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Vegan Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

I made these key lime pie cupcakes for the first time for my father-in-law, who loves key lime pie but whose birthday always coincides with an annual family/work trip. Long car rides and wobbly pie just don’t mix.

vegan key lime pie cupcakes

We all loved them, which was a relief because they were an experiment. I really wanted to play around with aquafaba in a cupcake recipe but I didn’t want to just substitute directly from someone else’s recipe, so I made this one up with a few non-vegan recipes as guides.  Have you heard about aquafaba? It’s the name for the liquid from a can of beans, and it can be substituted in place of egg whites in a variety of recipes.

Luckily, it totally worked! And I mean totally. They were flavorful and extremely moist and fluffy. They also stayed moist for many days, which is so unusual for cupcakes. Check out the crumb on the inside of these puppies.

I loved having the crust layer for a little bit of crunch and texture. You could always skip that layer if you prefer to make a quicker version or have trouble finding vegan graham crackers (I made my own a while ago and froze the crumbs for crust.)

The frosting is delightfully sweet and tart and perfectly fluffy.

Vegan Key Lime Pie Cupcakes Recipe

Ingredients for the Vegan Pie Crust Layer

  • ¼ c. graham cracker crumbs (about 5 full size crackers pulverized)
  • 3 Tbsp. nondairy butter, melted
  • ¼ c. sugar

Ingredients for the Vegan Cupcake Layer

  • ¾ c. nondairy milk
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp. aquafaba (liquid from a can of beans)
  • 2½ Tbsp. freshly squeezed key lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. key lime zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ c. cane sugar
  • 1¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt

Ingredients for the Vegan Lime Buttercream Frosting

  • ½ cup nondairy butter
  • ½ cup nondairy shortening
  • 3½ c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed key lime juice
  • 2 tsp. key lime zest

Directions for the Vegan Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.

Start by adding the apple cider vinegar to the milk in a medium size bowl and letting it sit for a few minutes until it curdles.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the sugar and melted butter and stir to combine. Put about a teaspoon of the crust mixture into the bottom of the cupcake liners and press it down so the crust covers the bottom of each cupcake. Bake for 5 minutes and remove from the oven.

While the crust is baking, combine all the wet ingredients. To the milk bowl, add in the aquafaba, lime juice, zest, vanilla, and sugar, and stir until the sugar seems dissolved.

Combine the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and then gently mix them into the wet ingredients. Stir just you don’t see any dry ingredients remaining.

Fill the cupcake liners with the cupcake mixture, until they’re about ¾ full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a fork inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let them cool on a cookie sheet and frost them when they’re completely cool.

To make the frosting, whip the butter and shortening until combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the confectioner’s sugar a cup at a time until it’s thick. Add in the vanilla, lime juice, and zest and whip until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Frost and top your vegan key lime pie cupcakes with slices of key limes.

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