Monday, June 24, 2013

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

With Florida's death heat and humidity, I have been having some INSANE cravings for key lime pie. When you think about it, key lime pie is like the refreshing beverage of the dessert world, it's sweet and tangy, cool and uplifting. The only problem is that I get tired of the same texture bite after bite, don't get me wrong, regular old key lime pie is delicious but I thought I would mix it up a little. These cupcakes are awesome because you get a cake texture with the vanilla lime cake, the trademark creamy texture of the traditional key lime pie in the filling, a graham cracker crust for the base, and a little extra zing with the key lime buttercream frosting to top it off. It's pretty much the best of both worlds.

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

makes about 24 cupcakes, recipe adapted from Easy Home Cooking Magazine

Key Lime Pie Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (9 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
5 oz. key lime juice (more or less depending on your tart preferences, start with 3oz. and go from there)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.Place all ingredients in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and mix on low for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and blend for 2 minutes.

3.Refrigerate the filing while you move on to the cupcakes.

Graham Cracker Crust:
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. sugar
3-4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

1.Prepare 2 muffin tins with liners.

2.In a food processor, blend together graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add 3 Tbsp melted butter and pulse a few times. If it seems like it needs more butter, add the remaining tablespoon. Distribute evenly among cupcake liners and press down to form a shell (about 1 heaping tsp in each, save the rest for the topping).

Lime Cake:
2 and 1/4 cups flour
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 egg whites
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream or buttermilk
1 TBS key lime zest

1.Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

2.Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.

3.Add egg whites, beating well after each addition.Add eggs, beating well after each addition.Beat in the lime zest until blended.

4.Combine milk, vanilla, and sour cream in a bowl, whisking until incorporated.

5.With electric mixer at low speed, add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, beating well after each addition, starting and ending with the flour mixture.

6.Pour the batter from the lime cake evenly over the graham cracker crust-

bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

7.Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely. Once cool, fill your cupcakes with the key lime pie filling using either a tool like the one shown below, or carefully running a small knife in a circular pattern in the center of the cake (I highly recommend getting this tool, it was only $3 at World Market).

Lime Buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 to 8 cups powdered sugar
3 TBS key lime juice, possibly more to thin out frosting
splash of vanilla

1.Beat together the butter, 3 cups of the sugar, key lime juice and vanilla on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.

2.Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency.

3.You may not need to add all of the sugar. If too thick, thin with more key lime juice. You can also use more lime juice if you want a more tart flavor, also if you had any key lime filling left over I added it to this as well and just used less sugar.


  1. This recipe looks very tasty, and not very complicated to make. I'll try them this weekend.

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  3. I made these today and they turned out beautifully and tasted amazing. I used Key Lime juice from a bottle but regular zest and settled for the sour cream. Thanks!!! REALLY good

  4. Thanks so much, I am glad you liked them! :D

  5. Can these be made 2 days ahead? Want to make the cupcake and fill them on Friday. Would like to ice them on Saturday evening for a noon day party on Sunday. Any thoughts? Thinking about just baking cupcakes on Friday and maybe should fill them on Saturday night right before decorating.

  6. It's been a while since I've made these but from what I remember they were good for at least a week if you store them in the fridge and then take them out and bring them to room temperature before eating. Two days ahead should be no problem though! :)

  7. My mouth watered when I saw those gorgeous cupcakes!hey Tlook delicious.

  8. Definitely gonna to try these delicious sounding cupcakes! I love key lime pie!

  9. I made these today; a bit time consuming for my 1st attempt at a "non-box" cupcake; but love the flavor is really good. I am guessing these need to stay refrigerated with the filling

    1. Hey Stacy! They are very time consuming but I am happy to hear that you liked them. Yes, I would recommend storing them in the fridge and then taking them out to reach room temp before serving. Kudos for baking out of the box! :D

  10. Time consuming, but so worth it. They are as tasty as they are delicious. I made seventy two of them for my church choir as an after rehearsal treat. Perfect color for this month of March. They are going to love them!!!

    1. WOW, thank you so much, Nancy! I am so glad that you liked them! :D

  11. Leg at is the name of the tool that you used to make the hole. Can't seam to find it

    1. Hello! Sorry for the delay, the tool I used is called Norpro® Cupcake Corer in Red - you can get it pretty much everywhere now including Amazon!

  12. Can you tell me what the name of the tool is that was used to cut the holes in the middle please

    1. Hey there! Sorry for my delayed response, the tool is called the Norpro® Cupcake Corer in Red - I don't think they sell it at World Market anymore but here is the Amazon link:


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