My dad is a very, very picky eater. He’s most certainly a meat and potatoes sort of guy. He won’t touch Chinese food, turns his nose up at most vegetables, and the idea of leftovers is a completely foreign concept to him. Thankfully, I didn’t inherit this pickiness from him, but I did wind up with his adoration for lime-flavored anything.
Key lime pie is one of my favorite desserts, but finding key limes has never been very easy for me. Fortunately, my friend Heather keeps coming across them, and gifting bags of them to me. I’m now stockpiled with enough key lime juice in my freezer to make many a key lime pie treat!
I’ve had several key lime recipes booked for ages, many which come from Peabody. I decided to ask her what her personal favorite key lime recipe from her blog was, and she directed me to this one. Oh, sure, Peabody – pick the multi-step recipe. :) This was my first time making filled cupcakes and eventually they turned out well, but I did have a little trial and error, Goldilocks-style. At first, I was overfilling them, making the filling ooze out of the top after I placed the cupcake top back on. Then that worried me, so I underfilled them. Finally I got it “just right,” though I did still have some leftover filling. The leftover filling is a nice accompaniment with some leftover graham crackers, but I think next time I would use cream cheese rather than mascarpone. Don’t get me wrong, I love mascarpone but it’s a bit pricey and since it didn’t all get eaten, I’d opt for the frugal-friendly cream cheese next time around.
A few other changes I made: I used sour cream instead of buttermilk in the cake recipe because that’s what I had around, and also added just a splash of vanilla in the buttercream recipe. I also “made” my own cake flour.
At any rate, these cupcakes are delicious. I mean, they are key lime pie enveloped by cake. You really can’t go wrong there. It’s too bad I couldn’t get some of these to my dad!
Key Lime Pie Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
Adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody (cake adapted from Easy Home Cooking magazine)
1 recipe key lime pie filling (recipe follows)
1 recipe graham cracker crust (recipe follows)
1 recipe lime cake batter (recipe follows)
1 recipe lime buttercream (recipe follows)
graham cracker crumbs for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350.
Pour the batter from the lime cake evenly over the graham cracker crust. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely.
Once cool, fill your cupcakes with the key lime pie filling using the cone method.
Frost each cupcake with the lime buttercream, and top with graham cracker crumbs, if desired.
Key Lime Pie Filling
8 oz. mascarpone or cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (9 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
5 oz. key lime juice
Place all ingredients in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and mix on low for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and blend for 2 minutes.
Refrigerate the filing for 2 or more hours.
Graham Cracker Crust
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. sugar
3-4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Prepare 2 muffin tins with liners.
In a food processor, blend together graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add 3 Tbsp melted butter and pulse a few times. If it seems like it needs more butter, add the remaining tablespoon. Distribute evenly among cupcake liners and press down to form a shell.
2.25 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1.5 cups granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream or buttermilk
1 Tbsp. lime zest
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; set aside.
Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add egg whites, beating well after each addition. Add eggs, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lime zest until blended.
Combine milk, vanilla, and sour cream in a bowl, whisking until incorporated.
With electric mixer at low speed, add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, beating well after each addition.
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 to 8 cups powdered sugar
3 TBSP key lime juice, possibly more to thin out frosting
splash of vanilla
Beat together the butter, 3 cups of the sugar, key lime juice and vanilla on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency.
You may not need to add all of the sugar. If too thick, thin with more key lime juice. You can also use more lime juice if you want a more tart flavor.