So I have to admit something. In a previous post you might have read about my obsession with basil, and I am not ashamed to admit that it’s only one of my ingredient obsessions. Another is lime (and then there’s black beans, and mandarin oranges, and arugula, and fresh raspberries, etc etc etc…) – and I mean, I really love lime. I am also trying to figure out how to include all my favorite ingredients into one recipe, and thus far have only succeeded with very random salads that no one else has the guts to try. 🙂 But with my love for lime, luckily it makes incredible desserts! Thus far I have channeled that love into many different baking experiences, including several different lime cupcakes, such as lime cupcakes with blackberry frosting, vanilla cupcakes with blackberry filling and lime cream cheese frosting, and these particular favorites, lime cupcakes with mint mojito frosting. More lime recipes to follow, but I wanted to start with this one because it was made for very special friends, and also tasted incredibly delicious.
I was privileged to be asked to make cupcakes for my good friend’s baby shower – they decided to have a cocktail party with all of their friends, with a full bar, to celebrate their baby – which was a brilliant idea! So in keeping with the fancy cocktail theme, one of the types of cupcakes I made were my favorite lime cupcakes with a mint mojito frosting.
Luckily I had rum on hand that I had been trying to add to as many different recipes as possible, which I got from my last trip to Haiti. On that trip while in Port au Prince I went to a rum tasting at an art gallery, pictured above, hosted by the US Embassy. They had 25 different types of Caribbean rum, from the cheaper white rum, to the fancy dark rum, including the best of the Haitian varieties. Then, after allowing us to taste as much as we wanted from all the different rums, and serving all types of rum drinks (such as the Haitian specialities rum punch and Zombis), they then raffled off each bottle. I ended up with a bottle of white rum from the Bahamas, which was excellent because it was the cheaper variety, meaning that less people tasted it and I got to take more home! So I used that white rum for this frosting, thus including a bit of a memory from Haiti into this super fancy and fun frosting for my friends!
Finally, one warning…don’t make the rookie mistake that I did of confusing peppermint for mint. It’s true, I bought peppermint extract instead of mint extract, and it gave these cupcakes an interesting flavor. Interesting as in reminiscent of toothpaste. So I started over with the proper mint extract and these turned out excellent, and were a hit at the baby shower. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Baked Perfection
makes 30 cupcakes
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons lime juice – I like to use fresh squeezed with a bit of pulp, but you can also use bottled juice
Zest of three limes – if you’re in a country where the limes are much smaller (like Liberia!), then you should double this number
1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit/176 degrees celsius. Prepare about 30 cupcake liners in a muffin tin.
In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate smaller bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt and the sour cream. In a separate large bowl, cream with a hand mixer or stand mixer the butter and sugar until the texture is light and fluffy, a few minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. In the same bowl then add the vanilla, the lime juice, and lime zest.
Now that you have three bowls full of ingredients, take the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture and add a bit of each at a time to the butter mixture. Meaning first a bit of the flour, mix. Some of the sour cream mixture, mix. Fair warning, the batter will be thick and filled with lime goodness!
Using a spoon, fill each muffin liner about 2/3 full of batter. Place in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the middle of a cupcake and it comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
*I chopped up a few sprigs of fresh mint and added it to the frosting…this was not the greatest idea, because beating in the mint turned it brown, so the pretty frosting had little brown bits in it…not so attractive! I think if you added the chopped mint at the very end, after the frosting is finished, then it shouldn’t change colors. Otherwise, I would suggest garnishing the cupcakes with a few leaves of mint – this is a great finishing touch, and saves you the potential mess of brown bits infecting the frosting!
Using a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, mint extract, and salt until the ingredients are smooth. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating the mixture each time until all the ingredients are combined. After adding all the powdered sugar, if the texture is too stiff, add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time, until you are happy with the frosting.
If you would like to color the frosting, add the food coloring a few drops at a time and beat each time until you achieve the color that you wanted. If you are using gel food coloring, dip a fork into the food coloring and place a small amount in the frosting, and beat the frosting, adding more as desired.
Decorate with sprigs of mint leaves, and enjoy!