Coconut Key Lime Cupcakes With Key Lime Curd Buttercream

To me one of the most difficult things about writing a food blog is the photography. I am not the best photographer in foodbloggery, nor do I have a fabulous camera… but like almost every foodblogger I know I take probably 100 images to get the one to four or so images you see on my post.

It takes so much time to go through them, resize them, etc… as much as I enjoy it, the food blog takes most of my time while my other writing makes most of my income. So, when I go a week without posting you can bet that I am working on the boring stuff so I can afford the fun stuff.

And then, there is the creativity aspect. How creative can I be?

My daughter, Erin the photographer, introduced me to the idea of using scrapbooking papers as backdrops.  It works well for small things like food images and I recently got them on sale at a craft store for 6/1.00  ….

It is often difficult for me to decide between a patterned background or a natural one. And, frustrating when daylight dims into twilight in my kitchen…


In fact, with my ADD I can sit here for hours staring at the various shots unable to choose one at all. Then there is the question….

Should I post images of ingredients? I never know if you really want to see a stick of butter, you know?


The cupcake batter is rich coconut. I have coconut haters at my house…and it is more about the texture than the taste. Some people just get creeped out by coconut shreds in their food. So to make the cupcakes moist and coconutty I blended the coconut in with the buttermilk to get a thick liquid…free of coconut shreds.

Yay Me.

What happened was that the cupcakes come out UBER moist and coconutty.

Once you have the cupcakes baked and cooled hollow out a little bit in the center. This is where the key lime curd is going to go. Surprise!

Now take a small spoon and fill the hollows with key lime curd.

I usually refrigerate at this point because you want the cupcake to be very cool before adding the buttercream..especially in Texas.

When you bite into the cupcake you get a rich, moist coconut cake followed by a tangy key lime burst and finished with creamy, silky buttercream that has more key lime curd folded into it.


These are absolutely some of my favorites…ever.


Keep these refrigerated and just  allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. The recipe makes 30 or so cupcakes. I adapted the recipe from Ina Garten’s Coconut Cupcakes.

Recipe: Coconut Key Lime Cupcakes

Summary: Moist coconut cake with tangy key lime filling


  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Put cupcake liners in 30 muffin cups.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  4. Switch to low speed and add eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended.
  5. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Using a blender at high speed mix the coconut with the buttermilk until smooth.
  8. Stir the flavorings into the buttermilk mixture.
  9. With the mixer on low add 1/3 of the flour and mix well.
  10. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and blend.
  11. Repeat, adding the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2 parts.
  12. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 with batter.
  13. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  14. Cool for 15 minutes and then hollow out the middles carefully with a sharp knife. Be careful not to break through the bottoms or sides.
  15. Fill hollows with chilled key lime curd and top with buttercream.
  16. Keep refrigerated. Let come to room temperature before serving.

Cooking time (duration): 1 hour

Number of servings (yield): 30

Meal type: dessert

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)


Recipe: Key Lime Curd

Summary: Tangy spread that can be used on scones or as a filling for cake


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup key lime juice
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, chilled


  1. Mix the sugar and egg yolks.
  2. Whisk in the lime juice.
  3. Microwave, stirring every minute, until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Remove from microwave and stir in butter a little at a time.
  5. Refrigerate until thick and cool.


May use lemon, grapefruit, or other citrus juice

Cooking time (duration): 10

Number of servings (yield): 1 1/2 cups lime curd

Meal type: dessert

Culinary tradition: English

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)



Recipe: Key Lime Curd Swiss Buttercream

Summary: Creamy Swiss buttercream with luscious key lime curd folded in


  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup lime curd


  1. Beat the sugar and egg whites together in a heat proof bowl of an electric mixer (or just a heat proof bowl…you will have to transfer to the mixer)
  2. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk until the sugar dissolves and the egg whites are hot to the touch. This takes maybe two or three minutes.
  3. Ensure that there is no graininess by rubbing the egg whites between your fingers.
  4. Place the bowl on the mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on high until the mixture is cool, about 10 minutes. It should be holding stiff peaks.
  5. Add the butter a square at a time and beat well after each addition.
  6. Beat until smooth and all the butter is incorporated. Add the paddle attachment and beat on low for a few minutes.
  7. Fold in lime curd.

Cooking time (duration): 30

Number of servings (yield): 30 cupcakes

Meal type: dessert

Culinary tradition: French

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)


Do you REALLY want to know the nutrition info on these?

Nutrition Information:

Serving size 1 cupcake

Calories 428

Fat 27.6 (saturated 17.3)

Carbs  43.3

Protein 4.0

Printable Recipe

Images: (c)MaryeAudet 2011

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  1. says

    Hi Marye – I’m trying your recipe today. I’ve made Ina’s cupcakes before and they are quite good (buttery, dense, yet moist). Like you, I’m a food blogger (newbie) and my challenge is photography. I can’t handle a dslr and have to rely on my point and shoot. I spend days just thinking of topics, then writing them, but the photography is also time consuming. I related to your post so much!!

    I think your blog is great!

    P.S. I like looking at pictures of ingredients (personally)

    Happy Baking, Happy Blogging!
    Ruby (cravingthis)

  2. Shelly says

    Coincidentally, I made the Ina G. version of the coconut cupcakes and did a lime cream cheese frosting. ‘Cannot wait to try your recipe with all the enhancements. (Love lime curd!!!) Thanks for all the hard work and pictures.

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