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 mins
    Cook Time: 25 mins
    Total Time: 40 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 1 dozen
    Author: Julie Chiou
    5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify MealtimeSign up here for all the secrets!


    For the graham cracker crusts

    • 5 whole graham crackers, finely crushed
    • 5 tbsp butter, melted
    • 1/4 cup sugar

    For the cupcakes

    • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, and cut into pieces
    • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs, room temperature*
    • 2 1/2 tbsp key lime juice
    • 1 tbsp key lime zest
    • 1 drop green food coloring
    • 3/4 cup room temperature buttermilk*

    For the frosting

    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1 1/2 tsp key lime zest
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 3 tbsp key lime juice
    • 1 tbsp key lime zest


    • 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.


    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

    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
    Meet The Author: Julie Chiou
    Dinner for Two Cookbook
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    Recipe Rating


  • Kathryn says:

    I love everything about these! The crust is a stroke of genius and they look so darn pretty. Have a wonderful weekend, can’t wait to hear all about FBF! xoxo

  • katie says:

    Oh my these look heavenly. I’ve yet to make key lime pie cupcakes (although I’ve made margarita cupcakes)! On short trips I do the whole carry-on thing, and its not as bad as it seems that is unless you have connecting flights and have to run from one end of ATL to the other to make you’re connecting flight. But I’m sure you’ll be fine. I’m so incredibly excited to meet you TODAY! Ahhhh!

  • Cookin' Cowgirl says:

    These are so beautiful! Especially the frosting! I think I could eat that stuff by the spoonfull! :) Pinning!

  • Maria says:

    These are awesome! We love lime!

  • DessertForTwo says:

    Adorable! Have fun @ FBFOrl! :)

  • Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) says:

    I LOVE key lime pie–and cupcakes! This is a no-brainer for me, I’d LOVE them! Jealous you’re escaping the chilly late-winter/early-spring for sunny Florida!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says:

    Have fun in Orlando! Kinda jealous, I’ll be honest ;)
    You’ve got lime in cupcakes and I’ve got it all over some tostadas. I think our posts are bff today :)

  • Krista says:

    These are all sorts of awesome! I love the crust, the cupcake, the frosting. Everything! Have a great time this weekend.

  • Villy @ For the love of Feeding says:

    Yummmm! And that frosting!!

  • Leah | So, How's It Taste? says:

    How cute are these?! I love that you added a “crust” to them. This makes me think of Spring. I am so ready for it! I’ll have to bookmark these to make soon!

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist says:

    These look JUST perfect :) Have fun in FL!!!

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    I’m so jealous of you going to fbf. I really wanted to go. Fingers crossed next year is just as fabulous. Loving your cupcakes… pie cupcakes even ;)

  • Julia {The Roasted Root} says:

    Love the graham cracker crust and the tasty festive cupcakes. Happy St Paddy’s and have a fun weekend!

  • Jackie @ Domestic Fits says:

    I love lime. Love it, like top 5 flavors ever. These look SO delish.

  • cassie says:

    I adore the little crust. I bet that makes these cupcakes. Great flavors!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    I wish I was there in Florida with you! Have a great time!

    As for these cupcakes, wow Julie, they look gorgeous. I don’t think I’ve ever actually had key lime pie before but I’m sure I will love these babies.

  • Steve @ the black peppercorn says:

    These look awesome. I love key lime anything! Have a great time Julie!

  • Deborah says:

    Love key lime pie – love these!!

  • Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious says:

    These are gorgeous!!

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says:

    I can practically taste these through your photos, Julie! They look so moist and flavorful. Lovely cupcakes!

  • Laurie {Simply Scratch} says:

    Ohhh I bet these are amazing, I love citrus-y baked goods!

  • Let Me Eat Cake says:

    these sounds ah-mazing! and love that there is a graham cracker “crust”

  • Jordan Lynn (Ciao Cow) says:

    These looks uber and impressive and delicious! Bookmarked for my return to the States!

  • shelly (cookies and cups) says:

    These look amazing!

  • cathy says:

    hi julie, i tried these cupcakes and they are really unique and delicious, but the frosting kept curdling. i’m wondering what you did to make them look that way in the photos.

    • Julie says:

      Hi Cathy, it’s hard for me to say because I did everything that was in the instructions. Maybe you need to start whisking as you add the lime juice so it doesn’t have time to curdle. Sorry I’m not much help, it might be the method.

  • Andrea S says:

    The graham cracker crust reminds me of the s’mores (choc. graham cracker cupcakes w/ toasted marshmallow) cupcakes on the Martha Stewart site.
    I’ve made those & they are awesome.

    My mom is a huge fan of key lime pie. I might have to make this for Easter this year :-)

  • Meredith says:

    I made these this weekend — delicious! Only thing I did differently was add more powdered sugar to thicken up the frosting, which had come out very thin. That graham cracker crust was the perfect touch!

  • Lauren says:

    I just made these, and I LOVE them! (I’m going to have a hard time sharing.) I also had to add more powdered sugar because my icing was far too thin to pipe.
    They are better than the pie, I think, which is usually too tart for my taste. These are sweet and slightly tart- just the right combination. Thanks so much!
    I’m about to blog about them, by the way. If you want to check it out, it’s

  • Ariana says:

    I just finished frosting these and they turned out great! Super delicious and taste just like the pie. No problems with the frosting-my stand mixer was a big help in preventing curdling. Except, somehow I did end up with about 20 cupcakes. But when is more cupcakes ever a problem? (:

  • Chad says:

    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!

    • Julie says:

      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!

      • Lakala Bennett says:

        Do I HAVE to use cake flour? And what if my frosting comes out thin?

        • Julie says:

          I can’t guarantee anything if you switch up flours. It’s what I used and they turned out great with it. If your frosting comes out too thin, if you add more powdered sugar, it should thicken it back up.

  • Jessica Marcotte says:

    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.

    • Julie says:

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

  • Jamie says:

    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!

    • Julie says:

      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!

  • Jill says:

    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!

  • Isabelle Rollin says:

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

  • 5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify Mealtime