My mission as a pastry cook is very simple:
If my desserts are able to put a huge a smile on your face, I have accomplished my mission, with sugary success.
And my key lime whoopie pies will definitely do just that. I’m all smiles over here!
Miniature and adorable, these are the cutest (and sweetest!) sandwiches you’ll eat this summer. Each sandwich has two spongy, tender cake rounds with a thick cloud of light and fluffy frosting in between – the best handheld treat.
With the perfect amount of tartness from the lime juice and zest, my little sweetie pies are a joy to eat during the summer months, when you need a light dessert to serve after a fun picnic or delicious barbecue.
While I certainly can’t say they are better than the pie itself, I do love this variation.
And it’s super fast to mix together – you can make the cake batter by hand while you use your stand mixer to whip up the frosting at the same time.
I like the garnish that’s added by rolling the icing around the sides of each pie in ground graham crackers, to mimic the graham cracker crust on a more traditional key lime pie.
Just be careful to keep an eye on the ingredient list when purchasing graham crackers!
Most store-bought crackers are soy-based, so they are totally fine to use if you are making yours with vegan ingredients.
However, our own recipe for graham crackers does contain whole milk and butter. If you aren’t concerned with using ingredients that contain lactose, I definitely suggest trying this recipe for that homemade final touch.
Ready to make this fun take on key lime pie? Let’s bake a batch now!Print
Miniature and adorable, these sweet and tart vegan key lime whoopie pies are the cutest sandwiches you’ll eat this summer.
For the Cake:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup vegan granulated sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons applesauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon grated key lime zest
For the Frosting and Assembling:
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover one sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar). Whisk very well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, applesauce, vegetable oil, water, vinegar, vanilla, and lime zest.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and stir to combine until a thick batter forms.
- Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out and drop 16 small mounds of the batter on the prepared cookie tray, leaving about an inch of space between each mound.
- Bake for about 6-8 minutes, until puffy and lightly golden along the edge. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before transferring the cakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Icing and Assembly:
- To the prepared frosting, stir in the key lime juice and zest until completely incorporated.
- Using a spatula or piping bag fitted with a round tip, cover the bottoms of 8 cooled cake rounds with a thick layer of frosting. Top each frosted half with the remaining 8 plain cake rounds. If using, garnish the edges of the frosting with the ground graham crackers.
- Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to a week. When ready to serve, leave out at room temperature for 10 minutes to soften the frosting slightly.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: whoopie pie, cake, dessert, key lime, vegan, vegetarian
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Mix Together the Dry Ingredients
In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together very well.
Step 2 – Mix Together the Wet Ingredients
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk, applesauce, vegetable oil, water, vinegar, vanilla, and lime zest.
Use any milk you prefer – nut milk, coconut milk, and soy milk are all acceptable options.
Step 3 – Combine
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and stir together with a sturdy spoon or spatula. Mix just until the ingredients have combined and form a thick batter.
To prevent a tough, chewy cake, do not overmix.
Step 4 – Scoop and Bake
Bake for about 6-8 minutes, until puffy and lightly golden along the edge. If you gently tap the top of a round, it should bounce back slightly, but still be a little soft.
Step 5 – Cool
Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before transferring the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 6 – Make the Frosting
To the prepared vegan vanilla frosting, stir in the lime juice and zest.
Step 7 – Assemble
Once the cakes have completely cooled, turn half (eight) of them over so that the flat side is facing up. Spread a thick layer of the frosting on this half of the rounds.
You can use a small spoon or spatula. For a cleaner look, use a piping back fitted with a large round tip to pipe a mound of frosting in the center.
Place the other plain rounds on top of the icing. If using, roll the edges of the icing in ground graham crackers.
Step 8 – Serve
Serve immediately after decorating. If you’ll be enjoying them later, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
When you’re ready to serve, remove them from the fridge and leave out at room temperature for about 10 minutes. This will help to soften the icing slightly.
A Sweet and Zesty Ending to a Summer Meal
I’m tickled pink (or, in this case, green) by these cute little key lime whoopie pies.
They just take a couple bites to eat, but you’ll still get all the fresh, vibrant flavors from the citrus.
Don’t have key limes at your grocery store? Regular limes will work just as well! They’ll be a little more tart, but the cake and icing are still sweet enough to provide the perfect balance.
Don’t forget to read our article on how to properly store and prep all kinds of citrus fruits!
What are your favorite flavors for whoopie pie? Do you have any other mini desserts you like to make for a picnic or barbecue? Be sure to write all your thoughts in the comment section below, and leave this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it!
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a full-time cheesemonger and specialty foods buyer living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.