That first day after getting home from the beach, I was craving cake. It sounds absurd, since this is hardly health food, but after a decadent week of Oreos (thanks, Dad), ice cream, peanut M&Ms (thanks, Dad again), and more ice cream, I wanted something simpler and less rich. And homey-er.
In the meantime, the basil plant above my kitchen sink had exploded. I told our house sitter she should use the basil, but I suspect she did not. So when I saw this recipe for a basil lime cake, I knew I was going to make it. You might be wondering how this cake compares to the Lemon Basil Bundt Cake I made. They are both delicious cakes–this was simpler and quicker but the previous cake was more striking. They both have a time and place.
My friend Donna, who took pictures of the Sweet and Sour Chana Saag for me, was with me while I was glazing this cake, so for the first time ever I actually have pictures of myself working. Donna is a fabulous photographer who specializes in photographing kids and families in natural settings, and having her around while I cook has been great fun, both because she can photograph me working and also because we can talk shop, with her giving me pointers on how to more completely utilize my camera. (Yes I am like everyone else in that I only understand a tiny percentage of what my camera can do.)
- 1/3 cup basil leaves minced
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk I used 2% by necessity
- 2 1/2 cups (315 g) AP flour
- 2 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 T lime juice
- zest of 4 limes
- juice from 4 limes
- sugar to taste about 1-2 cups
Mince the basil finely and then add it to the milk. Set it aside and let it steep for 10 minutes at a minimum, to let the basil oil mix with the milk.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 9 inch, 10 cup bundt pan. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
Beat the butter and lime zest in an electric mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar with the mixer on medium speed, and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in the vanilla and lime juice.
Alternating ingredients, with the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour mixture and basil milk in 4 and 3 additions, respectively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for about 40 minutes, you will know the cake is ready to come out when a cake tester comes out clean or with only a few crumbs attacher, and the sides of the cake have begun to pull away from the pan. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. I like a tart glaze, so I used the remaining lime juice from the 4 limes. Mix this with a cup of sugar and bring to a boil in a small saucepan. Taste, and if you want it sweeter, add more sugar. Let boil for 5 minutes and then remove from the he
After inverting the cake onto a cooling rack, brush the warm cake with the warm glaze. I brushed on about 3 layers; the tart-sweet lime glaze is my favorite part so I like a good layer of it! Cool before slicing.
Meagan Warncke says
Gorgeous! Even though I don’t bake a lot, I may have to try this! 🙂
Looks good….pretty too.
Some things never change. You dad and uncle would come home from college and your grandmother would always have Oreos and M & M’s in the white tin. I think Chris has that white tin, now.
The combination sounds new to me…I’d love to try. Your bundt pan’s unique curves also captured my eyes. That was a good thing you have your friend with you while you were working. Angles and points of view make up a good click too. You’ve got good photos. Thanks for sharing.
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This was delicious! I tried it for a Mexican themed end-of-class potluck, and though it was very well received, I thought that the basil taste was barely there. The lime seemed overpowering. Next time, I may warm the milk and steep the basil a little longer to get more of the natural oils out.
Thx for sharing!
For a stronger basil flavor you might also try the lemon basil cake that I referenced in the post. Part of the basil is uncooked, used to make a sugar that is sprinkled on at the end.
I made this cake for supper club last night…it was a hit!! I had to go copy the recipe for them and they all plan to make it again. Thank you so much for sharing it!
Since I found your blog this summer, I have made this cake for a frenid’s birthday, three families that had babies, one frenid that was having a difficult day (it was her deceased father’s birthday) and one frenid that had surgery. Every single family has commented how much they loved the cake. My family loves this cake too. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe. It is so easy, yet impressive. I love your blog.
This cake looks so fabulous. Since I have abundant of Basil leaves right now, i’m think of baking this cake too. In your recipe, what measurement do you use for the baking powder, salt, vanilla, and lime juice? You typed in “T” does this mean tablespoon or teaspoon?
Thank you for sharing this recipe Laura!
T is tablespoon and t is teaspoon. I hope you like it-let me know how it turns out!
Also, for questions like this, check out my FAQ page at the top (in case there are other questions that come up and I am away from my computer).
I just happened upon your blog while searching for a lime basil cake recipe and I’m so glad that I did! I can’t wait to try this recipe among others here that intrigue me. Thanks for your creativity!
ARLENE CALMA says
So happy to find this recipe ! Absolutely delish and I don’t normally enjoy citrus cakes but I love basil 🤤 Thank you from Australia 💚
Something about getting this message right now, during this pandemic, all the way from Australia made me extra extra happy! Thanks and stay safe!
Katie Petrie says
I have regular basil, lemon basil, and lime basil. Do you think it would be good if I used the lime basil for this?
I certainly would not hesitate to try! I love playing with the different basil varieties–if you do make it please come back and let us know how it turned out.
This was stunningly delicious. Everyone loved it. It will definitely go on the Rotation.
LOVE getting comments like for old posts before I knew how to use a camera. Thank you!
Love this cake! Had lots of fresh basil I needed to use and just baked it and it turned out wonderfully. The baking time needed to be increased for me by quite a bit (an extra 15 min), but I watched it to be sure it wouldn’t burn. It’s just me and my husband and I was wondering if you’ve ever frozen this cake (or a portion of it) before? I don’t know if we can finish the whole cake. 🙂
Thanks for this great recipe!
So glad you liked it! I have actually never frozen a cake before but I have definitely read that it can be done.I would recommend wrapping it as tightly as possible (how tight will depend on the bundt pan shape no doubt) and then wrapping again in heavy duty foil. Let us know how it turns out if you try–I do wonder if some of the basil flavor will be lost but I am honestly not sure.
Hi. Looking for something new to bake today and came across this recipe. Have you ever tried this in a loaf pan? And is the texture of this dense like a pound cake? I love dense moist cakes. Thanks in advance.
This is exactly that kind of cake–and I agree, I love them too. Regarding loaf pans, I think it would split into 2 8X4 pans ok, but if you use a 9X5 loaf pan expect to have an odd amount of cake batter left over. You can always bake it in muffin or mini loaf pans. In general any cake that can be baked in a bundt or tube pan can also be baked in loaf pans, you just need to research the volume of the pans. I have many recipes intended for the standard 12 cup bundt pan but because I love the more decorative 10 cup bundt pans I also have mini loaf pans to bake the overflow I constantly have. It is kinda fun to have a baker’s sample to try before putting the cake out anyway. 🙂
Thanks for the reply. I made it over the weekend and it was delicious and I got compliments from my brother in law who was visiting. Both the basil and lime flavors came through so wonderfully. I used the extra batter to make mini muffins/cupcakes and my kids loved them! Thanks so much.
Yay! And thanks for coming back and letting me know.