Margarita Cupcakes with Tequila-Lime Frosting

Several years ago, while putting together my Cinco De Mayo Feast that includes chicken tacos laced with Tequila, I came across a wonderful recipe for Margarita Cupcakes. These cupcakes were the perfect finish to a colorful celebration of foods. Serving them in little plastic Margarita glasses (the ones you can pick up at any party supply store) added to the overall theme. The frosting is divine – light and buttery with just a hint of Tequila. The cupcakes beneath are moist and delicious – a wonderful blend of flavors and textures. Just remember – these are ADULT cupcakes, not intended for little ones.

Margarita Cupcakes with Tequila-Lime Frosting
Ingredients – 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 2 limes (grate zest or chop finely)
2 tablespoons tequila (omit for booze-free cupcakes)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 to 2 tablespoons tequila to brush the cupcakes (omit for booze-free cupcakes)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees . Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

With 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 at this point, but don’t worry, it will all come back together – I promise!)

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 or until just slightly golden and a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pan at the halfway point.

Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack.

Brush the tops of the cupcakes with a thin glaze of powdered sugar and tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.

Ingredients – Tequila -Lime Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila (substitute with vanilla extract for booze-free frosting)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Pinch of coarse salt
Food Coloring, if desired

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add 3 cups powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated.

Mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the lime juice, tequila, salt and corn syrup, mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add additional 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar SLOWLY until desired consistency is reached.

Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt or a lime wedge.

These cupcakes are best stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container. The butter in the frosting may separate and slide off, making a bit of a mess. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to serving.


These yummy cupcakes would be a wonderful, light finish to dishes such as Margarita Grilled Chicken or Mexican Pork Chops with Ancho Chile Cornbread Stuffing & Mexican Pepper Skillet Corn

3 thoughts on “Margarita Cupcakes with Tequila-Lime Frosting

  1. […] Last but not least was dessert. My family loves my cakes. And this is a birthday menu – so it goes without saying that cake was the perfect fit. This is Hubby’s birthday – after 30+ years of marriage, I knew exactly which cake to bake – hands down it had to be my Marble Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Of all my cakes over the years, this is Hubby’s favorite. Now I know what you are thinking – with all these Mexican dishes, why a Marble Cake? It’s Hubby’s birthday – and as the birthday boy, he was going to end the festivities with his favorite cake. If you are looking for something different with a south-of-the-border flair, I would suggest Margarita Cupcakes with Tequila-Lime Frosting. […]


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