Key to Key Lime Pie Cupcakes! | Twinspirational -->

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Key to Key Lime Pie Cupcakes!

Key lime pie is a magical combination of decadent condensed milk, eggs and key lime juice. I thought it would be fun to transform this Southern classic into mini cupcakes. From my experience, adults prefer mini desserts- sometimes all you need is a bite (or two) of sweetness!
I LOVE developing complex flavors in both my savory and sweet treats. Last year, I stumbled across an amazing recipe from Annie's Eats: key lime cupcakes with graham cracker crust and key lime curd filling. The graham cracker crust adds the perfect crunch to the cupcake. Annie's Eats recommends using a using a shot glass to form the crust- this is GENIUS! The key lime curd is a delicious combination of tangy and sweet. While Annie's Eats pairs the cupcakes with a whipped cream topping, I adapted Toba Garrett's decorator's buttercream recipe by adding key lime juice. I love the complex flavor profile in Toba's recipe. Some frosting recipes are one dimensional and just too sweet for my taste. Toba's recipe uses salt and meringue powder in addition to the more standard ingredients of butter, shortening, vanilla, milk and confectioner's sugar.
I love cooking and baking with SEASONAL produce, and right now tis the season for KEY LIMES! You can certainly use traditional limes, but key limes are more tart and flavorful.
Some Baked by Archana Tips:
  • Allow refrigerated items to warm to room temperature (butter, milk, eggs, limes)
  • Make your own buttermilk! 
    1. Buttermilk is used in a lot of cake recipes, but it's actually quite easy to make your own buttermilk using milk and white vinegar
    2. Pour 1 3/4 tablespoons of white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup, and then top with milk until you get 1 3/4 cups of milk and let it sit for 5 - 10 minutes at room temperature
  • Use a Magic Bullet is to crush graham crackers
    1. Combine with sugar
    2. Pour melted butter into graham cracker and sugar mixture (not the other way around as I learned the hard way)
  • Use a shot glass to make your graham cracker crust
  • If you don't have a zester, you can use a cheese grater to zest limes
xoxo Archana

"Take life with a grain of salt... a slice of lime, and a shot of tequila."–– Anonymous


Graham Cracker Crust
Adapted from Recipe by Annie's Eats
Yield: ~90 mini-cupcakes / ~24 regular cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs (About 13 Graham Crackers)
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 7 TBS Unsalted Butter, Melted
Directions
  1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl
  2. Drop 1 teaspoon of the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each mini-cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom - a shot glass works great
  3. For regular sized cupcakes, use 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture and bake for 5 minutes at 350° F
Key Lime Cupcakes
Adapted from Recipe by Annie's Eats
Yield: ~90 mini-cupcakes / ~24 regular cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 3 Cups Flour 
  • 1 TBS Baking Powder
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
  • 2 Cups Sugar 
  • 1 Lime / 2 Key Limes Zest 
  • 4 Eggs 
  • 4 TBS Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
  • 1 3/4 Cup Buttermilk (or 1 3/4 TBS of White Vinegar and 1 3/4 Cup less 1 3/4 TBS of milk) 
  • 2 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 1 TBS Fresh Key Lime Juice
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F
  2. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl 
  4. Add the butter to the bowl of a Kitchen Aid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
  5. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute
  7. Beat in the lime zest
  8. Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition
  9. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated
  10. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition
  11. Combine the buttermilk,vanilla extract and lime juice in a liquid measuring cup
  12. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated
  13. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer
  14. Use a mini or regular ice cream scoop to scoop the batter (10-12 minutes for minis and 18-22 minutes for regular, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  15. Allow to cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely
Key Lime Curd Filling
Recipe by Annie's Eats
Yield: ~90 mini-cupcakes / ~24 regular cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Key Lime Juice
  • 4 TBS Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
Directions
  1. In a saucepan, combine the eggs and sugar
  2. Whisk together until well blended
  3. Whisk in the key lime juice
  4. Place the pan over medium-low heat
  5. Cook, stirring or whisking constantly, until the mixture is warmed through
  6. Be careful not to heat the mixture too quickly to avoid curdling the eggs
  7. Whisk in the butter a little bit at a time, stirring in each addition until completely incorporated before adding more
  8. Continue to cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mixture thickens and a spoon or spatula leaves a path when drawn through it (no higher than 175˚ F on an instant-read thermometer)
  9. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer
  10. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate (curd up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator)
Filling & Decorating Cupcakes 
  1. To assemble the cupcakes, use a cupcake corer or paring knife to create a well in the center of each cupcake
  2. Discard the centers (or you can eat them!)
  3. Fill each well with about 1 tablespoon of the lime curd
  4. Make a half portion of Toba Garrett's decorator's buttercream frosting and add 1 1/2 tablespoon of fresh key lime juice
  5. Use a Wilton star tip 21 to pipe the cupcakes
  6. Add a key lime for garnish
These cupcakes were a big hit with my friends- the combination of key lime cake, key lime curd, key lime buttercream and graham cracker crust is AMAZING! Feel free to try this recipe out yourself, and let me know how it goes!
Recipes From This Post
Decorator's Buttercream Frosting: Toba Garrett
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Stand Mixer: Kitchen Aid Tilt HeadKitchen Aid Bowl Lift (we prefer the bowl lift model, but it's more expensive)
Cupcake Carrier: Wilton (includes cupcake and mini-cupcake pans)
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