Nothing goes hand in hand like Mexican Food on a summer night like a frozen margarita and many of my friends would concur. My friend Keri loves margaritas (even to the point of paying one in margaritas for helping her remove kitchen wall paper – true story) so I found it fitting to bake up and serve margarita cupcakes at her bachelorette party that was a couple weekends ago.
The more I thought about making these cupcakes the more I realized how perfect they were for her event. Green (esp. that green that has a nice spark to it) is one of her wedding colors, she loves margaritas, we were going to a Mexican restaurant for dinner and best of all Tequila in the frosting – all adding up to the perfect dessert and they were a hit!
While making them I was a bit concerned on their tartness from all the fresh lime zest and lime juice – but accompanied with the sweet alcohol induced buttercream they were all the flavors you want in a margarita and a cupcake. This recipe is a keeper.
I searched the interweb high and low and sort of combined a few recipes and tweaked a bit so not real sure where my final recipe should be attributed to so to be on the safe side – if you have ever posted a margarita recipe online I probably read it and its tips and tricks went into this one!
Yield: 12 cupcakes (or 50 mini cupcakes)
Prep Time: 25 minutes | Bake Time: 25 minutes (or 10ish minutes for mini cupcakes)
For the 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
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Pinch of coarse salt
Green food coloring (or blue and yellow since I didn’t have green)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, but don’t worry, it will all come back together, power on!)
Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.
Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes/10min for minis or until just slightly golden and it passes the toothpick test!
Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.
To make the frosting, whip the butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
Add the lime juice, tequila and salt and mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Mix in green food coloring to make a very faint green coloring – a soft lime color per say.
Frost cupcakes and garnish – I chose green sprinkles – but lime zest works too for a bit of extra tartness. I used a star-shaped frosting tip for my frosting.
Eat one for the taste test and then put them away immediately before you eat them all!