Margarita Cupcakes

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Cakes / Fruit

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I’m telling you, if I could only eat one type of food for the rest of my life it would be, without a doubt, Tex-Mex.  Growing up in Texas, and in particular San Antonio one is exposed to the true wonder that is the breakfast taco.  If you don’t get it, next time you find yourself in San Antonio go here.  Your life will be forever changed.  San Antonio is also home to amazing margaritas, of which I particularly like to enjoy around Cinco de Mayo.  It may not technically be a big holiday in Mexico (or even politically correct), but I certainly don’t let that stop me.  This particular Cinco de Drinko Mayo got me thinking about celebrations.   And how celebrations are usually always made better by cake.  And margaritas.  And how it’s a crime that up until this point that two shalt never have met. Until now.


Boozy cupcakes are a thing you know, though not yet an absolute craze.  I for the life of me can’t imagine why.  Liquor in buttercream???? Why this has yet to become a worldwide phenomenon is beyond me, but I’m hopeful.  A splash of tequila really adds depth to the tangy lime flavor and a hint of sour cream takes it completely over the edge.

You all know I always believe themed-desserts take holidays to the next level and this is no exception.  Now, I miniaturized them because, well I like them better like that.  These are a burst of flavor better served in small bites, alongside your favorite tequila and a handful of tacos.

*recipe courtesy of Trophy Cupcakes – halve the recipe if making minis



Lime Cupcakes

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lime zest

¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 medium limes)

2¼ cups cake flour (not self-rising)

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

1¼ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2¼ cups sugar

3 eggs

Tequila Lime Buttercream

3 teaspoons of lime zest (about 2 medium limes)

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 3 medium limes)

3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

6 tablespoons tequila

2 teaspoons lime oil

½ cup sour cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners and set aside.

Zest the limes and set zest aside. Juice 1/4 cup lime juice and set aside.

n a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Combine the buttermilk and lime juice in a large measuring cup with a spout. Set aside.

Combine the lime zest, butter, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat them at low speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 1 minute if the butter is soft. If the butter is cool, it will take longer. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping the bowl after each addition, and waiting until all traces of each egg have disappeared before adding the next one.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with adding the wet ingredients in 2 parts. Keep the mixer at the lowest speed, and mix each time just until the ingredients are combined. When everything has been added, scrape the bowl and paddle one more time, and stir the batter just until it’s smooth. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes and stir gently before using.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full and bake until the tops of the cupcakes are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center of a middle cupcake comes out with just a few crumbs, about 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the pans before removing to a rack to cool completely.

For buttercream:

Zest the limes and set zest aside. Juice limes and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Start with the mixer at the lowest speed, then gradually increase the speed, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl as needed, until the butter is light in color, perfectly smooth, and makes a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. If the butter is soft, this should only take 30 seconds, but if the butter is cool, it can take a couple of minutes.

Add the sour cream and mix until smooth.

Add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix at the lowest speed until it’s fully incorporated before adding the next cup. When all the sugar has been added, scrape the paddle and the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the tequila, lime juice and zest, and lime oil, and beat them at low speed for 15 seconds. Increase the speed to as high as you can without making a mess and whip the buttercream until the mixture is perfectly smooth, creamy, and light, about 5 minutes. Stop the mixer once or twice to scrape the bowl and paddle, then continue beating. At first the buttercream will appear to soften, then it will stiffen and increase in volume.


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