***SCROLL down for an assortment of cupcakes that I’ve made.  They include:

KEY LIME CUPCAKES

BEST CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES

BUTTERFINGER CUPCAKES

CHERRY ALMOND VANILLA CUPCAKES

ORANGE CREAMSICLE CUPCAKES

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE BAR CUPCAKES

CHERRY COKE CUPCAKES

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING

MARGARITA CUPCAKES

KEY LIME CUPCAKES

(Adapted from bakerbynature.com)

I LOVE key lime pie!  This summer I’ve not only made the pie, but I’ve made key lime bars (TO DIE FOR!), and now I’m baking key lime cupcakes.  They’re perfect for summer!

I bake cupcakes monthly for my husband’s company, and these are some favorites.  I quadrupled this recipe to fix 50.

FOR THE CUPCAKES:
1 +  3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup full-fat sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp key lime extract (I bought from Amazon here)
2 tsp finely grated lime zest
1 large egg plus one egg yolk, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 TBSP key lime juice

FOR THE FROSTING:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
(1) 8 oz block full-fat cream cheese, very soft
4 + 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 + 1/2 TBSP key lime juice
1/4 tsp key lime extract
1 tsp finely grated key lime zest
To Decorate (optional):
1 tsp freshly grated key lime zest

For the Key Lime Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 mold cupcake tin with paper liners and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk well and set aside.

In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.

Add in both sugars, lime extract and lime zest and beat until well combined.

Add in the egg and egg yolk and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add in 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix until just combined (this should take about 5 seconds).

Add 1/2 of the sour cream and mix until just combined. Repeat with remaining flour and sour cream, being sure to mix on low until just combined. Turn mixer off. Using a rubber spatula, quickly fold in the lime juice.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling them 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes are cool, frost and decorate. The cupcakes may also be frozen, unfrosted, and stored in a freezer safe bag, for up to 2 months.

For the Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a medium bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium-speed until smooth and creamy.

Reduce the speed to low beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add in the salt, key lime juice, extract and zest; beat smooth. Then slowly add the powdered sugar.  If the consistency appears too thick, add a teaspoon of milk or heavy cream. The frosting should be creamy and spreadable, but also thick enough to hold its shape. Pipe or spread the frosting on top of each cooled cupcake.

DELISH!

BEST CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES

(Adapted from lovefromtheoven.com)

 
I made these cupcakes in July for the office, and the feedback I got was overwhelming!  I thought a few people that were carrot cake devotees (like me) might like them, but they were a HUGE hit with the entire office.  Several said they were the best cupcakes I’ve ever sent in; they truly are amazing!

They’re a snap to make – you just have to use your shredder attachment to your food processor to get the carrots shredded properly.  SO SO SO GOOD!

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/3 cup plain unsweetened applesauce
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice if you don’t have, replace with additional ginger
2 tsp baking soda
3 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, walnuts or raisins OPTIONAL

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese brick, not tub, room temperature
1/2 cup butter softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line muffin pans with 24 cupcake liners. Mix together oil, applesauce, sugar, salt and eggs.

Mix well to fully combine, but it’s not necessary to use a mixer. Add in flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Mix until just combined, do not overmix.

Fold in carrots, as well as nuts, raisins or coconut if using. Mix until just combined. Scoop into prepared muffin pan.

Bake for 21 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the middle cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for approximately 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Once fully cooled, top with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
With a mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until well combined, light and creamy.

Add in 1/2 the powdered sugar and mix until just combined. Add in remaining powdered sugar and beat until just combined.
Mix in vanilla and salt, mixing until just combined. Do not over-mix frosting.
If frosting is too thick you can add a teaspoon or two of cream, half and half or milk to reach the desired consistency.
Pipe or spread onto completely cooled carrot cake cupcakes.
Store frosted cupcakes in refrigerator.

***NOTE: both of these should be refrigerated if not eating immediately since the frosting contains cream cheese.

BUTTERFINGER CUPCAKES

(Adapted from saving you dinero)

Chocolate Cupcakes

1 Box Devil’s Food Cake

¼  sour cream

1 small box chocolate instant pudding

Plus the ingredients on the box – eggs, oil, water (or can sub milk)

Peanut Butter Icing

2 sticks of butter softened

1 ½  cups creamy peanut butter

2 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

4 cups powdered sugar

2-3 TBSP heavy whipping cream (or more nail the desired consistency.)

5-6 small Butterfinger bars

Mix together all the cake mix ingredients until well combined.

Fill up the cupcake liners 2/3 full.

Bake 18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let them cool completely.

Unwrap the Butterfinger candies and place is a plastic bag. Use something (like a rolling pin) to crush into crumbs and set aside.

Mix together the butter and peanut butter for about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt. Alternate the powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream while mixing.

If the icing is too thick you can add a little more heavy whipping cream until you get to the desired consistency. Top with Butterfinger Crumbs.

CHERRY ALMOND VANILLA CUPCAKES

(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)


1/2 cup butter

4 egg whites

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp soda

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup maraschino cherry juice

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

12 maraschino cherries, halved

Allow butter and egg whites to stand at room temp for at least 30 minutes.  Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  In a 2 cup glass measuring cup combine the buttermilk and cherry juice.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large mixing bowl beat butter for at least 30 minutes.  Add in the sugar, vanilla and almond extract.  Beat and then add the egg whites one at a time.  Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture until combined – don’t over mix.

Spoon batter into prepared cups (I use an ice cream scoop) 2/3 full. Place cherry half on top of each.

Bake 18-25 minutes until lightly browned, and they bounce back when touched.

Cool for 5 minutes in muffin tins then cool on a wire rack.  Can be stored in an airtight container in fridge before frosting for 3-5 days.

FROSTING

1/2 cup butter softened

4 cups powdered sugar

3 TBSP cherry juice or milk

1/2 tsp almond extract

In large mixing bowl beat butter until smooth.

Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar beating well.  Beat in cherry juice and almond extract.  Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar, adding extra cherry juice a teaspoon at a time to get desired spreading consistency.  Frost cooled cupcakes.

ORANGE CREAMSICLE CUPCAKES
(Adapted from Food Network)
For the cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs, separated

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 TBSP finely grated orange zest

1 tsp orange oil (available at specialty stores or online – “essential oils”)

1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from 2 oranges)

For the frosting:

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 to 3 TBSP heavy cream

Orange and/or white sanding sugar, for topping

Orange gummy candies, for topping

Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. Beat the egg whites in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes; set aside.

Beat the butter, granulated sugar, egg yolks, orange zest and orange oil in a separate large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and combined, about 4 minutes.

Reduce the speed to low; beat in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the orange juice. Fold in the beaten egg whites.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each about halfway (I always use an ice cream scoop). Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 20-21 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pans, then remove to racks to cool completely.

Make the frosting: Beat the butter and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Reduce the speed to low; gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Add the cream, increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy. Frost the cupcakes. Top with sanding sugar and orange gummy candies.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE ICE CREAM BAR CUPCAKES
(Adapted from Pinchmetwice)
I doubled my recipe to make over 50 cupcakes.
1 box of white cake mix (no pudding in mix)
2 boxes (3 oz each) of strawberry gelatin
1 cup of vegetable oil
½ cup of milk
4 eggs
¾ cup of mashed strawberries
8 oz of cream cheese, softened
½ cup of unsalted butter, softened
2 TBSP of milk
1 lb of powdered sugar
Red food coloring
12-24 golden oreos (creme removed and crushed)
1 1/2 TBSP of melted butterPreheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Mix cake mix, 1 box of gelatin, vegetable oil, milk, ½ cup of mashed strawberries and eggs in a large bowl.

Pour cake batter into cupcake lined pan. Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and allow them to cool completely.
To make frosting: In another bowl beat butter, cream cheese and ⅓ cup of mashed strawberries. Add in powdered sugar and milk gradually. Add a few drops of red food coloring to get desired shade of pink. Beat on high until frosting is smooth.
To make crumb topping: Mix crushed oreos with half a box of strawberry gelatin and 1 1/2 tablespoons of melted butter.
Frost cupcakes with spatula and dip cupcakes into crumb mixture to coat.

CHERRY COKE CUPCAKES

(Adapted from simpleethrifty.com)

Cake:

1 box Devils Food Cake Mix + box ingredients

1 cup regular Coca-Cola

⅓ cup Maraschino Cherry liquid

Frosting:

1¼ cup softened Butter

5 cups Powdered Sugar

2 TBSP Coca-Cola

1 TBSP Maraschino Cherry liquid

Red Food Coloring

24 Maraschino Cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or 325 degrees F if you are using a dark coated cupcake pan). Line muffin pan with paper liners. Make batter according to box direction EXCEPT substitute 1 cup Coke and ⅓ cup cherry liquid for water.

Fill liners ⅔ full.  Bake according to box directions and allow to cool completely.

Mix butter, Coke and cherry liquid and gradually add powdered sugar. You can optionally add red food coloring to get the desired color.

Transfer frosting to piping bag and frost each cupcake.

Top each with cherry.

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING
(Adapted from Sally’s Baking Adiction)
I doubled my recipe to feed 48.

Cupcakes

1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix

1 small box Jello Chocolate Fudge instant pudding mix

4 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup milk

1 cup sour cream (use 1 cup heavy cream mixed with 1 TBSP lemon juice)

Salted Caramel Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp salt

2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling on top

20 pretzel twists, for topping, if desired

Begin with the frosting: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.

Once melted, add brown sugar and heavy cream.

Stir constantly over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.

Add salt. Simmer bubbling for exactly 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled completely, beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, until you reach desired consistency.

Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cupcake pans with liners. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand held electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, milk and sour cream.

Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Scoop the batter evenly into cupcake liners. I use an ice cream scoop for the perfect amount.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the tin and let cool. Once fully cooled, frost cupcakes with salted caramel frosting and garnish with a tiny sprinkle of sea salt.

Then just before serving, add a pretzel twist. They’ll stay fresh at room temperature for about 4 days – otherwise, freeze them, and they will be amazing once thawed!

MARGARITA CUPCAKES
(Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)
These sounded SO SO good to me!  I’m making them in July which is perfect margarita weather.  Love that there is lime essential oil in the mix for the ultimate strong lime flavor! I’ll be making a triple or quadruple batch of this recipe for my party.

1 & 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole milk

zest + fresh juice of 3 medium limes*

2 TBSP tequila (for brushing in step 5)

TEQUILA LIME FROSTING

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

34 TBSP tequila*

1 tsp vanilla extract

lime flavoring (see notes– there are options)*

pinch of salt, to taste

optional: lime slices, lime zest, and/or coarse sugar for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Make the batter: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.

Add the granulated sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.

With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined.

With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add some of the dry ingredients alternating with some of the milk until all is mixed.

Increase to high speed and beat in the lime zest and juice until incorporated. Don’t OVER MIX. I went with Lime Essential Oil for the extra zing of lime flavor.  Thanks to my friend Claudia Worley for introducing me to the Doterra Essential Oils!

Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only 1/2 – 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides. I always use an ice cream scoop for the perfect amount.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While still warm, brush finished cupcakes with tequila to infuse a bit of extra tequila flavor.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

To make the frosting: 

In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, beating on low at first then increasing to high speed.

Once creamy and combined, beat in the tequila, vanilla, lime flavoring (I’m doing lime essential oils – 2 tsp), and pinch of salt on high speed. Taste. Add more salt or flavoring as needed.

To frost cooled cupcakes:

Either frost by hand or pipe the fronting on each cupcake then garnish with lime slices, lime zest, or coarse sugar and/or cut up straws (so they look like little glasses of MARGARITAS!).

I doubled the recipe to frost 4 dozen cupcakes.

NOTES:

Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3 days. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Lime Zest & Juice: You’ll want about 2 Tablespoons zest and 1/4 cup lime juice.

Tequila: Any tequila works! Want them alcohol free? Use 3 Tbsp of milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream instead.

Lime Flavoring: 2 options: You can use 2 teaspoons lime extract or 1 teaspoon lime oil. Start with those amounts then taste the frosting and add more to taste. I use exactly 2 teaspoons of lime essential oil (found here) when I make these. You can use 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice and lime zest from 1 lime instead. This procedure will thin out the frosting and the zest makes it difficult to pipe however.

All packed up and ready to go to my husband’s office in the morning!
How cute are these cupcakes?????
*all photos are mine unless otherwise noted

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