I grew up in Miami where Key Lime pie isn’t exotic or hard to find. It’s a staple dessert – on every menu, case at every party and on the table with Cuban coffee after every meal at my uncle’s house. Key Lime pie is his specialty. It’s cool and tangy and graham cracker-y and just about the best thing ever when it’s sweltering outside. In fact, Tom loves to get a frozen, chocolate-dipped key lime pie on a stick every time we go to Key West. I’m a key lime purist – always opting for the regular slice.
But just because I’m a purist when it comes to key lime pie, doesn’t mean I don’t like my key lime other ways. I’ve been dying to try key lime cupcakes all summer, but never got around to it. Then I was going to make a key lime cake for my sister-in-law’s birthday, but she was out of town and I didn’t have a cake pan. Key lime cupcakes it is, then. I made mini ones because I can’t stop at just one and I’ll do less damage this way.
These cupcakes were better than I’d imagined. The citrusy key lime balances out the sweet cream cheese icing perfectly. I will warn you though – the batter is a little scary. When I poured that key lime juice in with the butter and sour cream, I was sure these were destined for the trash can. As you can guess, the batter curdled. But it’s nothing to worry about – it’s just like making your own buttermilk or ricotta cheese. The batter blends perfect once you add the dry ingredients and it tastes great even before you cook it. I may have licked the spatula. Just maybe.
If you want a little taste of Miami without the expensive plane ticket, make these little beauties and then come back and tell me how much you loved them.