Vanilla Lime Cupcakes

vanilla lime cupcakesMy recent cherry limeade cupcakes made me wonder…what if you took the lime cupcake, filled it with lime curd, and topped it with vanilla buttercream? You’d have an amazing cupcake, that’s what.

Before you worry about making lime curd, fear not: it’s much easier than you think. I used the Martha Stewart key lime curd recipe, but with regular limes, and it turned out very well.

My big plan is to add mint to these cupcakes, along with some white rum, and turn them into mojito cupcakes…but that’ll be another blog post for another day. When making these cupcakes, bear in mind that you need to chill your lime curd for about 3 hours before using it; you could also buy lime curd at your local market – look for it in the jelly section.


Lime Curd

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 medium limes)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Lime Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 12 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk


Make the lime curd:

Place a bowl and sieve next to your stove for easy access once your curd is cooked.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, eggs, lime zest, and lime juice. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture holds the shape of the whisk – this will take about 12-15 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in butter a few pieces at a time until butter completely melts.

Strain the curd through your sieve and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming.

Chill for about 3 hours before using; I chilled mine overnight.

Make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake tins with paper liners; this recipe yielded 18 cupcakes for me.

In a medium bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

Add vanilla extract, lime juice, and milk and beat for about 30 seconds.

Add flour mixture in two batches, beating until combined, then fold in lime zest.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter into cupcake tins, filling about 2/3 full.

Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cupcakes to cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the buttercream:

Place butter in a mixing bowl and beat for a few minutes using the paddle attachment.

Add powdered sugar.  With your mixer on low, incorporate the powdered sugar into the butter.  (Hint: I find that placing a kitchen towel over the mixer during this stage prevents a powdered sugar blizzard.)

Add vanilla and beat for 3 minutes on medium-high speed. Scrape down the bowl, then add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating for 1-2 minutes between each addition. You want a fluffy consistency that will be easy to pipe.

Assemble your cupcakes:

Using the small end of a melon baller, scoop out the center of each cupcake; reserve scraps for a trifle if you like, or just eat them as you wish.

Fit a piping bag with a plain tip and fill with lime curd; pipe curd into each cupcake. You should have enough for each cupcake with a few tablespoons of curd left over.

Fit a piping bag with a Wilton 1M swirl tip and pipe swirls of frosting onto each cupcake.

Store cupcakes in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 18 cupcakes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s