Made with lime gelatin and lemon cake mix, these key lime cupcakes are light, fluffy, and the perfect combination of sweet and tart.
I have a family friend, Barbara Ingram, to thank for this key lime cupcake recipe. She owns a wedding chapel, florist, and catering company in the town of Rogersville, Alabama and this is one of her most requested desserts.
To make my key lime cupcakes recipe, you’ll need lemon cake mix, lime gelatin, buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs, and green food coloring. All we’re gonna do is combine these ingredients in a bowl and separate the batter into two muffin tins. The lime and lemon combine for the perfect amount of zesty citrus flavor. But it’s the milk that’s the secret weapon. Buttermilk ensures the cupcakes are moist yet fluffy.
We finish off our lime cupcakes with homemade cream cheese frosting. To make it, we mix together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Pipe it onto your cooled cupcakes and you’re ready to party! I added a little key lime zest on top, but you don’t have to.
With that green hue, these cupcakes are the perfect treat for celebrating Cinco de Mayo or St Patrick’s Day. But they truly taste scrumptious year-round.
- Lemon cake mix
- Lime gelatin
- Vegetable oil
- Green food coloring
Cream cheese frosting
- Cream cheese
- Unsalted butter
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Key Lime Cupcakes
Place all ingredients in a large bowl.
Mix with an electric mixer for one minute.
Scrape down the sides and mix it again until smooth (about 2 minutes more).
Line 2×12-cup muffin pans with cupcake papers.
Divide the cupcake batter evenly among each cupcake liner.
Use an ice cream scoop to make life easier.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown and they spring back when lightly pressed in the center.
Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
Make Cream Cheese Frosting
Place softened cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl.
Cream them together with an electric mixer.
Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat again until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as needed.
It will look a little bit like this.
Generously frost the cooled cupcakes.
If you like, decorate cupcakes with a little key lime zest (or regular lime zest, whatever ya got) and white sprinkles for a festive touch.
How fluffy does the key lime cupcake look inside?
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for a few hours or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- You can freeze the cupcakes without icing for up to 3 months (thawed cream cheese doesn’t have the best texture). I’d double-wrap them in plastic wrap then aluminum foil and thaw them at room temperature before serving.
- For extra lime flavor, make key lime frosting instead. Add a tablespoon of regular lime juice or key lime juice and a teaspoon of lime zest to the existing cream cheese icing. You can also add a drop of green food coloring if you want to go for full green cupcakes. I’m not gonna stop ya!
- Another great topping is some graham cracker crumbs for that quintessential key lime pie taste.
- OR you can add a little lime slice.
- Instead of lemon cake mix, you can use white cake mix or yellow cake mix.
What flavor goes with key lime?
Key lime and coconut are the perfect flavor combination. So if you like, you can sprinkle your icing with shredded coconut flakes.
Are lime cupcakes better with oil or butter?
Oil ensures your lime cupcakes stay moister for longer.
Can I tempt you with these citrus recipes too?
7-Up Pound Cake With Lemon Glaze
- 1 box lemon cake mix
- 1 small box lime gelatin
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 3 drops green food coloring
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 pound confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl.1 box lemon cake mix, 1 small box lime gelatin, 3/4 cup buttermilk, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 3 eggs, 3 drops green food coloring
- Mix with an electric mixer for one minute. Scrape down the sides and mix it again until smooth (about 2 minutes more).
- Line 2x12-cup muffin pans with cupcake papers. Divide batter evenly among each cupcake liner.
- Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown and they spring back when lightly pressed in the center.
- Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
Make Cream Cheese Icing
- Cream together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer.8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature, 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- Add sugar and vanilla and beat again until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as needed.1 pound confectioner's sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Generously frost the cooled cupcakes.
“The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness.”
~Michel de Montaigne
Submitted by Jenny
Is this recipe based on the old cake mixes or the new ones that are 3 ounces less?
I made these for the first time tonight to take to a church event. I will definitely be making them again! They are a nice change from the usual chocolate or white cake and were very good! I even had a request for the recipe! 🙂 I missed the note about the lime zest–I’ll have to try that next time. Thanks for sharing recipes that are tasty, but not complicated.
I am so glad to hear they were such a hit Rene!!
The picture looks like the icing has green flecks in it? Or is that colored sugar on top of the cream cheese icing?
Hey! I mention in the recipe that lime zest is a great addition. I think that is what you are seeing 🙂
Christy, how would I make the frosting lime flavored ? Would just lime juice do the trick ? I can’t wait to make these for our Car Care Ministry at church, they love desserts ! Thanks so much.
LOVE your new site.will be making these for my husband,he likes lime anything. thanks for bringing us this recipe. GOD BLESS.
I am so glad you like it Elizabeth!! Enjoy the cupcakes!!