Spiked Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

My brother’s birthday was this past week and he happen to be coming into town for a visit. My brother is definitely one of my biggest fans/original taste testers, so I asked him what he wanted for his birthday cupcakes. The response I got? “Something summery and alcoholic”. A lot of feminine cupcakes came to mind. Then he comes back and tells me, “Do something key lime”. Turns out that request actually came from his girlfriend.

Birthday Cake
He’s always been a fan of cake. 20 years later and he still eats like that.

I had settled on a key lime cupcake when I saw a commercial for cherry vodka on tv (I guess advertising really does work). From that I decided to make a cherry limeade cupcake- specifically a graham cracker cupcake, key lime filling, and cherry vodka mascarpone frosting. The graham cracker cake sounds a little odd, but my thinking was that it would serve as the “crust” like a graham cracker crust in key lime pie. It balanced out the key lime flavor and the sweetness of the frosting perfectly.

For those of you who are wondering, key limes are different than “regular” limes (also known as Persian limes). Key limes are a lot smaller and have a little bit of a different taste than regular limes. And when I say smaller, I mean it was an act of love zesting and juicing that many key limes.

Keylimes
See how tiny they are??!

I found the fruitiest looking vodka I could find, and I guess I did a good job because when I opened the bottle a wave of cherry immediately wafted up. I didn’t use anything else for the cherry flavor besides the vodka- but it definitely lended enough cherry to get the flavor across. When I was decorating the cupcakes I decided I wanted to be able to see the key lime filling instead of hiding it in the cupcake, so I piped frosting just around the edge. These cupcakes are definitely more of an adult flavor- kids don’t really know what to do with “the green stuff” in the center. They are pretty popular with adults though! This was the perfect cupcake to kick off summer!

Spiked Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
Spiked Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

What flavors do you think of when you think about summer?

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