Key Lime Cupcakes recipe makes a small batch of mini sized 2-3 bite cupcakes. The topping is fluffy, light and airy with just the right amount of lime flavor.
Small Batch Mini Cupcakes
Everything is small these days. Small gatherings, mini cupcakes, small appetites (in our dreams, right). But, you get the point. You still want to celebrate special occasions, but we’re just doing them in a scaled down version.
Enter a recipe for cupcakes. Typically you’ll get 24 cupcakes. Converting that to mini’s means three for each cupcake, so you’ll end up with a whopping 72 mini cupcakes.
There is nothing small about that number when you’re talking about desserts. Now, truthfully a lot of people will eat 2 or 3 of these because they are pretty tiny – only 2-3 bites each.
But, the world needed a recipe for a small batch of Key Lime Mini Cupcakes. This one makes just 24, which is perfect for a gathering of 8-12 people.
But, if you have someone who is watching their sweets they will so appreciate you offering something in a micro version. We call them small bite sweets and you’ll find Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes in the mini version here, plus three different desserts made in those cute little phillo shells.
My personal favorites are the pecan pie cheesecakes, but Sara loves the mini lemon tarts and most of the guys go for the chocolate chip mini cheesecakes.
For a boozy twist to mini desserts you’ll love Mudslide Pudding Shots and Key Lime Pie Pudding Shots. If all these key lime sweets are making your mouth water, you’ll want to try these Key Lime Cookies.
Are they true Key Lime Cupcakes?
Well, that depends. They can be if you use key lime juice and zest. More often we have persian limes, and that’s the larger, deep green limes you find in most grocery stores.
For the real run down on the difference between the two check out this article from our friends at Southern Living.
Truth be told we use both types of limes interchangably and you should feel free to also.
Do you consider Florida to be part of the south? We do, and therefore key lime flavors and more citrus recipes are a part of southern cuisine. Read more about all that in Southern Food: Then & Now.
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Regardless of which type of lime you use you’ll want to use our favorite tool for juicing those limes. We don’t want you wearing your wrists out and getting seeds in your juice.
Is it frosting or whipped topping?
We specifically wanted our key lime cupcakes to be refreshing and not heavy, so we topped them with a sweetened whipped cream and it’s flavored with lime juice and zest too.
You’ll find it to be sweeter and have a little more body than just straight whipped cream, but way lighter than a true frosting. If you’re looking for a different light topping, Vanilla Mousse is a great alternative for these cupcakes.
If you want to pipe it on your cupcakes it works nicely for that. We used a plain Wilton 1-A tip, but to get a little fancier you could use a 1-M tip. Piping bags are always hand to have, but in pinch you can use a baggie.
Of course, you can use a sweeter, heavier frosting if you like. The cream cheese frosting for our orange cupcakes would be perfect. You would just substitute the orange extract with lime juice and the orange zest with lime zest.
TIP FOR FILLING THE CUPS WITH BATTER: When you have a thick batter like this one use a piping bag or a large zip-loc bag of any type with one corner cut off.
Key Lime Cupcakes: Small Batch Mini-Sized
For the Key Lime Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½-1 teaspoon lime zest
For the cupcakes
- ¼ cup butter at room temperature
- 7 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg white
- 6 Tablespoons sour cream
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- ½ cup plus 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
For the Key Lime Whipped Cream
- Chill bowl and beaters.
- Whip cream at high speed of mixer until it starts to thicken.
- Add confectioners sugar and beat at high speed until soft peaks form.
- Add juice, vanilla and zest. Beat at high speed until stiff peaks form.
For the cupcakes
- Cream butter and sugar at medium speed of mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add egg white and beat about 30 seconds.
- Add sour cream, milk, vanilla, lime juice and zest and beat on low speed about 1 minute.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients gradually, beating lightly after each addition.
- Fill lined mini muffin tins ⅔ to ¾ full.
- Bake at 375F degrees for about 10 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center.
- Cool on wire rack about 5 minutes and then remove from muffin tins to complete cooling.
- Frost with Key Lime Whipped Cream.
- Refrigerate until time to serve, and refrigerate any leftovers.
More small bites you’ll love:
If you make this or any of our recipes we’d love for you to leave us a comment and star rating. If you’re into sharing your creations, snap a photo and tag us when you post it to Facebook or Instagram.
These key lime cupcakes are even better than the traditional pie because of the key lime whipped cream topping.
They’re pretty tasty, aren’t they?
OMG these are the cutest things ever. I love how bite sized they are — perfectly poppable! These are great for any gathering…or just a fun dessert to make on a weekend!
I am always up for a small batch dessert. Perfect for watching your calorie intake. And these cupcakes look so delish!
Thanks so much, Jovita!
Love small batch desserts — the whipped topping on these key lime cupcakes is so delicious!
Thank you, Michelle!
I’m always looking for small batch cupcake recipes since there is only my husband and I! This will be my go to recipe for key lime cupcakes for sure (my favorite flavor by the way)…and I will keep the light frosting for sure. Thanks so much!
Glad we could accommodate!
Geri Juen says
How many carbs?