April 16, 2014

Key Lime Cupcakes

Key Lime Cupcake with Lime Curd Filling

My entire family loves key lime pie; when we went on a trip through the Florida Keys a few years ago we ordered key lime pie at every restaurant we stopped at.  And we made a few key lime pies as well.  That was a very delicious trip!

Key Lime Cupcakes

Because of our love of key lime pies I gave my brother a choice, would he like chocolate or key lime cupcakes for his birthday?  He chose key lime cupcakes, though he fought hard to get both.  Sorry Adam, only one set of cupcakes per birthday!  He turns 22 tomorrow; Happy Birthday Adam!

Key Lime Cupcake with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

These key lime cupcakes are a trifecta of lime and deliciousness.  The cake is soft with a hint of vanilla and lime, the frosting is a delicious combination of cream cheese and tart lime, and the lime curd is bright lime and citrus hit right in the middle of the cupcakes.

Lime Curd filling for Cupcakes

Don't be afraid of the curd!  It's really as simple as whisking until everything thickens--it just sounds fancy and hard.  Curds are fun, delicious, and a great recipe to have in your back pocket.  Curds can top yogurt, desserts, ice cream, whatever your imagination comes up with! Try the lime curd--you can do it!

Key Lime Cupcakes

These key lime cupcakes are a great spring and summer treat.  The soft cake filled with the tangy bright lime curd and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting make a delicious cupcake.

Key Lime Cupcakes
author: Happy Food Happy Home  
adapted from Key Lime Pie Cupcakes from Annie's Eats
makes 24 cupcakes

Vanilla Lime Cupcakes
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
zest of one lime (or 2-3 key limes)
4 large eggs
1 ¾ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons lime juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lime two cupcake tins with liners.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter.  Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, until the butter is light and creamy in color.  Scrape down the sides.
  4. Add the lime zest and beat until combined.
  5. Add ½ cup of the sugar at a time (4 times total) beating for 1 minute before adding the next scoop.  Scrape down the sides each time.
  6. Combine the buttermilk, vanilla, and lime juice in a liquid measuring cup.
  7. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl.  Mix on low until the flour just disappears.
  8. Add ½ the wet ingredients to the bowl and mix briefly.
  9. Repeat the 1/3 dry- ½ wet- 1/3 dry until all the ingredients are incorporated.  After the last flour disappears mix for 15 seconds more. 
  10. Scoop batter into the liners 2/3 full.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until an toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooking rack until completely cooled.

Lime Curd
3 large eggs
¾ cup of sugar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
  1. In a medium sauce pan whisk together the eggs and sugar until combined.
  2. Whisk in the lime juice.
  3. Place the saucepan over medium low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is warmed through.  Be careful to heat slowly to keep the eggs from curdling.
  4. Whisk in the butter a piece at a time.  Wait until each piece is melted and incorporated before adding the next one.
  5. Continue to cook until the mixture thickens.  It should coat the back of a spoon, and a spoon should leave a track through the curd when pulled through.
  6. Once the curd has thickened remove it to an airtight container and refrigerate.  

Limey Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cold cream cheese
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons lime juice
3 cups powdered sugar  + more if needed
  1. Combine cream cheese, butter, and lime zest with a mixer.  Beat on medium high speed until smooth and creamy--about 2 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. Add the powdered sugar.  Beat on low until the sugar is incorporated.  Increase speed to medium high and beat for 2-3 minutes more.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the lime juice and vanilla to the frosting.  Beat until well combined. If your frosting is a little thin you can add a dash more powdered sugar to thicken it.
  4. Use your frosting for key lime cupcakes, sugar cookies, or anything else your heart desires! 

To Assemble the Cupcakes
  1. In the cooled cupcakes use a paring knife to cut a cone shape out of the middle of the cupcake. Remove cones to the side, saving for later.
  2. Use a teaspoon to scoop the lime curd into the holes in the cupcakes.
  3. Remove the bottom of the cones, and put the tops back onto the cupcakes.  This step is optional, you can totally just frost over the curd without the tops.
  4. Using an offset spatula apply the lime frosting to the cupcakes, using 2-3 tablespoons of frosting on each cupcake.
  5. Serve and eat!
Key Lime Cupcake with Lime Curd Filling

Make the cupcakes for Easter this weekend!  They're the perfect spring time treat.  And the key lime cupcakes are really really delicious!  

Do you have any fun Easter plans?  What are some Easter traditions your family keeps?

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