I haven't posted a dessert recipe yet and I believe this is a great one to start with. I do have to warn you that it's rather...involved. It's not necessarily difficult, but these aren't your easy peasy cupcakes. But they're SO sweet and tart and wonderful. They're from CUPCAKES! from the Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn. If you like to bake cupcakes this is a great book to own.
|Notice the filling and crust on the bottom? They're a great surprise for anyone eating your cupcake!|
Makes: 24 cupcakes -maybe even a few more
Prep time: 25 minutes
Baking time: 18 to 22 minutes
Assembly time: 15 minutes
24 paper liners for cupcakes pans (2 1/2 -inch size)
1 large lime, scrubbed (for 1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons juice) -I actually used key lime for this. I had to buy them for the key lime juice you use in the filling so I opted to use key lime rather than lime here...
4 large eggs
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cups water 1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup Key lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Reserved 3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.
2. Prepare the cupcake batter: With a citrus zester or fine grater, zest the lime (or key lime if you do what I did) and reserve 1 teaspoon. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice over a strainer into a small bowl: you should have 2 tablespoons. Set aside. Separate 2 of the eggs, place the whites in a large clean mixing bowl and the yolks in another bowl. (This was the most confusing step for me. The zest, 2 T. juice, and 3 yolks all go in the same bowl...the bowl you'll use to make the batter. The whites go in another bowl for the meringue.)
3. Add the remaining egg, cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil, coconut flavoring and lime zest and juice to the yolks. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well blended. Spoon or scoop 1/4 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it two thirds of the way full. Place the pans in the oven.
4. Bake the cupcakes until they are lightly golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 18 to 22 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Increase the oven heat to 450 F.
5. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake liners, lift the cupcakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your fingertips. Place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before filling.
6. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Place the sweetened condensed milk and Key lime juice in a small bowl and stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a medium tip. Press the tip 1/4 inch into the top center of each cooked cupcake and squeeze the bag to release about 1 tablespoon filling into the cupcake. Scrape off any excess filling with a rubber spatula. Place the cooled cupcakes nearby side by side on a baking sheet.
7. Prepare the meringue: Add the cream of tartar to the reserved egg whites and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until frothy, 45 seconds. Add the coconut flavoring and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Continue beating on high, adding 1 tablespoon sugar at a time, until the whites form stiff peaks (if you pull the beaters from the meringue, the meringue should extend from the beaters in straight stiff peaks). Spoon 2 tablespoons meringue onto the top of each cupcake and swirl to spread it just to the edges with a short metal spatula or a spoon. Place the pan in the oven. Bake until meringue is light nutty brown in color, 5 to 6 minutes. Serve at once, or allow to cool 10 minutes then serve.
Store in a cake saver at room temp for up to 3 days.
Sorry for the lengthy instructions but that's how the recipe is written out. I followed it exactly with the exception of:
*The lime juice used in the batter. I bought 20 key limes for the filling and decided to use those in the batter as well. When all was said and done I had 7 key limes left over. If you buy Key lime juice, rather than using fresh, then I would use the lime as directed.
*I ended up piping on the meringue. It's faster and easier than using a knife to spread it on. Plus, I think it looks prettier. I also sprinkled lightly toasted coconut and just a pinch of key lime zest over the top of each cupcake before baking the meringue. It makes for pretty garnish and tells people what is in your lovely cupcakes.
*I did make one considerable change, or addition I would say, to the recipe. I've had a Key lime pie cupcake before and it had a graham cracker crust on the bottom. It was delicious, but this recipe did not call for it. So I made graham cracker crust mixture with 1 cup crushed graham crackers, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 5 tablespoon melted butter. Toss all those together and place a little in the bottom of each cupcake cup. I just eyeballed how much I wanted but it was probably a tablespoon in each...maybe a little more. Pack it down with a spoon and there you go! I ended up baking it in the oven for a few minutes to crisp it up before I poured the batter in, but looking back I don't think that would be necessary because you then bake the cupcakes. In my cupcakes the crust was slightly crunchy, almost a cookie consistency. I liked it, but I'm interested to see if the crust would be a little softer if I don't bake it before hand.
Anyway. These are SO very tasty. I like the meringue because it's not too sweet and balances the sweetness of the filling. These may take a bit of effort to make, but I definitely recommend them if you have to make cupcakes for a special occasion or for a birthday. They're beautiful AND yummy. I hope you like them!