Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs 
2 cups cake flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/3 cup speculoos spread 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1 large egg 
1/3 cup oil 
1/3 cup sour cream 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2/3 cup cup whole milk

Key Lime Curd 
2 large egg yolks 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
2 teaspoons finely grated key lime zest 
1/4 cup fresh key lime juice 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, softened 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
2 ounces white chocolate, melted 
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped toasted macadamia nuts 
1/4 cup toasted flaked coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 12 muffin cups with liners; divide graham cracker  into bottoms.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  In a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together speculoos, sugar, egg, oil, sour cream and vanilla until well combined – about 1 minute.  Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with milk, until just combined.  Divide batter into cups.  Bake 15-17 minutes or until well risen, and light golden brown.  Cool 5 minutes before transferring cupcakes to wire racks to cool.

To make the key lime curd, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, lime zest and lime juice over a double boiler.  Whisk and cook until until mixture becomes thick.  Transfer curd to a medium bowl and whisk in butter until combined.  Cover and chill in refrigerator until cold.

To make the frosting, in a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy – about 1 minute.  Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and white chocolate until combined.  Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes, or until creamy.

To assemble the cupcakes, remove “core” from cupcakes using a knife (this is to make room for the filling).  Place the key lime curd in a piping bag and pipe into the centers of cupcakes.  Place frosting in a piping bag and decorate tops of cupcakes.  Sprinkle toasted macadamia nuts and coconut on top (optional).



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