Key Lime Cupcakes


I volunteered my baking services for our office Valentine’s Day dessert social yesterday. My list of available ingredients was rather slim (I hardly had enough sugar for this recipe and had to make my own buttermilk) and of course, I am still baking without a mixer. Despite that, I came across a recipe that sounded promising and after some tweaking, it was perfect. That is, if you really love the combo of sweet and tart. And key lime pie.


Source: adapted from Food Network


* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 2 eggs, at room temperature
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 heaping teaspoon grated key lime zest
* 2 tablespoons key lime juice (bottled or freshly squeezed)
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 cup buttermilk


* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
* Pinch salt
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons key lime juice (bottled or freshly squeezed)
* 1/4 cup sour cream
* Finely grated key lime zest, for frosting and garnish


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract, key lime zest and juice and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 5 parts total, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill each liner almost to the top with batter. A spring loaded 1/4 cup ice cream scoop works great for this and ensures the cupcakes are all the same size. Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops begin to brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer cupcakes to a baking rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling you can make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar until well combined. Add the salt, vanilla extract, key lime juice, and sour cream and mix until very smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and garnish with a bit of grated key lime zest and a candied lime wedge. Enjoy!

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