Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Key lime pie cupcakes

Got the winter blahs? Brighten up your gloomy days with these key lime pie cupcakes! The bottoms contain a graham cracker crust and then are topped with a luscious key lime cream cheese frosting!

Ugh, this feels like the winter that will never end... and it's only February! After winter break ended, Addie went back to school (hooray!). But, my happiness was short-lived, as we got snow two days later. While the 2 inches of snow wouldn't normally be a problem, it was for us. Why?

School was cancelled for the next full week. A WEEK.

See, the temperatures were below freezing, so the snow did not get a chance to melt. Then when we finally got rain to wash away all the snow, it froze overnight so the roads were icy. Day after day, school kept getting cancelled.

Once school finally opened again, I was in need of something to cheer me up. Something that would help me think of warm weather and sunny beaches. Like these key lime pie cupcakes.

These wonderfully bright cupcakes start with a graham cracker crust, like a good key lime pie should.  Then they're topped with a light and zesty white cupcake and dolloped with some key lime cream cheese frosting.

I brought these to a friend's party and they were gobbled up in no time. Seemed like everyone at the party was feeling the winter blues so these cupcakes were the perfect solution to uplift their spirits.

Key lime pie cupcakes
Crust
  • 1 and 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Cupcakes
  • 1 and 1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons key lime zest (can substitute with regular lime zest if you can't find key limes)
  • 1 (6 ounce) container plain Greek yogurt, room temperature
Frosting
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons key lime juice
  • Key lime zest, optional
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two standard muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.

Make the crust: In a food processor (or a high powered blender, or in a large bowl if you're using your amazing arm muscles), pulse the graham cracker crumbs and sugar together until well blended. Add the melted butter and salt and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. Place about 1-2 teaspoons in each cupcake liner and press down with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 5-7 minutes or until set. Remove the pans from the oven and allow the crust to cool completely.

Reduce the oven to 325 degrees F.

Make the cupcakes: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Add the vanilla and zest and beat well.

Alternately add in the flour mixture with the Greek yogurt until everything comes together.

Transfer the batter into your prepared cupcake liners, filling each one about 3/4 full. Tap the pans on the countertop so the batter is even. Bake in your preheated oven for about 26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat. Add the key lime juice and zest if using. If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, you can add a splash of milk of your choice.

Once the cupcakes are completely cool, frost with the key lime frosting. I used a round piping tip for my cupcakes and decorated the tops with additional key lime zest.

Store the cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for a few days.

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Source: Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

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