In keeping with our apparent theme of alcohol in unexpected places, I present to you: Margarita Cupcakes! I stumbled upon this recipe on Confections of a Foodie Bride a few years ago. They’re a fun alternative to standard chocolate or vanilla-based cupcakes. The margarita and lime zest impart a recognizable, refreshing tang to the cupcakes. They serve as a perfect dessert for a Mexican-inspired meal or summer barbecue.
Since these cupcakes are a creatively doctored white cake mix, there’s far less measuring than a typical made-from-scratch cake would require. Most of the measuring is related to mixing the actual margarita, and who can complain about that? More importantly, a mini-rita remains after 1 1/4 cups of the mix is used in the cupcake batter. It’s the perfect excuse for a small, refreshing drink at any time of day. On one occasion, I may or may not have baked these cupcakes at ten o’clock in the morning.
Since I think my husband makes the best margaritas (a sentiment shared by many of our dinner guests), I adjusted the margarita proportions to reflect his drink recipe. I also used my Grandmother’s frosting recipe, changing the original liquid measurements to include a touch of lime.
Yields 24 cupcakes
8 oz margarita mix
3 oz tequila (Jose Cuervo is my fav!)
1 oz triple sec
White cake mix
3 egg whites,beaten
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp lime zest (you’ll use the lime juice in the frosting)
1. Mix together the margarita mix, tequila, and triple sec in a large glass or spouted bowl. You will use 1 1/4 cup of this in the cupcake mix. Pour the leftovers over ice and enjoy!
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, lime zest and 1 1/4 of margarita mixture.
3. Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer), beat on low speed for about 30 seconds to combine ingredients. Increase to medium speed and beat for two minutes.
4. Spoon the batter into muffin tins, filling each cup about 2/3 – 3/4 full.
5. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
6. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Cool completely before decorating.
Yields enough for 24 cupcakes
1 package confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 tbsp warm water
2 tbsp lime juice
1. Beat shortening, water and lime juice together.
2. Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar and beat until creamy.
3. You may need to add more water (1 tbsp at a time) to achieve desired consistency. If you prefer your frosting much sweeter, you can add more lime juice. Beware – too much lime juice can make the frosting painfully sweet!