Soft white cake and tequila infused key lime curd make these key lime cupcakes outstanding!
White chocolate buttercream balances out all that tangy citrus!
Key Lime Cupcakes Are Special
I feel a little guilty, I completely stole the thunder from my girls this past Father’s Day. They were set on making a cake for my husband when I suggested they make a pie instead. My husband has always been a lover of key lime pie so I figured this is what the girls should bake up as his special treat.
Then I started craving buttercream and somehow I convinced the girls that we needed to make my husband cupcakes, specifically key lime cupcakes with tequila and key lime curd. They reluctantly agreed. They knew they had lost creative control over this dessert project but since they love cake and frosting as much as I do, they were willing to give up that control and become honorary taste testers instead.
The girls did not make dessert on their own as per their original plan, but after trying these cupcakes, they were pleased nonetheless. These key lime cupcakes might be one of the best cupcake recipes I have ever made.
About Key Lime Cupcakes
The base for these key lime cupcakes is a simple white cake batter that I used for these Candy Land Cupcakes. It is a solid recipe that can handle any frosting or any add-in (as you can see with these Blueberry Cupcakes and these Strawberry Cupcakes) or even a splash of tequila. Once the cupcakes have cooled, I filled them with a tequila-infused key lime curd which is mouth-puckeringly delicious! The buttercream is straightforward as well, the only doctoring I did to the recipe was to add melted and cooled white chocolate. I felt the white chocolate added a good balance to the key lime curd.
Notes about the recipe:
- It is important to keep the egg yolks out of your egg whites and beat them until stiff peaks form. Very, very carefully fold the egg whites into your batter and do NOT OVERMIX. The cupcakes will not be as light and fluffy if you overmix.
- Fill the cupcake liner only 3/4 full; the cupcakes will rise.
- Be sure the cupcakes have cooled completely before adding the lime curd and be sure the lime curd has had time to set up properly before filling the cupcakes.
- I made a white chocolate ganache to add to my buttercream, it is smoother and creamier than plain old melted white chocolate and will be easier to incorporate into your buttercream.
For the Key Lime Curd
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup butter
- ¾ cup key lime juice
- 1 tablespoon key lime zest
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- Splash of tequila
For the Cupcakes
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 5 egg whites
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup shortening
- 7 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons of tequila
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream
For the Frosting
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 4 oz white chocolate
- 1 cup butter
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Heavy cream
- Toasted coconut
Prepare the lime curd by placing the sugar, butter, lime juice, lime zest in the top of a double boiler; stir over medium-high heat until butter melts. Mix 2 tablespoons of the hot lime mixture into the beaten eggs and stir to blend.
Reduce the heat to medium until water is just a simmer. Slowly whisk egg mixture into the lime mixture. Continue to whisk and cook the mixture over the double boiler until lime curd thickens and coats the back of a spoon about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in tequila (add to taste). Cool slightly and spoon into a clean bowl. Cover and refrigerate until set.
For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pans with liners and set aside.
In a measuring cup, combine milk and vanilla.
In a stand mixer, beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Add in sugar until fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Carefully add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix in tequila.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold eggs whites into the cupcake batter taking to care to not overbeat.
Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
Prepare the buttercream by combining the white chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals until chocolate has melted; stir until combined. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixture, beat the butter until fluffy. Slowly beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Add vanilla. Stir in salt and chocolate and mix until smooth and creamy adding heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach a piping consistency.
To assemble cupcakes; scoop out the centers of each cupcake (discard centers) and spoon lime curd into each center. Carefully pipe frosting over each cupcake and garnish with toasted coconut and key lime slices if desired.
Amount Per Serving Calories 0Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 0mgFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g