In partnership withNinja® Foodi®

An Unexpected Kitchen Appliance Makes This Lemon–Lime Cake Perfect Every Time

updated Nov 18, 2021
Fluffy Lemon–Lime Cake Recipe

Bright lemon and lime flavor are baked into a tender cake and topped with a cloud of sweetened whipped cream.

Serves8 to 10

Makes1 (8-inch) layer cake

Prep30 minutes

Cook25 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Rikki Snyder; Stylist: Brett Regot

A simple lemon cake is a classic, but add lime to the batter to experience an unexpectedly eye-opening flavor. This fluffy cake is infused with lemon and lime, sandwiched with citrus curd, then topped with a cloud of sweetened whipped cream. The citrusy confection is the wake-up call for all your baking ambitions, and the ease with which it comes together is nothing short of inspired: bright in flavor, light in texture, and playfully elegant in appearance.

Though it looks show-stoppingly impressive, making this lemon–lime cake is easier than you can imagine thanks to the Ninja® Foodi® XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer with SmartLid™. This is more than your average multi-cooker. Among its 14 cooking functions (like pressure cooking and air frying), it can also bake super moist, super fluffy desserts using unique SteamCrisp™ technology.

Credit: Photo: Rikki Snyder; Stylist: Brett Regot

The Secret Ingredient? SteamCrisp™ Technology.

The appliance uses steam to bake moist, tender, and beautifully browned cakes and quick breads. After you add water to the base, an 8-inch cake pan nestles inside the Deluxe Reversible Rack, hovering just above the liquid. The device essentially becomes a sauna, steaming and baking the batter into a moist and fluffy cake. The heating element on the SmartLid browns the top of the cake, so dessert is done at the touch of a button.

Credit: Photo: Rikki Snyder; Stylist: Brett Regot

How to Add the Most Citrus Flavor to Your Lemon–Lime Cake

The bright and tangy flavor of fresh citrus shines in this fluffy cake. To get the most impact from lemons and limes, add flavor in three ways:

  1. Zest lemons and limes. Cream the colorful zest of lemon and lime with the butter and sugar to infuse the mixture with fragrant essential oils.
  2. Make DIY lemon–lime buttermilk. Stir lip-puckering lime juice and lemon extract into whole milk and wait for it to thicken. The citrus buttermilk tenderizes the cake and is one part of the leavening equation that gives the cake its light and fluffy texture.
  3. Spread citrus curd between cake layers. What’s a layer cake without a tasty filling? Split the cake, spread a thick layer of lemon or lime curd on the cut side, and replace the top.
Credit: Photo: Rikki Snyder; Stylist: Brett Regot

Fluffy Lemon–Lime Cake Recipe

Bright lemon and lime flavor are baked into a tender cake and topped with a cloud of sweetened whipped cream.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Makes 1 (8-inch) layer cake

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info


For the cake:

  • 1 stick

    (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2/3 cup

    whole milk

  • Cooking spray

  • 3 cups


  • 1 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1

    large lime

  • 1

    large lemon

  • 1 teaspoon

    lemon extract

  • 3/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup

    store-bought or homemade lemon or lime curd

For the sweetened whipped cream:

  • 2 cup

    cold heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract


Make the cake:

  1. Cut 1 stick unsalted butter into small cubes and place in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Place 2 large eggs and 2/3 cup whole milk on the counter and let everything sit at room temperature until the butter is softened.

  2. Coat an 8-inch round cake pan (2-inches high) with cooking spray. Line the bottom with a parchment paper round, then line the sides with a 3-inch wide strip of parchment paper to form a collar that extends up above the top of the pan. Pour 3 cups water into the pot of the Ninja® Foodi® XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer with SmartLid™.

  3. Place 1 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  4. Finely grate the zest of 1 large lime (about 2 teaspoons) and 1 large lemon (about 1 tablespoon). Juice the limes until you have 1 tablespoon juice.

  5. Add the lime juice and 1 teaspoon lemon extract to the milk and stir to combine. (The mixture may thicken or curdle.)

  6. Add the zests and 3/4 cup granulated sugar to the bowl of butter. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula.

  7. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed. Gradually add in 1/2 of the flour mixture, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add 1/2 of the milk mixture and beat until combined. Repeat beating in the remaining flour and milk mixtures. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and smooth, about 15 seconds. Transfer the batter into the pan and spread into an even layer.

  8. Place the pan on the bottom layer of the Deluxe Reversible Rack in the lower position, then place the rack in the pot. Close the lid, move slider to STEAMCRISP, and turn knob to select STEAM & BAKE. Turn pressure valve on lid to SEAL or VENT (the position does not matter in this mode). Set temperature to 285°F and set time to 25 minutes. Press START to begin cooking. It will steam for about 20 minutes and display PrE, then the timer will start counting down.

  9. When the cooking time is complete, open the lid. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean and the center of the cake should spring back when lightly pressed. (If the cake is not ready, close the lid, select STEAM & BAKE, and cook at 285ºF for 2 minutes more.) Remove the rack with the pan and let the cake cool for 10 minutes. Flip the cake out of the pan and cool completely on the rack, about 1 1/2 hours more.

  10. If desired, trim the top of the cake with a serrated knife to even the top out. Cut the cake horizontally in half to make 2 layers. Spread 3/4 cup lemon or lime curd on the bottom half of the cake. Replace the top half.

Make the sweetened whipped cream:

  1. Just before serving, place 2 cups cold heavy cream, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer or whisk by hand in a large bowl.) Beat on medium speed until firm peaks form, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Pile the whipped cream onto the top of the cake and use the back of a large spoon or an offset spatula to frost the top and sides of the cake.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The cake is best eaten the day it is made. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.