This key lime cupcake recipe makes not only remarkable, standard size cakes, but amazing mini- and micro- cupcakes for single or two bite desserts. Simply reduce the baking time, removing the cupcakes when they are just beginning to become golden and a testing toothpick comes out clean.
What is a micro-cupcake?
To create perfect, single bite, micro cupcakes, use truffle papers set inside the mini cupcake pan. I often double the paper to give just a little more stability or rigidity as the cupcake bakes.
Use only a tiny dollop of batter (approx 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) in each micro cup. When frosting, use a smaller tip.
I served these cupcakes as little bite desserts on the first night that my parents came back to the valley. We, of course, had Mexican food (Rick Bayless inspired shrimp tacos to be precise) and these made for a light, but full flavored finale.
I will definitely be making these again.
Key Lime Cupcakes
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 6 or 7 key limes
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
Zest key limes, then juice them – set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside
In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, but don’t worry, it will all come back together)
Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.
Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden and a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pan at the halfway point.
(Easy) Lime Buttercream Frosting
1 stick butter (1/2 C), soft
2 C powdered sugar (approximate)
juice of 4 key limes
In an electric mixer on high-speed, whip butter until it is fluffy and the color lightens.
Reduce speed to medium-low or medium. Add powdered sugar 1/3 C at a time.
Speed here depends on your mixer: the paddle should be going fast enough to continue to lighten the butter and incorporate the sugar, but not send white powder flying everywhere.
Continue to add sugar until it comes to frosting consistency. At this point add another 1/3 Cup of powdered sugar just to the point where the mixture begins to look dry, but not crumbly.
Reduce speed to low and add juice a little at a time.
This is where the art and finesse comes in … add juice only until such a time that the frosting is the consistency that you like to work with or that is appropriate for the baked good you’re frosting.
In the case of these cupcakes I like a smooth, creamy frosting that is not too dry.
Set frosting aside or put into a piping bag until you are ready to frost cupcakes.
A special thank you and shout-out to the browneyedbaker whose photo (via Pinterest) inspired my making and decorating these cupcakes, and also whose recipe and well written directions were the launching point for the little treats.