I've been holding on to this recipe for a few weeks now, hoping for an opportunity to use it as the perfect ending to a tropical-themed meal. Well, that opportunity just didn't really come around and, being my impatient self, I got tired of waiting. So I just made them. And they were good. Very good actually. The original recipe didn't call for coconut, but I decided to "put the lime in the coconut." Get it?
Key Lime Cupcakes with White Chocolate Coconut Frosting
adapted from Paula Deen's Special Collection, Chocolate Celebrations
***Note: The original recipe was for a three-layer cake. I've included directions for both the original layer cake and the cupcakes I made.***
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 TBSP key lime zest
3 large eggs
1/4 c. fresh key lime juice
3 c. cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
white chocolate frosting (recipe follows)
approx. 1 1/2 c. shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For cupcakes, place 24 paper liners in a standard-size cupcake pan. If making the layer cake, grease and flour three nine-inch round cake pans.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and lime zest at medium speed until creamy.
3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, being sure each one is incorporated before adding the next.
4. Beat in lime juice until combined.
5. In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour and baking soda. Gradually add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
6. Pour evenly into prepared pans and bake for 18 to 20 minutes (same time for either cupcakes or layer cake) or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Let cool in pans for ten minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
8. For cupcakes, frost each cupcake and top with coconut, if desired. Garnish with key lime wedges.
9. For layer cake, spread frosting in between each layer, then on top and sides of cakes. Adhere coconut to frosting, if desired. Garnish with key lime wedges.
White Chocolate Frosting
***Note: If making cupcakes, you could probably halve this frosting recipe.***
6 (1 oz.) squares white chocolate or 6 oz. white chocolate chips
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
3/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 c. confectioners' sugar
1. Put white chocolate and heavy cream in the bowl of a double boiler. Melt until smooth and completely combined. Let cool completely.
2. In a large bowl, combine white chocolate mixture, butter, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
3. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until fluffy.