You can use any vanilla cupcakes for these cute cake cups, or just cut up store-bought pound cake to save time.
salted butter, at room temperature
plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
grated lime zest, plus 1/4 cup lime juice
8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
grated lime zest, plus 1/2 cup lime juice, plus 12 thin lime slices, for garnish
10-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped
- For the cakes: Preheat the oven to 350 ̊. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on high speed until fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for a few more seconds. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk; mix for a few seconds on medium speed after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then mix a final time.
- Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan on a rack, then remove the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely. Remove the wrappers.
- For the lime syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the lime zest and juice and let cool completely.
- For the lime filling: Beat the heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Set the whipped cream aside. Put the cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the lime zest in a separate bowl and beat with the mixer on medium speed until smooth and light, about 2 minutes. Add the condensed milk and lime juice and beat on low speed just until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped cream.
- To assemble, slice the cupcakes in half horizontally and place a bottom piece in each of twelve 8-ounce mason jars. Spoon half the lime syrup over the cakes. Spoon the lime filling into the jars and top with the remaining cupcake pieces. Spoon the remaining syrup over the cakes. Top with the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Garnish with the macadamia nuts and lime slices before serving.