Key Lime Cupcakes

Our weather stayed nice for almost five days!

Five whole days of warmth, backyard play, impromptu playdates with the neighbors, gardening, and cocktails on the patio.  It was the perfect spring gift that we’d been waiting for.

And now we’re back to gray.

But I can totally deal with it now – especially since this weekend is looking good again (fingers crossed).

And I decided to make a little sunshine of my own in the kitchen, in the form of some citrus-y light cupcakes.

The Recipe:

Key Lime Cupcakes, slightly adapted from My Madison Bistro

(Makes 12-14 cupcakes.)

1 3/4 c cake flour

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t  salt

1 stick butter, softened and cut into 8 pieces

1 1/4 c sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

3  T  key lime juice

1 1/2 T key lime zest

2 drops green food coloring

¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Stir the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk and set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low until it’s softened a bit.  Add the sugar and increase the speed to medium.  Beat until fluffy.  Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the lime juice, zest, and food coloring and beat until mixed.  (The mixture may look curdled.)

Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping down the bowl as necessary.  Mix on low until just combined.  Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full.

Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese icing.



1 stick butter, softened and cut into 8 pieces

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces

2 c powdered sugar

1 1/2 T key lime zest

Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low until it’s softened a bit.  Increase speed to medium and add the cream cheese one piece at a time.  Reduce speed to low and slowly add powdered sugar until combined.  Beat in zest.

{Printable Recipe}

The Results:

I know that I’m slightly ahead of the actual Key Lime season, but these cupcakes seemed like a necessary part of my week.  (Kinda like chocolate is, usually.)

I mean, how have I never made (or eaten for that matter) a lime cake/cupcake?  I have been missing out!

(And I have to also admit that I’d never actually seen a Key Lime before.  It was kind of fun working with these tiny little guys.)

The cupcakes, themselves, turned out extremely well.  They had the best texture of any cupcake I’ve made: soft, light, and perfectly balanced in flavor.

The key lime flavor was front and center – tart and sweet at once.  Then you top with the cream cheese frosting…mmm.  The added tang takes this dessert over the top.  I had to immediately send some to friends, or I knew we’d eat all of them very quickly.

I really wish the day had been a bit sunnier (or lighter) so I could’ve gotten a brighter picture – but you get the point, right?

Another cupcake winner.

Damn, I’m good.

(And humble, too.)


24 thoughts on “Key Lime Cupcakes

  1. Omg, I love key lime pie and this is even better keylime cupcakes! I’ll have to bake these for my hubby’s b-day next month but really they’ll be for my b-day. Our birthday’s are a day apart from each other! It’s been on the cool side for us but lately the sun has been out, which I can handle. I don’t like gray days, just makes you want to eat and bake and the eat some more!


  2. Loooooove citrus desserts! These cupcakes sound fantastic, and you used just the right amount of food coloring–the light green color is perfect! I’m sure your friends loved these. 🙂


  3. They’re gorgeous! I love that light green color. I am thinking of making these for my book club Friday and adding some tequila to both cupcake and frosting to turn it into a margarita cupcake. What d’ya think? Maybe a little sea salt on top? Your cupcake looks incredibly soft and moist. Can’t wait to try it. Hope the weekend warms up for you guys. Take care.


  4. We could have used these cupcakes yesterday with our topsy turvy weather here…sunny one day and dark/dreary the next. I spring pick me up like these was in order. 😉 Have a great weekend!


  5. We love key lime pie here … it’s my favorite. I’ve never seen the flavor in a cupcake. Looks much easier than trying to make the pie, so I’ll have to give it a try. Thank you for sharing!


  6. I have never had a lime cupcake either but now you having me really needing one. Not just wanting…I’m needing one. Oh does that look good! I hope you got some more of that sunshine today! 🙂


  7. What a wonderful ray of sunshine! These look sooo good! I love key limes, though they are a little weird to work with due to their tiny nature 🙂 Love the green tint, too!


  8. Pingback: Black and White Brownie Cheesecake Squares « Misadventures in Cooking

  9. Pingback: Lime Sugar Cookies « Misadventures in Cooking

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