Lime cupcakes recipe

(200 ratings)

Our lime cupcakes have a zingy lime syrup and sweet lime frosting for the ultimate citrusy flavour hit.

Lime cupcakes on a cake stand surrounded by fresh lime wedges
(Image credit: Getty)
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time25 mins Plus cooling time
Total Time1 hours
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories402 Kcal20%
Sugars46.1 g51%
Saturated Fat11.2 g56%
Protein3.1 g6%
Fat18.4 g26%
Carbohydrates56.2 g22%

Our lime cupcakes are sweet, zingy and are delicious with or without the icing on top. 

This simple twist on our cupcake recipe is so tasty and cheap to do. They make a wonderful treat for picnics, parties, cake sales or even carefully packed into lunch boxes. You can make them with or without the frosting and they still taste fantastic. 


  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest 2 limes
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp whole milk

For the drizzle:

  • 100g caster sugar
  • Juice 2 limes

For the frosting:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1 lime




  1. Heat the oven to 160C (140C fan, Gas 3). Prepare a cupcake tray with paper or silicone cases.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.
  3. Beat the eggs and add them gradually to the butter and sugar, mixing thoroughly until everything is combined.
  4. Add the lime zest and fold through with the flour and baking powder. If the batter is stiff add the milk.
  5. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cakes are golden brown and spring back when touched.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine the lime juice and caster sugar.
  7. When the cakes are out of the oven and still warm, prick them with a skewer and pour the drizzle evenly over the cupcakes.
  8. To make the frosting, use an electric whisk to beat the butter until fluffy. Add the zest and juice of the lime, and gradually add the icing sugar with the mixer on low.
  9. When the frosting is smooth, pipe or spoon it onto the cakes and leave to set. Top with slices of fresh lime if desired.

Tips for making lime cupcakes

If you are going to frost the cakes make sure you wait until they are completely cool, around 30 minutes. We like to swap the cakes into fresh paper cases before we frost them as the original ones will be sticky from the drizzle soak. 

What is the secret to super moist cupcakes?

It’s important you thoroughly cream the butter and sugar together as this will result in a soft, light sponge which can soak up your lime drizzle. If you under mix the batter you won’t create the all-important air bubbles and over-mixing will undo all of the air you’ve incorporated.

As a guide the creaming process can take around 10 minutes before it is completely light and fluffy. 

What flavours go well with lime?

Lime pairs well with fellow citrus fruit lemon. You could use a combination of the two in this cupcake recipe or use lime zest in the batter but lemon juice in the syrup. Vodka, gin and tequila also go brilliantly with lime so if you’d like a boozy twist consider adding a little to the drizzle or frosting.

Coconut is a popular pairing as is mango. For a tropical flavour profile add 30g desiccated coconut to the sponge and top the frosting with slices of fresh mango. 

Can you make cupcakes without a case?

If you have a deep cupcake or muffin tray you could bake cupcakes without cases. You will want a non-stick tin ideally or you’ll need to thoroughly grease the tin.

If using a muffin tin you could add a small circle of baking paper to the bottom of each hole and a strip of paper around the edge. This will help support the cupcake batter as it cooks and will also help you take them out of the tin. Don’t remove from the tin until you’ve soaked in the drizzle and they are completely cool.  

To make the frosting you may find it easier to use a freestanding mixer. They often have a super slow setting which means you won’t have icing sugar flying all over your kitchen and you can leave it running while you are busy preparing other elements of the recipe. Food editor Jessica Dady wrote a glowing Kitchen Aid stand mixer review.

KitchenAid Mixer Design Series 4.7l Blossom Artisan - View at KitchenAid

KitchenAid Mixer Design Series 4.7l Blossom Artisan - <a href="" data-link-merchant="SkimLinks -"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">View at KitchenAid

We love the detailed hammered copper mixing bowl in this stand mixer. It comes with four stainless steel mixing accessories to make light work of all your baking endeavours. There are 10 speeds and it comes with a five year guarantee. 

Try adding lime zest to our vanilla cupcakes for a zesty boost in flavour. If you want to try a bigger sharing cake you might like our lemon pound cake or you can’t go wrong with a classic lemon drizzle cake

Jessica Ransom
Senior Food Writer

Jessica is a freelance food writer, stylist and recipe tester. She previously worked as Senior Food Writer at Future. While at Future Jessica wrote food and drink-related news stories and features, curated product pages, reviewed equipment, and developed recipes that she then styled on food shoots. She is an enthusiastic, self-taught cook who adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.