Well, being the cupcake freak that I am, I decided it would be even more fun to whip up some Key Lime Cupcakes with Vanilla Lime Buttercream. Here was the result:
Key Lime Cupcakes
(adapted from a Paula Deen cake recipe)
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 TBSP key lime zest
3 large eggs
1/4 c. fresh key lime juice
3 c. cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For cupcakes, place 24 paper liners in a standard-size cupcake pan.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and lime zest at medium speed until creamy.
3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, being sure each one is incorporated before adding the next.
4. Beat in lime juice until combined.
5. In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour and baking soda. Gradually add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
6. Pour evenly into prepared pans and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Let cool in pans for ten minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
Vanilla Lime Buttercream Frosting
1 cup shortening
5 cups confectioners' sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (the best quality you can use)
3 fluid ounces heavy cream (milk will also work)
2 TBSP key lime juice
1. Cream shortening until fluffy. Add confectioner's sugar and continue creaming until well blended.
2. Add salt, vanilla, and whipping cream blend on low speed until moistened.
3. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy
4. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle crushed graham crackers on top for garnish
The result was a really light, moist, fresh cupcake and super pillowy, sweet frosting. They smell and taste like a bite of summer in the Florida Keys. The frosting recipe made WAY more than I needed, so you could easily cut it down (especially considering how sweet it is) and next time I will add a bit of lime zest to the frosting as well. Delish!!!