margarita cupcakes

This one is a delicious summer treat.  How can you go wrong with tequila and lime?  Add cupcakes and you have a winner.

The cake is moist and tasty, it's a little on the heavier side but still fluffy and definitely cupcake rather than muffin.  The lime and tequila taste in the cake is subtle, but there's a big punch in the icing.  The taste and crunch from the salt really adds to the icing too.  I always love licking the salt off of the rim of my glass. 

I have a theory about margaritas: lower quality tequila makes better margaritas.  Seriously. 

Think about it, the point of anejo or resposado tequila is smoother flavour and once you mix that into limey goodness, the magic of tequila is lost.  If you use the lowest quality (blanco) it has the bite it needs and makes a delicious and tasty margarita.  Also, if you're buying cheap tequila, you and your friends can drink lots more margaritas before you run out!

Margarita Cupcakes

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • zest and juice from 3 limes
  • 4 tbsp tequila
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

First, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium sized bowl and set aside.  Next, cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of the stand mixer on medium-high speed, until pale and fluffy.  Turn the speed down to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely after each one.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the lime zest and juice, tequila and vanilla and mix on medium speed - the mixture may look separated or curdled, but don't worry.  Next turn the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three batches, adding half of the buttermilk in between each addition.  Mix until only just incorporated, then scrape down the sides of the bowl one more time and give one last mix by hand.

Divide the batter between the prepared muffin pans and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack.  Brush the tops of the cupcakes with tequila (I used about 2 tbsp), then allow them to cool completely before icing them. 

Margarita Icing

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • about 1 lb. icing sugar
  • zest from 1-2 limes
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 6 tbsp tequila
  • about 1 tbsp coarse salt

Cream the butter in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Gradually add in about 1/2 of the icing sugar and mix on high until incorporated.  Add in the zest, lime juice and tequila and whip until well mixed then gradually add in more icing sugar to get your desired consistency.  Once you have the right consistency add in food colouring (if desired) and the salt.  Pipe or spread the icing on the cooled cupcakes, give them a little sprinkle of coarse salt (instead of sprinkles) and a wedge of lime.  

 Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker