I began my love affair with cupcakes about a year ago with a spring break project that went wonderfully right. Coconut cupcakes with key lime buttercream were the beginning of something that then snowballed into a full-blown obsession love affair complete with paraphernalia, souvenirs, and requests for cupcakes all over the place.
I can’t say I object.
I really and truly love making cupcakes. I love how cute they are. I love how bringing them into a room of people just makes them smile, makes little kids go “YAY! CUPCAKES!” and how they’re perfect bites of cake and frosting in (what I think) is a perfect ratio.
This past weekend, I went back to the beginning of the affair.
Yup. Limes. I absolutely love limes, and wanted to feature them in something more than just the buttercream atop a cupcake. And so, Lima Colada (pronounced lee-mah coh-lah-dah) cupcakes were born.
It’s funny how these are full-circle from my first cupcakes, because they couldn’t be more different. The first cupcakes were delicious, but I followed a recipe to a “T” and really had no idea what I was doing. These? These were a recipe created from my own head (and a little bit of help from Cook’s Illustrated for technique).
They were, according to many people, worth every calorie in them.
The frosting was simple. I just used the “Best Buttercream Ever” and substituted coconut milk for the regular and mixed in about half a cup of coconut shreds. Oh, and substituted almond extract for vanilla.
The cake though… the cake took effort, and a lot of trial and error. But I don’t say this lightly: these were the best cupcakes I’ve ever made, hands down.
Lime Pound Cake Cupcakes
Makes 15 cupcakes or one loaf pan
- 2 sticks salted butter
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. salt
Pre-heat the oven to 350*F.
Place the butter in a small saucepan and melt over low heat, and then whisk the warm butter so no milk solids remain (thanks Cook’s Illustrated for this technique!) Mix the melted butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until the sugar is well-dissolved. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add the lime juice. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and add to the butter mixture alternately with the milk in 3 additions. Mix until just combined, then scoop into lined cupcake tins or one 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Bake until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes for cupcakes, 45-50 minutes for a loaf pan. Allow to cool completely then frost. Or not.
I loved how cheerful these looked, and the adorable papers didn’t hurt either…
Finally, I decorated them all for presentation with some shredded coconut.
I’m really wishing I hadn’t given the leftovers away.
And even though they’re not vegan, these are posted today with a big HAP-PEA BIRTHDAY to my friend Mama Pea!!! Love you!