This was a challenge, no questions asked, by a birthday girl that I met in 7th grade and now work with, and beside, party with, gossip, etc. She started by saying she would like a key lime cake, and then it some how morphed, grew legs and arms and became a cake with an entire key lime pie in the middle.
I might have even said at one point if I can pull this off I should just quit, give my two weeks notice and become a real time baker. A friend said if I can pull this off, I should take the cake and other treats directly to the bank, let them try them and ask for a loan.
Well the cake turned out...it didn't fall apart. It is two moist layers of rich graham cracker cake with an entire key lime pie with its own graham cracker crust in the middle topped with Cool Whip, because everything is better with Cool Whip and really what kind of icing goes on a key lime pie cake?
Happy 25th Birthday Meghan! I hope you liked the pie-cake, cake-pie?
Key Lime Pie Cake:
The bottom layer of graham cracker cake, awaiting its friend, the key lime pie.
To prep for this graham crackery goodness, using a food processor, I took 4 packages of graham crackers, one package at a time, and pulsed them all until completely broken down.
Key Lime Pie: (recipe by Emeril Lagasse)
Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter), melted
2 cans (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup lime juice
2 large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. First prepare a 9 inch cheese cake pan. Measure out parchment so there is excess hanging out side of pan. Then fold the paper in half and cut a circle in the middle of the paper so that when placed on top of the bottom of the cheesecake pan there is still an inch of paper left around the outside of the pan. It will look like the parchment paper is framing the bottom of the pan. Then close up the cheesecake pan with parchment paper in place. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a mixing bowl, using your hands, combine butter, sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Press into the bottom of the cheesecake pan, on top of the parchment paper, in an even layer. Bake for 18 minutes. Then remove from oven and allow to come to room temperature.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degree F.
5. Prep key lime pie. In another mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and eggs. Pour into cooled pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes.
6. Allow pie to come to room temperature. Then allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or over night.
*I made the key lime pie the night before, so as to not have to make pie and cakes all at the same time.
Graham Cracker Cake: (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens http://www.bhg.com/recipe/layer-cakes/graham-cracker-cake/)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large eggs, at room temperature
3 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tub Cool Whip
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Spray and flour two 9 inch cake pans.
2. In a large mixing bowl, using a whisk, cream softened butter with sugar.
2. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time with the vanilla extract.
3. In a seperate mixing bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Add the flour and milk to the sugar-butter mixture, alternating between flour and milk, mixing between the addition of each. Begin and end with the flour mixture.
5. Divide the batter between two 9 inch cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
6. Remove cakes from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes, then remove from pans and let them finishing cooling.
1. Place one layer of graham cracker cake on cake stand or carrier.
2. Then carefully remove the key lime pie from pan. To pick the pie up, I slid two chef's knives, flat side down, under the pie and parchment paper, and carefully picked up and placed the pie on top of the bottom layer of cake. You will be able to adjust the pie slightly if not directly in the center. Tear the parchment paper on one side and remove from between layer.
3. Next carefully place top layer of cake on top of the pie. Warning, once it ha been placed you will not be able to re-adjust this cake layer. Refrigerate cake until just before serving. If you are transporting the cake, I recommend placing the ring of the cheesecake pan back around the layered cake and locking in place.
4. Top pie with Cool Whip and lime zest just before serving. Enjoy!