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Key Lime Cupcakes – A Burst of Summertime!

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Summer is my favorite season……..

We not only love our annual summer family beach vacation, but also the warmer days that we can spend outdoors with our son and 2 dogs.

The flavors of summer are my favorite too – watermelon, ice cream, key lime pie, cheesecake, etc. 

Some of these flavors I do enjoy year round, but others aren’t in season until summer so I wait it out. Watermelon is one of those flavors that I wait because they’re so delicious in season! When they’re not in season, I make these delicious Watermelon Cookies

Key Lime Cupcakes – a Burst of Summertime! 

Key Lime is a flavor that I can enjoy year round but usually wait for the summer to truly enjoy. My Dad and I are the only ones who love Key Lime Pie so making it for him has been my favorite thing to do! 

I also love to bake for my coworkers and one of the things they always request from me are these Key Lime Cupcakes! They’re delicious in flavor and beautiful.

They are so good, you can’t eat just one – trust me on this! 

Key Lime Cupcakes

They are tangy with the key lime juice, and they melt in your mouth when you bite into them and get the gooey center filling. 

You’re going to love this recipe, and so will guests, or family alike.  Be sure to put this one in your favorites file.

Key Lime Cupcakes

You start with the primary ingredients for baking like flour, baking powder, salt, butter, etc. You also want cake flour for this recipe, though. 

Key Lime Cupcakes

You’ll have 3 parts to this recipe – cupcakes, frosting and key lime filling. All three compliment each other to bring you the flavors of summer in one bite! Like I said, you can’t eat just one. 

Key Lime Filling

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients and cooking tools, you’ll want to place the egg yolks in a bowl, and whisk them until they’re well blended. 

Add the sweetened condensed milk, 3 egg yolks, sugar, and key lime juice to a heavy bottom saucepan. 

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.  The filling will continue to thicken as it cools. Place in the refrigerator until time to fill the cupcakes.

White Chocolate Curls

You’ll need 1 bar of white chocolate and a carrot peeler– that’s it! Start with small strokes on the white chocolate bar to make small tight curls.  If you prefer bigger curls, just continue down the bar with the peeler. 

You can make these while the cupcakes are baking and cooling.  Place curls on parchment paper and place in the refrigerator until time to top cupcakes.

Cupcakes

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugar, eggs, Key Lime juice, lime zest, milk, and sour cream, and mix until smooth.  In a separate bowl, sift the two flours until they look like fine powder.  Add the baking powder and salt, and mix together. 

Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl a little at a time, and mix between additions, until all ingredients have been blended.  Mix on high for 1 minute. 

Place cupcake liners in muffin tins, and fill the liner 3/4 full with the cupcake batter.   Bake on 350 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Remove from the oven, and cool on wire racks.  

Key Lime Frosting

In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, blend the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add the key lime juice, and lime zest, and mix until blended. 

Add the powdered sugar in small intervals, and blend between additions. 

If the frosting seems too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.  If it’s too thick, add bit more key lime juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. 

Frosting should be thick enough to pipe onto cupcakes. Place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator, covered with foil until time to frost the cupcakes.

Key Lime Cupcakes Frosting

When the cupcakes have completely cooled, remove the center of the cupcake with the corer.  When centers are removed, slice a few Key Limes in thin slices, and place a slice in the center of each cupcake, then fill the center with the key lime filling.

Key Lime Cupcakes

Assemble Your Cupcakes

Once all the cupcakes have been filled with filling, remove the frosting from the refrigerator, and place in a pastry bag with the star tip. 

Pipe frosting on cupcakes, working from the base, swirling around the cupcake and to a point.  Top with white chocolate curls. 

Cover, in a single layer cupcake container, and place cupcakes in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Chill overnight for best results. Enjoy!

Look for Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice at your local grocers, in the baking Isle.  If you can’t find it, just ask one of the store clerks.  It might be with the juices, or on the Isle where the drink mixes are. 

This is the best Key Lime Juice you can buy; I grew up in Florida, so trust me on this one!  

Key Lime Cupcakes

What are Key Limes?

Just in case you’ve never cooked with key limes, they are not the same as the regular limes found in the grocery store. 

Key Limes are small, about 1/3 the size of a regular lime, and more acidic in flavor.  They’re picked when they’re green, but turn yellow when ripe. 

They are bursting with a very distinctive flavor, and you’ll fall in love with the sweet smooth citrus flavor in your pies, cupcakes, or cakes that this little wonder gives your baked goods.

Key Lime Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes

Key Lime Cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Get a burst of summertime flavor with these delicious Key Lime Cupcakes! You won't be able to just eat one!

Ingredients

CUPCAKES

  • 1 cup of flour - sifted
  • 1 cup of cake flour - sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs - beaten
  • 1/3 cup of fresh key lime juice - Nellie and Joe's
  • 1 Tablespoon of finely grated lime zest (Key lime's preferred)
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream

FROSTING

  • 1 16 ounce package of cream cheese - softened
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter - softened
  • 1 Tablespoon of key lime juice - Nellie and Joe's
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh grated lime zest

Key Lime Filling

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs yolks - beaten
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of lime juice - Nellie and Joe's

Instructions

    KEY LIME FILLING:

    1. Place the egg yolks in a bowl, and whisk them until they're well blended.

    2. Add the sweetened condensed milk, 3 egg yolks, sugar, and key lime juice to a heavy bottom saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. The filling will continue to thicken as it cools.

    3. Place in the refrigerator until time to fill the cupcake.

    WHITE CHOCOLATE CURLS

    1 bar of White chocolate, and a carrot peeler is what you'll need to make the curls that go on top of the cupcakes.

    Start with small strokes on the white chocolate bar to make small tight curls. If you prefer bigger curls, just continue down the bar with the peeler. You can make these while the cupcakes are baking and cooling. Place curls on parchment paper and place in the refrigerator until time to top cupcakes.

    CUPCAKES

    1. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugar, eggs, Key Lime juice, lime zest, milk, and sour cream, and mix until smooth.

    2. In a separate bowl, sift the two flours until they look like fine powder. Add the baking powder and salt, and mix together. Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl a little at a time, and mix between additions, until all ingredients have been blended. Mix on high for 1 minute.

    3. Place cupcake liners in muffin tins, and fill the liner 3/4 full with the cupcake batter. Bake on 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and cool on wire racks.

    FROSTING:

    1. In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, blend the cream cheese ad butter until smooth.

    2. Add the key lime juice, vanilla and lime zest, and mix until blended. Add the powdered sugar in small intervals, and blend between additions. If the frosting seems too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add bit more key lime juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.

    3. Frosting should be thick enough to pipe onto cupcakes. Place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator, covered with foil until time to frost the cupcakes.

    4. When the cupcakes have completely cooled, remove the center of the cupcake with the corer. When centers are removed, slice a few Key Limes in thin slices, and place a slice in the center of each cupcake (see photo), then fill the center with the key lime filling.

    5. Once all the cupcakes have been filled with filling, remove the frosting from the refrigerator, and place in a pastry bag with the star tip. Pipe frosting on cupcakes, working from the base, swirling around the cupcake and to a point. Top with white chocolate curls.

    6. Cover, in a single layer cupcake container, and place cupcakes in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Chill overnight for best results. Enjoy!

Notes

Look for Nellie and Joe's Key Lime Juice at your local grocers, in the baking Isle. If you can't find it, just ask one of the store clerks. It might be with the juices, or on the Isle where the drink mixes are. This is the best Key Lime Juice you can buy; I grew up in Florida, so trust me on this one! Also, about Key Limes; just in case you've never cooked with key limes, they are not the same as the regular limes found in the grocery store. Key Limes are small, about 1/3 the size of a regular lime, and more acidic in flavor. They're picked when they're green, but turn yellow when ripe. They are bursting with a very distinctive flavor, and you'll fall in love with the sweet smooth citrus flavor in your pies, cupcakes, or cakes that this little wonder gives your baked goods.

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Dana Rodriguez

Friday 14th of February 2020

What a great summertime dessert idea. These are really pretty!

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