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Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

I’ve had a thing for citrus lately. I can’t stop thinking of all the yummy food that can be made with lemons and limes. Maybe its my way of sending good vibes to the lime tree that I planted three years ago that has produced all of 2 limes it’s entire life. I admit that even though I grew up on some what of a farm (old tractor from my parents farm as quasi proof)

I have managed to kill nearly everything I have ever planted. Although, I am holding out hope for my little lime tree.


Cake batter:

2 cups of flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 stick of butter

1/2 cups of sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tbs vanilla extract

4 egg whites

3/4 cup of whole milk

1/4 cup of oil


3 1/2 cups of lemon shortbread cookies

1 tbs brown sugar

6 tbs melted butter


8 oz of softened cream cheese

1/4 cup of sugar

1 egg

2 1/2 tbs lime zest

1/4 cup of lime juice

Lime Buttercream:

4 sticks of butter

3 cups of powdered sugar

1 tbs lime zest

1/3 cup of lime juice

1/2 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 350.

You’ll need a lot of limes for this recipe, I used about 12, but it all depends on size. Start with the crust. Put the shortbread cookies and the brown sugar in a food processor and process until nothin is left but crumbs.

tart-lemon-cookiesAdd the melted butter and pulse until it looks like wet sand.

line muffin pan (this recipe should make 24) with cupcake papers. Add 1/2 tbs of the crust to the bottom of the papers and pack well. Save the left over crust to sprinkle on top of the finished cupcakes.

klc-crust-in-papersMake the cake batter. I have been playing with my vanilla cake recipe for years and this might be the winner. I’ve always used a combo of whites and yolks, but because I wanted it really light I just used whites and it turned out beautifully.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter (softened!) and sugar and cream until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until well combined. In another bowl, add the milk and oil.

A bit at a time, add the egg whites to the butter and beat on high until well combined and fluffy. With mixer on medium, add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, alternating between the two until everything is just combined (don’t over beat).

Add the batter to the cupcake papers until about 1/2 filled.

klc-batter-in-tinsMake the cheesecake filling.

In a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese and the sugar until well combined. Add the egg, lime juice, and lime zest and beat until combined. And please, please, please use real limes and not that stuff that comes in a bottle or a plastic squeezey lime.

Back to the batter in the cupcake papers. Using a spoon, make a well in the middle but pushing the batter up onto the sides of the cupcake papers, try not to disturb the crust but if you expose it, its fine.

klc-batter-wellFill the well with about 1 tbs of the cream cheese mixture.

klc-poBake the cupcakes for about 35 minutes or until the cake part is springy and slightly golden brown, the filling will still be jiggly.

klc-ooWhile that’s baking, make the frosting. I have to say that although these cupcakes turned out amazing (I would even go as far as to say top 5 I’ve ever made) my only complaint was that there wasn’t a huge differentiation between the filling and the frosting. I’ve used this method to fill cupcakes with cheesecake before and I really like it. I always top my cheesecake filled cupcakes with a whipped cream frosting and I’m not sure why I went to butter cream. Next time I make these I’ll make a lime whipped cream (2 cups of heavy cream, 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1 tsp lime zest in a stand mixer on high for 3 minutes). Here is the butter cream steps, feel free to use whichever frosting you like. Both are super yummy.

In a stand mixer (that stand mixer got quite a work out today, unlike myself) add the softened butter and beat to make sure all the lumps are out. You HAVE to use soften, borderline warm, butter or your frosting will have the consistency of ground beef. Add the sugar and cream.

klc-batter-in-kaThen add the lime juice, zest and milk then beat until well combined.

My cheater piping bag is just a large ziplock bag with a corner cut off. It makes frosting cupcakes really easy, they look amazing AND I don’t have to dig out my really piping bags or clean them later.

klc-piping-bagklc-pre-toppingSprinkle with the left over crust and enjoy.

My floating cupcake shot: