Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes

I’ve been in a cooking rut lately. Hubs has taken over a lot of dinner patrol. Since he works evenings, that means that sometimes we don’t have dinner until 9:oo at night. I finally figured out why I don’t want to cook…..


Just about all of our knives are dull. Severely dull. So dull they don’t even pierce through a bell pepper. The only knives that would cut into that pepper are a meat cleaver (too scary), and a serrated utility knife. I have one of those round, skinny sharpening sticks, but that isn’t cutting (no pun intended) it anymore. I’ve heard that a whet stone works well, or I’ll have to take my knives somewhere to get professionally sharpened. Any suggestions?

In the meantime, I give you a recipe that needs only a slight amount of cutting. I made these cupcakes back in the spring when Key limes were in season. If you can’t get Key lime juice, you can substitute regular lime juice.

The icing came out softer than I thought. They were fine as I packed them up to take to a meeting, but the rush hour traffic combined with the hot weather did them in. They didn’t look so pretty when I unpacked them. Fortunately, a bunch of fourth and fifth graders ate them and didn’t care how they looked.

Adapted from Ina Garten, as seen on Barefoot Contessa

Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes

Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes


¾ lb (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c sugar
5 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs key lime zest
1 1/2 Tbs key lime juice
3 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
1 c light coconut milk
1 c sweetened shredded coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla, key lime zest, and key lime juice and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the coconut milk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in coconut.
  4. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.
  6. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.


Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

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Sweet Comments:

  1. These cupcakes look great koko! As for the knives, I’d get in the habit of using the honing steel every time you use the knife. It will keep the integrity of the knives in between sharpening. I take mine to be sharpened a few times a year when Sur La Table has their free sharpening events. Do you have one of those stores near you?

  2. You should check out this website about sharpening knives:

    These cupcakes look amazing despite the frosting issue.

  3. Yum, I love anything with Key Limes.

    As for knife sharpening, my local Joann’s Fabric store has knife and scissor sharpening a couple times a year.

  4. These look delicious!! I love the addition of key lime zest on the top! They look so festive! 🙂
    Would you mind checking out my blog? 😀

  5. The cupcakes look super cute! I love the way you frosted them.

    I had the icing slippage a week or two ago, too. That’s never fun, but I have found – as you did – that people generally don’t mind all that much 😛

    I need to get my knives sharpened, too… I think I’m going to look into Sur La Table as Bella mentioned!

  6. I just got my knives professionally sharpened last year and it was like $4 a knife. (First time since I bought the set in 1997), so I figured the money was worth it. The professional sharpening evens out the nicks and dings on the blade edge as well as bringing the angle of the edge back to where it should be. I take about 4 or 5 swipes with the sharpening steel before I use any knife. And I always use them on a cutting board and never directly in any ceramic or metal surfaces. I also hand clean my knives and put them right back in the block instead of putting them in the dishwasher (they can get banged up in there). Definitely worth getting them professionally sharpened if you haven’t strictly adhered to good knife care. 🙂

    P.S. Cupcakse look delish!

  7. I found your blog after searching for something to do with key limes that wasn’t key lime pie. Your cupcakes looked so good that I knew I had to make them. Could you provide the ingredients for the frosting, too? Or, is it just basic cream cheese frosting?

  8. Flax Hill Gardener – I tried a weird recipe that I didn’t like (see last picture.) You could definitely use a cream cheese frosting, or a buttercream. I did flavor it with some coconut extract and lime zest.

  9. They look cute Suzanne 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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