Beach Cupcakes: Key Lime Pie Cupcakes Decked Out For Summer


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Hi, I'm Stef! Welcome to my kitchen, home to over 1000 recipes! Join me on my quest to push baking boundaries and live creatively both in and out of the kitchen.
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My cupcakes are getting ready for summer! These key lime pie cupcakes were a huge hit. They were moist and sweet, just the way my tasters like them.

One small confession – these cupcakes are actually made with lime and not key lime. My cupcakes considered blushing, but they were too busy trying to catch a tan.

Is There a Difference Between Key Lime and Lime?

There is a difference between key lime and regular (Persian) limes. According to the Wikipedia article on key limes, key limes are “smaller, seedier, have a higher acidity, a stronger aroma, and a thinner rind.”

Key Limes and the Florida Keys

Key limes are called key limes because of their association with the Florida Keys. According to the Wikipedia article on key lime pie (oh how I love Wikipedia), “Key lime pie is made with canned sweetened condensed milk, since fresh milk was not a common commodity in the Florida Keys before modern refrigerated distribution methods.”

The photo above is of my aunt and mom in the Florida Keys in front of a key lime pie shop. The man in the middle is a real person – in case you doubted this as I did.

I’m not sure who took the photo so I can’t properly credit them, but I can only assume that it was my grandma or grandpa. I also did not ask for the permission of anyone in the photo before posting it. Here are my guesses at their responses:

My aunt: I’m famous, but did it have to be in that visor? (Or maybe she loves the visor and I’ve just publicly insulted it. Time will tell.)

The pie man: Hooray! Free press for keylimeshop.com and don’t I look dapper in my pie man outfit. I should send that woman some key lime stuff. (That last comment was just wishful thinking.)

My mom: Next time, could you maybe pick a picture where I’m looking at the camera?

The Key Lime Pie Cupcake Recipe

I got the cupcake recipe from Garrett of Vanilla Garlic. He actually made the cupcakes one year and one day ago so it’s almost like an anniversary celebration for them! Garrett made a graham cupcake and then filled it with a key lime filling. I made the same graham cupcake, but baked the key lime filling right into the cake. I am reprinting the recipe with my notes below.

Beach Cupcakes: Key Lime Pie Cupcakes Decked Out For Summer

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Beach Cupcakes: Key Lime Pie Cupcakes Decked Out For Summer

Ingredients

    Cupcake Ingredients
  • 1/2 C butter (room temperature)
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs (I used my homemade graham crackers.)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 C lime or key lime juice
  • Lime Cream Cheese Frosting* Ingredients
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/4 C butter (room temperature)
  • 4 C powdered sugar (I recommend that you sift it.)
  • 1 t lime extract (I couldn't fine lime extract at Whole Foods so I bought it here.)

Instructions

    Cupcake Instructions
  1. Beat the butter for about 30 seconds until creamed.
  2. Add the sugar and mix for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, being sure to beat for 30 seconds for each egg.
  4. Use food processor or a potato masher or whatever you have on hand to grind the graham crackers into tiny crumbs and powder.
  5. Sift the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and powder, and salt. (I didn't actually sift the graham cracker crumbs. While mine were small, I don't think they would have fit through the sifter.)
  6. Add about 1/4 of the mixture to the butter mixture.
  7. Add some of the milk.
  8. Continue to add the ingredients in a dry - wet - dry method, ending with the dry.
  9. Mix until just combined.
  10. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and lime juice. (FYI - If you want to make an amazing key lime pie, just mix the ingredients in this step, dump it into a pie shell and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. It's the easiest recipe ever! The pie won't be green and it shouldn't be. Lime juice isn't green.)
  11. Dump the key lime mixture into the graham batter and lightly stir. Do NOT fully integrate the key lime and graham batter. You should have clumps of batter in a key lime soup.
  12. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Make sure each liner has a nice distribution of key lime liquid and graham clumps.
  13. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until top bounces back when touched.
  14. Lime Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions
  15. Mix the cream cheese and butter.
  16. Add the powdered sugar and lime extract.

Notes

*I used the same lime cream cheese frosting on these that I used on my avocado lime cupcakes.

http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2008/03/beach-cupcakes-key-lime-pie-cupcakes.html

 

Graham Cracker Sand and Chocolate Shells

To make the key lime pie cupcakes even more beachy, I topped them with crushed graham cracker sand and chocolate from the Nautical Collection 60 Piece Gift Assortment. Thanks again to chocolate.com for the free chocolate and the inspiration.

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13 comments on “Beach Cupcakes: Key Lime Pie Cupcakes Decked Out For Summer”

  1. Hi again!
    Just wanted to pass on this information …

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    Oh Soy Tasty!

    If you have a few minutes to spare, could do us a huge favor and read the article and comment at the bottom of the page? We’re very excited about getting such great press, especially from a magazine of this caliber. If everyone drops by and leaves a quick comment, soon there will be no doubt in any publisher’s mind: YES, readers absolutely do want to know about vegan happenings and developments. Please don’t hesitate to repost the article on your blog and spread the world!

    Thanks!
    Emily @ Wheeler’s Frozen Desserts

  2. Gigi says:

    I love the seashell on the cupcake! Key lime is such a great fresh flavor. I bet the cupcakes were delicious!

  3. Tart Reform says:

    I know that key lime shop! It’s Kermit’s and it sells the best frozen, chocolate covered, key lime pie on a stick. Nothing beats it on an August day in Humid Key West. Oh, and that guy does stand out there all day, saying hi to all us crazy tourists just craving some lime.

  4. Stef says:

    Gigi – Thanks! They were quite tasty!

    Tart – Frozen, chocolate covered, key lime pie on a stick? Wow! That sounds fantastic!! That’s cool that you know the shop.

  5. ley says:

    Ooh, they look good! I tried making Key Lime Pie cupcakes a while ago, but it didn’t turn out how I wanted. I’ll have to try these!

  6. Very cool~ so what do you think about mixing them together rather keeping them separate? Any thoughts? Now you just need someone to have a nautical themed wedding- hah!

  7. Marriage-101 says:

    That guy – Kermitt – is the owner! I met him last month when we visited Key West. I didn’t know how much I liked key lime until I tasted some of the treats in his shop. And I’m sure I would love these cupcakes too! Yum!

  8. CupcakeLady says:

    This recipe sounds delicious! I have never used limes in cupcake recipes.

  9. staria says:

    they look awesome!. As soon as my key lime tree gives me a few I’ll definitely do this recipe first.

  10. Stef says:

    Ley – Thanks! Let me know if you try them out.

    TW – I think the doing the filling vs mixing it all together would completely be a personal preference. I think you would taste the graham flavor more if you went the filling route. However, this was very much a total key lime experience. As for the nautical themed wedding, that’d be awesome!

    101 – Hah! That’s so cool that 2 of you knew of the shop and the guy. Such a small Internet world.

    Cupcakelady – No limes!?! You’ve got to try baking with them!

    Staria – Can’t wait to see the results. I’m still so jealous of your tree.

  11. Kimberly says:

    As a key lime fan, I loved this cupcake … though I wished the key lime flavor had lasted a bit longer in my mouth. Still, Stef never fails at makign tasty cupcakes!

  12. trishybee says:

    i’m so looking forward to making these! they sound so good. i was just wondering if you could use lime juice in the frosting, or did it have to be extract?

  13. Stef says:

    Trishy – You could try this recipe from Coconut and Lime.

    http://coconutlime.blogspot.com/2008/03/key-lime-cream-cheese-frosting.html

    She uses lime juice. I haven’t tried it. However, when I’ve tried using juice instead of extract for citrus frostings they have never been quite as strong a flavor as I want without getting really runny. I always end up adding more and more liquid hoping to punch up the flavor and then it gets soupy. However, Rachel is great so maybe she’s got the formula down.

  14. Leigh Ann says:

    These look great. Do you remember by any chance how many the recipe makes? More than 12?

  15. Stef says:

    Thanks! It made 24.

  16. Anonymous says:

    i made these and the center kept collapsing. i used different sized cupcake pans as well because i couldn’t figure this out. what did i do wrong?

    thanks,
    sad kathryn

  17. Stef says:

    So sorry that they didn’t work out for you. I think some of mine may have collapsed as well, but after I had them frosted and served to people they were such a hit that I probably forgot to even mention it. I can’t really remember clearly now. I hope that they still tasted good?

  18. I just made these for our Jimmy Buffett tailgate and they were a big hit!

    I used some of the key lime juice in the frosting (1 stick butter, one block cream cheese, 2 Tbsp. lime juice, 4 cups conf. sugar) instead of the lime extract and sprinkled them with graham cracker crumbs and stuck a little paper drink umbrella in them.

    Thank you for the great recipe :) I will be blogging and referring back to your site.

  19. julie says:

    I don’t know what I did wrong, but I didn’t get the lime flavor at all in the cupcakes. They weren’t bad but I couldn’t even detect the lime – and I even used more key lime juice than what was called for. No idea where I went wrong here :(

  20. Stef says:

    Julie – Sorry to hear that the lime flavor wasn’t strong enough for you. You could always put some of the lime extract into the cake to give it more punch!

  21. Erin Quinn says:

    These are fabulous!!! Thanks so much for the recipe! I’d tried another key lime cupcake recipe based on a cake box, but it just tasted like an undetectable citrus flavor. These are perfect flavor & PERFECT texture! (dense, moist, delicious!) I did have a little trouble keeping the 2 mixes separated enough – and I only folded it in with two stirs. :) (My graham mixture wasn’t clumpy like it was supposed to be.) I think next time I’ll spoon the graham batter into each cupcake liner & then spoon the lime mixture into each cupcake liner & then give it a quick swirl – to make sure each cupcake has both flavors. Some of mine just taste like graham, but they’re still so good & I haven’t even frosted them with the lime cream cheese yet! Thanks so much! oh, and some of mine fell too, but the frosting will cover all of that up! (I think the amount of lime mixture in those ones maybe caused the collapse?)

  22. Erin Quinn says:

    These are fabulous!!! Thanks so much for the recipe! I’d tried another key lime cupcake recipe based on a cake box, but it just tasted like an undetectable citrus flavor. These are perfect flavor & PERFECT texture! (dense, moist, delicious!) I did have a little trouble keeping the 2 mixes separated enough – and I only folded it in with two stirs. :) (My graham mixture wasn’t clumpy like it was supposed to be.) I think next time I’ll spoon the graham batter into each cupcake liner & then spoon the lime mixture into each cupcake liner & then give it a quick swirl – to make sure each cupcake has both flavors. Some of mine just taste like graham, but they’re still so good & I haven’t even frosted them with the lime cream cheese yet! Thanks so much! oh, and some of mine fell too, but the frosting will cover all of that up! (I think the amount of lime mixture in those ones maybe caused the collapse?) oh, and I got 33 out of them.

  23. Anonymous says:

    When we went on a tour in Key West, we were told there is not so much as one key lime tree in Key West, that every last tree was destroyed in a hurricane many years ago and that they were never replanted. A lime is a lime now, I guess.

  24. Anonymous says:

    These were very yummy! I accidentally switched the condensed milk and the regular milk in the recipe, so the cake ended up just all mixed together. Even so, they were very nice. I used about 2 and a half tablespoons of key lime juice in the frosting instead of lime extract, and it brought out the lime flavor nicely. I topped with graham cracker crumbs and a sugar coated key lime slice–very summery! Great recipe.

  25. Lovely! I really like the seashell one. Gotta love the beach and now it’s getting cold. Yummilicious.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hi, im 13 and i love to bake! I was wondering if you have to refrigerate these cupcakes after making them? Or can i leave them in a container on the counter overnight.

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