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Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

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Key Lime Pie Cupcakes an out of this world dessert that everyone will love!


I’d like to think these cupcakes are probably my greatest creations to date.

Only cause I decided to go the extra step and put a graham cracker “crust” on the cupcakes to make them more like the pie.

And believe me. You won’t be missing the pie after having one of these. They’re out of this world.

As you read this entry, I’m probably scrambling around the house right now trying to find last minute items to shove into my carry-on bag for FBFOrl. This is the first time I’ve ever done the whole carry-on thing so that meant I had to buy all these travel sized liquids and toiletries. I’m the girl who loves having everything in full-size, but due to the short trip and not wanting to wait at baggage claim due to time constraints, I decided to be a big girl and go all carry-on. What’s funny, too, is that JetBlue allows their first bag free and I’m not even taking advantage of that, haha

Anyway, as I’m off to sunny Florida, more specifically DISNEY WORLD and FBF, I leave you with a summery treat and the last green thing for the week :) Key lime pie cupcakes. They taste JUST like the key lime pie that everyone is so fond of.

The graham cracker crust is there, the specks of lime on the frosting that also gives you that extra burst of key lime flavor and the light green cake. This is pretty much a perfect cupcake, in my eyes.

I had taste-testers for this cupcake (ie my coworker and Jason) and they both said “wow, these taste just like the real thing.” Maybe they were being nice to me, but I can tell you from my own mouth that they tasted like the real deal. Fake-out key lime pie, I tell ya!

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

Key lime pie cupcakes that are just like the pie!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 1 dozen
Author: Julie Chiou
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For the graham cracker crusts

  • 5 whole graham crackers, finely crushed
  • 5 tablespoon butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar

For the cupcakes

  • 1 ¾ cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold, and cut into pieces
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature*
  • 2 ½ tablespoon key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon key lime zest
  • 1 drop green food coloring
  • ¾ cup room temperature buttermilk*

For the frosting

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ teaspoon key lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoon key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon key lime zest
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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.
  • After you've finely crushed your graham crackers into crumbs (I pulsed it in a food processor), using a spatula, mix it with the melted butter and sugar until all is moistened.
  • Drop a tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs into the muffin cups and using the bottom of a Tabasco jar, firmly pack and press the graham cracker crusts. I used a Tabasco jar because it was the perfect size.
  • Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven, set aside, and maintain oven temperature.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on low until it's softened. Then add the sugar and increase the speed to medium. Beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Then add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the lime juice, lime zest, and food coloring. Beat until well combined. It'll look curdled but it's okay :)
  • Add the flour in 3 separate additions, alternating with the buttermilk in the beginning and then ending with the flour mixture. Mix until well combined after each addition.
  • Fill the prepared cupcake liners with the batter, about 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes and let cool completely before frosting.
  • While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting by beating the butter and lime zest together for 3 minutes then add in the vanilla extract and salt. Combine well and slowly add in the powdered sugar, lime juice and lime zest. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes with whatever tip you prefer.
  • Keep in an airtight container, in the fridge, for about a week.

Recipe Notes

If you are in a pinch and can't wait for the eggs or buttermilk to come to room temperature, drop the eggs and bottle of buttermilk in a large bowl with warm water and have them sit in there for 10-15 minutes :)
Cupcake recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, September 2008, frosting recipe barely adapted from All Recipes


This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Recipe Rating

Isabelle Rollin

Tuesday 15th of August 2017

Amazing, frosting taste like heaven, cupcakes not too sweet. Thanks for the recipes!


Tuesday 14th of June 2016

I just want to say thank you for this recipe! These are the best cupcakes I have ever made and everyone keeps asking for them again and again! I always get compliments on them; they're a favorite!


Tuesday 10th of May 2016

Hi! Do you think this recipe would work as a regular-sized cake? I really want to make a two-layer cake with a graham cracker crust like this, they look so good!


Wednesday 11th of May 2016

I don't think there is enough batter to make it a two-layer cake. I would possibly double the recipe and that might work!

Jessica Marcotte

Tuesday 22nd of October 2013

yummy! i made these with my sister this weekend, i am so glad i had help! Juiceing and zesting all those key limes was a ton of work! but the final product was worth all the effort, wow so flavorful, everyone loved them! next time I might use slightly less gram cracker crust to have a thinner crust.


Wednesday 23rd of October 2013

I'm so glad you and everyone enjoyed these, Jessica!


Sunday 7th of July 2013

Julie, I enjoy your blog! Thank you so much for helping me figure out how to put food on the table. It has been a uphill battle for me to learn how to cook and I appreciate resources like you and your blog. I am a little confused by the two different amounts of key lime zest in the frosting ingredients. Do you add the 1 1/2 tsp of lime zest with the butter and then add the remaining 1 tbsp with the powdered sugar? Or is it the other way around? Thanks for your help!


Monday 8th of July 2013

Hi Chad! It's so great to hear that you're learning to cook and appreciating food blogs :) I love that I can be of an inspiration in the kitchen! To answer your question, yes, you add the 1 1/2 tsp of lime zest with the butter and then add the remaining 1 tbsp. with the powdered sugar :) it's a lot because you want it to taste like key lime! Hehe, good luck!