Simple lime cake

Simple lime cake

Simple lime cake

I’m going to let you in on a secret. It’s a pretty big secret and I’m so excited that I was finally allowed in on it. To me it’s a very exciting secret. Ok I’ll stop teasing, I was finally invited to join the Secret Recipe Club. If you haven’t heard of it, you apply to be part of the club (only a certain number of people can be a part of it at a time so it’s not too hard to manage). I’ve been on the waiting list for about a year.

Once you get accepted, each month you are assigned to a blog (and someone to yours). You then pick a recipe from that blog, make it and blog about it all at the same time (hence why I’m blogging at 3am). It’s a great way to gain exposure, ‘meet’ new bloggers and discover fabulous blogs.

Simple lime cake

Simple lime cake

My very first Secret Recipe assignment was Italian in the Midwest. As the name suggests, Pola is an Italian living in the Midwest in the USA. She’s studying for her PhD (she’s very smart!). All that studying works up an appetite though and Pola loves the kitchen. I think studying a PhD gives her the right to cook up big time and of course, being Italian, she likes to bring a little bit of Italy to her kitchen so very far from home.

Pola has Sunday pasta which I think makes us pretty similar because Sunday night in this house is pizza night (similar right?). I had such a tough time choosing something to make from her wonderful recipes. I had a little giggle at the Toll House cookie recipe. Has anyone seen that episode of Friends?

Simple lime cake

Simple lime cake

After much deliberation I finally settled on the Simple Lime Cake. I loved that it was ‘simple’ and I had a bag full of limes from my visit to the Noosa Farmers Markets. According to my non-citrus-loving friend it was ‘just the right amount of lime.’ I thought it was deliciously light and not too dry thanks to the lime syrup poured over the top. It made the perfect afternoon tea treat.

Simple lime cake

Simple lime cake

It was seriously easy to make and for an Italian twist, Pola used olive oil instead of butter. I actually like the texture and depth the olive oil gives it. Of course I had to ‘Aussie’ it up a bit so I topped it with toasted macadamias for crunch and coconut chips because I’m obsessed with coconut at the moment and I think the chips are pretty. Enjoy the cake warm or at room temperature with a cup of espresso (to be authentically Italian!). Enjoy!

What about you? Have you used olive oil in place of butter in a cake?

Simple lime cake

Simple lime cake

Secret Recipe Club


4.3 from 3 reviews
Simple lime cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 170g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • zest and juice of 2 limes (separate zest and juice)
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 tbsp extra caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp toasted crushed macadamia nuts
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes
  • icing sugar for dusting
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C fan-forced.
  2. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs together until nice and thick and pale.
  4. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until it is all incorporated and the mixture is a pretty light yellow colour.
  5. Add the sugar and salt and keep beating then add the sifted flour and baking powder and the lime zest and beat until mixed in.
  6. Spread the batter into the tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Heat the extra sugar, lime juice and water over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  8. Take it off the heat and set aside.
  9. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, use a skewer to prick it all over then pour over the lime juice.
  10. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
  11. Heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat and gently toast the coconut chips just to give them some colour.
  12. Remove to a plate to cool.
  13. Take the cake out of the tin and top with the nuts and coconut then sprinkle with icing sugar.


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  1. welcome to the SRC! i’m also in group A. this lime cake looks fabulous! great choice 🙂

  2. So you were my secret cook! I was looking forward to discover who it was and which recipe was chosen! I am glad you enjoyed my cake! I like the addition of nuts and cocunut: the texture contrast must have been nice!

    • I was indeed. It was rather exciting! Yes the little bit of crunch on top was a nice surprise. Love that you added the syrup. Thanks for the recipe Pola!

  3. I just saw this in the SRC links and had to stop by see what this cake is all about. It sounds delicious and your pics are gorgeous! Great choice for SRC! I think it might be my first time on your blog – it’s wonderful, I am happy I discovered it. Nice to meet you 🙂

  4. Love lime with coconut. A beautiful way to top it!

  5. Welcome to SRC, friend!!! I love the taste of lime, but can never get behind those lime tarts and pies….lime cake though? This might be the answer!

    • Ahh you must be just like my friend Jess. She’t not that big a fan of really citrussy things but this was just the right amount for her. Thanks for the welcome!

  6. this is such a cool project – how fun to take part! And I would never have thought to use olive oil – but it sounds pretty yummy. I like your Aussie additions 🙂

  7. Wow a waiting list for a year! That’s amazing :O I adore Pola and you so two of my favourite bloggers in one post-yay! 😀

  8. Welcome aboard Claire …. wish u loads of fun in the months ahead! This cake sounds delicious. I love how you’ve dressed it up too.

  9. Oh now I feel like cake! I love using olive oil in my cakes, so yummy. This recipe has been added to my ‘to bake’ list x

  10. I didn’t get the invite! Congrats to you. I think it’s a really good idea and sounds like a lot of fun. This cake looks so yummy. I’m starving right now and could certainly do with a big slab xx

  11. Welcome to the SRC. I am a huge citrus lover and your cake sounds wonderful.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC entry Lemon Almond Biscotti.


  12. What a gorgeous cake and I loved that you added the macadamia nuts – perfect combination!

  13. What a pretty cake, I love your coconut & macadamia topping!

  14. How fun is that?! I didn’t know there was a long waiting list, perhaps I should think twice and sign up. You did a lovely job with the cake.. and I love your changes. I’ve made an olive oil cake and I love the flavor it adds. Very pretty, Claire!! xx

  15. Love the idea of this club! Sounds like a lot of fun. And your lime cake looks fabulous. Love the coconut shavings on top.

  16. Welcome to the SRC! This looks like a fantastic choice for your maiden voyage, and so pretty with those big fat slices of coconut on top… I love lime and coconut together, and a sprinkling of chopped macadamias sounds like the icing on the cake (so to speak). 🙂

  17. Congrats Claire! I put my name down ages ago so maybe one day ;D The cake sounds stunning – you can’t go wrong with lime and coconut!

  18. This looks great– I’m new to SRC too!

  19. Welcome to SRC – I’m new too! The coconut chips look like a great idea – provide some extra contrast too. 🙂

  20. First – Welcome SRC!!

    Second – I made an olive oil cake some time back and loved the texture. And adding lime – what a treat!!

  21. Awful cake, never again.

  22. I made this recipe today with fresh limes off the tree at our beach house. I substituted flour for all purpose gluten free flour (my mum is coeliac) and the end result exceeded expectations. Worth noting, I reduced the baking powder to 1 tsp (not 1 Tbsp as per recipe – thought it may have been a typo – have never used a tbsp of baking powder in a cake before. Grateful I trusted my instinct. It came out brilliantly with just 1tsp!
    Served with a spoon of yoghurt on the side topped with extra lime zest.
    Huge success… Thanks for sharing

    • So glad you liked it Belinda! I thought that 1tbsp was a lot too but it seemed to work with it. Good to know it works with less too. I’m jealous of your lime tree!

  23. Allison says:

    The instructions to not say when to add the baking powder.

  24. So sad! My cake turned out terribly. I put in baking soda instead of baking powder and the cake just tastes very strongly of baking soda. What a waste. 🙁

    • Oh no Robin! If it makes you feel better I’ve done that before. The time I did it it was a slice and the whole thing melted/exploded all over the oven and was an enormous mess!

  25. Don’t know if it’s my oven or what, but 40 minutes is way too long! I pulled mine out after 35 minutes and the top is already burnt… The unburnt bits taste nice though. I reckon 30 mins is enough!

  26. Thanks for the recipe. I had heaps of limes and oranges off our trees and wasn’t sure what to make. I stumbled across your recipe. I added orange zest and juice with the lime. My 3 year old helped and we are in love! I’ll be sure to check out the rest of your recipes. Delicious!!

  27. Michaeleen says:

    It is February in Montreal, Canada, and it is -22 c…..with wind chill closer to -30c. And we have 2 more months of this nonsence. Limes were on sale and I thought, limes, they taiste like summer. So I bought a bag and set out on the internet to find a receipy for them. This one rocks! I substiuted a ginger simple syrup for the water & sugar. Awsome. My 17 year old son loves it.
    Thanks Claire!

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