Margaritas… and Cupcakes?!

Oh yeah baby… margaritas in a cupcake! Complete with tequila in the batter AND in the frosting! Are you drooling yet? Patience my friends… I can only type so fast!

(Tip: The better the tequila you use, the better the flavor will be… we all know what cheap tequila tastes and smells like (blech!). That’s how your cupcakes and frosting will taste if you use El Cheapo Tequila. We sprung for a bottle of Patron Silver a while back and still had some on hand so that’s what I used.)

Margarita Cupcakes
(adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker)

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) 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 (substitute: 1/2 cup regular milk & 1/2 tbsp lemon or lime juice or white vinegar – mix and let sit for 5 minutes)

Tequila-Lime Frosting:
4 ounces butter (1 stick), at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
1 tablespoon lime zest
Pinch of coarse salt

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 a 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 and weird at this point, but keep going! It will be fine!)

Reduce the mixer speed to 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 to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for about 25 minutes or until just slightly golden. Allow cupcakes to cool for a couple of minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting them.

To make the frosting, using the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl down as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until everything is mixed. Add the vanilla, tequila, lime juice, and zest and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.

Oooh… these little nuggets pack a punch! Sure, the tequila in the batter cooks out, but you can still taste it, and the tequila in the frosting doesn’t… AYE YI YI! I love citrus flavored anything, and these are no exception! Delish!

As for my ultra margaritas, here is my tip: use fresh strawberries (or whatever fruit you want) when you blend the margaritas. Start out with lots of ice, the normal amount of margarita mix (the non-alcoholic kind), however much tequila you want, and then throw in a bunch of fresh fruit. It makes the flavor of the margaritas so much better! I was out of margarita mix this time, so I threw in a pound (yes A POUND) of strawberries, lots of ice, tequila and a couple teaspoons of Splenda (they were too sour without it).

Mmm mmm, good! Enjoy!

Happy Dishing!


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