Apr 7, 2010

Little Lime Cupcakes

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

Ahhh, Spring. In like an infuriatingly schizophrenic lion, out like a lamb. I don’t know what it’s been like where you live, but until this completely bizarre San Francisco weather is finished finding itself like an emo-tastic teenager, I’m just going to camp out in the living room Spring Break-style in a lawn chair with a Corona and a cute little lime cupcake. You can’t stop me.

There’s just something about lime that feels like Spring, isn’t there? It could be the thoroughly awesome way that it pairs with so many great boozy drinks, like, oh, say, the ones I downed when I was young and unafraid and blowing off afternoon college classes in May to join impromptu parties on the porches of dilapidated, likely condemnable off-campus bungalows in Central Illinois. If loving lime in that form is wrong, then Lordy loo, I sure don’t want to be right.

But I also love lime in desserts, and you know, I just don’t think the poor lime gets enough props in the dessert world. When people think citrus desserts, they often go straight for the sure thing, the lemon. Not that there’s anything unlovable about lemon–it’s perfect, really. But lime pops, utterly green and fresh and sharp. And when its zest is sprinkled into cake batter and its juice is made into a zippy soaking syrup, it’s the perfect thing to boost a batch of wee cupcakes into an instant Springtime party, no booze required. Though if you decide to serve them with shots of tequila, well, I certainly wouldn’t fault you for that. That would be the pot calling the kettle black, now wouldn’t it? Hiccup.

Little Lime Cupcakes

You can absolutely make these into 18 full-sized cupcakes–just double the lime syrup and put about 2 teaspoons on each, or more if you really want your cupcakes zippy, and multiply the frosting by 1.5 times. I generously frosted my cupcakes, as you can see in the photos, but if you like less icing on yours, you can probably get away with halving the frosting for minis and keeping it as is for full-sized cupcakes. Increase the baking time to 22-25 minutes for big cupcakes.

Makes about 4 dozen

For the cupcakes:

2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, at room temperature

For the lime syrup:

1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water

For the frosting:

1 12-ounce bag white chocolate chips
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature

Place an oven rack to the center position and preheat it to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together, the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and lime zest. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and turn the mixer on low. With the mixer running, gradually drop in the butter pieces and mix until the texture is uniform and the bits of butter aren’t discernable, about 2 minutes. With the mixer still on low, begin slowly pouring in the wet ingredients. When all the wet ingredients have been added, crank the speed up to medium and mix until the batter is light and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Portion the batter into the muffin tins (a scant tablespoon in each liner) and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly touched, 10-12 minutes. Let cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the lime syrup: In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, lime juice and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Boil until the sugar is dissolved, and the syrup is clear and slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

Make the white chocolate cream cheese frosting: Slowly melt the white chocolate chips, either in a microwave safe bowl at 50% power in the microwave in 45 seconds intervals, stirring after each interval, or over a double boiler. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for a minute on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in the melted white chocolate until smooth, scraping the bowl as necessary.

When the cupcakes have cooled, prick each one deeply with a fork about 4-5 times. Carefully spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of syrup over each cake. Allow the syrup to soak into the cakes for about 10 minutes, then frost and decorate as desired. Refrigerate any leftover cupcakes for up to 3 days.

  • awesome! I think the lawn chair in the living room sounds like a plan. the white chocolate cream cheese frosting sounds insanely yummy…invite me over?!?! 🙂

  • Yum! These look really delish. I love lime. Happy spring break

  • So cute! They remind me of lemonade cake. Great job!!

  • These cupcakes look so refreshing and yummy!! Great photos.

  • These look delicious! I keep trying to convince myself that I should go for a run when it gets sunny…but eating a cupcake sounds infinitely better!

  • cupcakes are beautiful!

  • Aw these are so pretty and i bet they were so delicious :D.

  • These cupcakes look so, so good and I'm going to bookmark this recipe. I love citrus cakes.

  • Shauna, limes are big here in Brazil – we use them pretty much as you guys use lemons there (for sweet and savory recipes). These cupcakes are delicious! They are so beautifully decorated. Love them!

  • Ah the frosting looks yummy…I like your cupcakes. Great photos. 🙂

  • Hi. I just made these and they were soo delicious. Im from Sweden so I had to translate and change all the measurements to swedish ones. It went great and I just enjoyed a few to many of these pretty little things. If you're curious how your recipe looks in Swedish, here's my post:


    (I hope it's okay I "stole" your recipe, but I did say it was from your blog)

    Thanks for a great recipe. /Ulrika

  • Long time reader…first time commenter…and I just hafta know: 'Birds, Braves, or a "Chief" fan…? My curiosity was piqued at your college comment.
    BTW – LOVE reading your blog – photos and recipes are OUTSTANDING!

  • C&C–Anytime, sister!

    Patricia–That's it. I'm moving to Brazil.

    Ulrika–Such a lovely job on your cupcakes!

    Chris–Thanks for commenting with a such a fun question! A Bradley Brave, here. How about you?


    I couldn't agree more — lemons are great, but it's time for limes to take the spotlight again. Love that you added the extra syrup to these. They sound delicious! 🙂

  • Oh I do love the look of these. All glorious and bright, doused with lovely syrup so they're moist. It screams HAPPY DAYS!

    🙂 My love for your cupcakes aside, i adore your photos. They're the epitome of sunshine goodness.

  • Made these last night to go along with mojitos – perfect combination. Found the icing a bit heavy myself, but my friends loved it. Thanks!

  • Somebody beat me to it. 🙂 I'm glad that we share the same nostalgia for springtime in central Illinois campuses. Just thought I'd share that I graduated last May from U of I. Until I find my dream teaching job, I've been more than content spending my days substituting and baking from your lovely blog.

  • I'm a Redbird, but I grew up just across the river from the Braves.

  • Oooo, love these! I bought limes today, and have a whole baking list to accomplish, on which are these yummy looking little cupcakes. Can't wait to make them!

  • I made these Thursday night and was queen of the office on Friday. These cupcakes were amazing; thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  • Emily and Chris–Thanks for sharing some Central Illinois love. 🙂

    Sally and Emily–So glad you tried the recipe. That's what it's all about!

  • Saw your profile on another page. Glad I read your informative and well-written blog. Look forward to following you here. Have a wondeful night. Cheers!

  • I can't wait to try this recipe out! I love citrus treats during the warm weather 🙂 Yummy.

  • i just made these cupcakes for a friend's birthday. i cant wait to surprise her! great recipe!

  • Wow I just love love love your site, incredible pictures,and awesome recipes!!!!

  • I love citrusy treats 🙂 These look amazing!

  • I just made a ton of these for a friend to bring to a get-together and the report back is that everyone raved about them. I snuck a couple before handing them off and they were awesome!

    I used ginger syrup instead of lime and the white chocolate buttercream recipe on epicurious. (It was gonna be outside and its hot around here!)

    thanks for posting these Shauna! A recipe for the books.

    I'm gonna go eat one of the ones I stole now and wash it down with some tequila.



  • Lime cupcakes is one of the most delicious cakes in the bakeries,I would like to buy one to my break in the afternoon!excellent recipe!22dd

  • Hello fellow food blogger! Love your blog a these cupcakes look amazing. Lemon desserts are my favorite, I just can't resist them.

    I was wondering, have you ever blog hopped before? We'd love it if you contributed this awesome cupcake idea to our blog hop on favorite spring-time recipes. It's a great way to get links back to your site. Hope to see you there!

    You can check out the blog hop here:



  • I tried to make this as a 2 layer cake and it came out flat as a pancake. 🙁 Was there just not enough batter to make a layer cake?

  • I refused to let this recipe bring me down (well, after I was all bothered last night)! I tackled it again this morning and made cupcakes instead of attempting a layer cake. Turns out I think I didn't beat the batter long enough. This time around I let it go for quite a while and turned my mixer up higher. The batter became much fluffier, nearly doubling its volume. End product = yum-o! Still, do you think this recipe would work for two 9 inch pans? Tx!

  • Michelle–I would say that for a 9-inch two layer cake, you'd probably want to multiply this recipe by about 1.5 or even double it. I've not tried this myself, but just looking at the amounts here, that's what I'd recommend. Glad your second attempt was a success!

  • Thanks Shauna! I'll keep that in mind for my next round of lime cake. Also, your blog's awesome! As I keep diving deeper into baking, I know I'll continue to come here for yummy recipes 🙂

  • Shauna, these look adorable! Can I ask how you achieved the swirl? And what piping tip did you use? Thanks!

  • Guys, need your help to figure out this part:

    “For the frosting:
    1 12-ounce bag white chocolate chips
    2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature”.

    I do not understand these measures – how much it goes? (Sorry, I am European 🙂 )

Leave a comment

8 − = four

my books

I Support

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.