Home DessertCake Key Lime Cupcakes

Key Lime Cupcakes

by Laura

It’s Key Lime Cupcakes for you all today.  They begin with a good old cake mix.  Then they get an additional color and flavor from a package of lime gelatin.  Next the flavor and color gets an added bonus of key lime juice. A few drops of food coloring are added too.  

The cupcake itself has a larger crumb than most cakes. I believe this is due to the addition of the gelatin. They are almost more like a muffin consistency in texture.  They also end up with a flat top rather than a round top. You may find that they even sink a little in the center, but don’t be alarmed.

After the key lime cupcakes cool, they get an extra punch of lime from a lime glaze.  Finally, they get a finishing off with a sweet cream cheese frosting to balance out the flavors.  I shared these with a few friends who all enjoyed them.  My husband even enjoyed them and he isn’t a fan of key limes at all!

Key Lime Cupcakes | realmomkitchen.com

Here is what you need to make the

Key Lime Cupcakes

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Key Lime Cupcakes | realmomkitchen.com

Key Lime Cupcakes


  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 1 box (3 oz) lime-flavored gelatin
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup Key lime juice
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 or 3 drops green food coloring
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons Key lime juice
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 fresh limes, each cut into 6 slice and cut slice in half


  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan) and line 24 regular-size muffin cups with cupcake liners.
  2. In large bowl, beat the cake mix, gelatin, water, juice, vegetable oil, eggs and food coloring with an electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes.
  3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full.
  4. Bake at 350 for 19 to 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack.
  5. Using a toothpick, pierce tops of cupcakes in several places (about 7 to 8 times per cupcake)
  6. In small bowl, mix 1 cup powdered sugar and enough of the 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice until glaze is smooth. Brush or spread glaze over cupcakes. Cool for 30 more minutes.
  7. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  8. Add vanilla and 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar to beat until frosting is fluffy.
  9. Frost cupcakes. Store covered in refrigerator. Garnish with lime halves just before serving.
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Adapted from Betty Crocker.

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laura August 19, 2020 - 12:27 pm

I have a question, the measurement for the gelatin is 4 ounces or 4 cups ???

Laura August 19, 2020 - 11:05 pm

I just fixed the recipe to make it more clear. It’s the 3 oz box.

Linda April 16, 2014 - 6:06 pm

I just made these tonight for an Easter party at work. Put little jelly beans on top for garnish. My husband and I had to try one and these are fantastic!!! The Lime glaze is so tart and adds an extra zing other cupcakes dont have. If you like Key Lime, you’ll love these cupcakes.

Jett Whitfield March 11, 2014 - 7:43 am

I love this recipe! I did not have key lime juice and I used some orange mango juice instead. Very moist and always requested!

Rebecca Thiessen December 8, 2012 - 10:03 pm

I made these cupcakes tonight and they were AMAZING. Everyone who has tried them has raved about the cupcakes- such a hit! Will definitely make them again…thanks for the recipe!

Emilee May 3, 2012 - 12:40 pm

These were SUPER DUPER yummy!

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Beth March 8, 2012 - 11:16 am

OMG! These are adorable. I love doctored cake mix recipes. The color is fantastic. What food coloring did you use? Already pinned 🙂

Trish March 8, 2012 - 8:39 am

My dad LOVES key lime. I’m definitely going to save this and make it for Father’s Day or he is Birthday – maybe both 🙂


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