Use this Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe to make frosting for white cake, coconut cake, or a key lime cake or cupcakes for a tangy and sweet spring or summer treat. Made with fresh lime juice and lime zest, this frosting is refreshing and delicious and so perfect you'll want to eat it with a spoon!
Key Lime Pie is one of my most favorite desserts and cream cheese frosting... well, it goes on anything! So by combining those flavors into one frosting recipe - I hit it out of the ballpark. I really didn't even need a cupcake to eat it on... I could eat the frosting with a spoon!
Cakes to Bake for Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting:
- White Almond Sour Cream Cake (aka Wedding Cake)
- The Best One-Bowl Coconut Bundt Cake Recipe
- Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
- Delicious Gluten-Free Honey Coconut Cake Recipe
Equipment You'll Need:
- Mixing Bowl
- Hand Mixer or my favorite Bosch Stand Mixer
- Silicone Spatula
- Piping Bag and Piping Tip OR Small Spatula (if spreading or decorating with this frosting)
- 4 ounces (or 1 stick) Salted Butter
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese
- 5-6 cups Confectioners' Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Key Lime Juice
- 1 teaspoon Key Lime Zest
- Milk, as needed
Are key limes different from other limes?
Yes. The most obvious difference is that key Limes are smaller, darker green, and have thinner skin. But that's not what's important when using key limes in recipes. For recipes, key lime juice is more potent and the flavor is more floral. The juice is tart and less acidic than regular lime juice.
Can you use regular limes or lime juice in this recipe? Yes. You likely will not notice the difference, but if you can get key limes, do. Or use this amazing key lime juice and skip the zest.
How to Make Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the room temperature butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth.
- Next beat in lime zest and lime juice.
- Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each cup.
- Beat until smooth.
- If the frosting is too stiff, add milk one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. If it's too thin, add powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time until thickened.
Cream Cheese Frosting FAQ
Can you change the color of key lime cream cheese frosting? Yes! The lime juice only adds the tiniest hint of color so you can add gel coloring to make it any color you want. Or you can add a little green gel color if you want a distinct green to the frosting to "match" the key lime flavor.
How can you stiffen the cream cheese frosting? Add more powdered sugar. To be really careful, you can add the powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time. But I often add more (up to half a cup) at a time to stiffen my frosting.
Is cream cheese frosting or regular buttercream sweeter? The tanginess of the cream cheese plus the lime definitely gives this frosting a less sweet taste than regular vanilla buttercream.