margarita cupcakes

There seems to be a pattern developing around food-themed holidays over here.  First, there was the last minute Valentine’s Day treat, now Cinco de Mayo.  I wasn’t going to do anything special, but then seeing all the great inspiration around the blogosphere, I suddenly had a menu so long that I needed to cut some things out.  I thought about ditching these cupcakes in place of a more traditional Mexican dessert like Flan since we’d be drinking margaritas, too, but I’m glad I didn’t.  These were fun to make and even more fun to eat.

Deliciously refreshing lime finds its way into the batter, the icing & as zest on top.  Tequila and triple sec (optionally) work their way in, as well, resulting in a cupcake that is appropriate to top off any celebration, whether it is Cinco de Mayo or any other day of the week.

These certainly don’t need anything on the side, but if you happen to find yourself with some fresh strawberries one of your guests brought to the party then I will say that they taste wonderful piled on top.

margarita cupcakes
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yield: 24 cupcakes

I halved this recipe and it worked very well.  The only thing I had trouble with was the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Everything came together perfectly then I added the lime and tequila and womp, it turned runny and gross.  I quickly read foodie bride’s tips, stuck the icing in the fridge for a bit and it came out looking just fine.

for the lime cupcakes:
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temp
3 limes, zested and juiced
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup tequila (or half tequila/half orange liqueur, optional)

for the tequila-lime buttercream:
2 cups sugar
8 egg whites
3 sticks butter, room temperature
2 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
1-2 Tbsp Tequila

1.  Preheat oven to 325. Prepare muffin tins with paper liners or baking spray.

2.  Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar on a high until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).

3.  Add eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next one. Add lime zest and lime juice.

4.  Turn mixer to low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated.

5.  Fill each muffin cup ~3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached (mine were done just after 20 minutes), rotating the pans at the halfway point. Allow cupcakes to cool completely in the pans before removing.

6.  (Optional) While the cupcakes are still warm, brush the tops with tequila or tequila/orange mixture.

7.  To make the frosting, place the stand mixer bowl over a simmering pot of water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Whisk the sugar and egg whites until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture registers 160 degrees with a candy thermometer.

8.  Place bowl on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until the mixture is cool and holds stiff, glossy peaks (approximately 10 minutes).

9.  Change to the paddle attachment and beat in one tablespoon of butter at a time on medium. The mixture might appear curdled but keep beating, it will pull back together.

10.  Add lime juice and 1 Tbsp tequila. Increase speed to high and beat until the frosting reincorporates and is smooth and fluffy. Beat in remaining tablespoon of tequila, if desired.

11.  Frost cupcakes, garnishing with lime zest or fresh lime slices, if you wish.

source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

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