Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Chocolate Lime Cake – A Light But Zesty Treat

Chocolate lime cake topped with sea-salted chocolate shavings alongside a bunch of sweet peas.

HealthyFry, Large Cakes | 12th March 2010 | By

Who remembers chocolate limes? Sweets of yesteryear, that like Marmite, you either loved or hated. If you like the combination of chocolate and lime, you’re really going to appreciate this chocolate lime cake. It’s similar to a lemon drizzle. The sponge is made with lime zest and cocoa which is then drizzled with lime syrup once baked.


Once upon a time, I made a great tasting cake, but it had a heavy and pudding-like texture. Yes, it was a chocolate lime cake. I made it with a mixture of white and wholemeal spelt flours along with coconut flour and buttermilk. I was really excited (sad I know) about using buttermilk in a cake. This was a new concept for me; I did intimate it was a long time ago! I was convinced buttermilk would give a particularly light texture, but I was far off the mark.

Chocolate lime buttermilk cake with white chocolate shavings on top.

Since my first attempt at baking cakes with buttermilk, I’ve used it many times with great success. So, please don’t be put off using it. Buttermilk, like sour milk, yoghurt or kefir reacts with bicarbonate of soda or baking powder to give a better rise. This is particularly important with wholemeal flours as the bran, present in the flour, tends to impede this process.

I mixed the egg yolks into the batter and whisked up the egg whites separately to fold in at the end. This should have resulted in a beautiful light sponge. It didn’t and I was decidedly disappointed. Did I forget the baking powder? It’s been known to happen. Maybe I was heavy handed. Or did I just get the balance of ingredients wrong? I swore I’d tinker with the recipe until I got it right.

Chocolate Lime Cake

Well, not only have I tinkered with that chocolate lime cake, but I’ve made it a whole lot easier to make too. No more whisking of egg whites. I find this step particularly annoying in a cake as it not only takes more time, but creates more washing up. I’ve reduced the quantity of buttermilk, omitted the coconut flour and used 100% wholemeal spelt flour. These days I tend to use kefir rather than buttermilk, but the two are interchangeable.

Chocolate lime drizzle cake.

CT tells me I worry too much and he thought the original cake was delicious just as it was. I have my pride, however and I’m pleased to report that I’d be happy to serve my revamped cake to anyone. Thank goodness, it only took me nine years. The lime comes out good and strong with a delicious zing that makes an excellent contrast to the sweetness of the cake. If you’d like to make it look a little prettier, top with a few chocolate shavings. I topped the original chocolate lime cake with white chocolate. This time I used organic sea salted chocolate flakes, which highlighted the cocoa and zingy lime particularly well.

Slice of chocolate lime cake topped with sea-salted chocolate shavings alongside a bunch of sweet peas.

I’ve given quantities here for a small cake which cuts into four generous slices or six rather more modest ones. To make a 20 cm (8″) round cake, just double the quantities and bake for ten to fifteen minutes longer.

Optimum HealthyFry

I baked the chocolate and lime cake you can see in the photos here in my air fryer, the Optimum HealthyFry*. However, I’ve given the temperature for a conventional oven in the recipe as well as one for my air fryer.

Yes, you can bake cakes in an air fryer. Who’d have thought it? In fact, the cakes turn out really well – as long as you’re only wanting modest sized ones. As well as ‘frying’ food and making excellent chips, the HealthyFry also acts as a mini oven. It comes with a 15cm (6″) non-stick tin. I grease the tin with butter or oil, but don’t line it and I’ve had no problem with my cakes getting stuck. If you want to find out more about it, here’s a link to my Optimum HealthyFry review. So far I’ve baked this lavender honey cake in it and a vegan chocolate banana cashew cake.

Reader Offer

The Optimum HealthyFry* air fryer is currently £199, though it’s worth checking the website as it’s often discounted. I can offer you an extra discount of £20 from this or any other Froothie Blender. Use the code AMB20 when you order through my link.

Other Chocolate and Lime Recipes You Might Like

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Chocolate Lime Cake. PIN IT.

Chocolate lime cake topped with sea-salted chocolate shavings alongside a bunch of sweet peas.

Chocolate Lime Cake – The Recipe

Chocolate lime cake topped with sea-salted chocolate shavings alongside a bunch of sweet peas.
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5 from 3 votes

Chocolate Lime Cake

A retro chocolate and lime combination, this cake is a good one. A chocolate sponge flavoured with lime zest is drizzled with lime syrup as soon as it comes out of the oven. Chocolate shavings over the top are optional, but recommended.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: air fryer, buttermilk, cake, chocolate, kefir, lime
Servings: 4 large slices
Calories: 466kcal


  • 100 g light muscovado sugar
  • 100 g unsalted butter - softened
  • 1 lime - organic or unwaxed
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 125 g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 scant tsp baking powder
  • 1 rounded tbsp cocoa powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 50 ml buttermilk, kefir or sour milk
  • 25 g golden caster sugar
  • 15 g chocolate shavings (optional) I used sea-salted chocolate


  • In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the grated lime zest, followed by the eggs.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients, discarding any bran left in the seive. Stir until just incorporated, then stir in the buttermilk or kefir.
  • Spoon mixture into a 15 cm (6") round greased and/or lined cake tin. Level the top.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 35 mins or until the cake is risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Alternativley bake at 160℃ in an Optimum HealthyFry for 30 minutes.


  • Whilst the cake is baking, gently heat the sugar and lime juice in a small pan until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, make small holes all over with a toothpick and pour the warm syrup over the top.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. If liked, decorate with chocolate shavings when ready to serve.


This makes a modest cake for 4-6 people. Double the quantities for a 20cm (8") round cake.
Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on serving size and exact ingredients used.


Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 57.3g | Protein: 8.2g | Fat: 24.7g | Saturated Fat: 14.6g | Cholesterol: 137mg | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 246mg | Fiber: 3.7g | Sugar: 34.7g | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 0.9mg


I’m sharing this recipe for chocolate lime cake with Recipes Made Easy for #CookBlogShare. It also goes to  Mummy Mishaps for #BakeOfTheWeek and JibberJabberUK for #LoveCake.

This post contains affiliate links to Froothie Optimum products*. Links are marked with an *. Buying through a link will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. Thanks to my readers for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging. 


  1. Lucie

    12th March 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Wonderful combination Choclette – this looks a lovely cake, just what you needed after all the digging 🙂 Lucie x

  2. Sushma Mallya

    12th March 2010 at 3:40 pm

    beautiful cake and loved the combo too

  3. Katie @ Cozydelicious

    12th March 2010 at 4:46 pm

    This is such a greta flavor combination. Very interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever done lime and chocolate before – I’m going to have to give it a try. Thanks!

  4. Chele

    12th March 2010 at 6:35 pm

    I too have had many a baking let down by forgetting that one little ingredient. I’m with CT! Your cake looks brill and sounds wonderfully tasty!

  5. Kath

    12th March 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Oh no, another flour that I now have to search out. I had no idea that coconut flour even existed! Mr OC will start barricading me off from the flour aisle soon to save our savings! Sorry to hear it didn’t meet your expectations, but I love the consistency of bread pudding so I think I would have been with CT too on this one. It looks lovely and I love cakes that have a syrup poured over fresh from the oven.

  6. Janice

    12th March 2010 at 9:41 pm

    ooh chocolate limes, remember them? Gorgeous crunchy lime candy with a soft chocolately centre, your cake combo is bound to be a success!

  7. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    13th March 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I’ve never heard of coconut flour before, Choclette! Though maybe the heaviness is from the spelt – I know when I bake bread that spelt loaves always have a denser texture and less rise than traditional wheat flour?

  8. mangocheeks

    14th March 2010 at 8:35 am

    HI Chcolette,
    Lime in a chocolate cake is a new one to me, so than you for introducing me to the idea.

    I understand where you are coming from in relation to your disappointment about the cake, but you know where you ‘may’ have gone wrong, so that is good starting point. Ultimately, the cake albeit a little heavy, still tasted good, so that is what really matters. I personally would love a slice right now, and its only 8.30 in the morning.

  9. mangocheeks

    14th March 2010 at 8:37 am

    Oh I forgot to add, I’ve never come across coconut flour either, and love the idea of using it in sweet dishes, so Thank you for pointing that out. Did you get it from a specialist shop? or on-line?

  10. oxslip

    14th March 2010 at 9:12 am

    Don’t be downhearted, it looks amazing and I am sure it tasted fabulous – just not what you’d imagined. We are all our own worst critics, but I’m in awe of the amount of inventive baking you do, plus you have an allotment too. Very cool

  11. Foodycat

    14th March 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I make lime syrup yoghurt cakes reasonably often, and they are usually very light! I blame the different flour!

  12. Choclette

    14th March 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Thank you everyone for your kind words and reassurance – it’s very comforting and much appreciated.

    Kath and MangoCheeks – I found the coconut flour in Greenlife, an extra large health food shop in Totnes, which I should be banned from as I always end up spending rather more than I had bargained for.

    Janice – I had completely forgotten about chocolate limes. Have to say I do not remember them with any fondness.

    Celia – I don’t think it was the spelt as this is the flour I use most often in baking and don’t normally have any problems.

  13. The Caked Crusader

    15th March 2010 at 8:20 am

    Lovely – I bet the lime really lifted the chocolate

    BTW – my daisies were rice paper. I think I got them from Jane Asher

  14. Jacqueline

    15th March 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Oh pooh! That is a shame. I did like the cake thingy, that made me smile 🙂

  15. dana

    16th March 2010 at 2:01 am

    hi there! landed here via celia, just wanted to say hello, lovely spot you have here! as for this cake, it’s still an interesting flavour combo, and if it’s a bit dense, that never killed anyone. cheers

  16. Pascale

    16th March 2010 at 7:43 pm

    I love the interesting flavour combinations you have in this. I really think you should try some little adjustments to get it exactly as you would like as it sounds great and unique.

  17. Jacqueline

    17th March 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Hi Choclette, I am not on twitter. I did join it a couple of years ago, but realised I just didin’t have the time and it is even more impossible now I have a baby. Good luck with the chocolate competition. The company choose the winner, but I will cross my fingers for you 🙂

  18. Jacqui Bellefontaine

    10th June 2019 at 9:47 am

    I cant say I remember chocolate limes, although im sure i would be more than old enough. This cake looks rather good and Im sure it tastes as good. Thank you for linking to #CookBlogShare

    • Choclette

      10th June 2019 at 5:55 pm

      Thanks Jacqui. I remember them well, mostly for not liking them very much 😀 I do, however, like the combination for baking.

  19. Cathy @ Planet Veggie

    10th June 2019 at 3:20 pm

    I love chocolate and lime, I’ve never had it in a cake though so I must try this!

    • Choclette

      10th June 2019 at 5:56 pm

      What have you had it in Cathy? You have me intrigued now.

  20. Louise Carruthers

    10th June 2019 at 6:48 pm

    I remember chocolate limes well; my Granny used to eat them and I was never sure about them. I’ve since discovered that I’m also partial to them, so this cake sounds the perfect treat, and it looks so light and fluffy too 🙂

    • Choclette

      10th June 2019 at 7:25 pm

      Oh! Do they still make them Louise? Perhaps they’re something you grow into 😀

  21. nessjibberjabberuk

    25th June 2019 at 2:03 pm

    I love the thought of limes mixed with chocolate. I never really had sweets as child (my nan always directed us towards chocolate!) so I’m curious now about the taste of chocolate limes. I must look out for an old-fashioned sweet shop.

    • Choclette

      27th June 2019 at 8:49 pm

      Not having sweets as a child was probably a very good thing. I was only allowed them occasionally, but it didn’t cure me of my sweet tooth. Let me know if you ever find any.


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