Usually, I will choose lemon flavors over lime any day. However, I love key lime pie with all its creamy, limey tangyness and sweet graham cracker crust. One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is take traditional deserts in the kitchen and remake the flavors in new ways. The flavors in classic deserts are impossible to beat. They’re classics for a reason. New, trendy flavor profiles will be created, but I believe there will always be a place for the traditional. Here is my take on key lime pie in cupcake form.
When researching key lime pies in order to make these cupcakes, I learned that key limes are unique variety of limes that tend to be more yellow when ripe than green. However, I was only able to find regular limes in my area and the cupcakes still came out with a delicious lime flavor. If you can get your hands are real key limes, I’m sure the result would be awesome. The cupcakes start with a graham cracker crust layer, super easy to throw together, but the rest doesn’t get much harder. The cupcakes are a one bowl recipe adapted from a fantastic lemon cupcake recipe by Averie Cooks. The cupcakes and crust are great, but the frosting on these cupcakes is the star. It brings in all the beautiful flavors of the key lime pie. And it simply involves cream cheese, butter, sugar and lime. No cooking required.
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 T sugar
- 3 T butter, melted
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup buttermilk or regular milk will work just fine too
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 T lime zest
- 3 T sour cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 stick butter
- 3 T lime juice
- 2 tsp lime zest
- 2 and 1/2 to 3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Line muffin tins with 15 paper lines. Combine graham cracker crumbs, 2 T sugar and 3 T melted butter in a small bowl. Spoon a tablespoon of the graham cracker crumb mixture into each muffin paper, pressing it in firmly with a spoon. Set aside.
- To make the cupakes, preheat the oven to 350 F. Whisk together the white sugar, egg, milk, oil, lime juice, lime zest, sour cream and vanilla. Gently stir in flour and baking soda until well combined, but don't over mix. Pour into the muffin tins, filling each liner about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until light and springy. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.
- While the cupcakes are cooling set out the butter and cream cheese to soften. When cupcakes are cool, go ahead and make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until light, fluffy and smooth. Add lime juice and lime zest. Add enough of the powdered sugar until it reaches a spreadable or pipeable consistency. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.