Thursday, February 9, 2012

Key Lime Cupcakes

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.

KL cupcake PS2

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.

This post was shared with:
Tea Party Tuesday
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Sweet Tooth Friday
Sweets for a Saturday
Themed Bakers Sunday

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.


  1. Wow, these are making me so hungry and I just ate dessert! I don't like key lime pie, but I love key lime pie flavored things, oddly enough. Your photograph is beautiful too. :)

  2. Shirley, your key lime cupcakes look incredible! I've never made them before but have always wanted to try. No better time to infuse a little bright citrus flavor than in the middle of winter! :) Thanks for sharing. Glad to have found your blog.

  3. These are so pretty! I love the dollop of frosting on top, it looks like just the right amount.

  4. Those photos are stunning! And the cupcakes, yum. I found you through Sweets for a Saturday...and I'm so glad I did!

  5. These cupcakes look so super tasty! My husband loves key lime so I may have to keep these in mind for him.

  6. Hi There!
    I'd love it if you come to my blog and enter this in my linky party, called A Themed Baker's Sundy where the theme is Cupcakes!
    Hope to see you there!
    Cupcake Apothecary

  7. I saw these on Sweetology...I love Key lime, and will give these a try. I am a new follower. Patsy

  8. I totally missed this post Shirley! These cupcakes look so gorgeous. I love key lime pies (I only ate a couple of times) and it must be so delicious!

  9. Congrats! You were featured on A Themed Baker's Sunday! Hope to see you there this next week for our new theme: Cakes!
    Cupcake Apothecary

  10. These were fantastic! I made them for my daugther's 1st birthday party and they were the first to go. I shared your recipe on my blog today... Thank you from a new fan!


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