It’s always interesting when you come across a unique flavor combination that you never would have thought of in the first place. Lime and pink peppercorn is one of those combinations. While in Italy only just a little over a month ago, my friend who loves chips (but who doesn’t) bought a bag that was flavored lime and pink peppercorn. She offered me to try it and so I did. The flavors on those chips were surprisingly delicious and as my mind is usually on over-drive, it got me thinking on how to incorporate those flavors into cake form, and I have happily succeeded with this yummy beauty!
This cake has the aroma of fresh lime and the kick of the pink peppercorn making it more of a savory feel, but when you add in a sweet cream cheese frosting it transforms the flavors into something much more. The cream cheese frosting adds just the right amount of sweetness that balances the lime and peppercorn flavors just right. It’s basically harmony in your mouth.
This cake makes me happy and wish that I could go back to the beautiful scenery of Sorrento again. If you ever get the chance to go to Italy, Sorrento is the place to go, hands down. It’s on the coast and surrounded by Pompeii, Mt Vesuvius, Capri, and so much more. Trust me, it’s way better then Rome. And while you’re there, try the chips that inspired this cake!
Lime & Pink Peppercorn Cake
Makes 1 3-layer, 6 inch cake
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp pink peppercorn, chopped or finely ground
- 3 limes zested
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 1/2 cups milk + 2 tbsp vinegar
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350*F and grease and line 3 6-inch cakes pans.
- Measure out the milk and add in the vinegar and let sit for about 5 minutes until the milk curdles.
- For the pink peppercorn you can either grind it in a spice grinder, chop it with a knife, or put in a plastic baggie and mash with a rolling pin. This all depends on how finely ground you want the peppercorns to be and if in the end product you want a few whole pieces of peppercorn to bite on.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cornstarch, pink peppercorn, and lime zest.
- In another bowl combine the eggs, lime juice, milk/vinegar mixture, oil, and vanilla and whisk together.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry while mixing simultaneously.
- Divide the batter evenly among the three pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes then gently remove from the pans and wrap in plastic wrap to keep the moisture and until ready to use.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 8oz blocks cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1-3 tbsp heavy cream
- In the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until soft and creamy. Make sure to use a rubber spatula and scrap down the sides.
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar until it starts coming together.
- Gradually add in the heavy cream until the frosting becomes easy to spread or pipe.