Key Lime Cupcakes

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These are moist, fluffy Key Lime Cupcakes with a graham cracker crust topped with smooth lime cream cheese frosting.

Key Lime Cupcakes are a refreshing summer treat!

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

Most of the time, I gravitate towards lemon over lime, as evidenced by all of the citrus recipes here. Lemon Crinkle Cookies, Classic Lemon Bars, No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake, and Lemon Blueberry Sweet Rolls are just a few of my family’s favorites.

However, I LOVE key lime pie with all its creamy, limey tanginess and sweet graham cracker crust. In my experience, very few people can resist a slice of key lime pie!

One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is to take traditional deserts and remake the flavors in new ways.

The flavors in classic desserts are pretty much impossible to beat. They’re classics for a reason, right?

So, taking those classics and mixing things up to create new desserts with the flavors we already love is a whole lot of fun. These cupcakes are my take on key lime pie in cupcake form.

Key Lime vs Regular Lime

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.

I’ve made these cupcakes with both key limes and regular limes. Key limes have a milder flavor and the cupcakes will be a smidge sweeter.

My personal preference for this recipe is actually regular limes, as I enjoy a tangier more tart lime flavor for most lime desserts. If you’re aiming for a closer match to key lime pie, you’ll want to stick with key limes though.

The cupcakes begin with a graham cracker crust layer, super easy to throw together, and the rest of the recipe is just as easy.

Key Lime Cupcakes are a summer potluck favorite!

Key Lime Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a one-bowl recipe adapted this lemon cupcake recipe by Averie Cooks. The cupcakes and crust are delicious and the frosting on top is the shining star.

This recipe brings in all the beautiful flavors of the key lime pie in a fluffy, creamy frosting. And it simply involves cream cheese, butter, sugar and lime. No cooking required.

Key Lime Cupcakes with Fluffy Lime Frosting

Lime Cupcake Recipe

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Fluffy Lime Frosting is a summer favorite.

Lime Frosting Recipe

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until light, fluffy and smooth. Add lime juice and lime zest.
  2. Add enough of the powdered sugar until it reaches a spreadable or pipeable consistency. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.
Key Lime Cupcakes are a summer potluck favorite!

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

4.67 from 3 votes
These are moist, fluffy Key Lime Cupcakes with a graham cracker crust topped with smooth lime cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Inactive Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15 cupcakes

Ingredients 

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Frosting Ingredients

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2½-3½ cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Cupcake Directions

  • 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.

Frosting Directions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g · Calories: 400kcal · Carbohydrates: 50g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 21g · Saturated Fat: 8g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g · Cholesterol: 46mg · Sodium: 219mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 30g
Tried this recipe?Mention @chocolatewithgrace or tag #chocolatewithgrace!

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{originally published 7/12/14 – recipe notes and photos updated 6/3/21}

Key Lime Cupcakes!

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    • Mallory says

      I don’t know whether to wish my husband liked key lime or not. Since he doesn’t there’s just more for me.

  1. Linda Warren says

    I live in South Florida with my own key lime trees and this recipe sounds delicious. I love to change up Key Lime Pie occasionally with something different and this would be awesome! Can’t wait to try it.

  2. Jennifer Robinson says

    5 stars
    I tried these out & plan to make them again this weekend for my son’s BDay party. My husband said they were the best cupcakes he’s ever had! This time I’m going to try just 1 cup of cracker crumbs because 2 seemed to be too much (they were falling apart instead of being a firm crust).

  3. Grammy Jojo says

    4 stars
    Great cupcakes…but way too much graham cracker for crust…I had enough for 2 dozen cup cakes! Also…batter is enough for 18 cupcakes.

    Jogi

  4. Lily says

    These look delicious! Would I be able to bake this recipe as a 8×8 or 9×9 cake? If so, how long? I am new to baking. Thank you.

    • Mary says

      I’m guessing that would work fine, Lily. However, I haven’t tried it myself. I’d check it at the 30 minute mark and watch closely for doneness at that point.

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  1. […]  For dessert, how about one of these Key Lime Pie Cupcakes from Chocolate With Grace?! […]

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