Monday, February 7, 2011

Key Lime Cupcakes!

Maybe it's because Valentine's day is right around the corner or there's a new cupcake store opening in our little downtown, but lately I can't stop thinking about cupcakes!  I know I'm a bit late to the trend since they've been "the thing" for awhile now but I like to be a rebel like that ya know?

Last year my friend Elissa gave me this cute little cookbook titled appropriately enough "500 cupcakes".  I'm a little embarrassed to admit that it's only recently I've begun experimenting with the various recipes, beginning with an apple spice muffin that turned out delicious!  So over the weekend when the baking bug hit, I turned to the book and my cupboard to see what I could conjure up.  Usually I wouldn't have key lime juice stocked in my fridge but I think I bought it several months ago in order to replicate a Moscow mule (a delightful cocktail!) so I was lucky that way.  Otherwise the ingredients are pretty basic and items most would have on hand.

~Key Lime Cupcakes

for the cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups self-rising flour
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

for the filling

1/3 cup key lime juice
14 oz. can condensed milk

for the meringue

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350.  Place 18 paper baking cups in muffin pans.  Place all the cupcake ingredients in a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and pale, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Spoon  the batter into the cups.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove pans from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.  Then remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack.

For the filling, combine the lime juice and condensed milk in a small bowl.  Remove the top from each cupcake and hollow out a small hole.  Spoon the filling into the hole and replace the top.  For the meringue, beat the eggs and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Add one-third of the sugar and beat for 1 minute.  Repeat until all the sugar has been added.  Increase the oven temperature to 450.  Spoon or pipe the meringue on top of the cupcakes.  Bake for 5 minutes until golden.  Store for no more than 1 day in an airtight container.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen

Aren't they just so cute?  I had never made a meringue topping quite like this and it was so fun to swirl the little tops on each cake that I actually giggled out loud with the result!  The kid's were also quite entertained by the marshmallow-y looking tops and it caused quite the little happy dance around the oven as they came out looking so pretty. 

I'll be using my cupcake cook book much more regularly now that I've made the initial plunge into cupcake land, because as Elissa would say "hot damn" those are awesome cupcakes!


  1. Oh wow, those cupcakes look divine! Where is this new little shop opening? Might become a new haunt for me!

  2. It's by the Elsinore! I know - I'm excited and hopeful about it, Salem NEEDS a new dessert place...desperately!