Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lime Sponge Cake by Lucy Burdette

I'm so excited to be here as a part of Mystery Lovers' Kitchen! I love food and cooking and talking about recipes. And I love mysteries! So this blog is the utterly perfect combination. Thank you ladies for inviting me to join you! (And by the way, it happens that this first post falls on my birthday--what a glorious present from MLK!)

Since AN APPETITE FOR MURDER was launched earlier this month, I have a feeling you all must be sick to death of hearing about Key Lime pie. But I could not resist staying with the lime theme, especially because this time of year we have the most amazing thing going on with our indoor lime tree--as you can see in the picture on the right (though sorry it's a little dark.) After we harvest the limes (maybe 8-10 of them), the tree goes back to looking barely alive. Then the cycle starts over. At my husband's insistence, we tried moving the tree outside in the summer. We developed a horrible infestation of aphids that I pinched off the leaves one by one, as I don't like to use pesticides. Obviously, it's never gone out again!

One of my favorite things to make with our limes is a very light but delicious Lime Sponge Cake. It's an excellent cake for spring, but I also made it for a Christmas party and served strawberry ice cream on the side so I'd have that red and green thing going.


6 large eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated lime rind
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup flour
powdered sugar (optional)

How to put it together:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In large bowl, place the egg whites with the cream of tartar and beat them with an electric mixer until they hold soft peaks. (You can test this by slowly withdrawing the beaters from the eggs. Soft peaks should stand up with the slightest droop at the top.) Next, gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating until whites are stiff but not dry.

In another large bowl, place separated yolks. Beat them with unwashed beaters until thick. Add remaining sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating until the yolks are very thick and ivory colored.

To the beaten yolks, add the grated lime rind, lime juice and water, beating until just blended. Beat in flour and salt at a very low speed. Add the beaten egg whites to this mixture, and fold them in with a rubber spatula--gently.

Turn the cake batter into ungreased 10" tube pan. Cut through batter several times with a knife to break up any air bubbles and then smooth the top.

Bake at 325F for fifty minutes to an hour. The top of the cake will appear golden and the cake should spring back when lightly touched.

Invert on wire rack to cool. Loosen cake from sides of pan with spatula. Set on serving plate.

When the cake is completely cool, you may sift powdered sugar over top.

(On the left, you will see the most handsome Yoda overseeing the finished product. I don't think he's ever actually tried a piece of cake, but he's fond of posing with them. He is also one of the models for Evinrude the cat, in AN APPETITE FOR MURDER.)

I hope you enjoy the cake--and also hope you'll try reading my first Key West food critic mystery. It's filled with food and Key West characters and mystery of course! You can read more about it at my website or on facebook. And Twitter too, of course, where I enjoy tweeting about food, books, writing, and other things that catch my eye.

Thanks again to the women of Mystery Lovers Kitchen--and to all the wonderful readers too. I'll be back again on second and fourth Saturdays.

Love, Lucy


  1. First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LUCY! I hope you have something special planned for the weekend. What a wonderful birthday month for you with the kickoff of your new mystery series--and joining us here in the *virtual* Kitchen. We're delighted to have you with us.

    Your cake looks magnificent. Citrus in cake is something I really enjoy, but I've never tried a lime sponge cake, and I'm looking forward to baking (and eating) it! Thanks for sharing, welcome and...Happy Birthday!

    ~ Cleo

    P.S. That's one handsome kitty. :)

  2. thanks Cleo for all the good wishes--I think I've gotten everything I could want to celebrate the day:)

    ps that Yoda, he knows how handsome he is. we sometimes refer to him as "the King"

  3. The cake is gorgeous. I agree, it's definitely an any-time-of-year cake. Hmm, I know it's a lime cake, but I have some Meyer lemons in the fridge . . .

    What a great name for a cat. Yoda is undoubtedly very wise. I'm glad to see him posing by the cake because Sunny and Mochie always want to get into the act around here.

    ~ Krista

  4. yummmm, Meye lemons in the cake sounds outstanding!

  5. Welcome to the Mystery Lovers Kitchen and Happy Birthday Lucy! The cake looks yummy. I love the kitty in your picture. My cat Abby loves to pose too. I can't wait to read your book. :)

  6. Lucy, sorry for chiming in late. Welcome and wonderful post. I love limes. And Yoda is handsome!!!! Can't wait to read your new series. The first is on my bed stand. :)



  7. thanks a million Elisa, Abby, and Avery!