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Monday, May 5, 2014

Margarita cupcakes

Cinco de Mayo is here!  I pinned a margarita cupcake recipe over two years ago, but never made it, and it's been nagging at me ever since.  I guess the past two years I didn't make it to any Cinco de Mayo festivities, but this year is different...trivia night at my friend's bar just happens to be on May 5th, and so I figured why not bring some festive treats?

I had also been eyeing these adorable sugar decorations that I was sure would be cute on any Cinco de Mayo treat, and so I actually thought ahead and placed the order ahead of time (that was the same order that resulted in my 6 pounds of rainbow sprinkles and these adorable rainbow cupcakes).  Honestly, how cute are these decorations?

So the only thing I had left to do was bake up some margarita cupcakes and decorate them with these beauties!  One might assume that this was a lofty goal, considering there is currently a lime shortage (did you know that?  There's a legit lime shortage right now.  You can read about it here and here...I know I already mentioned it in another post, but this is a big deal, people!  Margaritas on B's roof deck this summer may be in jeopardy!).  But fret not, I was able to obtain a few limes and the cupcakes went along without a hitch (except for the icing, which was totally my fault...see below)!


Margarita Cupcakes
(Cupcake recipe from Tide and Thyme)

I got 26 cupcakes from this recipe.


For the Cupcakes:

3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temp
3 limes, zest and juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup tequila (or half tequila/half orange liqueur, optional)


Preheat oven to 325F
Prepare muffin tins with paper liners or baking spray.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar on high until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes(
Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next.
Add the lime zest and lime juice.
Add vanilla.

Turn the mixer to low.
Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches.
Mix only until just incorporated.
Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 cup full (I bought a new cupcake scooper the other day and it was SO perfect at filling the cups evenly, with the right amount, and without a mess!)

Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached (mine took 22 minutes).
Rotate the pans at the halfway point (I always skip this step).

Allow cupcakes to cool completely in the pans before removing.
While the cupcakes are still warm, brush the tops with tequila (or the tequila/orange liqueur mixture), if desired.

Margarita (Tequila-Lime) Icing

(I am SO embarrassed to say that I tried making the icing that the recipe originally came with, but I was distracted and never changed from the whisk to the blade attachment and my icing fell flat.  Since I had little time and nowhere near enough ingredients to make a second batch, I doctored up an old vanilla buttercream recipe and made it into a margarita/tequila-lime icing.)


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (NOT melted)
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp table salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 Tbsp tequila
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2-4 Tbsp milk or heavy cream (I used heavy cream since, believe it or not, I didn't have milk in the apartment)
Food coloring, optional (I actually debated using green food coloring, but decided against it last minute)

Bear the butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed (I used a hand mixer, since my stand mixer bowl was dirty from the botched icing recipe).
Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn the mixer to the lowest speed until sugar has been incorporated with the butter.
Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla, tequila, lime juice, salt, and 1 Tbsp of cream and beat for 3 minutes.
If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar; if it needs to be thinned out, add the remaining milk or cream 1 tablespoon at a time.


lime zest and wedges, for topping
or really cute cinco de mayo sugar decorations
fleur-de-sel, for garnish


Frost the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream as desired.  I used a new tip I bought the other day, an Ateco 828 tip.

Garnish as you see fit: the original recipe recommends lime zest, lime slices, and fleur-de-sel.  Or you can use cute little sugar decorations (see above).

* I chose to decorate half with fancy salt and lime zest (I left off the lime wedges since I was afraid they may affect the icing since they were sitting for 24 hours), and the others with the sugar decorations. *  

Personally, I thought they came out pretty cute!!

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