Margarita Cupcakes

Margarita CupcakeMargarita cupcakes were the first boozy cupcake recipe I made and I got hooked.  They opened the door to Guinness cupcakes, white Russian cupcakes, kahlua and cream cupcakes…the list goes on.  However, the margarita ones have continued to be my favorite.  They’re super different from traditional cupcakes and so shockingly delicious.  I got the idea from this blog and continue to use her recipe for the actual cupcake, but I’ve parted ways with her in regards to buttercream.  I never really understood what was missing from my life until I found this recipe.  It’s heaven.  And SO EASY.  And makes me want to vomit a bit when I realize how much butter I’m using, but the more butter the better, right?  I now use this recipe for any and all frostings I have to made and adapt accordingly from there.  I added way more tequila to the frosting because it needs to taste like a margarita after all.  This last time I made these cupcakes, I added coconut and made a coconut margarita cupcake.  With or without the coconut, these are awesome and deserve a spot on your table (and in your stomach) ASAP.  Enjoy!

Yield: 12 cupcakes

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1½ limes
4 tablespoons tequila, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup shredded coconut, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line cupcake tins with liners and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the salt, baking powder, and flour then set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (about five minutes). If you’re not sure when to stop beating, keep going.  The change in color is very noticeable and you’ll know when you see it.
  4. Scrape the sides of the mixer down to make sure you incorporate everything.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat after each addition.
  5. Add lime zest, lime juice, tequila, and vanilla extract to the mixer.  The mixture will most likely look curdled after mixing, but don’t worry its normal and will still be delicious.  If you are adding the coconut, mix in now.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk.  Mix only until incorporated.
  7. Fill the cupcake liners about ¾ of the way.  If this makes more than 12 cupcakes, do not overfill.  Your cupcakes will get too high and become a monocake and you will be sad. If you use another cupcake tin OR have an empty cup, fill with water to disperse the heat properly while baking.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the top begins to become golden brown.  You may test with a cake tester, remove when the tester comes out clean.
  9. Let cool completely before frosting.  Once cooled, brush the cupcakes with the two tablespoons of reserved tequila.  Be generous.  This will boost the margarita flavor!

Buttercream frosting:
I said this earlier, but this is the best buttercream recipe in the world.  To get in depth ingredients, follow this link.
3/4 cups butter, at room temperature (1 1/2 sticks, try 1/4 c salted butter, 1/2 cup unsalted for optimal taste)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoons lime juice
2-3 tablespoons tequila, depending on your taste
Lime zest
Shredded coconut to sprinkle (optional)
Coarse salt

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium high, until nearly white and very fluffy, about 7-8 minutes.  Scrape down the sides frequently to incorporate all of the butter.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, tequila, and lime zest.  Beat on low speed until blended, then increase the speed and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Here it is important to taste the frosting and decide if it needs more tequila or lime juice.  The sugar will blend more, so don’t worry if the frosting feels a tad gritty, but focus on taste and adapt from there.  Beat well to incorporate all of the sugar.
  3. Fill a piping bag with your buttercream and frost your cupcakes!
    frosted cupcakes

Garnish the cupcakes with shredded coconut if you wish, or coarse salt to really bring the margarita aspect full circle.


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