I don't know about you, but I have completely been sucked into the new cupcake craze that has hit the country. Who wouldn't love sweet, little treats in a perfectly, packaged portion? A new cupcake shop ( that will remain name-less) opened in Colorado Springs and I HAD to check it out. I had an overall bad experience at the shop and was less than impressed with their product. If you are going to charge me $3.00 a cupcake, I EXPECT it to be something to write home about! As a result, I slammed them in an online review at yelp.com. I went as far as to say that I could bake a better cupcake. Well, I started to feel guilty because the only GREAT cupcake I had ever baked where the Irish Car Bomb cupcakes I made for St. Paddy's Day. I have since felt obligated to bake a KILLER cupcake to help myself feel less guilty about my review.
AND IT DID IT!!!! I can HONESTLY say I CAN make better cupcakes than that silly cupcake shop who charges $3.00+ a cupcake with nasty, sugary frosting that masks the flavor of their cupcakes so you can tell the different flavors apart. Oh, goodness...I am getting carried away.
My big gripe about cupcakes you get at these hoytie-toydie bakeries is they advertise orange creamcicle cupcakes and peanut butter cupcakes. But when you take a bit of them you wonder "what flavor was that cupcakes again?" If I order a key lime cupcake, I want my taste buds to register the limey-ness in the frosting AND the cake! I struggled to find a recipe that met my criteria, so I combined three different recipes for the ultimate Key Lime Cupcake.
ULTIMATE KEY LIME CUPCAKES
Cupcakes - adapted from Open Source Cupcakes
3 cups cake flour sifted (Regular all purpose flour worked just fine.)
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups milk
2 Tablespoons key lime juice
2 Tablespoons grated key lime zest
Preheat your oven to 350 and line your muffin tin.
In medium bowl sift all dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt. Set aside.
In large bowl, add butter and sugar. Cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer. Slowly add your flour mixture, alternately with milk. Beat well after each addition. Beat until mixture is smooth. Fill cupcake liners about ¾ full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely on rack before icing.
Key Lime Pie “Filling” - from Bake Space Adapted from the Editors of Easy Home Cooking Magazine
6 oz cream cheese softened
5 oz key lime juice
7 oz sweetened condensed milk
Place all ingredients in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and blend for 2 minutes. Place in a seperate bowl and place in fridge for 2 hours.
Topping: - from allrecipes.com
1 (4-serving size) package vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup Key lime or regular lime juice
4 drops green food color
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In large bowl, beat pudding mix and whipping cream with wire whisk 2 minutes. Let stand 3 minutes. Beat in 1/4 cup Key lime juice and the food color; stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.
Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened*
8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, softened*
2 tablespoons key lime juice
1 teaspoon key lime zest or lemon zest (I used zest of one whole lime. )**
4 to 5 cups confectioners' sugar
Combine softened cream cheese, softened butter, lime juice, and zest in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar, one cup at a time, mixing in between. May use between four to five cups of sugar for this recipe, depending on the consistency you want. If it is too thin, add more sugar slowly to the mixture
Yes, these cupcakes are involved...but they were OH SO LIMEY!!!! I made each part of the cupcake in the order listed above. I made the cupcakes the night before so they were perfectly cool before manhandling the additional tast into them. Second, I made the 'filling'. I actually cut holes in the cupcake to fill them. Third, I made the topping and piped it with a pastry bag to cover the hole made from the filing. Fourth, I made the frosting and piped that on top of the topping.
Because of all the cream cheese and butter in this recipe I refrigerated the finished cupcakes until I needed them for a party I was going to that night. I pulled them out 45 mintues before I left to get to room temp. That night the cake part was a little dense, but the flavor was RIGHT ON! I left a couple of cupcakes behind to make sure I could get a second taste (because I knew there wouldn't be any left over from the party). I left those out overnight...oops! But the next day...they were PERFECT!!! The cake part wasn't dense at all!