Sweet and tart Key Lime Cupcakes make the best treat and look stunning. Fans of key lime pie will love this recipe and the icing makes it even better. Enjoy all that you love about key lime pie in this easy to make cupcake recipe. 

Key Lime Cupcakes topped with frosting a slice of lime
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Key lime cupcakes make the best dessert, and they are really simple to make. While they look fancy and bakery worthy, they are not hard at all and even the kiddos can help make this cupcake recipe. If you love Easy Key Lime Pie Recipe and Key Lime Bars, enjoy all the flavors in these cupcakes.

Cupcakes are so fun and easy to make. It starts with a cake mix and a few added ingredients to make the best cupcakes. These cupcakes are perfect for any occasions. See all our lime desserts with citrus flavor.

Why we love this recipe

  • Packed with key lime flavor. The key lime juice and key lime zest make it fabulous.
  • Decadent frosting. The key lime buttercream frosting tastes delicious.
  • Easy instructions. The entire recipe is very easy to follow.


Ingredients needed - white cake mix, lime juice, butter, powdered sugar, lime zest, green food coloring
  • White Cake Mix – plus, all of the ingredients per the box instructions.
  • Lime Juice


  • Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Lime Juice
  • Lime Zest
  • Green Food Coloring

The complete ingredients can be found at the bottom of the page.


  • Top the Cupcakes – Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top.
  • Mini Cupcakes – Make mini cupcakes instead of regular size.
  • Add a Slice of Limes –Garnish with a lime slice on each cupcake. This is optional of course but it looks so pretty. I love doing this for parties. 
  • Frosting – These key lime-flavored cupcakes would be delicious with a cream cheese frosting.
  • Add Sprinkles – My kids love adding sprinkles to the cupcakes. There are so many ones to choose from.

How to Make Key Lime Cupcakes

Mixing bowl with cake batter combined.

Step 1. Prepare the cupcakes as the box says with the exception of the water. I used an electric mixer. Substitute ½ cup of the water with ½ cup lime juice. This is the secret to that amazing lime flavor and tangy taste.

Cupcakes in pan baked and cooling.

Step 2. Prepare your muffin pan and add the cupcake liners. Divide batter and fill the cupcakes about half full in the muffin pan. Bake cupcakes in oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted is clean. Allow cupcakes to cool before decorating.

Butter beat until fluffy.

Step 3. Make the frosting while the cupcakes cool. Get a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Mix the unsalted butter until light and fluffy using medium speed.

Food coloring and lime juice combined into mixture.

Step 4. Add the lime juice and green food coloring. Then gradually add the powdered sugar using low speed.

Step 5 – Decorate Cupcakes – Your cupcakes should be cool by now and ready to decorate. You can either use a Wilton throw away bag or a ziploc bag if you don’t have the piping bags. Just cut the corner off and frost each cupcake.

Key Lime Cupcakes topped with frosting a slice of lime

Recipe Tips

  • Cookie Scoop – This helps to make sure the cupcakes are the same size and just makes filling them really easy.
  • Cupcake carrier – These are always a good idea if you need to take the cupcakes somewhere.
  • Don’t Overcook – When toothpick inserted comes out clean, then your cupcake is ready.
  • Using a cake mix – Since you are using a cake mix, there is no need to add in flour, baking powder and salt, butter or sugar.


Can I use Regular Limes in place of Key Limes?

Yes, you can use regular limes. However, keep in mind that key limes are more tart than a regular lime. This will change the flavor a little bit but it will still turn out amazing. 

You might also see them in the store as Mexican limes which is another name for key limes. 

Can I make Cupcakes ahead of time?

Yes, you can make these ahead of time. This is a great way to save time before your celebration. Make sure that your cupcakes are at room temperature before storing. If you are just storing overnight, they can remain at room temperature.

Once you are ready to serve, decorate and enjoy.

How to store?

Refrigerate the leftover cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

How to freeze cupcakes?

Yes, these cupcakes can be frozen. I prefer to freeze them without the frosting. Place inside a freezer safe container and freeze up to 2 months.

Thaw in the refrigerator overnight when ready to enjoy. Make the frosting as normal and frost the cupcakes.

Key Lime Cupcakes topped with frosting a slice of lime

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Impress your family and make this tasty key lime cupcake recipe. Don’t forget to come back and leave a star recipe rating!

Key Lime Cupcakes

4.83 from 17 votes
Sweet and tart key lime cupcakes make the best treat. Fans of key lime pie will love this recipe and the icing makes it even better. Try it!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 24
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 264


  • Ingredients for cake:
  • 1 box White Cake Mix prepared
  • 1/2 cup Lime Juice
  • Frosting:
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 6 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 6 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 2 tsp Lime Zest
  • 1 drop Green Food Coloring
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  • Make batter according to box EXCEPT replace ½ cup of water with ½ cup lime juice.
  • Fill liners about ½ full.
  • Bake 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely on wire rack.
  • Cream butter in a large bowl.
  • Add lime juice and food coloring.
  • Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat until incorporated.
  • Add lime zest and whip until distributed.
  • Transfer to piping bag to frost cupcakes.

Recipe Notes

Store the leftovers in an air tight container at room temperature for 5-7 days.  

Nutrition Facts

Calories 264kcal, Carbohydrates 44g, Protein 1g, Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 5g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 217mg, Potassium 73mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 36g, Vitamin A 241IU, Vitamin C 3mg, Calcium 31mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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