Sunday, July 12, 2009

Margarita Cupcakes

On a HOT summer day what is better than a margarita? How about a margarita cupcake. The thought of combining two of my most favorite things in the world into one delightful treat is mouth watering. Cake - I LOVE. Margaritas - I LOVE. Margarita Cupcake. Enough said.

There are many different margarita cupcake recipes on the internet. I took three different ones and came up with my own. I have made this recipe twice now with two different batters and two different frostings. Both are excellent and one is less time consuming than the other considering your base is a box mix instead of all from scratch. I am not usually a fan of box mixes. They just taste so.. well.. boxed. But with adding in other ingredients besides the suggested, water, oil/eggs, milk etc. you can make it taste from scratch. This was a white box mix with Bacardi margarita mix ( just thawed the can - didn't dilute) whole eggs, vanilla, lime zest and my favorite part TEQUILA. They came out light and spongy. The frosting is a tequila lime buttercream with lime zest and a little bit of green and yellow food coloring to give it that margarita look. Rimmed with green and yellow coarse sugar crystals to mimic the salt rimmed glass and a fresh lime slice. These were a hit with friends and a now hold a permanent place in my recipe file. Or should I say pile! I have updated this blog with both recipes.

 Margarita Cupcake Recipe 1
Margarita Cupcakes

1/4 cup lime juice ( or frozen margarita mix concentrate)
1 1/2 tsp lime zest (1 lime)
1 cup milk
3 egg whites
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp tequila
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
In a large bowl, mix together lime juice, lime zest, milk, egg whites oil , tequila, vanilla and sugar.
In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to lime mixture and stir until just combined. Divide evenly into muffin tins.
Bake for 20-24 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed.
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Tequila and Lime Frosting
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp milk
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp tequila
2+ cups confectioners’ sugar
coarse sugar for “rims”

Cream together butter,milk, lime juice, tequila, and 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Add in more sugar as needed to make frosting stiff, but spreadable.
Spread on cupcakes and roll the edges in a small amount of coarse, colored sugar (poured into a small bowl, so it’s easy to direct it.

 Margarita Cupcake Recipe 2
Recipe from Recipe Girl
This is the recipe I used for the cupcakes pictured in this blog. I have made these cupcakes several times now and have used different recipes. All come out pretty dang good!


9 ounces liquid Margarita mix (a little over a cup)
3 ounces tequila (a little less than 1/3 cup)
¾ ounce Grand Marnier
1 box white cake mix
3 large egg whites
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 Tbs lime zest
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), at room temperature
5 to 6 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp grated lime zest
green food coloring, if desired
small lime slices for garnish, if desired
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two dozen cupcake tins with paper liners.
2. Prepare cupcakes: Whisk together margarita mix, tequila and Grand Marnier in a small bowl. Measure out 1¼ cups for the recipe; pour the rest on some ice and drink it while making the cupcakes.
3. In a large bowl, blend cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, lime zest and 1¼ cups of the margarita mix from step 1. Blend on low for about 30 seconds and then increase speed to medium and blend for two additional minutes. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
4. Spoon the batter into cupcake liners (about ¾ full). Bake for 20-25 min, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool for about 10 minutes in the pans, then remove them to a rack to cool completely.
5. Prepare icing: Once cucpakes are completely cooled, prepare the icing. Place butter in a large bowl and beat with electric mixer until butter is fluffy. Add 5 cups of powdered sugar, salt, lime juce, and lime zest. Mix until thick and creamy. Add more powdered sugar until the frosting is of a good spreading (or piping) consistency. Mix in a tiny amount of green food coloring or gel paste if you’d like the frosting to have a green tint. Ice cupcakes in whatever manner you prefer… spreading or piping the frosting. Use small lime slices as garnish.
Yield: About 24
Cooking Tips
*Don’t worry too much about exact measuring for the margarita mix/tequila/Grand Marnier. Just eyeball it and measure out the 1 1/4 cups that you’ll need for the recipe.
**If you just spread frosting on the cupcakes (rather than piping), you’ll probably have a bit of frosting leftover.
***If you prepare these a day before, it’s best to place them into a covered container and refrigerate them. Remove them to room temperature a couple of hours before serving. Of course, they’re best if eaten the day they’re made.


  1. this is funny. you say "On a HOT summer day what is better than a margarita?". My husband is currently in Iraq, so everyday is a margarita day at my house! I can't wait to try this recipe for my friends. They're going to love it!

  2. I realize I posted my recipe and said that in the post I used a box mix. I have made both recipes and decorated the same way and honestly can't remember if I used a box mix for this one or not since the only recipe I have on my file is the one I added. But you can use a box mix ( white is best) and sub the water with frozen margarita mix - thawed not dilluted at all. Either way comes out great!!

  3. do you use whole milk in this recipe?

  4. I prefer baking with whole milk but you can use and fat % of milk

  5. how many does the first recipe make? 12 or 24?

  6. I think it makes about 12-16 depending on how full you fill the cups. I haven't made this in a while so I can't totally remember

  7. Hi there I tried your margarita cupcakes from scratch and they came out really heavy and tasted alot of flour :(. do you know what went wrong? Thanks!

  8. Cake Girl
    With heavy and dry I can assume that you either over mixed or baked too long. With only 1 1/3 cups of flour in the batter these shouldn't come out tasting like flour. And with using oil and not butter they shouldn't be dry at all. Sorry they didn't work for you this time!

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  11. Now I know why they didn't turn out the first time cause the egg whites were listed! I need to try this recipe again ;)