These cupcakes were inspired by Trisha Yearwood's recipe for Key Lime Cake. I first saw it on Pinterest and was intrigued by it right away since I love all citrus-flavored desserts. After reading the numerous contradicting reviews (many people raving about it and just as many complaining that it's awful), I decided I must give it a try. I did take into account some of the major complaints about this cake though and so, ended up changing it a bit, to avoid any disappointments on my part. I was very happy I did! The original recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of oil in the cake which most people stated was way too much. I cut the amount of oil to only 1 cup and the cake turned out moist but not greasy. Some other complaints were that it didn't have a strong lime flavor. I added more lime juice and more lime zest to both the batter and the frosting and my cupcakes were wonderfully flavorful with a nice punch of lime to them. Everybody who tried them commented that they were "unique" and "lovely". I was extremely pleased with the final outcome. Please, let me know what you think if you decide to give them a try yourself!
■1 3-oz package lime-flavored gelatin
■1⅓ cups granulated sugar
■2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
■½ tsp salt
■1 tsp baking powder
■1 tsp baking soda
■5 large eggs, slightly beaten
■1 cup vegetable oil (the original recipe wanted 1 1/2 cups but I cut this to just 1 cup)
■¾ cup orange juice (I used 1/2 cup orange juice)
■3-4 tbsp Key lime juice and the zest of about 2-3 limes
■½ tsp vanilla extract (or lemon extract to give extra citrus flavor)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners- I ended up making 24 regular size cupcakes and 20 mini cupcakes out of this recipe.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the gelatin, sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir to mix well. Add the eggs, oil, orange juice, lime juice, and vanilla (or lemon extract). Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop batter into muffin pans and bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes for regular size cupcakes and about 14 minutes for minis. Test for doneness by lightly touching the tops of the cupcakes or inserting a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then take them out onto racks.
■½ cup Key lime juice (from about 25 small Key limes or 4 large regular limes)
■½ cup confectioners’ sugar
While the cupcakes are still hot, mix the lime juice and confectioners’ sugar and brush it over the tops (I went over each cupcake about 3-4 times). You can pierce the cupcakes with a fork first to allow the glaze to soak in better. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely as you prepare the cream cheese icing.
■½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
■1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
■1 (1-lb) box confectioners’ sugar
lime zest and lime juice (optional)
Cream the butter and cream cheese. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is smooth and easy to spread. Add lime zest and lime juice (if using). Pipe icing on cupcakes (I added jelly beans on mine as well, since I made them for Easter :)).
To see the original recipe (which I modified), click here.