Margaritas in cupcake form

12 Jul

Margaritas to me mean summer as much as burgers and hot dogs on the grill.

Hot day + tequila + lime juice = frosty glass of limetastic adult goodness.

Whether you like them frozen, on the rocks, with salt, without salt, standard lime or something more exotic lime watermelon or berry, most people like to partake in a ‘rita or two (or three, or four…) in the summer months. Or on a cold winter night when you’re snowed in and dreaming of a tropical beach somewhere and warm water lapping at your toes…

So why not enjoy some Margarita’s in a CUPCAKE???? I know, OMG. Please don’t pass out….and know that these ARE as fabulous as they look. The icing is to die for. The cupcake is moist and tangy and sweet and delish. Angels will sing when you bite into these.

I made them up for a work party and kept them in the fridge to keep the icing from getting all melty and gross. But you def want to let them sit out and come to room temperature for them to be at their tasty best. Otherwise the buttercream will be too hard and not very appealing. These also freeze very well. I just put some in a sealed plastic container and they are still good. It’s nice when you have company and you can just grab a few and let them thaw for a sweet treat!

I hope you enjoy these as much and all of us did!

Margarita Cupcakes
yields 24 cupcakes
1 vanilla boxed cake mix

4tbsp lime juice

zest of 1 lime

1tbsp tequila for brushing tops of warm cupcakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Line muffins tins with paper liners.

Follow directions for boxed cake mix. Add in the lime juice and zest and beat just until incorporated.

Divide the batter among the paper liners, filling each about 3/4-full.  Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and brush the warm cupcakes with tequila.  Let rest for about 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.

Tequila-Lime Buttercream
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Easy Vanilla Buttercream

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 3/4 – 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2-4 tablespoons tequila
pinch salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.  With the mixer on low, slowly add 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until completely incorporated and the mixture is smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl then beat in the lime juice, 2 tablespoons of tequila and the salt.  Increase the mixer to medium speed and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Taste the frosting and decide if you want to add the remaining tablespoons of tequila.  If so, beat to incorporate.  If you want a slightly firmer consistency for piping, add the remaining 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar to the frosting.

The frosting can be made a few days ahead and refrigerated.  When you are ready to use it, let it come to room temperature and then beat briefly before piping.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream.  Garnish with lime zest or lime wedges, if desired.

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