25 April 2013

Lime Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting (and, no, they're not supposed to be green)


Cupcakes are constantly being either revered or reviled in the media. As with anything deemed "trendy," the fall from those lofty heights to "so over" can be dizzyingly swift. So far, every time cupcakes have been declared dead, they've been revived.

Now the Wall Street Journal has chimed in with the dramatic headline "The Cupcake Bubble is Bursting." If I were planning to open a cupcake shop, I might pay attention to such reports. Since I'm not, I'm here to declare the cupcake alive and well, cool or not!

And it's springtime! So I'm celebrating the season with refreshing lime cupcakes with lime buttercream frosting. Of course, they might look more photogenic and "limey" with a little green food coloring, but as you probably already know, artificial food coloring is just one of the many things I'm "anti."  

These cupcakes are really fluffy and wonderful, if I do say so myself. And the only cupcakes I like more than citrus cupcakes are Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. Do you like cupcakes?

Lime Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting

(Makes 12)

The Cupcakes

1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces/142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest

The Frosting

5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups (8 ounces/227 grams) powdered sugar, unsifted
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon very finely grated lime zest


1 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Put 2½-inch paper bake cups in a standard muffin tin. In small bowl, lightly combine the eggs, a quarter of the milk, and the vanilla.

2 In large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for a minute to "sift." Add the softened butter and remaining milk. Mix on low speed until combined. With mixer on medium-high speed, beat for a minute and a half. Scrape the bowl.

3 Beat in the egg mixture in three batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape the bowl and, with spatula, stir in lime juice and zest. (I do it by hand because zest tends to get tangled up in the beaters unless it's very finely grated.)

4 Using a 1/4-cup measure, fill the bake cups with a scant 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for about 20 to 24 minutes or until they are golden and test done with a toothpick.

5 Immediately remove from pans and cool on wire rack for an hour. They must be thoroughly cool before frosting.

6 In bowl of stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the salt, vanilla extract and lime juice and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Toward the end, beat in the finely grated lime zest. With a pastry bag fitted with a 2D or 1M tip, pipe frosting on cupcakes in a classic swirl.


Note: You might want to try my Velvety Vanilla Cupcakes - That Just Happen to Be Gluten-Free.
 

36 comments:

Richard Sheppard said...

Yummm! I love cupcakes. I was planning on making chocolate cupcakes this weekend to bring over to a dinner party but now I'm rethinking! I've made lemon cupcakes before but not line. This sounds so good! I agree, I wouldn't add green to these either. The only time I like food coloring is in red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. It just doesn't taste the same without it.

Jerry | Simply Good Eating said...

Your cupcakes look wonderful and delicious. I love the idea of using citrus fruits for baking especially during the spring into summertime. Great post and thanks for sharing! And I couldn't agree more on keeping your cupcake with the natural color consistency as opposed to having it look green :)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Richard! Let me know how they turn out for you. Needless to say, I don't eat red velvet cake. No matter how good it might taste (and I wouldn't know!), I can't get past the massive amount of red dye. The anxiety alone would give me cancer!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Jerry, thank you! I think citrus flavors are so refreshing. Glad you agree about the green!

ZipZip said...

Dear Jean,

These look yummy. If you wanted to add a green accent, you could candy some lime peel and add those as curls to the top.

Saw that article too. I suppose now it's doughnuts which are on the rise, so to speak? They were featured in Saveur earlier this year.

Very best,

Natalie

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Natalie, thanks! Too bad the tiny little green specks of zest don't show up well in the photo, I simply didn't have any peel to spare for cute accents! I think you're right about doughnuts being "on the rise" - too clever of you!

Cranberry Morning said...

They look absolutely wonderful! And personally, I'm so glad they're not green. Our daughter had a cupcake tree instead of a traditional wedding cake at their wedding. Everyone loved it.

I love lime!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thank you, Judy. I have a small cupcake tree. I think it holds a dozen. Thanks for reminding me - I'll have to dig that out!

Jenn said...

I've knocked people over trying to get to cupcakes before.. is that a bad thing? :) And trust me, I'd knock a TON of people over for these! The look and sound decadent!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

You paint quite a picture, Jenn! I'd be willing to make way for you in a cupcake situation - wouldn't want to hold a real cupcake fan back!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

In a perfect world I would meet someone who can’t stand frosted cupcakes. Operative word, frosted. I, of course, am passionless about the cake itself (a waste of my bread quota). For me, the cupcake isn’t dead. It was never born. So…I would meet this person who hates the frosting on the cupcake, object It’s-Just-Lunch – okay, It’s-Just-Dessert. They would eat the cake, I would eat the frosting. Lime frosting sounds terrif. You see how these things work out?

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Sully, I hate to tell you this, but I am a frosting-scraping woman! All my life I have scraped the frosting off and just eaten the cake.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

The Universe is in balance... :-)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Aaaaaaahhh ... Balance!

LANA said...

Lime is a nice change from the more popular flavors. Would be great in the warmer weather. As all crazes go, I am sure the cupcake one will cool down a bit, but cupcakes will never go out of style!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Lana! I agree. Though the day may come when we don't have shops selling nothing but $5-each cupcakes, moms will forever make cupcakes.

Richard Sheppard said...

Hi Jean,
Wanted to let you know that I made these super tasty cupcakes today for a dinner party tonight and they were a big hit! A couple people asked for the recipe so I told them about your website. Even though I doubled the recipe, they're all gone. Thankfully, saved two cupcakes at home for tomorrow. I used Key limes, 6 for the cake, 6 for the frosting. Yum!

Yenta Mary said...

Cupcakes may not be the hot, trendy item they used to be (though they're still going strong here in the Midwest, 'cause the latest "thing" hasn't hit from the coasts yet), but they will ALWAYS have a special place in people's hearts ... :) They are a classic that will never go out of style.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Richard, thanks for letting me know. I'm so glad they were a hit! I'm wishing I'd popped a couple in the freezer last time I made them.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Mary. I do love the classics!

Sippity Sup said...

Cupcakes are fun! GREG

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

I think so, too, Greg. My problem is I tend to eat too many of them at one sitting!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Ooooo, I love cupcakes! And these sound wonderful!!

Charles said...

Hi Jean,

How funny you should post this - I just made some cupcakes this past weekend. I pay no heed to whatever anyone says, whether they're "cool" or not, I frankly couldn't give a damn. Of course, I might not base a future business around such a volatile concept (right now it seems to be macarons which are "in"...). I just don't care. If it tastes good I'll buy it (or eat it).

I picked up some "all natural" food colourings on my trip to England and used them to colour the cakes, but I must admit I was rather disappointed. The colouring doesn't really help change the colour at all. I may as well just not have used it!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Ruth! Good to hear from you!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Charles. Yeah, we don't have to *try* to be cool - we *are* cool! Those disappointing food colourings were probably expensive too.

Dina said...

they sound yummy!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Dina! No artificial food coloring!

Anonymous said...

I just made these with Key Limes instead of regular and they were to die for. Thanks for posting this!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Glad you liked them, Anon! Thanks for letting me know. Isn't lime the most refreshing flavor?!

Anonymous said...

I made these for my husband to take to work. But I replaced the AP flour with whole wheat flour. It gave them a wonderful nutty flavor. Everyone loves them.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks! I'm glad you liked them. I like the flavor of whole wheat flour, too, though it does make a difference in texture as well. I've found it easy to sneak in about a third whole wheat into baked goods without anyone being the wiser!

hollyhobbie3 said...

My 12 year old found this recipe so we gave it a try. Oh my! These are wonderful! We did go a little heavier on the lime juice and zest because we really like tart. They were a huge hit even with my "pickier" daughter and husband! I will confess though that we used white flour as I don't have whole wheat. Still a great recipe!! Thanks!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks so much, hollyhobbie3! I'm so glad you liked them! We like tart, too, and often add more lime. I don't use whole wheat, though, just unbleached flour. "Back in the day" when I tried to really "health up" everything, I used a lot of whole wheat. Now, hardly ever.

Sophia @ Little Box Brownie said...

My Lime tree has Limes nearly big enough to harvest I was thinking the other day I must fined a recipe. Now I have yours, Lime Cupcakes they looks so YUMMY

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sophia, thank you, I'm so glad you found my recipe! Do let me know how the cupcakes turn out for you.

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