Thursday, February 9, 2012
Key Lime Cupcakes
I don't think there are enough key lime cupcake recipes out there. When I got the idea to make some, I didn't find many recipes on the Web and I ended up adapting a lemon cake recipe. The result was a moist cupcake lightly fragrant with key lime, which was echoed in the frosting. To boost the key lime factor, you can add more zest. Lime oil is another possibility, but adding more juice could dilute the batter. But considering the praise these got, I think their lime factor was just fine.
I brought them in to work on the night of the Florida presidential primary, to keep up the sugar and carb high in the newsroom while we were working. Aside from oranges, what else says Florida like key lime? I don't think I'll be continuing the cupcake-for-a-primary theme, since my mind wandered to lobster cupcakes for Maine and Rocky Mountain cupcakes for Colorado. Let's just not go there. I often find key lime pie cloyingly sweet, but this cupcake dialed that back. The frosting especially got rave reviews.
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Key Lime Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Glazed Lemon Cakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt (I used 0% fat Greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest and juice of 8 key limes
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
Key Lime Frosting (recipe below)
2 graham crackers, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup tin with cupcake papers.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, vanilla, and zest and juice. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of yogurt mixture.
Divide evenly among cupcake cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in tin, then cool completely on a rack.
Frost the cupcakes. Crush the graham crackers, then sprinkle over the frosted tops for garnish.
Key Lime Frosting
Adapted from my cream cheese frosting recipe
8 oz. cream cheese (1 bar), room temperature
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
Zest and juice of 2 key limes
1½ cups confectioners sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Whip the cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer. Add the other ingredients, and mix slowly, then faster, until combined. Scrape into a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice, and pipe. I find it helps to put the piping bag into a tall drinking glass when scraping the frosting.