Lime Baby Cakes are dense and moist from buttermilk, and zingy with fresh lime flavor. A swirl of cream cheese frosting offers the perfect creamy contrast!

mini lime cupcakes with cream cheese frosting


Mini Lime Cupcakes

These Lime Baby Cakes are for Mom.

For Mother’s Day, I wanted to share a recipe that I know Mom loves, but one that she doesn’t actually make for herself. (She likes to find them already made at our house!)

So whenever I make these mini lime cupcakes, I stash a few away in the freezer for the next time she visits us. It’s what any good daughter would do, right?

I hope you like these awesome little cakes – they’re also especially great for St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo. But really, these baby cakes would be welcome at most any celebratory occasion!

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mini lime cupcakes without frosting

Lime cake recipe is perfect for spring!

These lime cupcakes have my mom’s name written all over them. Not only are they green, one of her favorite colors, but they’re also bright with citrus flavor.

Because I wanted all that vibrant green color to show through in the most maximum way possible, I knew I wanted to forgo paper liners.

So I found these awesome silicone cupcake pans for this recipe. The individual cups in the pan hold just a bit more than my other mini cupcake pans – and I love this bit larger size!

Mother's Day 1976
Mother’s Day 1976

Ohhhhhh, to go back in time. I smile at this photo.

This picture was taken on Mother’s Day when I was five years old (I’m in the red dress).

Notice the flowers on Mom’s lapel. Dad always gave Mom a corsage of fresh flowers to wear to church on Mother’s Day morning. I always liked that my dad did this, and anticipated seeing what he would bring home for her to wear each year.

mini cupcakes with lime juice and zest, topped with cream cheese frosting

These vibrant green cupcakes are fun, ultra tasty, and completely addictive.

The buttermilk in the batter makes the cupcakes dense and moist. And with real lime juice and zest, they are zingy with fresh citrus flavor.

And I don’t think I need to sing the praises of cream cheese frosting too loudly, as it seems most people are already fans. But the creamy frosting is the perfect contrasting topper to the brightness of the cake.  They work marvelously together.

mini lime cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Lime Baby Cakes are perfect for a smaller dessert

I first made these for a friend’s party where a selection of smaller 2-bite desserts was served. The original recipe is for regular size cupcakes, however, I adapted it to make “baby” cakes for this occasion.

The little cupcakes went over so well that first time, I’ve never made them any other way.

This recipe has been a popular one on the blog, but especially so around St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and springtime in general. Of course, I always think of them at Mother’s Day.

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pinterest image of lime baby cakes
mini lime cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Lime Baby Cakes

Yield: 50 baby cakes
prep time: 45 minutes
cook time: 20 minutes
total time: 1 hour 5 minutes
A fun, vibrant treat! Buttermilk makes these mini cupcakes dense and moist, and lime juice and zest give them zingy fresh citrus flavor. A swirl of cream cheese frosting on top offers the perfect creamy contrast.
4.6 Stars (29 Reviews)


for the baby cakes:

for the frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1.5 c. powdered sugar
  • ½ c. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 T. finely grated lime peel
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract


  • For the baby cakes: Preheat oven to 350° F. A couple notes: I prefer to use flexible silicone mini muffin pans with no paper liners for this recipe, but you can also prepare metal mini muffin pans with paper liners. I use these silicone muffin pans, which yield a little bigger mini cupcake than most – which I like! Sizes of mini muffin pans vary quite a bit, so your yield and baking time may vary. I set the silicone muffin pans on sheet pans, for sturdiness.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat to blend. Beat in eggs one at a time, then the lime juice, lime peel, and food coloring. Batter may look curdled, but that’s just fine. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, in 3 additions. Spoon batter into liners, about 2/3 full.
  • Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean. This takes about 20 minutes for me, but it will depend on the size of your tins, so pay close attention to your baking time. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Cool completely before adding frosting.
  • For the frosting: In a medium bowl, beat all ingredients until smooth. With a medium-large plain round pastry tip (I like to use one that has a tip opening of about 5/16″), pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes, or simply spread it on with a knife. Sprinkle a bit of fresh lime zest over tops, if desired.


heavily adapted from bon appetit, original recipe from Buttersweet Bakery in Atlanta

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 159kcal Carbohydrates: 21g Protein: 2g Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 5g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 34mg Sodium: 92mg Sugar: 14g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

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This post was previously published May 2010 and has been a popular recipe with family, friends, and readers. Some of the photographs and text were updated in 2018.