Monday, March 5, 2012

Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosted Cake Doughnuts

Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosted Donuts

I haven’t always been a fan of key lime.  I don’t think I’ve ever actually had key lime pie.  You might be familiar with Tastefully Simple.  It’s sort of like Mary Kay for food and they have this little thing called a Key Lime Cheeseball Mix.  You add 8 ounces of cream cheese to it, chill it and you have a cheese ball.

Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosted Donuts

I was completely turned off by the idea when I first heard of it.  Who wants a sweet cheeseball?  I soon found out that I, for one, love a sweet cheeseball; particularly one flavored with key lime.  Surprisingly, cream cheese compliments the sweet/tart of lime so well and I found myself actually craving it  this week.

Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosted Donuts

I was fresh out of a cheeseball mix so I decided to get creative.  And put my doughnut pan to great use while I was at it.  Because, why not frost cake doughnuts with cream cheese frosting?  I couldn’t come up with a good reason either.

And what I came up with is, I think, as close as I’m going to get without finding myself at a Tastefully Simple party.  The frosting is, of course, thinner than a cheeseball.  But I think it would set up as a cheeseball if you add a little more powdered sugar and a little less cream (or maybe no cream at all.)  If you try it, I want to hear about it!  But for now, enjoy it on some baked cake doughnuts.

Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosted Donuts

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Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosted Cake Doughnut Recipe

Yield: 6 doughnuts

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Dense baked cake doughnuts with a sweet and tart key lime cream cheese frosting.


for the donuts:
3/4 cup + 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. key lime zest
2 Tbs. + 2 tsp. grapeseed oil
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg

for the frosting:
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3-4 Tbs. powdered sugar
1 Tbs. heavy cream
1 Tbs. key lime juice (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Additional lime zest or sprinkles for garnish, if desired


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease a 6-cavity doughnut pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and lime zest in a small bowl. Whisk to blend and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk oil, sugar, milk, vanilla and egg until well-combined.

Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well-blended. Spoon into doughnut pan and bake for 17-18 minutes until the donuts bounce back when lightly touched.

Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

While the donuts are cooling, whisk the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, heavy cream, lime juice and vanilla in a wide, shallow bowl. If the frosting is too thin, add another tablespoon of powdered sugar.

When the doughnuts are mostly cool, dip the tops in the frosting, and return them to the wire rack to let the frosting set. Repeat with the other doughnuts.

Cassie's Notes:
If you don't have a doughnut pan, these will bake nicely as doughnut muffins.

If you don't have grapeseed oil, feel free to substitute canola oil.

Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosted Donuts


56 Responses to “Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosted Cake Doughnuts”

  1. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — March 5, 2012 @ 6:50 am

    yum yum yum!!!! I had the key lime cheeseball at the last tastfully simple party that i was at and IT WAS ADDICTING. I could not stop eating it. I absolutely love key lime anything and in donut form?! I’ll take a dozen to go, please 🙂 these look delicious, Cassie!!

  2. #
    Kathryn — March 5, 2012 @ 6:56 am

    Cream cheese and lime work *so* well together and they’re even better together when they’re on top of a doughnut! Love it!

  3. #
    Alyssa — March 5, 2012 @ 7:23 am

    I bought a mini doughnut pan a while ago but haven’t gotten around to making any doughnuts. I think you need to ship me some key limes so I can make these. They look great!

  4. #
    Maureen — March 5, 2012 @ 7:32 am

    Beautiful! I’d worry that I’d eat every one of them. 🙂

  5. #
    Cookbook Queen — March 5, 2012 @ 8:04 am

    I have been craving key lime like CRAZY for the last few weeks. I wonder what that means? Does it mean that I’m lime deficient?

    Obviously, I am meant to make these donuts.

  6. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — March 5, 2012 @ 8:10 am

    These look amazing! Perfect for the upcoming St. Patty’s Day celebrations too with the green 🙂 I didn’t appreciate key lime until we lived in Florida. Floridians know their key lime way better than the rest of the country, that stuff is good!

  7. #
    Megan @CountryCleaver — March 5, 2012 @ 8:24 am

    Seriously? I mean – SERIOUSLY?! Heaven in carb-form, Batman!

  8. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — March 5, 2012 @ 8:28 am

    Ahhhhh, doughnuts! How I love thee….

  9. #
    Jenny Flake — March 5, 2012 @ 8:41 am

    I want these at this very second, sound so good!!

  10. #
    Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos — March 5, 2012 @ 8:43 am

    Such deliciousness! Key lime is one of my favorite flavors, topped with cream cheese icing – couldn’t get much better than that!

  11. #
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen — March 5, 2012 @ 8:45 am

    I need to get myself a doughnut pan asap!!

  12. #
    Erin — March 5, 2012 @ 9:18 am

    Key lime pie is something I’ve only recently come to enjoy. And I really want these doughnuts.

  13. #
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — March 5, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    key lime anything is soooo good! these are sping-like AND perfect for St. Paddy’s day…you pulled off a winner!!

  14. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — March 5, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    I’ve seen a lot of doughnuts lately, but never such a creative flavor! These are amazing, Cassie. Totally mouthwatering and making me regret my bowl of cereal this morning, ha! Thanks for sharing. Great photos, too.

  15. #
    Ryan — March 5, 2012 @ 10:13 am

    Oh yum! These look SO good. I love key lime pie and bet the doughnut version would be delicious. Such a great idea for St. Paddy’s day and spring!

  16. #
    Lori @ RecipeGirl — March 5, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    How delicious is this flavor?! I cut out carbs starting today… so I’m DYING here!!

  17. #
    DessertForTwo — March 5, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    I could eat a dozen of these! I’m a citrus freak for desserts! These look delicious!

  18. #
    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — March 5, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    I used to feel the same way about Key Lime until I went down to Key West. You couldn’t get away from key lime if you tried! What I discovered was that most of the recipes I tried just had too much key lime in them which is why I didn’t like it. Now that I bake with it I love it – and it goes so well with coconut and white chocolate!

  19. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — March 5, 2012 @ 11:33 am

    Oh my Cassie!!!! These look unbelievable!!

  20. #
    Anne@FromMySweetHeart — March 5, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    Cassie…I definitely have to get a doughnut pan! I think I’ve been missing out on something great here! I love key lime pie and the flavor of key lime in general! So this is the recipe for me! They look fabulous….and festive for St. Patrick’s Day! : )

  21. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — March 5, 2012 @ 11:57 am

    I never cared of key lime pie… but in donut form PLUS cream cheese icing I think you can convert me!

  22. #
    elizabeth @ chronic venture — March 5, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    these look so delicious. I definitely need to invest in a donut pan soon! aaaand they look so perfect for st. pats!

  23. #
    Jackie @ Domestic Fits — March 5, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

    These are perfect for St. Patricks day! And I love LOVE lime, It’s one of my favorite flavors.

  24. #
    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — March 5, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

    Cheeseball – the word alone makes me giggle. Probably a sign of my (im)maturity. Key lime anything is my hubby’s favorite, so I think I may use these to distract him next time the credit card bill arrives.

  25. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — March 5, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    I don’t know about cheeseballs but I love key lime everything! We don’t have key limes where I live, so I should actually say I love lime everything. Key lime pie is my favorite pie. And ice cream.

    Your doughnuts look amazing and perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! I attempted something similar a few days ago but yours look way better. 🙂

  26. #
    Tina @ My Life as a Mrs — March 5, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    you had me at Key Lime… 😉

  27. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — March 5, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

    My husband loves key lime! These sound delicious! I still need to get my hands on a donut pan!

  28. #
    Kim | At Home WIth Kim — March 5, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

    What a FUN breakfast to make for my kids for St Patricks Day! Cannot wait… they will LOVE these!!!!

  29. #
    Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — March 5, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

    These look delicious! I’ve never been to a Tastefully Simple party, but that cheeseball actually sounds really good!

  30. #
    Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth — March 5, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

    Yum! I love key lime pie and I just made donuts also this past weekend! I love how easy donut pans make them! These look so light and refreshing!

  31. #
    Aggie — March 5, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

    I am a sucker for key lime anything. These doughnuts are gorgeous! Will you come make them for my kids?? 🙂

  32. #
    Jennifer | Mother Thyme — March 5, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

    These look sooo good! Key Lime is one of my favorites. I love Tastefully Simple! I briefly was a consultant for them since I was loving their products! That Key Lime cheesball mix is delicious. Now you got me craving it too!

  33. #
    Baking Serendipity — March 5, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

    Key lime!?! I love this! You’ve totally inspired me to make doughnuts again immediately. My dad is a key lime lover and I’ve bookmarked this for when I see him next weekend 🙂

  34. #
    Casey — March 5, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

    These are beauties. I have to get a doughnut pan.

  35. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — March 5, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

    Ok, first, I need to get a doughnut pan. And second, cake doughnuts are my fave! Love the key lime frosting!!

  36. #
    Ann — March 5, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of key lime, but you might convince me to try these! They are also just lovely…

  37. #
    Baker Street — March 5, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

    the key lime frosting sounds heavenly cassie and the donuts look fantastic.

  38. #
    Choc Chip Uru — March 5, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

    These are gorgeous – I am definitely going to be checking out more recipes here 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Perfect Lemon Meringue Pie

  39. #
    Rikki — March 5, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

    These are the most interesting donuts I have ever seen. Love it!

  40. #
    Anna @ the shady pine — March 6, 2012 @ 3:55 am

    How genius these are….two treats coming together!

  41. #
    Ramona — March 6, 2012 @ 6:54 am

    Wow! I love key lime pie… and these doughnuts look wonderful!! My mouth is watering just thinking about their flavor!! They would be a big hit for St. Patty’s Day too with those lovely lime flecks. Great job! 🙂

  42. #
    Katie @ Epicurean Mom — March 6, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    My heart be still!! I adore these!! I was just thinking about how I needed to get a donut pan! I may need to have these be my first donut experiment! 🙂

  43. #
    Asmita — March 6, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    These look wonderful! Want it , please.

  44. #
    ohkeeka [The Type A Housewife] — March 6, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

    Oh my goodness, these look (and sound!) so good! I hate key lime pie, but I LOVE anything else made with them and I’m sure these would be no exception. 😀

  45. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — March 6, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

    You know, I’ve never had key lime either! But I’m sure I would love these babies. Now if I can just find some key lime juice…

  46. #
    myfudo — March 7, 2012 @ 1:00 am

    The green color is soothing to my eyes. i love the subtle presentation and the new twist in flavors. A must try definitely!

  47. #
    Ali @ Gimme Some Oven — March 8, 2012 @ 9:28 am

    I adore these!!!

  48. #
    Deborah — March 8, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

    I love anything lime – yum!!

  49. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — March 8, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

    You know that I don’t bake, but I love this photograph… I pinned it because I know everyone will love this unique flavor (and I love these pictures!). Very pretty doughnuts!


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