Key Lime Cupcakes – light, fluffy cupcakes full of key lime flavor! With lime juice and zest, topped with a tangy sweet lime frosting and graham cracker crumbs. A new cupcake recipe by our contributor, Lindsay Conchar.
So there’s a long-standing debate in our household. My husband has long been a fan of lemon and lime – but only when it involves savory food. As for me, well I will take it any way it comes. Sweet or savory – bring it on!
Even just the other day, I gave him a leftover bag of Easter jelly beans that were flavored like sweet tarts. He was so excited because he loves anything fruity flavored (he also loves candy) and will gladly take it over chocolate. Not long after, I looked over at the bag and noticed an abundance of green and yellow jelly beans in the bag. So I asked, “Were there an unusually large number of green and yellow jelly beans in that bag, or are you just not eating them?”
And so the debate began again, with me maintaining my position that yellow and green are delicious and should not be ignored. One day I will make him see.
Sadly, his dislike for citrus in sweets means he wasn’t into these cupcakes. Fortunately, that means more for me!
These cupcakes are summer in a cupcake! The cupcake itself is flavored with key lime juice and beautiful like flecks of finely grated key lime zest. Key lime can sometimes be hard to find, so feel free to use regular limes for the zest. For the juice, there’s fortunately bottled key lime juice that works quite well and is always available. It lends a nice, light key lime flavor to the cupcake.
For the frosting, there’s more of the same to make sure you get plenty of key lime in every bite. Key lime juice and zest are the backbone of any good key lime pie so there’s no shortage here. Plus, I used some graham cracker crumbs around the edges of the cupcake to complete the key lime pie flavor and look. Not only does the key lime make me think of the beach – the graham cracker crumbs make me long for sand and the beach. Maybe if I eat enough of these cupcakes, I can will myself to a chair on the beach, cupcake in hand.
Key Lime Cupcakes
Key Lime Cupcakes – light, fluffy cupcakes full of key lime flavor! With lime juice and zest, topped with a tangy sweet lime frosting and graham cracker crumbs.
- Yield: 12 - 14 Cupcakes
- Skill Level: ✽ ✽ ✽
For the Key Lime Cupcakes:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 6 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoon key lime zest
- 3 egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups (163g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 4 tablespoons key lime juice
For the Lime Buttercream Frosting:
- 3/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons key lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
Make the Key Lime Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the amount of creaming time.
- Add sour cream, vanilla extract and and key lime zest and mix until well combined.
- Add egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate small measuring cup, combine the milk and key lime juice.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Fill the cupcake liners about three quarters full. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
- Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.
Make the Lime Buttercream Frosting:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and shortening with a mixer until smooth.
- Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth and well combined.
- Add the key lime zest and 3 tablespoons of key lime juice and mix until combined.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional key lime juice, as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using a large round pastry tip, like this one.
- Press graham cracker crumbs around the bottom edge of the frosting.
- To make the frosting all butter, replace the 3/4 cup shortening with an additional 3/4 cup butter.
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