Summertime means toes in the water and butt in the sand and a Tequila Margarita cupcake in hand. These Cuervo-ed cupcakes are all you need to round out your Margaritaville themed summer bash.
It is Friday folks!
That means we made it through another week and it is time to celebrate!
It is five o’clock somewhere and if you haven’t broken out the tequila yet, maybe you should go ahead and do that. Today I’m making heavily alcoholic Tequila Margarita Cupcakes with a Tequila Lime Butter Cream Icing.
Tequila topped in tequila! Yes, siree!
Summer brings on all the fun festivals and fiestas. This Tequila Margarita cupcake is sure to be a crowd pleaser wherever you may be headed.
Now, I have made Margarita Cupcakes several different ways but this is by far the most…should I say lush? The first time I attempted concocting the perfect Margarita cupcake, I made a purely lime based cupcake with a Tequila Butter Cream Icing. Well, that was nice and all but the lime flavor wasn’t very strong and it didn’t make me think of Jimmy Buffett when I took a bite.
Today, I present to you the new and improved Tequila Margarita Cupcakes specially concocted for that perfect tequila margarita taste.
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. This is another recipe where we will be keeping our Wet Ingredients from our Dry Ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, and salt. Place this bowl to the side for a moment while we prepare the Wet Ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, pour the sugar and lime zest. Now the idea here is to get your sugar all limed up. (I start singing “Put the lime in the sugar bowl and shake it all up.”) You can press it with a fork or your fingers or whatever you’ve got until the sugar is fully mixed with lime oils. If you have a paddle attachment, use it to mix in your butter, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth.Put the lime in the sugar bowl and shake it all up! Click To Tweet
This recipe calls for buttermilk. Sometimes, when I plan ahead, I have buttermilk on hand.
Other times, I do not and I still want my Tequila Margarita cupcakes!
So, I improvise. That is really what cooking is all about anyway.
To make your own improvised buttermilk, you will need white vinegar and regular milk (whole or 2% would work best). Take one tablespoon of white vinegar and then fill your measuring cup with milk until it reaches a full cup. Stir and let it sit. It will look chunky and separated. That is actually what it is supposed to look like believe it or not.
It isn’t time for the buttermilk yet but if you needed to make your own like I did, it will need to sit for a few minutes and now is a good time to do that.
Your mix doesn’t look like cake mix yet and that’s okay. It is going to look a lot funnier before it gets better. Add the lime juice and tequila. Yay tequila! That’s our favorite part, right? Mix on medium speed and scrape down the sides occasionally. The sugar will want to stick to the walls. Don’t let it.
Alright, now time for those Dry Ingredients. Pour a third of the mix in with the tequila mixture. Then pour half of the buttermilk in. I just leave my mixer turning while I’m alternating between the two. Just make sure to have your mixer on a slower setting so you don’t fling flour everywhere. Then add another third of the flour mix, followed by the rest of the buttermilk, and finishing with the flour. Just make sure it is mixed in well before moving to the next ingredient. I found this batter to be thicker than some of my other recipes.
To make your presentation pristine, line your tins with paper cupcake liners. I like to use yellow or green to go with the traditional margarita color. I spray them with cooking spray too and it makes the paper easier to remove.
Oh! I almost forgot, I found this nifty little tip on Pinterest and it really works. Place a little rice in the tin underneath the liners and it helps to prevent the bottoms of your cakes from getting all oily. This is especially helpful if you’ve decided to use adorable little liners.
Fill the cups 3/4 of the way full and place in oven for about twenty minutes. Typically, I only fill my tins 2/3 full but this is a denser cake and they do not rise the same as other cakes. A toothpick inserted will come out with very few crumbs when removed.
Let those Cuervo-ed cupcakes cool while you prepare the icing.
What better way to top a drunken cupcake than with a drunken icing? Let me tell you, this is the best icing I think I’ve ever made. I’m not just tooting my own horn. I mean I’ve experimented a lot in my kitchen and this has been one of the most successful experiments thus far.
One of my absolute favorite things to do in the kitchen is to experiment! This means adding flavors together that are unexpected or it could mean I didn’t have the ingredient I was supposed to have and I had to improvise. Improvising is a totally acceptable way to make any recipe your very own.
Often I cook and bake on a whim and I am not running out to a store to pick up something for one freaking recipe. I am sure you are familiar with that feeling too. You get really excited for a recipe and then while you’re reading over the ingredients you start making a mental grocery list of what you may not have on hand.
Well, my answer to this is just to fake it until I make it. If I don’t have that particular ingredient, I just add in a few things I think will correspond with the flavors. I take what I have and I make it work. Previously, I’ve made tequila butter creams that required meringue, or triple sec or a number of other ingredients.
I mention this because this recipe has some ingredients that I wouldn’t expect to be common in most households. I tend to collect liqueurs for just such experiments in the kitchen and to develop new flavor combinations. However, I thoroughly encourage you to look around and see what else you have that might work just as well. I don’t only encourage it, I promote it. Please share with me any of the alterations you make while baking these delicious Tequila Margarita Cupcakes. Leave a comment below, even if you have to substitute the tequila!
This icing uses your favorite tequila, an orange liqueur, and a key lime liqueur to round out that delicious margarita flavor.
In a small bowl, mix those together with the salt and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and the shortening. I use the whisk attachment on my Kitchenaid mixer to help get that smooth creamy consistency. Let your mixer spin on medium speed for about two minutes and that should do the trick.
Man, I love my Kitchenaid mixer with attachments. I have been baking for a long time but I actually did not acquire my Kitchenaid until just a few years ago. Providing a custom cake for a wedding and a friend meant I was paid with a Kitchenaid. How awesome is that?! I know that upfront it may seem pricey, but I promise it is worth every penny! You can get ahold of a KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red just like mine to make all of your baking adventures easier.
Now that the butter and shortening are smooth, add in three cups of powdered sugar. Add it in one cup at a time and make sure it is well blended before adding the next.
Now it is time to beat in your liquids. The icing will look really wet but we are about to thicken it up. And like the witch in Hansel and Gretel, we are going to thicken it up with sugar. The remaining powdered sugar is added one cup at a time and beaten until the mixture is well blended. The icing will be light and fluffy.
If you notice, your icing is a creamy beautiful white. That is well and good for icing but when I think margaritas I think of that tropical fluorescent lime green color. Eight to ten drops of Neon green food coloring provided the color I desired. This is baker’s choice really. If you want white, go with white. I wanted Neon Green, so I went with Neon Green. If you want Barney purple, go with Barney purple (but you’re going to need some other food colors for that).
As for garnishing these bad boys, I had an extra lime or two left over from the cupcake recipe and decided to zest the top and then add a slice of lime. By the way, I think dipping the lime in the icing and then sucking it off while biting the lime is absolutely delicious. It has the sweet and sour combination down to perfection. Also, who can have tequila without sucking on a few limes?