best results), it’s worth that wait to enjoy it in all its glory. If you want to, go ahead and make one day in advance.
Make it. Eat it. Love it!
Key Lime Torte with Strawberries
For the Cake:
- 1 butter or yellow cake mix
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons key lime juice
- 1 tablespoons stick unsalted butter 8, room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream
For the Filling/Topping:
- 1 ounce can sweetened condensed milk 14
- 1/2 cup key lime juice
- 2 cups whipping cream whipped to stiff peaks
- 1 slices lime optional, cut into thin , for garnishing
- 6 strawberries or more, optional, for garnishing
For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour 2 round cake pans (8 inch are best, but you can use 9. Also, I prefer to use non-stick springform pans for easy removal).
Combine cake mix, water, lime juice, butter and eggs and mix at low speed until all is moistened (scraping sides of bowl).
Beat for 2 minutes on high speed (as per cake mix instructions).
Gently fold the sour cream into the batter.
Divide batter evenly between two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cakes are set and golden brown.
Cool on wire rack approximately 10-15 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.
For the Filling:
In a medium bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Mix until well combined and smooth.
Add whipped cream and gently fold mixture together to combine, trying not to deflate (it will deflate a little and that's okay! It's not easy to mix cream with sweetened condensed milk!).
Even out top of cake layers with a knife, if needed. Cut each cake layer in half so that you have four layers total.
Starting with bottom layer on serving platform, spread about a 1/4-1/2 inch layer of the filling over the cake layer.
Place next round on top and repeat until all layers are placed.
On the top layer, use the remaining filling to generously cover, pushing towards the edges so that it will naturally drip down the sides.
Garnish the top and sides of the cake with limes and strawberries, as desired.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until chilled and set.
May make up to one day in advance. The flavors and moistness of the cake get better over time!
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