Key Lime Cupcakes

by Sara on September 23, 2010

key lime cupcakes

I was flipping through old issues of Bon Appetit when I spied a colorful, playful looking green cupcake topped with a mound of icing. To say it looked delicious was a gross understatement.

But would it really taste as good as it looked? Only one way to find out. . .

Frankly, I think it’s better. I made a changes to the recipe based on ingredients I had on hand, as well as just my own experience making cupcakes (Remember when I was determined to come up with a recipe better than Sprinkles? I made so many cupcakes back then that I don’t think twice about playing around with cake ingredients anymore.)

key lime cupcake

These cupcakes remind me of lime sherbet, which I had a LOT of this summer. It was just incredibly hot and humid, and lime sherbet was so very refreshing. And though I’m happy to see the extreme heat and humidity gone, these cupcakes were my little homage to the passing of summer and sherbet.

Key Lime Cupcakes
adapted from Bon Appetit, Sept 2008

Print Recipe

1 ¾ cups cake flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cool unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
2 ½ tablespoons key lime juice
1 tablespoon key lime zest
1 drop green food coloring paste
¾ cup buttermilk (room temperature)

Icing:
1 stick cool unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature), cut into 8 pieces
2 ¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon key lime zest

Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

Sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt three times, 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, about four minutes. 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 will 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.

Makes 12-14 cupcakes.

Icing:
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.

{ 12 comments }

Michelle September 23, 2010 at 7:50 am

Love the color! It looks so delicate and lovely. Nicely done.

Sara September 23, 2010 at 9:35 am

Thanks, Michelle!

Misty September 24, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Wow! I am tempted to make a batch for me and a batch for my dad – I inherited his love of all things lime.

Amanda September 25, 2010 at 8:13 pm

These are gorgeous, just the color alone beckons you for a bite!

zerodtkjoe October 20, 2010 at 1:27 am

Thanks for the info

Chelsea October 24, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Wow, these are gorgeous! I love fruity cupcakes :)

Sara October 25, 2010 at 7:48 am

Thanks, everyone. I have to admit, I liked these so much, I want to make them again!

Nancy January 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Hi! was looking for key lime cupcakes and came upon your blog and tried your version rather than the original Bon Appetit recipe. They were a big hit, thanks for the recipe! I might even add a teaspoon more of lime juice to the cake …

Sara January 2, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Nancy, I’m glad you enjoyed them. I’d love to hear how they turn out when you add more lime juice!

Heidi February 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm

i just made a batch over the weekend. it was my first time making cupcakes from scratch and they were a total hit! i love this recipe

Sara February 21, 2011 at 9:59 am

Heidi, I’m glad you had a good experience for your first time making from-scratch cupcakes! They really are just as easy as a mix.

Cathy March 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Those look scrumptious!

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