Picture yourself floating on a raft, in a pool, with the sun shining down on you. What is that in your right hand, that thing with the little umbrella? Oh, it’s a Margarita? That’s what I thought! Nothing screams “This is the life” quite like enjoying a slushy drink on a hot hot day. But what if you were to transform the classic cocktail into a decadent dessert? Let me tell you all about it!
This past Tuesday, our friends invited us over to their house for Mexican night. They were making fish tacos, a salad, and guacamole. I wanted to find something that would complement such a fabulous meal. I stumbled upon these Margarita Cupcakes from Brown Eyed Baker, they looked delicious. All of the comments make these little buggers out to be heavenly so I knew I had to give them a try.
I followed the recipe to a T, it sounded like it worked for everyone else so why mess with perfection? The batter itself was a little gooey, stiffer than a boxed mix. Being the professional batter taster that I am, I knew even before they went in the oven that these would be good. Since the recipe yielded 12, it was very easy for me to gage how much of the batter to put in each cup. I was surprised how full the cups were, close to the top. With your standard boxed mix, the directions usually call for the cups to be filled 2/3 of the way (I am horrible at guestimating how much that is, which usually results in cupcakes of all shapes and sizes).
While baking the cupcakes, I whipped up the Tequila-Lime Buttercream frosting, the Pièce de résistance of the cupcakes. While I was mixing it up, something truly unfortunate happened… it got all over my fingers. The only solution? I was forced to lick it off. It was delicious. The tequila was spot-on, not over powering but you can taste it enough to where it complements the lime incredibly well. When I asked Danny to sample it, he didn’t like it because it tasted too much like, well, a Margarita! YATZEE!
After letting them cool, the recipe calls for 1-2 tablespoons of tequila to be brushed on the top. This is where I would have changed it slightly. I used the 2 tablespoons, which was a little strong for me. If you love tequila, 2 tablespoons will be perfect for you. Then again, it may be the way I eat my cupcakes. I will divide the top from the bottom and eat the bottom first. Since I am incredibly impatient, I frosting and devoured a cupcake right after brushing the top a piling on some frosting. I didn’t give the tequila a chance to move throughout the cupcake, so eating the bottom was like a lime flavored lemon bar and the top was just like eating a shot of tequila. I’ll be filing this recipe under “make the day before” for the next time. These babies need time to soak.
The next day, I took them to Mexican night feeling a little nervous as to if people would like them. I lucked out and had some true Margarita fans dining with me and they loved them! I will be making them again, they are the perfect treat for a girls night, Cinco de Mayo, Mexican night, or Tuesday night. Hopefully you have a chance to sample them soon! When else do you have the chance to toast with a cupcake?
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 25 minutes | Bake Time: 25 minutes
For the Cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1½ limes
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
To Brush the Cupcakes:
1 to 2 tablespoons tequila
For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Pinch of coarse salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, but don’t worry, it will all come back together, power on!)
6. Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.
7. Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden and a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pan at the halfway point.
8. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.
9. To make the frosting, whip the butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the lime juice, tequila and salt mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt and a lime wedge.
(Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker)