Key Lime Cupcakes



It's hard to tell but these cupcakes are the color chartreuse, made to match the walls of the Buttersweet Bakery in Atlanta...a funky little shop with a hip vibe.  Cupcakes are so "in" right now and it's fun to play with all the possibilities.  Cupcakes are not just for kids anymore!

These are also PERFECT for St. Patrick's Day.  


Anyway, it was really difficult to photograph and show the real neon color these Key Lime Cupcakes take on.  In person there is no mistaking their shade of green.  They are very fun looking.

I love the unique flavor key limes give, more of a tart-bitterness, which is a good thing when it comes to baking and cooking with them.  They do pack a flavor punch but in a pinch you could get away with using regular lime for these cupcakes.  Just remember the key lime boasts a higher acidity and stronger aroma than regular limes, so it might change the overall limey-ness of this recipe.

So get your leprechaun on and make these...they are good...




Here's what you will need for the cupcakes:  All-purpose flour, self-rising flour, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, fresh key lime juice and zest, neon green food coloring and buttermilk.




Sift and whisk 1 cup all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup self-rising flour in a medium bowl.  Don't have self-rising flour?  You can make your own by adding 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt to 1 cup all-purpose flour, mixing well.

Beat 1/2 cup unsalted butter until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and beat to blend.  Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time.  Add 2-1/2 Tablespoons lime juice, 1 Tablespoon lime zest and 1/4 teaspoon neon green food coloring (optional).  Continue mixing until all ingredients are well combined.



Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternating with 3/4 cup buttermilk in 2 additions.  DO NOT OVER MIX!  Your cupcakes will not be light and airy if you mix too much.


Spoon equal proportions of batter into a standard 12 cup muffin pan lined with paper liners.  Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  (Mine took 20 minutes.)


Remove the cupcakes immediately from the pan, letting them cool on a rack.

While waiting for them to cool down, make the frosting.


You will need:  Cream cheese, powdered sugar, unsalted butter, lime zest and vanilla extract.


Beat 8 ounces cream cheese, 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 Tablespoon lime zest and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract  on medium until smooth.


Spread the frosting over the cupcakes. 
Like you didn't know that.


The green color is more apparent here.


But I had to go back inside to take a bite.  Delicious!

Key Lime Cupcakes
Adapted from Buttersweet Bakery courtesy of Bon Appetit

Cupcakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup self-rising flour (make your own--add 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder & 1/2 tsp. salt to 1 cup all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2-1/2 Tablespoons key lime juice (about 10 key limes) or regular lime juice
1 Tablespoon key lime zest (about 10 key limes) or regular lime zest
1/4 teaspoon neon green food coloring (optional)
3/4 cup buttermilk

Frosting:
1 8 - ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tablespoon key lime zest (about 10 key limes) or regular lime zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift and whisk all-purpose flour and self-rising flour in a medium bowl.  Don't have self-rising flour?  You can make your own by adding 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt to 1 cup all-purpose flour, mixing well.

Beat butter until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add sugar and beat to blend.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add lime juice, lime zest and food coloring.  Continue mixing until all ingredients are well combined.

Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions.  DO NOT OVER MIX!  Your cupcakes will not be light and airy if you mix too much.

Spoon equal proportions of batter into a standard 12 cup muffin pan lined with paper liners.  Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  (Mine took 20 minutes.)

Remove the cupcakes immediately from the pan, letting them cool on a rack.

While waiting for them to cool down, make the frosting.

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, lime zest and vanilla extract  on medium until smooth.

What I Was Drinking One Year Ago Today: 
Because I Like It, That's Why

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83 Comments

  1. Elyse 1

    Oh these look so good. I love lime. That tart flavor pairs so well with cake and cream cheese frosting. Your presentation is delightful, and I can only imagine how good those cupcakes taste!

    Reply
  2. Shawn 2

    Now those look fun and delicious! I’m totally going to have to do the cupcakes and I’m on my way over to check out your dinner. I can feel the ole’ blarney building in me already!

    Reply
  3. Shawn 3

    Question for ya Cathy. What kind of bread would be good to serve with that Irish Beef Stew? Any ideas?

    Reply
  4. Just yeasterday I was looking at those neon baking colorings! They’re very cute the cupcakes, I think Shreck would like them!

    Reply
  5. ooooh these look wonderful! I’m happy to eat these kind of greens 😉 thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
  6. Lori 6

    Love that color…and the zest over the fluffy white frosting! :)

    Reply
  7. kayola 7

    yummmmmmm…lime is just the best flavor and they are too cute!!!! Our second daughter had just the cutest cupcakes for her wedding reception…they are just fun and yes they are in!!!!!

    Reply
  8. The cupcakes are cute and who can resist a cupcake, why they’re so teeny tiny I am sure there are practically no calories in them…..just one or three or so won’t hurt my waistline….

    Reply
  9. Awesome yumminess!

    Reply
  10. Love the colour! The zest adds a nice touch to the cupcakes!

    Reply
  11. How cute! And cream cheese icing – oh my!

    Reply
  12. I actuall ripped this page out of the very same magaine just to make these. AND I was going to do it for St Pattys Day.. how coincidental. Its because we are both Polish, you know;)
    They look even better here. I am so making them.

    Reply
  13. Kate 13

    You have green grass there? That cupcake looks awesome in the outside shot with the grass.

    Reply
  14. And cream cheese frosting to boot! I love lime in my desserts, more so than lemon. These will be great for St. Pats. Will check out your other St. Pats recipes in the mag.

    Reply
  15. Paula 15

    Beautiful! I love key lime anything and these cupcakes look great!

    Reply
  16. I knew you’d find something new to add to your St. Paddy’s Day repertoire! These look great. Maybe I’ll make some and share with MIL who adores key lime anything. :-)

    Shirley

    Reply
  17. Barbie with a T 17

    I cannot keep up with you!! You think up these things as quick as you can blink your eyes. But these cupcakes look so limeylicious. I agree that the key limes are more “potent” than regular limes. I can just smell and taste them as I look at your photos. Thanks for this one! I will check your Davis Magazine entree now. I bet it is a bell ringer!

    Reply
  18. I love the little bit of zest on the frosting-a little tease of what is to come!

    Reply
  19. Who doesn’t love a cupcake? And lime?
    YUM!

    Reply
  20. Rindy R 20

    My taste buds are twanging already! These look delightful!

    Reply
  21. dawn 21

    nothing like cream cheese and butter to make a perfect frosting!
    Have you ever had key lime from the Keys in Florida? So good.

    Reply
  22. These key lime cupcakes are very unique and look just delicious! I love your Irish Beef Stew recipe in the Davis magazine. Yum!

    Reply
  23. Yummmmy! Cupcakes!! Those sound delightful!

    Reply
  24. Mary 24

    What gorgeous color! Lime is one of my favorite flavors. And with St. Paddy’s day coming, I have an excuse to put my dessert ban aside.

    Reply
  25. Louise 25

    Great timing! Today is Read Across America Day and students in our schools across the country are celebrating literacy and the long lasting contributions of Dr. Seuss. After our green eggs and ham we should have these yummy cupcakes!

    Reply
  26. Want.

    Reply
  27. Love the color of these delectable little cakes. Love the cream cheese frosting too or course.

    Reply
  28. looks yummy!

    Reply
  29. Marjie 29

    My third son loves green, and when he was about 6, I came up with the bright idea of tinting his birthday cake green. All the kids loved it, but the adults couldn’t quite wrap their heads around green cake. The reactions were priceless.

    Reply
  30. The Fishermans Daughter 30

    Having just come from the land of the Key Lime – MMMMMM!!! Wish I’d thought to bring some lime’s back.

    Reply
  31. dawn 31

    Wow. I love key lime, they far out do regular limes in any sense of the word.

    I love your St. Patty’s meal at Davis Life too!

    Reply
  32. Julie 32

    The cupcakes look super….I also checked out the Irish stew recipe. If I’m St. Patrick’s day I’m totally making that.

    Reply
  33. Maureen 33

    Mmmmm, I want a big scoop of that frosting!!

    Reply
  34. These are GORGEOUS in all the GREEN (chartreuse) glory…
    Mmmmmm…yummytime!

    Reply
  35. elra 35

    What a delicious looking cupcakes Cathy!
    Cheers,
    Elra

    Reply
  36. First of all–I didn’t realize those food dyes came in neon–cool!

    Those cupcakes look and sound delicious and so does your Irish stew recipe!!

    Reply
  37. I am so hungry right now I’m trying to restrain myself from licking my computer monitor. These. Look. Awesome.

    Reply
  38. Laurie 38

    Cupcakes rule! I love lime and these look awesome! I’ve never seen key limes at my local stores, but I’ll keep looking.

    Thanks for the tip on how to make self rising flour!

    Reply
  39. Alisa 39

    Those look incredible. I have been craving lime lately. Today is grocery day, just have a few more items to add to my list!

    Reply
  40. Bob 40

    Being colorblind I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the color no matter what, but I do think I would like the flavor! You could send me some if you liked. 😉

    Reply
  41. Fantastico! Brava Cathy – these look divine – or can I say Divaliscious? Absolutely! yummers

    Reply
  42. Laura 42

    Yum these look terrific. I have strep throat right now and I love citrus when I am sick. Too bad my husband does not do cupcakes. :) Or any baking.

    Reply
  43. krysta 43

    those are awesome!!! how fun to eat something so bright green especially for st. patricks day.

    Reply
  44. Biz 44

    I am not a huge fan of frosting but those cupcakes are to die for!

    Reply
  45. Rebel 45

    These look so good! I love Key Lime Pie so I just bet these could become a fav.

    Reply
  46. Pam 46

    Yum! These look so tasty – I love the neon green color and the frosting is making me drool.

    Reply
  47. Cheryl 47

    Oooooh, those swirls of green are SO my favorite color. Doesn’t even have to taste good when it looks that pretty! 😉

    (But I’m betting they taste good too…and count as one of the fruit servings of the day, yes? 😉 )

    Reply
  48. Cathy those are out of this world!!!

    Reply
  49. These are amazing and my hubby would LOVE the key line zest!

    Reply
  50. pam 50

    I’ve never done any St. Pat’s baking (usually just drinking).

    Reply
  51. Time to release my inner leprechaun and send him on a mission to find key limes :)

    Reply
  52. We could eat that frosting by the spoonful!

    Reply
  53. Paula 53

    Oh my gosh, those are sooooo cute! They are just perfect for all the little Leprechauns that will be running around here soon. The frosting peaks on those cupcakes are beautiful! Love the photo with the bite taken out! YUM! I’m off to read your magazine article!

    Reply
  54. Leslie 54

    Delish! I HATE HATE HATE sqeezing Key Limes. So itty bitty!

    Reply
  55. i almost forgot that st. patties day was coming up. these look so good – i’ll make sure not to be wasted when i eat them!

    Reply
  56. imom 56

    I need to get some of that Neon Food Coloring! How fun is that?!

    Reply
  57. Debbie 57

    That is the perfect dessert to have after corned beef and cabbage!!!

    Reply
  58. Simply beautiful. I love to make cupcakes. As you said they are so popular.

    Reply
  59. Amber 59

    Your photos of ingredients are so fun, always a new package, never a drippy bottle. Mine stuff looks like a hurricane came through sometimes.
    I like these, they remind me of lemon tea loaf a little. I think men like lime more than lemon also. I put lime on so many things, it comes from the Hispanic influence in California. Taco, chips, fruit, meat, corn, etc..
    Your first photo is so tempting I wish I could make them, but I can’t get off my butt and go to the store. Come visit me with some. It is only a couple hours. Bring the kids. And a nice single doctor. Okay?

    Reply
  60. ashley 60

    awesome!! these look fun and tasty!

    Reply
  61. those look so yummy and pretty, the chocolate drink too. Someday your gonna get fat. It just ain’t right that you can eat all this good stuff AND BE SO CUTE.
    It ain’t natural I tell ya!

    Reply
  62. Melynda 62

    That frosting looks too good to be true, like a cloud. Have to try it!

    Reply
  63. ALF 63

    How did you know I’ve been craving cupcakes?

    Reply
  64. Krista 64

    Between the Key Lime cupcakes and your Serendipity post, I’m literally drooling while reading. These desserts look amazing!

    Reply
  65. Sara 65

    These are gorgeous! I love key lime pie, but I’ve never had key lime cupcakes before – something to try soon!

    Reply
  66. sharon 66

    I love the color! Now, I just need a St. Patty’s day party to bring these to.

    Reply
  67. tipper 67

    Perfect for Saint Patrick’s Day! Or just for a spring party.

    Reply
  68. I LOOOOOOVE KEY LIME!!!! Can’t imagine confining it to St. Patty’s Day. Looks like summertime fun to me! YUM!!

    p.s.
    Paying for you about the dishwasher thing — sounds like a miserable way to spend your time . . . arguing with BIG NAME. : (

    Reply
  69. Claire 69

    Holy cow, those cupcakes look wonderful! My mouth was watering!!!

    Reply
  70. Lynda 70

    Wow, lime cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!My mouth is watering!

    Reply
  71. Egghead 71

    OK I’m making these. Now.

    Reply
  72. I have never tried the taste of a key lime,I hear they are wonderful. I would really like to try this cupcake, they look so good and the frosting very nice and creamy.

    Reply
  73. Olivia 73

    These are so cute! It’s like an adult cupcake with the lime zest in the frosting and all. These are absolutely perfect for St. Patrick’s Day

    Reply
  74. Those babies look delicious!

    Reply
  75. My mom’s favorite dessert is anything with Key Lime…I have to find these so I can make these delicious, and politically correct colored, cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day! Perfect!

    Reply
  76. Citrus desserts are my favourite – next time I have some buttermilk around, I’m definitely making these!

    Reply
  77. Honey Rider 77

    Well-Hush My Mouth!…..The World’s Greatest Key Lime Pie Is At Kutchie’s Key West. It Must Be Awfully Hot Over There,
    Baking All Those 1000’s Of Pies. Boy-O-Boy, I Just Can’t Wait To Order My Next One……Honey Rider

    Reply
  78. Peggy 78

    So far all the comments say how delicious they look, which is true, but they don’t taste that great. I actually made them.

    Reply
  79. Brad 79

    Just made a batch tonight! Boy, were they amazing!!! Couldn’t believe how much the true key lime flaver came through! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  80. Lea 80

    You can get a lot more juice out of each lime if you microwave them for a few seconds, then squeeze them before cutting by rolling them against your counter or cutting board. Just make sure you zest the limes before softening them, because it is much harder to do when the lime won’t hold its shape.

    Reply
  81. Bruce 81

    I thought I had died and went to heaven. That’s what best describes the first bite of eating a slice of Anita and Kutchie’s famous Key Lime Pies. We had heard about them for years. When visiting the Biltmore House a couple years back a little lady recommended that before leaving Asheville that we drive about 10 minutes south of the house and go straight to Kutchie and Anita’s Key West, Key Lime Pie Factory and we would pleasantly surprised there. She Must Have Been an Angle? Anita and Kutchie’s pie had to have been baked in heaven. While there we had the opportunity to meet the wonderful married working team of the Pelaez’s. They informed us that they have been a team for over 3-decades as well as the proprietors of the establishment ever since it was first built. Awesome folks and an awesome place. If you find yourself anywhere around the area, take a tip from us and stop by and pay Anita and Kutchie a visit. You’ll be damn glad you did! You can thank latter.

    Bruce

    Reply
  82. Valli ( use "pinkduck" please) 82

    I can’t wait to make these for St. Pat’s! I love limes and am so glad I found your site. I read through all the comments but where would I find/buy the neon green color? I live in the midwest and have never seen those colors here. I will check out an online option. Thanks for the great recipe.

    Reply
  83. I’ve featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don’t mind, but if you do, please contact me and I’ll remove it. All the best.

    Reply

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