Cristina Ferrare's Key Lime Cupcakes



  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 11/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 21/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon neon-green food coloring
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour


  • 11/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature

Bringing all ingredients to room temperature before you begin ensures less lumps and graininess.
Spoon flour into measuring cup to prevent a dense cupcake. Don’t eyeball the amount of batter you pour into each cupcake tin well. If you want the whole batch to bake evenly and perfectly, make the amount you pour uniform. Everyone knows the age-old trick of using a toothpick to tell if the cupcakes are baked properly. A new one – press your finger on the center of the top of a cupcake, if it springs back up to form – it’s done! Let them cool completely so frosting is easy! Freeze cupcakes up to 3 months, they won’t loose fluffiness. Defrost them in the fridge or on the counter. Don’t frost them before you freeze them. Have fun decorating the cupcakes. You and your kids can have fun with this. But don’t tell them that you put a surprise in the middle. Let them discover that, themselves!

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Whisk both flours in medium bowl. Beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat to blend. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then next 3 ingredients (batter may look curdled). Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions. Spoon scant ⅓ cup batter into each liner.
  • Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool.


  • Beat all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth. Spread over cupcakes.
  • Use a thin paintbrush to paint the inside of the piping bag before you fill with icing. The effect will be a swirl of green in your icing!

Wilton's Icing Colors - .