I have been promising my husband REAL Key Lime Pie for ages now, but it is pretty hard to find Key Limes. So, the other day we happened to be in the store, buying fruit for some Bake 2 the Future shenanigans, when suddenly I saw them! 1 pound bags of Key Limes! I immediately grabbed 2 bags without question, their season is so short I couldn’t risk not getting them.

For those of you who have never actually used real Key Limes in a recipe they are tasty, but they are a challenge. Let me elaborate, Key Limes are much smaller than regular limes and by much smaller I mean they are more comparable to the size of a large grape. Key Lime is to Lime as Kumquat is to Orange, and squeezing them honestly! Lets just say…

… I spent the better part of 2 hours juicing these little limes. Out of 2 pounds of Key Limes I got a total of 1 1/4 cups of lime juice.

Once I saw the 1 1/4 cups of lime juice after the 2 hours of intense labor, I decided that I would make Key Lime Cupcakes instead of a pie. After all, I only needed to use 1/4 of a cup for the cupcakes, which meant I just might be able to utilize the juice for more than just one recipe.

Technical Tip

To save the remaining cup of Key Lime juice, I poured 1 tablespoon in each compartment of an ice tray, so I would have pre-measured portions for later endeavors. After freezing, pop out your Key-Lime-Cubes and put them in a ziplock for long term freezer storage. So who knows, my husband might just be getting his authentic Key Lime Pie after all!

The recipe here I created from scratch, it is not overly sweet and is very light in flavor with just the right amount of tartness. I used just a couple of drops of green food coloring to give it that tropical Key Lime hue, and topped them with a Key Lime cream cheese frosting. The frosting you can make by halving our favorite cream cheese frosting recipe and substituting a tablespoon of reserved Key Lime juice for the vanilla. I also saved a couple of the more handsome limes for garnishing.

This is a great base recipe, you can serve it straight up Key Lime or match it up with your favorite coconut icing for a more tropical theme – the possibilities are endless! Stay tuned for some more Key Lime flavor combination’s, who knows maybe it is time for an experiment with homemade graham crackers that Tia has been wanting, mmm graham cracker pie crust… All in all, a very pleasant spring time treat!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Key Lime Cupcakes
Recipe type: Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup key lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons key lime zest
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • green food coloring (optional)
  1. Preheat 350°F and prepare cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Whisk flour with baking powder and salt.
  3. In separate bowl beat butter until smooth.
  4. Add sugar, beating until well blended.
  5. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add lime juice, grated lime zest and green food coloring, if using.
  6. Whisk together milk and sour cream and then add to mixture, mixing until well blended.
  7. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  8. Fill cupcake liners half way and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool for 10 minutes prior to removing from pan.
  10. Cool completely before icing.
If you decide to use food coloring you only need a couple of drops to get that nice Key Lime color.