Key Lime Cupcakes with Strawberry Lime Icing

Key Lime Cupcake with Strawberry Lime Icing

If velvet had a taste, it would be these cupcakes.

I almost have no words.

Yes I do…..

Key Lime Cupcakes with Strawberry Lime Icing!

Maybe it’s the Florida air that has been sparking me lately, or perhaps just the the clarity that this new chapter has brought for me.

Whatever to attribute it, all I know is we are WINNING!

Key Lime Cupcake

Yes WE…since I cannot wait to share with you guys whenever I have a new fabulous creation!

The first thing I do even before the dishes get washed is hop on my computer and start blogging the recipes!

I have been rapid fire lately and I can’t even keep up with myself!  I have even gotten comments and emails from some of you who have said the exact same thing!

So many recipes so little time! And so few mouths to partake in these sweet delights!

This is a building on recipes so I had actually already had all of these base recipes staring at me in the refrigerator.

This Key Lime Cupcake with Strawberry Lime Icing was created using my tweaked up White Cake Recipe and lime juice leftover from the Key Lime Pie.

Then I added Strawberry Puree recipe also leftover from the Strawberry Chiffon Cake ; add those same ingredients to the NEW American Buttercream Recipe and yeah, we’ve got greatness right here!

I debated using the Cream Cheese Icing recipe , but I went for the buttercream instead.

I bet these would be a dream in strawberry cream cheese icing though!  Who will be the first to try it!??

5.0 from 1 reviews
Key Lime Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Be sure to prepare the Strawberry Puree recipe ahead of time as well as whatever icing you choose, whether it it the Buttercream or Cream Cheese is up to you
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°c)
Serves: 12 cupcakes
  • Unsalted Butter 8 Tablespoons (112g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1 cup (200g)
  • Eggs large 2 (100g) (*yes I know on the video I had 4 eggs, but I halved the recipe here for you guys since I didn't know if you really wanted 24 cupcakes- feel free to double everything if you do)
  • Evaporated Milk ¼ cup (60ml)
  • Key Lime Juice ¼ cup (60ml)
  • Lime Zest 1
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  • Salt ¼ teaspoon
  • All Purpose Flour 1 cup (130g)
  • Cake Flour ½ cup (65g)
  • Baking Powder 1½ teaspoons (7g)
  1. In a mixing bowl (with the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, or with a hand beater) cream the softened butter with the granulated sugar and salt until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes)
  2. Sift both flours with the baking powder.
  3. Combine the eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla, lime zest and lime juice together and mix well
  4. Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the creaming butter/sugar and mix until just combined.
  5. Slowly add the half of the entire amount of the egg mixture while mixing on low- medium speed.
  6. Add another ⅓ of the flour mixture and then add the remaining egg mixture.
  7. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and then add the last of the flour
  8. Add 2 drops of green gel paste color mix well
  9. Portion batter evenly into 12 cupcake cavities -filling about ⅔ each
  10. Bake in preheated 350° F oven for approximately 20 minutes or until they are done they will be springy to the touch when pressed gently in the center
  11. Cool completely and ice with Strawberry Lime Icing recipe below
UN-ICED Cupcakes can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

For longer storage freeze for up to 2 months

ICED cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, bring to room temperature before serving
5.0 from 1 reviews
Strawberry Lime Icing
Serves: 3 cups
  1. Prepare buttercream recipe as stated on that blog post
  2. At last stage of mixing the buttercream, add ½ cup strawberry puree.
  3. Mix well
  4. Add the lime juice and mix well
Icing should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for up to 4 months

The candy garnish is completely optional.

My intention was to simply poach some lime zest strips in simple syrup and use them as a garnish, but I forgot about it on the stove, and well…..hard candy was my result!

Good thing I remembered before it turned to caramel! yikes!

Note to self: USE A TIMER!

If you want to try your hand at candy making, combine the zest from 2 or 3 limes with ½ cup of simple syrup

Cook in a heavy bottomed pot over medium to high heat without stirring, until it reaches 295°F (146°c) on a candy thermometer

Pour out onto a silicone mat and let it cool until hard.

Crack pieces and use as garnish.



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  1. Wow! these look so good. I wish I had this recipe last weekend when I was making cupcakes. I will definetly try it next week for my tea party . Your frosting looks so lush and velvety, makes my mouth water. What tip did you use for frosting. A side note please pace yourself, we do not want you to run ourself down, because we will not have the recipes coming for awhile. Thanks for all the work and the generousity.

  2. Awesome! & I was going to hop right to brownie making today. I’ve been craving for brownies since forever & now the Key Lime Cupcakes make me hungry.

  3. Oh my god!! Those look amazing! My husband is big fan of key lime – loved your pie recipe, I’m sure he’ll love these too!

    Thanks for the great recipes & advice! And a huge thank you for the ebook! Downloaded it today, can’t wait to try some of the recipes!

  4. Hi, Nice one. Enjoy ua weekends…as all need a break..u do too!!completely agree with some of d comments alarming u to rest too.
    Thanks for d recipe.

  5. You are wonderful Gretchen! Thank you for all your recipes. You are truly an inspiration!
    I look forward to your emails every week.

  6. Hi Gretchen,
    Thanks for all that you do. Just downloaded the E book! Yay! What size disher did you use to dispense the cupcake batter?

  7. They look wonderful! Can’t make them yet though, my family can’t keep up with all of your wonderful baked goods. They want a few days of just meat and potatoes. I told them they were just a bunch of party poopers but I’ll get back at them and give some to my neighbors. Thanks for all you do!

  8. I see you adding lime zest to the cupcake batter in the video but I don’t see it listed in the recipe. How much do you add? Thanks.

  9. Hi Gretchen – I know this recipe calls specifically for Key Lime juice, but could you make a regular lime cupcake with regular lime juice? I’ve heard that Persian limes aren’t the same potency as Key limes so I’m not sure if there should be a volume adjustment (like less or more) juice-wise. I know the flavor won’t be the same, but that’s OK with me!

    1. You can – however they may be slightly acidic and give your final cupcake an acid taste.
      Someone mentioned combining lemon juice and regular lime juice together to eliminate the severity of that problem (I have not tried it though)

  10. Welcome back. It is good to see you. As for the key lime cup cakes, they look great, I can’t wait to try it. Thanks.

  11. Hi Gretchen,

    Here we go some questions:

    In the video is not seen when you put the lime juice, and that should cut with milk, right?
    And you’re using four eggs, so do you double the recipe? And vanilla is not in the recipe?


    1. Thank you for catching those errors! I just updated the post!
      (yes I had doubled the recipe for the video but it made 24 cupcakes and I’m not sure you guys needed that much so I decided to cut it in half here)

  12. Thank-you for all you do. I love your recipes and can’t wait to try this one. Thanks for the e-book….now I don’t know whether to make the cupcakes or the muffins!!;lol

  13. Hello thank you for the recipe it looks delicious…i was wondering if their is a substitute for cake flour? Or can i make it my self?

  14. Thank you Gretchen for the delicious recipes.
    I have never heard of Key Limes in Australia , can a i replace with fresh Tahitian limes. Diana.x

    1. You may get a slight bitter or acidic taste with those bigger, more “mainstream” limes, but one other viewer added that if you cannot get the Key Lime Juice you can use a mixture of regular lime juice and lemon juice- she said this will tone it down a bit (I have not tried it my self though)

  15. Hey Gratchen!

    Can you pls post the recipe for the classic cinnamon rolls, cookies and cream cake and the chocolate cinnamon rolls??? PLS??? Even just the recipe… No need for the video! 🙂

    1. HI Alessa! I have a mountain of work ahead of me to rebuild with the most popular and most requested vids/recipes first and cinnamon buns are definitely on my NEXT UP LIST
      I am so thrilled to have so much support but Im a bit overwhelmed with the amount of work this all is though! !
      Please be patient but in the meantime if you go to my Gretchens Bakery facebook page in PHOTOS I have the cinnamon buns recipe listed, and alot of the most popular recipes are there.
      Also there are so many people who have saved the recipes and can share with you right away! Just ask on the main page! Thanks!

      AS for the cookies and cream cake it is just crushed oreos mixed into my white cake recipe then filled and iced with whipped cream and oreos

  16. Hi Gretchen!
    1. So glad you’re back, love the new kitchen and the new website.
    2. Thanks for the e-book – downloaded it and can’t wait to try out some recipes.
    3. I want to try out these key lime cupcakes today (so I should have asked sooner!) Do you think it would be okay to leave out the zest, or do you think it’s critical? Thanks!!

      1. Made the cupcakes (without the zest), came out great, thanks! (And just in case you want to know, as I usually try to update you on the non-dairy version, I made with trans-fat free margarine instead of the butter, and non-dairy whipped topping (un-whipped) instead of the evaporated/condensed milk, and it was wonderful.)
        I also didn’t want to make another recipe, so instead of the strawberry purée I used 1/4 tsp LorAnn Oils strawberry oil and 3 drops of soft pink Americolor (as well as the lime juice), and everybody loved the frosting!
        Keep ’em coming!
        Also, I had a thought with the amazing texture of this recipe, and I wanted to know what you think: this recipe, minus the zest and key lime juice, replace the key lime juice with milk and a few drops of pink coloring: pink velvet cake?? Because you’re right, this had an amazing velvety texture! (Even more than your fluffy white cake – maybe because of the egg yolks??)
        What do you think?
        Thanks for everything Gretchen!

  17. thank you Gretchen for all you do for us; you have been this integral part of my baking life ever since I stumble upon your videos in the cake boss days. I have learned so much from you, and for that, I an internally grateful.

  18. Gretchen, on the video it looks like you have four eggs, but the recipe calls for two. Is the recipe a half recipe? Thanks so much!

    1. that is correct I halved it here for you guys- I felt 24 was a lot of cupcakes, feel free to double it though (I did make a note of that in the written recipe- anticipating that question)

  19. Hi Gretchen today I made this wonderful key lime cupcake with the strawberry buttercream and it tasted delicious thanks for the recipe where can I send a pic of the cupcakes for you

  20. Hi Gretchen – so I tried my idea of making pink velvet cupcakes with this recipe – they taste great, but didn’t work perfectly. The cupcakes domed up like crazy by the end of baking time, but then collapsed and half of them caved in while on the cooling rack. They’re also really soft inside. (I baked for about 22 minutes – a toothpick came out with loose crumbs.)
    I’m trying to troubleshoot why these aren’t perfect. Is it possible that there is too much milk here? I used 1/4 cup non-dairy whipped topping (as liquid, not whipped) and 1/4 cup coconut drink instead of the key lime juice. Should I use a little less liquid next time? Should I up the baking powder?
    Thanks for any help.

    1. I Caroline, the recipe is correct as it is written I have made it a few times with success as did others – I have not tested it with all those changes you made, but something did not work obviously
      Im not sure what non-dairy topping you are using, perhaps it has some strange ingredient in it that is reacting negatively? I dont know.

  21. Hello Gretchen. My mouth is watering just looking at those yummy cupcakes. Can this recipe be doubled to make a 8’cake? I was thinking of bringing it to church.

  22. Hi Gretchen! Love all your recipes. Your cakes are all so moist and buttercream is to die for. People always comment on how great the cakes are. Want to ,Thank You for sharing all that with all of us.
    I was wondering if you have a good lady lock or French Horn recipe and cream filling you use. Also
    was wondering if you made a great doughnut and cream puff recipe. I know your Danish recipe you shared was the best I have ever eaten. That’s why I am asking about the other’s above because your recipes are the best out there. I hope you do. Thanks. Joyce

    1. HI Thanks! And you are welcome too! I am going as fast as possible to replace the 400+ videos/recipes from the old channel while creating NEW content at the same time.
      Eclairs (and cream puffs) will be here this Thursday!

  23. The key lime cupcakes look so attractive. I am dying to bake them.
    However, I encounter. Problem. You stated the oven temperature at 350 degrees F, but my Brandt oven highest temperature is 275 degrees.

    Please advise.

    Thank you.


      1. Haha! Oh I am so embarrassed. I have not baked for just six months and I have forgotten the difference between Fahrenheit and Celsius.
        Please Forgive me for asking such a stupid question.

        I better start baking again before I forget what I had learned from your videos.

        Thank you. Please keep up your good work. I am a great follower of your videos.

        Have a nice week.

  24. Hello! I baked the key lime cupcakes and they had a great flavor however, the texture was a bit dense and almost dry. I do not know if it was something I might have done – even though I followed the recipe (no changes) or if this is the way they are supposed to come out. Thank you! Love your site and am so glad you are back! Really appreciate you!!

  25. Hi Gretchen! Your recipies are very awesome! I have a quick question. What makes the cake different when you add the eggs + milk alternate with the dry ingredients from when you add the eggs after creaming the butter and sugar like usual?
    Thank so much

    1. it really depends how much liquid is going into the mix (in a creaming method) to determine how to incorporate it – it all revolves around the fats and trying now to oversaturate them while getting in all the ingredients
      This recipe is more on the side of a pound cake, very dense and velvety texture, tight crumb

      1. Thanks so much! You are very awesome and smart pastry chef! I’m working at Per Se NYC now (Thomas Keller restaurant) but in my eyes, you are very very amazing with all top recipies!

  26. Hi Gretchen,

    I made these key lime cupcakes with the lucious strawberry lime buttercream today for my moms birthday. They were amazing. The cupcakes had a nice dense soft velvety texture and the icing…well I could eat it with a spoon….a BIG one. lol

    I love your recipes and videos every week. I’m glad you are back.

    Bobbie Jo

  27. Hi,
    This are so heavenly dat I ended up making it thrice whole recipe till now..
    And dey r like Smthng more thn heaven when they r warm.. Yummy

  28. Hi Gretchen
    I was just thinking n it striked me to ask u before I try it. What if I mix dessicated coconut to these cupcakes n turn it into pina colada cupcakes n put lime or lemon extract alongwith coconut essence if I get in d icing…. OR
    What if I put lime of lemon extract in ua coconut sponge cake n make the into pina colada?
    Which one would b more appropriate n closer to Wat M trying to make.
    Thanks 🙂

  29. Dear Gretchen – I want to say thank you for your generosity in sharing your recipes with the public. I have tried several recipes and absolutely fantastic.

    God bless you.

  30. Hi,
    Will dis recipe work if I convert it into cake since I read u said it’s white cake recipe tweaked a bit.but dunno how firm dis will b to turn into layer just wanted to know ua opinion over dis..M so very much in love with this cupcakes.

  31. This is an ASAP message. Hi darling how are you today? I am writing because I want to try this recipe for Key lime cupcakes in a cake for this Christmas. I know you said in another comment you can start with the white cake recipe but I’m having a bit of trouble understanding where to make the changes to convert it for the cake. Can you please tell me what conversions I need to make thank you.

    1. HI Sarah you can use the cake recipe here (which has been adapted from my white cake recipe so you do not have to do any of that work) just double this recipe here for 2-8″ layers

  32. Gretchen!

    I wanted to make an orange cake, so I made this recipe, swapping orange zest & juice for the limes. I tripled the recipe to make two 8 inch layers and two 6 inch layers.

    It’s perfect! I love the texture. It’s fluffy and tender yet definitely firm enough to bear the weight of a layer cake.

    You’ve done it again! 🙂

  33. Which size of pan should I use if I want make a cake instead of cupcakes? And can I substitute the Key Lime Juice with the juice of a lime (in my country there’s no Key Lime Juice)?

  34. Hi Gretchen,

    Thank you for all the wonderful recipes. I tried baking a lemon cake using the creaming method like above. Sorry for taking up your time, but the recipe goes like this 150g of unsalted butter, 230g of caster sugar, 3 eggs, 230g of self raising flour, 135ml of milk, 10ml lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon paste, 1 tsp vanilla, 1.5g salt. Using a hand mixer, I creamed the butter and sugar for 4 minutes at high speed, then added one egg at a time. Then I alternate dry and wet ingredients in 3 and 2 additions respectively. Filled up 2 x 7inch pan.

    Then I had a problem, when the cakes were done, it was covered with brown spots all over. No cracks and tasted really good. But it didn’t look appealing. I wished I could upload the pictures.

    Any idea why, Gretchen?

    1. Hmm, sounds like sugar spots (since sugar will caramelize=brown faster than other ingredients) and if the sugar rose to the top from insufficient creaming this could be a cause.
      its hard to say exactly though and also difficult to comment on other peoples recipes

  35. Hi Gretchen, I love this recipe! I made it last summer and everyone enjoyed it. I do have 1 question. I wanted to use this recipe to make strawberry margarita cupcakes for a 21st birthday. How would you incorporate tequila into this recipe to give it that margarita flavor?

    1. Hi Thanks! Hmmm, without doing a test Id say to leave the cake alone (since you wouldnt really taste it anyway) add it to the buttercream, however be careful since anything you add will soften it (like the strawberry already pushed it to the limit) make strawberry cupcakes instead with tequila in the icing CLICK HERE FOR MORE

  36. Hi , tried your recipe made the 24 cupcakes .This is a terrific recipe the lime flavor was just amazing. They were gone before I had a chance to apply the buttercream ! Next time will make when home alone …….lesson learned .Just recently discovered Gretchens Bakery , love it and will probably go crazy and make each and every recipe. Thanks Gretchen

    1. WOOHOO! Thanks Linda for the wonderful comment! Im so happy you are here with me! More great recipes to come!! Be sure to sign up for the Best Baker Club for free stuff and tips and tricks that I dont share on youtube!!!

  37. Hello Gretchen, could this recipe be adapted to make booze/cocktail cupcakes? If, so how could the alcohol be substituted?

  38. Gretchen, I came across this on a site I like and I wondered if you would review it to see if you would make any changes to it in your professional opinion. My son is a key lime fan, but would likely not touch an avocado. I’m hoping to make a positive impact on him while giving him healthy fats for his heart. No need to post this since it contains a non Gretchen’s link. Just looking for your input. I didnt know of any other way to get your opinion than to post here:

    1. Its hard to say until i actually make it, I try not to doubt other recipes until I make it for the first time. I have had surprisingly results with some recipes that I thought would be total flops in the past. But that being said there is nothing here that looks dissatisfying or “wrong” I think it would be great as a matter of fact!
      I have made Chocolate Mousse with avocados before and it’s really very good! You would never know you were eating an avocado!

  39. fantastic recipe! the cupcakes turned out moist, flavoursome and had a delicate crumb. i would definitely make these again as i am so happy with them! thank you Gretchen!!

  40. Hi Gretchen, I just made 2 8″ using lime and lemon combination. The taste is absolutely amazing with velvety texture.
    Thank you thank you so much. I can’t wait for family and friends to try it.

  41. Does the strawberry buttercream have to be kept in the refrigerator or is it okay to leave at room temperature for a few days (like your regular American B/C can)? Wasn’t sure if the strawberry puree effected the ability to leave this on the counter overnight or not. Thanks!

    1. It can stay out for a day max. #1 it is super soft whenever you add an addition to buttercream like this, and #2 it could help it to go off faster if it is not refrigerated

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