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featured pinata cupcakes for cinco de mayo

Cinco de Mayo Piñata Cupcakes (Lime Cupcake Recipe)

Course: Cake, cupcakes
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 20 people
Calories: 337kcal
These zingy and tangy lime cupcakes are so perfect for Cinco de Mayo! These pinata style cakes are filled with sprinkles for a super fun and festive treat.
Print Recipe


  • cups cake flour 300 grams, see note
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 8 grams
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 3 grams
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda 3 grams
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 226 grams, room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar 267 grams
  • cup milk 76 grams
  • ½ cup lime juice 114 grams
  • ½ cup sour cream 114 grams, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs 200 grams, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest from 1 lime
  • Green food coloring optional


For the Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-count cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
    2½ cups cake flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together for 1 minute on medium speed. Add in the milk, lime juice, and sour cream and mix until combined. Add in the eggs and lime zest and mix until combined.
    1 cup unsalted butter, 1⅓ cups granulated sugar, ⅓ cup milk, ½ cup lime juice, ½ cup sour cream, 4 large eggs, 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • Fold in the flour mixture until the flour has been incorporated. Do not overmix. Add in the green food coloring. Green food coloring will lose a little bit of its coloring as it bakes so, once you have achieved the color you like, add in just a smidge more to make up for the color baking out.
    Green food coloring
  • Fill your cupcake molds ¾ full and bake for 14-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Once baked, let cool on a cooling rack until they reach room temperature.

For the Filling & Decorating

  • Once the cupcakes are cooled, using the wide end of a piping tip, remove some cupcake by pressing it at least halfway into the cupcake. Save the removed cupcake piece and set aside in a small bowl. You can use a toothpick to make it easier to remove the cupcake from the piping tip.
  • Fill each cupcake with about ½-1 teaspoon of sprinkles. Place the removed cupcake piece back into each hole on top of the sprinkles and press down to make them flush with the rest of the cupcake. It is ok if it does not look pretty, it will get covered up.
    Wilton llama and cactus sprinkle blend
  • Pipe lime buttercream on top of each cupcake. Top with more sprinkles or llama or cactus sugar candy.
    Lime buttercream recipe, Wilton llama and cactus sugar candies


  • Flour: If you can't find cake flour, make your own. Measure 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons from the cup, then add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk together and sift well before using. 
  • After the flour is added to the wet mixture, do not mix too much if you plan to add food coloring since once it is added you will be mixing quite a bit more to incorporate the color and you do not want to overmix the batter.
  • When you are baking these cupcakes, do not check them until they have been baking for at least 10 minutes as the oven temperature fluctuation could cause them to fall. When you do check them, if they are not finished baking, be sure to slowly and gently close the oven door to prevent them from falling.
Storage: Store Cinco de Mayo cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or on the countertop for up to 2 days.


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 245mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 377IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg