While still back in New York for graduation, my dad mentioned to me that we have a bag of powdered sugar here at home that has a hole in it. He said this with a slight smile and mischievous look in his eye as he followed with “we probably should use it up”.
I told him not to worry, that I had a plan up my sleeve, and boy did I. My family has celebrated with margaritas since, well, at least since I was in college if not before. Finally this summer I was able to join my parents in enjoying the celebration outside home when I turned 21. But so far, nothing beats a homemade margarita done by dad. Then again, there are always more to try! If you have a favorite margarita place, let me know!
Upon arriving back at home for a much-needed (and after four years of studying – well deserved) break, I checked out a recipe I had found on FoodGawker for, you guessed it, margarita cupcakes.
We usually use Jose Cuervo for the margaritas, but last summer our bottle ran dry with a batch in the blender, so we decided it was time to break out the big guns. My parents had a bottle of Patron stashed away in the food pantry, so we brought it out of hiding.
Since these cupcakes were in part celebration of graduation, I decided why not use the good stuff? Feel free to use any other kind of tequila if you don’t have an insanely expensive bottle of stuff stashed away that, as I can recall, was given to you as a gift. Be warned, though, that after the first bite of one Smidget’s reaction was “I’m drunk already!” (she was only kinda kidding, the tequila comes through for sure, but not that strongly).
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 a 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 lemon 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, and an additional sprinkling of salt.
*Note: If you would prefer to not use liquor in these cupcakes, you can absolutely omit it from both the cupcakes and the frosting with no problem. If you do omit it, I would add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to the frosting
(Recipe adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride) Taken from Brown Eyed Baker
Sidenote: I had a bit of an issue with frosting these guys, hence the large glob of frosting. I couldn’t find the disposable frosting bags and the nice one I found wasn’t cut right for the tip I tried to use. So I tried to MacGyver a plastic bag, but the tip itself was too small, so I just ended up pulling it out. This resulted in a large corner of the bag being cut off, so I just frosted them as I could. Still tasty!