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Fourth Day of Christmas: Key Lime Frosted Cupcake Recipe

Fourth Day of Christmas: Key Lime Frosted Cupcake Recipe by Katie Crafts;

Fourth Day of Christmas: Key Lime Frosted Cupcake Recipe

♫ On the fourth day of Christmas, Katie Crafts gave to me- a key lime frosted cupcake recipe! ♫

Happy fourth day of Christmas, all! Today’s post is a recipe that you may not typically associate with the holidays, but I’ll explain why it works: It’s green. Done! Besides, cream cheese frosting… mmmm.

Okay, so I guess I can elaborate a little! One year, I wanted to have festive colored cupcakes but I didn’t want them to be Plain Jane Vanilla. I wanted the flavor of the frosting to match the color, and rather than do a mint cream cheese frosting (ew!) I went with a citrus instead. You can of course pass on the lime and make regular cream cheese frosting and dye it, but I just love biting in to something that tastes like it looks like it would- is that weird? Besides, sometimes you just need a break from all the chocolate and pumpkin and apple flavored things the holidays tend to bring!

You can use any kind of cake you prefer for this, but I like (actually, everyone likes- if they say they don’t they are liars) funfetti! AND you can make your own funfetti cake with your own sprinkles, since that is all funfetti cake is- sprinkles added to the batter. Red and green sprinkles will give you a festive cake! Awesome! Just be sure you use plain ones and not the specially shaped ones as they are quite different. I usually use the sugar crystal type because they melt in the batter quite well!



  • 3 cups flour sifted
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • Red and Green sprinkles


  • One stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • One 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • One box (approximately 4 to 5 cups) of confectioner’s sugar
  • One tablespoon vanilla extract
  • One tablespoon key lime zest*
  • 2 tablespoons key lime juice*
  • Green food dye
  • Christmas sprinkles (optional)

*Regular limes will do in a pinch!



  • Preheat oven to 350º, and line your cupcake tin with cupcake papers.
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt (NOT the sugar!) into a bowl and set aside.
  • In another large bowl, cream together sugar and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla til mixed.
  • Add your flour mixture SLOWLY, alternating with milk (half a cup of flour, quarter cup of milk, etc.), beating well after each addition, until all is mixed smoothly. Fold in red and green sprinkles using a spoon.
  • Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way each with batter.
  • Bake for approx. 11-12 minutes, using a toothpick to check their consistency. Bake longer if they are still runny/until they just begin to turn golden on top.
  • Let cupcakes cool completely while you make the frosting! (If they aren’t cool, the frosting will melt everywhere!)


  • In large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add vanilla, lime zest and lime juice. Mix. Beat in confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time until you reach the consistency you prefer. The thinner it is, the quicker it will melt. The thicker it is the more peaks it will have and the less likely it will be to melt- but also the sweeter it will be. It does mean more sugar, after all!
  • When you’re satisfied with the frosting, you can add your dye. Add just a little at a time to make sure it’s the color you want it, stirring well each time!
  • Use a pastry bag and a fun frosting tip to frost the cupcakes adorably. If you don’t have one, you can make one using a Ziploc bag. Just fill the bag with frosting halfway, twist in the middle tightly and cut the corner with a scissor. Instant pastry bag! Add sprinkles if desired for extra decoration.
  • Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve as the cream cheese tends to melt if left out too long.


^The above batch was made for an old co-worker, who didn’t want any frills or flavorings at all. It was just plain cream cheese frosting with plain vanilla cake. This allowed me to alternate between green and red dyed frostings. The batch I made my family, however, were the funfetti lime ones! And of course, they all got eaten!

What recipes do you whip out during the holiday season?


3 thoughts on “Fourth Day of Christmas: Key Lime Frosted Cupcake Recipe

  1. These are so festive and pretty! I might just make these for fun. =0)

  2. Cute cupcakes! I’m not a fan of key lime, so I’d prefer the ones you made for your co-worker. ^.^

  3. I love lime cakes! Thank you for the recipe!

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