CH#1: Cherry-Lime Rickey Cupcakes

September 29, 2007 at 5:03 pm | Posted in cupcakes, events, sweet things | 8 Comments

cherry-lime rickey cupcakes

I can’t really pretend to wax nostalgic about 1950s soda shops.  Sure, I’ve been to couple of old-school diners and lunch counters in NYC, but they aren’t exactly the type of place where I picture my dad shared a malted with his best girl on a Saturday night as Bobby Darin sang out from the jukebox.  I totally have a thing for soda fountain drinks though.  Besides a good egg cream, there is another classic I adore– the cherry-lime rickey.  Since Laurie from quirky cupcake has just kicked off a new event called ‘Cupcake Hero,’ and this month’s theme ingredient is lime, I thought I’d take a stab at recreating a cherry-lime rickey (non-carbonated, of course) in cupcake form. 

I started with a basic vanilla cupcake, flavored with a bit of lime zest.  Lots of other bloggers have had great success with Billy Reece’s Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcake recipe (he made it on the Martha Stewart Show awhile back),  so i thought I would give it a try myself.  It was easy to make, and the cupcakes baked up fluffy and nice–don’t overfill them though!

While the cupcakes were baking, I made a batch of lime curd and parked it in the fridge to chill.  Then I whipped up some vanilla buttercream, portioned out what I needed for the cupcakes at hand, and refrigerated the rest for another time.  To give the buttercream flavor, I added a bit of cherry jam, some chopped cherries  and some chilled lime curd.  I filled my cooled cupcakes with cherry jam and lime curd, topped them with cherry buttercream, and added a little garnish.  A cherry-lime rickey cupcake…coolsville.  I dig it.

cherry-lime rickey cupcakes

Cherry-Lime Rickey Cupcakes makes 12 regular-size cupcakes

-Start with a batch of baked and cooled vanilla cupcakes flavored with lime zest.  (I used Billy’s Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes.  Not wanting 30 cupcakes, I did a half batch and mixed in the zest of one lime at the end.)

-Make and chill the lime curd (recipe below).

-Make the vanilla buttercream (recipe below).  Flavor it with a spoonful of cherry jam, 1/4 cup of lime curd and a handful of chopped cherries (fresh or canned).

-To fill the cupcakes, use a small knife or round cookie cutter to cut a plug out of the center of each (going in from the top).  Save the top bit of each plug.  Put a small blob of cherry jam at the bottom of each cavity, then fill the rest up with lime curd.  Cover with the top bit so the curd is not exposed.

-Top with buttercream and garnish with a cherry and a lime slice.

Lime Curd– makes about 1 2/3 cups

2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup strained lime juice 
zest of 1 lime
pinch of salt
4 T unsalted butter

-Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a medium saucepot.  In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, lime juice and zest and a pinch of salt.  Set the bowl over the simmering water (making a double boiler).

–Whisk frequently until thickened.  Becasue it’s over a double boiler, you can walk away for a minute or so if need be.

-Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, a bit at a time, until it is fully incorporated.

-Pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl or container.  Press plastic wrap directly on surface and refrigerate until cold.  Either use it up or transfer to an airtight container, keeping plastic wrap on the surface for storage.  This way, it can keep in the fridge for about a week.

Vanilla Buttercream makes about 2 cups
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated’s Baking Illustrated

2 large eggs
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) sugar
1 t vanilla extract
pinch of salt
8 oz unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into pieces

-Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a medium saucepot.  In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt.  Set the bowl over the simmering water (making a double boiler).  Whisk gently but constantly until the mixture reaches 160°F.  It should be thin and foamy.

-Transfer the bowl to the mixer and whip until light, airy and room temperature.  This should take about five minutes.  Reduce the speed and whip in the butter, piece by piece.  If it looks curdled halfway through, it should come together as you add the remaining butter.

-Once all the butter is incorporated, beat on high speed for about a minute until light and fluffy.  You can refrigerate, covered, for up to five days.


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  1. My these look good. What a fabulous combination. Your buttercream looks absolutely divine. I could eat it right off the screen. Well done.

  2. I’ve never tried the cherry lime ricky at a soda fountain, but I think I’ll be trying these cupcakes! I’m with KJ, ready to lick my monitor!

  3. These are so cute! And what a great way to use the lime. They look so delicious!

  4. Never tried that drink or egg cream but I will amke these for sure. Congrats on being a Cupcake Hero. Well deserved!

  5. Thanks KJ, Dolores and Deborah!

    Tartelette–Oh my gosh! I can’t believe it…I just saw Laurie’s post!

  6. I love Billy’s Vanilla Vanilla recipe, it turns out lovely cupcakes every time. I’m quite sure he’d be quite impressed with your adaptation of his recipe, too! Your cupcakes look divine, what innovative idea, well done!

  7. These sound delicious. I’m a big fan of the cherry/lime combination, and this is definitely in my “to try” folder. 😀

  8. That cupcake looks really good! It could be a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

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