Key Lime Goodness

Thanks to an amazingly super-cheap Air Canada seat sale, Jeff and I are headed south for some sunshine and R&R in a few weeks. It has been a long year with us each facing a relentless pace at school/work and things have (unfortunately) intensified a lot over the past 2 months… so vacation is most welcome. Jeff has always wanted to drive down the Florida Keys so that is exactly what we are going to do! To tackle some much needed planning for this trip, we enjoyed som home made coconut ice cream (our new #1 choice for dairy-free ice cream) while huddled in front of my computer as we sorted out accommodations for our trip and made plans to swim with dolphins, snorkel, visit civil war forts and eat conch fritters and Key Lime Pie.
I love just about anything made with lemons or limes and thoughts of Key Lime Pie were still on my brain yesterday. It was my week to make dinner for our small group and since one of our members was celebrating his very important 2nd birthday, cake was needed as well! I made Key Lime mini-cupcakes and they were so yummy that Jeff said I had to share the recipe. Here goes.

Key Lime Cupcakes
adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, Sep 2008
Yield: 12-14 cupcakes (I made 24 minis and 6 regular)

1 3/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon of lime zest
a few drops of green food colouring
3/4 cup buttermilk (I substitute soy milk)

Preheat over to 350*F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and coat with cooking spray. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside. Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter/margarine on low until it is softened a little. Add the sugar and increase speed to medium. Beat until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lime juice, lime zest and food colouring and beat until mixed. The mixture will look curdled- do not worry! Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Mix on low until just combined. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until cakes test done. Cool completely and frost with lime cream cheese icing.

Lime Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 cup butter or margarine at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups sifted icing sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest

Beat the butter at low speed until it is soft. Increase speed to medium and add cream cheese, one piece at a time. Reduce to low speed and add vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix until icing is smooth. Stir in lime zest and enjoy!

The first time I made these, I prettied up the icing and garnished with a nibble of lime.


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