Key Lime Pie Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Frosting Gluten/Dairy Free with a Vegan Option.

by Brittany on March 27, 2011

  • Ready Time :
    0 min



  • 1 can Heavy (full fat) Coconut Milk
  • 3/4 Cup Lime or Key Lime Juice
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar (or more- to taste) (Note- this can be refined free sugar)
  • 1 1/2 TBS Arrowroot (Cornstarch or Tapioca)
  • 2 Eggs (optional)
  • Green Food Coloring (optional)


I REALLY really enjoyed the process of creating these. These began more as visual art in my head than anything else. Before creating something new I will often do a google image search and look through hundreds of pages of photos to just find little pieces of inspiration to spark my own ideas.

So much of my inspiration comes from color. Many of you probably do not know that I majored in Fine Arts in college with a concentration in painting. After college I shoved my painting supplies deep into a storage closet from the sheer burnout that I developed over the years.. But yet somehow in the past year and a half with my almost non-stop Kitchen Creations I have found my paintbrush again. An artistic side to me that I thought had died is back -and a hundred times stronger. Its a wonderful feeling to experience- I feel truelly alive and am  ecstatic for all of life’s opportunities. Who knew that writing recipes could have such an extremely wonderful impact on me?

This brings me back to the cupcakes. Weeks ago when I was planning the menu for the recent “Be Free Wellness Event” I decided that the food was going to coordinate with the colors of this site- of my logo and on. Green is my absolute favorite color- Lime green to be exact. SO- when the idea for these delicious little cupcakes came to mind- I was ALL about them. To go along with their elegant apperance I knew I needed to create a really bright fresh Keylime “custard” flavor – followed by a delicious Coconut Butter cream to swirl on top. and so I did. And oh my- I think I nailed these.

I wanted to offer this recipe Gluten/Dairy Free- but I also wanted to provide an egg free- Vegan option. This past week I perfected my Gluten/Dairy/Soy/Egg/Refined Sugar Free and Vegan White Cake recipe. So for you I have options options options.

First select from one of the following White Cake Recipes:

Gluten/ Dairy /Soy Free Perfectly Fluffy White Cake  (Contains eggs)


Gluten/Dairy/Soy/ Egg/Refined Sugar White Cake (Vegan)

You may consider adding zest from a lime or two and a tsp of Lemon Extract to whichever cake recipe you select!

Both can be made refined sugar free if you need suggestions on how check out what I have written in the “vegan” white cake post.


Next you want to make the Key Lime Custard- The ingredients I listed are flexible- feel free to add more Lime Juice or more sugar depending on your taste.  If you eat or can tolerate eggs I recommend using them as they add a nice custard-y element that I enjoyed. If you cant-  that’s ok- using the Arrowroot will thicken the mixture enough so that it will stay in place in/on the cupcakes.  To make the custard simply place all the ingredients in a small pot- whisk together and continue to stir them over low heat until it has thickened.  Once thick cover the pot with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool.

The Buttercream- I’m not a big fan of giving specific ingredient amounts to make frosting. Everyone seems to like it a little different. I prefer mine heavier on the butter lighter on the sugar.  A little trick I learned recently to thicken my frosting’s without using excessive amounts of Powdered sugar is to add some Arrowroot or cornstarch. BUT be careful with this- if you add TOO much it will develop an off texture and flavor.

To make the frosting Combine- A stick (or 8 TBS) Earth Balance Butter,  Powdered Sugar to taste, Coconut Extract (I used 2 TBS) Vanilla Extract (1 tsp or more) Vegetable Shortening (a few Tbs- this makes the frosting fluffy) and Coconut Powder (dried grated coconut)

Get out a hand mixer and blend away. Add these different ingredients a little at a time and see how you like it- you will learn quickly how they each contribute and effect the frosting. I went heavy on the Coconut Powder- I used a solid cup.  After getting the buttercream to your liking I recommend placing it in the fridge to chill as it will then be easier to frost the cupcakes with. A firmer frosting is always a better bet when you want to use a piping bag.

To assemble there are several options- you could punch a hole in each cupcake with your thumb, you could also trim the tops off the cupcakes and create a sandwich with the custard and top of the cupcake. Basically the idea is to create a place for the Custard to go- however you want to do this is up to you. Then on top of the custard goes the buttercream.  I used a piping bag to top the cupcakes with the buttercream as I think this provides the prettiest presentation. If you do not have a piping bag- just use a large ziplock bag and snip off one of the corners.

Make sure that the cupcakes and custard are nice and cool before you do any decorating- If you attempt to frost while they are hot- you will find everything might just slide off.

I topped each of my cupcakes with a Lime Slice- You could also sprinkle on some fresh lime zest!

Enjoy :)

This recipe has been linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

sanaacooks March 29, 2011 at 9:43 pm

I printed this recipe for one of my client. She was looking for cupcake for her child and yours sounded great. Good job.


BrittanyAngell March 29, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Thank you!!! :) Appreciate you sharing my recipe. xo


amy March 13, 2013 at 6:00 pm

These cupcakes look amazing! I would love to make them for my friend’s baby shower… but the link to the non-vegan recipe isn’t working :( Is it just me?


Brittany March 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Oh shoot!
I removed that recipe as a few people had issues with it. I forgot I tagged the link here too!
Sorry about that!


Shawn August 30, 2013 at 1:29 am

Love your website, and thank you for making vegan options, especially cupcakes! Life without a cupcake… well ok it may still be life but it is much nicer with cupcakes. Also like your background about the art thing, that’s very cool. I play music, I compose music mainly by myself and am going to school for it right now and also helping people with disabilities use music to develop them. I have also found that cooking has helped me with even the artistic side for music because it makes us think more, and helps with the focus part. Being an individual with Attention Deficit disorder that is now conscious of not only the meat and dairy industries have havoc on the body, but also the preservatives in every kind of food, especially high fructose corn syrup and all the other like blue 5 or whatever they are called, those things affect attention spans a lot and I believe are hurting children also. So anyways much props to what you have done and continue to do Brittany!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: