These Vegan Key Lime Cupcakes are fluffy, fresh, and delicious. The zesty key lime flavor is perfectly summery!
Hi friends and happy Monday! I have a fun new recipe to share with you today – Vegan Key Lime Cupcakes! One of my lovely customers asked me to come up with some key lime treats for her, and these cupcakes were a huge success. I thought it was only fair that I share the recipe with y’all too! You have fluffy white cake flavored with key lime juice, lime zest, and key lime extract. The buttercream on top has lime zest and extract too! These cupcakes are perfectly zingy, fresh, and light. The ultimate summer dessert!
What do I need for these key lime cupcakes?
You do need a few special ingredients for these key lime cupcakes to make sure they are packed with flavor!
- Key lime juice: You can certainly juice key limes from fresh, but that can be tricky since they can be hard to find. Not to mention key limes are so teeny tiny! I recommend bottled key lime juice for the simplest solution.
- Key lime extract: This is optional, but it adds so much lime flavor to the cupcakes. I have this one from LorAnn and love it! A little bit goes a long way.
- Fresh lime zest: In this case, fresh is best! Freshly grated lime zest adds loads of flavor to both the cupcake batter and the frosting. Use a microplane grater to make the job extra easy.
How do I make these key lime cupcakes?
- First, make the cake batter. The method I use is called “reverse creaming” – super easy, but it makes the cupcakes so light and fluffy! Combine all the dry ingredients, lime zest + butter, and mix until everything looks sandy.
- In a separate bowl, mix up the wet ingredients – flax egg, oil, nondairy yogurt, and the key lime extract. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. It will be thick and almost look like cookie dough.
- Finally – add in your key lime juice and nondairy milk. This is when the magic happens! Keep mixing and you will be rewarded with a perfectly smooth, silky batter. Divide between your cupcake liners and bake!
- Once your cupcakes are ready, let them cool & then make the frosting!
- In a stand mixer, whip together some vegan butter, shortening, vanilla extract, lime zest, and a bit more of the key lime extract. Add powdered sugar until the frosting comes together and is nice and firm. I like adding a splash of nondairy milk to make it extra fluffy and light.
- Frost your cupcakes (I used an 8B tip), and top with a sprinkle of lime zest and a slice of lime. Enjoy!
Check out these other delicious citrus desserts!
- Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes
- Vegan Pistachio Lemon Bundt Cake
- Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
- Vegan Blackberry Lime Cupcakes
- *for the cupcakes*
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup vegan butter, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup nondairy yogurt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp key lime extract
- ⅓ cup unsweetened nondairy milk
- ⅓ cup key lime juice
- zest of 1 lime
- *for the frosting*
- ½ cup shortening
- ½ cup vegan butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp key lime extract
- zest of 1 lime
- 2-3 tbsp nondairy milk, as needed
- First, make the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350F and line two muffin pans with 18 muffin liners.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flaxseed with the water and set aside to thicken.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
- Add in the vegan butter, and beat on low until it's incorporated and has a sandy texture.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, flaxseed mixture, nondairy yogurt, lime zest, key lime extract and vanilla extract, and add them to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
- Pour in the unsweetened nondairy milk and key lime juice, and beat on medium-low until smooth and creamy.
- Divide batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 min until they are fluffy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- While the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the shortening, vegan butter, lime juice, key lime extract and vanilla extract together until completely smooth and creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until a thick frosting forms. You can add a few spoonfuls of nondairy milk if it's too thick.
- When your cupcakes have cooled, frost as desired (I used an 8B tip) and top with an extra sprinkle of lime zest and a piece of sliced lime. Enjoy!
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