A recipe for Key Lime Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream.

Key Lime Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream

Since we can soon say goodbye to summer, and the need to don a bathing suit for a while, why not Key Lime Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream, topped with toasted coconut? I like to call them “Say Goodbye to Summer Cupcakes.”

The baker, I’m not. When cooking, I usually don’t measure, unless trying something brand new and even then sometimes I wing it, unless it involves baking. Baking is different. It’s like science and you must measure. So I don’t know what I was thinking when after searching for a cupcake recipe, and not finding one to my liking, I decided I would create my own. Many of the key lime cake recipes I found called for starting with a box of lemon cake mix but I wanted to make something from scratch with fresh limes. I found four different cake recipes that looked good and combined bits and pieces from each.

And surprise, surprise, they turned out mighty tasty – like a sweet bite of summer!

The ingredients are pretty norm for baking with the addition of lime zest, lime juice, and cream of coconut.

Key Lime Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream

(Here’s a handy tip, be sure to zest before you juice. Not that I would have any reason to mention that … I’ve never juiced before I zested, no, not me…)

Key Lime Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream

Nothing like the aroma of toasted coconut to help you drift off to faraway places with blues seas.

Key Lime Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream

More cupcake recipe you will enjoy:

Key Lime Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Recipe

Key Lime Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream

Key Lime Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

These cupcakes scream summer, but are perfect way to warm up mentally on a cold winter's day.


For cake:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

For buttercream frosting:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cream of coconut (Coco Lopez)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes (for topping)


For Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F and line cupcake tin(s) with liners.
  2. When preheated, spread the coconut flakes on baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned, stir/toss a couple of times. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl beat butter until smooth.
  4. Add sugar and lime zest, beat well.
  5. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  6. Add lime juice and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  7. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt; sift.
  8. Alternate adding all dry ingredients and buttermilk to butter/sugar mixture. (Be careful not to over mix – you don’t want it gooey.)
  9. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.
  10. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean.

For the frosting:

  1. In a large bowl beat butter until smooth.
  2. Add all other ingredients (powdered sugar, salt, cream of coconut, vanilla extract) and mix until smooth. (Add more cream of coconut as needed for smoother frosting.)
  3. Ice cupcakes and don’t forget the coconut flakes for that final touch.
  4. Pour a tall glass of cold milk and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

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