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Key Lime Pie Cupcakes – Upside-Down Key Lime Pies

These key lime pie cupcakes are like upside-down key lime pies.  The cake (the bottom part) is moist and intensely key lime-flavored (prepare to pucker your lips) and the frosting (the top part) is packed with crushed graham crackers (store-bought or homemade) so you feel like you’re eating a graham cracker crust on top of the cake.

What You’ll Need

You could make these key lime cupcakes with plain old lime juice, but I suggest using key lime juice.  You should be able to find it at most grocery stores

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Erewhon Honey Grahams, 14.4-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)

If you are not going to make homemade graham crackers, I suggest checking the box before you buy store-bought ones.  It’s surprising how many of them contain high-fructose corn syrup.  This is a nice brand to use if you can find it.

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Key Lime Pie Cupcake Recipe

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5 from 1 vote

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes – Upside-Down Key Lime Pies

These key lime pie cupcakes are like upside-down key lime pies. The cake is moist and intensely key lime-flavored and the frosting is packed with crushed graham crackers.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword graham cracker frosting, key lime cupcake recipe, Key Lime Pie Cupcakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 18 cupcakes
Calories 311kcal


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 C sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 C key lime juice

Graham Cracker Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/4 C unsalted butter room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 C finely crushed graham crackers


Cupcake Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  • Mix eggs into butter/sugar, one at a time.
  • Mix sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice into wet ingredients.
  • Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined.
  • Divide evenly between 12 cupcake liners. Note: The batter will be very liquidy. This is normal.
  • Bake at 350 F for thirty minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when touched lightly. The center will still be wet. It solidifies as it cools.

Graham Cracker Frosting Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the powdered sugar a little bit at a time. Note: You can add more if you prefer a stiffer consistency.
  • Mix in vanilla extract.
  • Fold in graham crackers.
  • Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.


Nutrition Facts
Key Lime Pie Cupcakes – Upside-Down Key Lime Pies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 311 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 64mg 21%
Sodium 105mg 4%
Potassium 148mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 43g 14%
Sugars 30g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 9.5%
Vitamin C 3.9%
Calcium 7.5%
Iron 3.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!

Haven’t You Made Key Lime Pie Cupcakes Before?

I made key lime pie cupcakes back in ’08 and just like it’s a good idea to dust off your shelves every three years (oh, am I supposed to do that more often?), I decided that the recipe could use a little freshening.  The original key lime pie cupcake recipe was a huge crowd pleaser, but I wasn’t happy with the graham flavor.  I baked the graham crackers into the cake and you couldn’t really taste them.

Bakto flavors Natural Lime Extract(1FL OZ) Pack of 3

I also didn’t like that the frosting required a very difficult to find ingredient – lime extract.  My latest key lime pie cupcakes feel fresh, new, and Spring-cleaned!

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The Wrappers

The wrappers on these key lime pie cupcakes were a gift to me from  Aside from the fact that I adore the pattern, I LOVE that you can wash the wrappers and use them again and again!  Why didn’t someone think of this before?

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29 comments on “Key Lime Pie Cupcakes – Upside-Down Key Lime Pies”

  1. Did you read my mind?????!!!! I’ve been playing with ways of making a graham cracker frosting (although not to go with key-limes).

    Did you find that you could ‘feel’ the graham crackers in the frosting? I was thinking of soaking them in milk first to make them smooth.

  2. Stefsays:

    Lehcarjt – Interesting idea. I used a food processor to make mine super small – but I don’t mind feeling them. I kinda like the texture. If it bothers you, milk might be a good way to go.

  3. Tarasays:

    Oooh, I’m intrigued by this recipe. I’d love to try this graham cracker frosting with a chocolate cake base and top with mini marshmallows — s’mores cupcakes!! I think I’ve just found my next project…

  4. Kamailesays:

    mmm…these sound fabulous. I like the idea of using the graham cracker in the frosting. Would make an interesting s’more cupcake…maybe with chocolate cake and a marshmallow filling.

  5. These look amazing! Definitely adding them to my list of cupcakes to try!

  6. My husband loves key lime pie, this is one I’d love to make for him.

  7. The Littlsays:

    These cupcakes look AMAZING! Key lime pie is my mom’s favorite so maybe I’ll make these for her one day. I made her key lime truffles for mother’s day and those were absolutely DELICIOUS! I”l have to see which one takes the cake,
    – key lime cupcakes
    – key lime truffles
    – or the original straight up key lime pie

  8. nessnixsays:

    I want the Candy Stripe reuseable cupcake wrappers!

  9. Report: So I just couldn’t help myself. I had to make these.

    I followed the cupcake recipe exactly until I got to the cook for 30 minutes. Mine were done in 17 minutes.

    But they are gorgeous. I really like using sweetened condensed milk, more than my usual sourcream cupcake even.

    I did the frosting a bit different. I soaked an entire packet of graham crackers in whipping cream. Then I tossed it in the mixer with the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar.

    I turned out unbelievably good with a very definite graham cracker taste and a light and fluffy texture. (And rich enough that I can only eat a bit of a time) My only problem with the frosting was that the graham cracker clogged up my star tip for decorating.

    Yeah! My family and I thank you for this great recipe. We really enjoyed it.

  10. Dinasays:

    i’d love to try these. the frosting sounds great!

  11. Stefsays:

    Lehcarjt – Thanks for the report! Glad you enjoyed them! I found that I had to use a giant star (not the typical 1M) otherwise the tip would clog.

  12. Anonymoussays:

    holy – yum! can’t wait to experiment with this recipe. bookmarked it for safekeeping to

  13. Yum, key lime pie is my favorite! And those cupcake reusable wrappers are cool too!

  14. Anonymoussays:

    My sister and I made these tonight. The icing is fantastic, but the cake proper was really dense and strong.

  15. kalesays:

    I tried these and LOVE how tart the cake turned out! I also used the recipe for the key lime pie I usually make to make a filling. I used the cupcake corer and filled the cupcakes with key lime pie filling and refrigerated them. Great recipe Stef!

  16. These were great, I made them for a charity event and they were a hit.
    I also zested some key lime in the batter, turned out delicious.

  17. Anonymoussays:

    So, I made these but I made minis. I had candy cups rather than the mini cupcake papers, so I used them, so they were mini minis. I lowered heat by 30 degrees and halved the baking time. They were the perfect little bite. A coworker dubbed them shotcakes. Thanks for the recipe.

  18. Kimsays:

    Did you know that when you google “graham cracker frosting” this is the only result that’s not frosting for graham crackers? And this is EXACTLY what I’m looking for for some s’more cupcakes I’m inventing. THANK YOU!!!!

  19. Stefsays:

    Kim – Too funny! Glad you found what you were looking for.

  20. Anonymoussays:

    holy cow these are good! i just made a batch for my kids’ st. patrick’s day party on friday. there may not be any left on friday! eeek!

  21. Love the recipe, the photo and the cupcakeswraper, my husband and my daughter are big Key lime pays fan…so must bake this as soon as posible!!!! Thank you, wonderful!!!

  22. Anonymoussays:


    These cupcakes look amazing. I will have to make these more my class. They will love them.

  23. Kristensays:

    I made these for my mother’s birthday recently since Key Lime Pie is her FAVORITE. I normally don’t eat my own cupcakes but I had to try these and they were FANTASTIC.

    One tip, if you are adding the graham crackers into the cream cheese frosting, I suggest you make sure they are crushed into tiny tiny pieces since they will get caught in the piping tip. The texture of the frosting did not bother me – they were different considering they were IN the mixture, not just sprinkled on top.I also added a bit of lime zest into the frosting for more “lime” flavor since I’m not appalled to it.

    I’m using this recipe for Easter :)

  24. These were so good! Almost perfect, I could say… Thanks for another great recipe! I might possibly need to make another bath, but this time mini. Mmmm.
    CHeck my version here:

  25. These are so delicious I ate 3 before they’d even cooled. I overcooked them a bit (I checked them at 23 mins and they were pretty brown) so I spooned some bottled margarita mix over them while they were still hot so it would soak in and keep them moist… It came out so well I think I’ll do it on purpose next time! Thank you so much for this delicious recipe!!

  26. Zoegirlsays:

    I tried this recipe and my cupcakes shrank as well as separated from the wrapper. They also burned at the bottom. Also, the cake was a little to tangy.

  27. Melaniesays:

    I have these cupcakes.cooling as i type. They smell delicious! And yes, its almost one in the morning, but there is no wrong time to make cupcakes! :)

  28. Sarahsays:

    Did you have any problem with the wrappers separating from the cupcakes with these? Last time I made these all the wrappers peeled right off. I got a request to make these for a baby shower and I’m trying to think of how I can prevent that! Any ideas??

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