one tequila, two tequila, three tequila… [margarita cupcakes w. tequila-lime meringue buttercream frosting]

May 5th, 2011 by | comments

Happy Cinco de Mayo! In honor of the holiday, I baked margarita cupcakes topped with a tequila-lime meringue buttercream frosting. Initially, I wanted to feature tequila in a gourmet margarita drink, but decided to get a bit more creative with the liquor.

These cupcakes turned out moist and delicious with loads of flavor. The lime juice and zest in the cake worked brilliantly with the tequila and lime infused frosting. I think these will be a hit with my friends tonight!

margarita cupcakes w. tequila-lime meringue buttercream frosting
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • Cupcake recipe:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 limes, zested and juiced
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Frosting recipe:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. tequila, plus more to brush/drizzle on cupcake tops
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. For the cupcakes: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale, light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Beat in the lime zest, lime juice and vanilla.
  5. With the mixer on low-speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat each addition just until incorporated.
  6. Divide the batter between the lined cupcake tins, filling each about ¾ full.
  7. Bake 20-24 minutes, or until the cakes bounce back at the touch of a finger.
  8. Let cupcakes cool about 5 minutes, then drizzle a small spoonful of tequila over tops of cakes.
  9. For the frosting: Combine the sugar, egg whites and salt in a heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees and the sugar has dissolved. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff, shiny peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.
  10. Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tbsp. at a time, adding more once each addition is incorporated. If the frosting looks curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more.
  11. Stir in the lime juice and tequila and mix until fully incorporated. If mixture curdles again, continue beating at medium-high speed until reaches thicker consistency.
  12. Once completely cool, pipe frosting on cupcakes and garnish with lime zest and slices, if desired.
Recipe from The Brewer and The Baker.


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27 thoughts on “one tequila, two tequila, three tequila… [margarita cupcakes w. tequila-lime meringue buttercream frosting]”

  1. Yum!! These look (and sound!) delicious! And your presentation is delightful! Love everything about them, from the limes and lime zest on top to the cupcake liners on the bottom! Can’t wait to make them and try them myself!! Thanks for posting!

  2. Thank you so much everyone! They were very delicious. Next time, I might even add a little more tequila to the frosting. ;)

  3. Thanks for dropping by Caroline.You have a beautiful space.I love the frosting on your cupcakes and lime just sounds so exotic!

    1. Thanks, Alison! I’m making some more today because my brother didn’t think the batch I brought home had enough tequila in them, ha!

  4. Caroline, these look so amazing! I love margaritas and I love cupcakes, so these are clearly a winning combination! Plus, dessert with booze in it? Yes please! Can’t wait to try them!

    1. Thanks Amanda! The cakes were moist and delicious, and the tequila frosting was a nice little surprise. I would actually add more tequila next time! That was most everyone’s request who tried one. :)

  5. oh god the cake base look so heavenly fluffy ! will try them out because i’ve been craving cupcakes like craaaazay these days. Stumbled onto your page at the perfect time ;)

  6. Oh my what inspiration you are. I have a new fangled cupcake obsession (I am completely buying into it!).
    Great post. The frosting is different to anything else I’ve seen… I will be attempting this when I can find a suitably themed evening to make the effort for!! x

    1. Right? I definitely fell for the cupcake craze as well. It’s so fun to experiment with different flavors, toppings and of course, presentation. Thanks so much!!

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