Margarita Cupcakes

This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog with more photographs: Margarita Cupcakes.

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Margarita Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 25 min

These are fun for a Cinco de Mayo party, but they surely can be made for any festive, adult occasion…emphasis on adult. They do have a bit of tequila in them, so it’s probably best to keep them away from the little ones.

Ingredients:

CAKE:
9 ounces Margarita Mixer, bottled liquid
3 ounces tequila
3/4 ounce Grand Marnier
1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix
3 large egg whites
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon lime zest

LIME BUTTERCREAM ICING:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 to 6 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime zest
green food coloring, if desired
small lime slices for garnish, if desired

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two dozen cupcake tins with paper liners.

2. Prepare cupcakes: Whisk together margarita mix, tequila and Grand Marnier in a small bowl. Measure out 1 1/4 cups for the recipe; pour the rest on some ice and drink it while making the cupcakes :)

3. In a large bowl, blend cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, lime zest and 1 1/4 cups of the margarita mix from step 1. Blend on low for about 30 seconds and then increase speed to medium and blend for two additional minutes. Batter will be slightly lumpy.

4. Spoon the batter into cupcake liners (about 3/4 full). Bake for 20-25 min, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool for about 10 minutes in the pans, then remove them to a rack to cool completely.

5. Prepare icing: Once cucpakes are completely cooled, prepare the icing. Place butter in a large bowl and beat with electric mixer until butter is fluffy. Add 5 cups of powdered sugar, salt, lime juice, and lime zest. Mix until thick and creamy. Add more powdered sugar until the frosting is of a good spreading (or piping) consistency. Mix in a tiny amount of green food coloring or gel paste if you'd like the frosting to have a green tint. Ice cupcakes in whatever manner you prefer... spreading or piping the frosting. Use small lime slices as garnish.

Tips:

*Conversions: 9 ounces = a little over a cup, 3 ounces = a little less than 1/3 cup, 3/4 ounce = 1 1/2 Tablespoons
*Grand Marnier is an orange liqueur- sub another kind if you'd like or add in some orange juice.
*Don't worry too much about exact measuring for the margarita mix/tequila/Grand Marnier. Just eyeball it and measure out the 1 1/4 cups that you'll need for the recipe.
*If you just spread frosting on the cupcakes (rather than piping), you'll probably have a bit of frosting leftover.
*If you prepare these a day before, it's best to place them into a covered container and refrigerate them. Remove them to room temperature a couple of hours before serving. Of course, they're best if eaten the day they're made.

Source: RecipeGirl.com

Leave a Comment




66 Responses to “Margarita Cupcakes”

  1. 1

    snooky doodle — May 2, 2009 @ 1:38 PM

    so nice and yumy. really interesting. Hope I don t get tipsy if I make these :)

  2. 2

    Sue — May 10, 2009 @ 5:23 AM

    Great cupcakes! were a big hit for the adults at a boring children’s birthday party. Not sure if the alcohol would remain after baking, but did not let any of the children try these. Was asked for this recipe and refered them to this website. Easy to make, and enjoyed a margarita while putting the ingredients together!

  3. 3

    katie — June 13, 2009 @ 7:18 PM

    These turned out great for summer, thanks for the great recipe.

  4. 4

    Leah L. — June 29, 2009 @ 8:41 AM

    These were a hit at a friends 21st birthday. The icing was amazing :D

  5. 5

    Julie W. — June 30, 2009 @ 9:50 AM

    AWESOME! A HUGE HIT!

  6. 6

    RitaB — April 5, 2010 @ 6:33 PM

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! I made a cake yesterday for my mother in law’s birthday. It turned out great! I baked 2 – 8″ cakes at 350º for 15 min. Used the same icing recipe. Here’s a picture.

    http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs396.snc3/24068_371126193343_620628343_3731632_2445456_n.jpg

  7. 7

    Lori Lange — April 5, 2010 @ 7:04 PM

    Rita- so glad it turned out great for you!

  8. 8

    Suzzanna — June 8, 2010 @ 11:12 AM

    I made these for a “Sex and the City Party,” and they were a big hit. Delicious and so easy to make!

  9. 9

    Emily — July 10, 2010 @ 3:15 PM

    These look phenomenal! I can’t wait to make them!

  10. 10

    Luci — August 17, 2010 @ 9:15 AM

    i made these for a wedding shower, the brides colors were green and brown so they were perfect!!It was easy too! Everyone LOVED them! I also made a green Champange Cupcake, this recipe without a doubt was the winner!! I just used fresh lime zest as the garnish, it gave it a little extra kick and looked super cute. I think i going to have to make them again tomorrow for the people that didnt attend!!!

  11. 11

    Angela — August 19, 2010 @ 3:02 PM

    @adult-only comment: Because the the cupcakes are baked and there is no alcohol in the frosting, all of the alcohol would be “cooked-off”.

    I’ve also made these (my own recipe) with yellow cake mix and added some green food coloring – same color as a blended margarita! Add decorative sugar crystals to make it look like the salted rim. Very cute!

  12. 12

    Lori Lange — August 19, 2010 @ 8:32 PM

    @Angela, Yeah, technically… though I still wouldn’t feel comfortable telling my kiddo that it’s ok to eat Margarita cupcakes. I’ll stick w/ handing them out to the adults. Plus, it’s fun to stick a few shot glasses of tequila on your serving tray ;)

  13. 13

    amy — August 27, 2010 @ 7:47 AM

    I made these for a bbq not long ago and they were a huge hit. even with my husband who doesnt really like cake. they are not too sweet. I added a little tequila to my frosting for a little extra zing.

  14. 14

    Lisa — September 15, 2010 @ 10:48 PM

    I didn’t make these, but was at a birthday party where they were served. the cook gave me this site to try it myself. can’t wait :) they were yummy.

  15. 15

    Kim — October 28, 2010 @ 3:20 PM

    Just finished making these and they are amazing!
    I have to admit I read the recipe the other day so tonight I just started putting them together forgetting about only using 1 1/4 cups and used all the liquor in the recipe (I also used “margaritas” instead of mix) and they came out so moist and delicious. Thanks for posting this they will be a big hit at my party tomorrow

  16. 16

    Leslie S. — January 30, 2011 @ 5:25 PM

    I may have to make these for the next mommies’ night!!

  17. 17

    marianne — February 4, 2011 @ 4:23 PM

    I made this for my birthday today 2/4 and i took them to my co workers. i work in a food store. And they were great a big hit. I added the tequila to the icing. They tasted just like a margarita. I am going to try other cocktails with this recipe. Thse are a major make again. They are so easy, nice and moist.

  18. 18

    Lori Lange — February 4, 2011 @ 4:32 PM

    @marianne, Good to hear & happy birthday to you!

  19. 19

    marianne — February 4, 2011 @ 6:07 PM

    @Lori Lange, thank you

  20. 20

    Breanna — February 7, 2011 @ 6:42 AM

    So could you just use 1 1/4 cup of Margarita mix (already prepared margaritas,) instead of having to buy the additional alcohol?

  21. 21

    Lori Lange — February 7, 2011 @ 7:13 AM

    @Breanna, Yes.

  22. 22

    Jan Patterson — February 11, 2011 @ 7:38 AM

    Loved this cupcake recipe. Didn’t use the fresh lime garnish though. Is there a problem with the lime reacting with the frosting and causing the frosting to melt?

  23. 23

    Lori Lange — February 11, 2011 @ 7:24 PM

    @Jan Patterson, I did not have that problem.

  24. 24

    Kristin — March 15, 2011 @ 8:41 AM

    I have made these cupcakes 3 times now (and planning or a 4th for my 25th bday coming up) and they were amazing every time!They were a huge hit, my friends still ask me when I will make them again.

    DELICIOUS!

  25. 25

    Gaby Gamez — April 1, 2011 @ 12:55 PM

    Your recipe is yummy!!!! But I made these last weekend, they were a bit dry, have you tried adding more oil to the recipe? Why only 2T if the cake mix calls for 1/3 C?
    thanks

  26. 26

    Lori Lange — April 1, 2011 @ 5:41 PM

    @Gaby Gamez, I suppose you could add a little more. Shorter baking time maybe too.

  27. 27

    Chris Baker — April 23, 2011 @ 1:11 PM

    I just made these. Wow. Incredible. I couldn’t afford the Grand Marnier, so I substituted Triple Sec. Can’t say enough how happy I am you posted this recipe. Bringing these to a Doctor Who party tonight, I imagine they will be a big hit.

  28. 28

    Kristal — May 2, 2011 @ 1:48 PM

    What an awesome recipe! I’m going to be making these in a couple weeks for sure!!! Hope they come out like yours! :)

  29. 29

    Shannon — May 3, 2011 @ 9:56 AM

    These were really easy to make, and the cupcakes had a yummy, yummy flavor! Sadly, though, the bottoms and tops of my cupcakes burned. Not sure why…it was at 350 for 21 minutes.

    Can’t take them to a friend for her bday today, but I’ll try again tonight! I’ll test them at 17 minutes and see what happens. We have a stock of booze on hand, and the other ingredients are inexpensive, so it’s easy and fun to make a bunch!

  30. 30

    ann — May 4, 2011 @ 11:55 AM

    LOL LMAO — ok, i was looking up margarita cupcakes for cinco de mayo party… the drink the rest made me laugh REALLY loud! luckily the kids aren’t home, i might have scared them! :o) thanks for the laugh, these look & sound yummy so can’t wait to get to it!

  31. 31

    Lovecavaliers — May 5, 2011 @ 2:50 PM

    Contrary to popular opinion, cooking removes only a portion of the alcohol added to a dish,
    a much smaller portion than previously thought.

    Perhaps most interesting, 75% of the alcohol remains after flambe-ing. A whopping thirty-five percent (35%) of alcohol remains even after a dish has been simmered 30 minutes on the stove, according to a 2003 USDA study. Alcohol remains in a dish chemically, even when its taste in undetectable – a very important consideration for someone in sobriety or for those cooking for someone in sobriety.

    USDA Table of Nutrient Retention Factors, Release 5 (2003)
    http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp

    Table from USDA Showing Percent of Alcohol Retained After Cooking
    Preparation Method Percent of Alcohol Retained
    alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat 85%
    alcohol flamed 75%
    no heat, stored overnight 70%
    baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture 45%
    baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture:
    15 minutes 40%
    30 minutes 35%
    1 hour 25%
    1.5 hours 20%
    2 hours 10%
    2.5 hours 5%

    From the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, April, 2002, by Eleese Cunningham:

    “The extent of loss depends on the severity of the heat application, or any other factor favoring evaporation. Cooking time had the greatest impact on alcohol retention. Flaming a dish results in much smaller losses of alcohol than cooking. Uncooked and briefly cooked dishes had the highest alcohol retention. Alcohol retention during cooking was also greatly affected by the size of the cooking vessel used. The smaller the cooking utensil the greater the amount alcohol retained. This was likely due to the smaller surface area for evaporation.”

  32. 32

    Lori Lange — May 8, 2011 @ 6:51 PM

    Thanks for the info!

  33. 33

    Pauline — May 14, 2011 @ 7:16 AM

    Do you use fresh lime zest in the cupcakes?? It looks more like bottled??

  34. 34

    Lori Lange — May 14, 2011 @ 7:21 AM

    freshly grated!

  35. 35

    Pauline — May 14, 2011 @ 7:58 AM

    I see the green speckles in the frosting.. The cupcakes looked a brown speckled color? Maybe it’s these new glasses.. lol

  36. 36

    Lori Lange — May 14, 2011 @ 8:28 AM

    Yes, they do come out a little speckly like that… not sure why!

  37. 37

    Karen — June 19, 2011 @ 11:33 AM

    Made these cupcakes for a Margarita house party last night – They were a HUGE hit! I made strawberry frosting with lime zest in it – yummy!

  38. 38

    Lori Lange — June 19, 2011 @ 6:57 PM

    That sounds great! Love the variation.

  39. 39

    Jessee — July 21, 2011 @ 10:50 PM

    Hello, there! I was actually thinking about making these tomorrow for a friend of mine and I was wondering: If I changed the recipe and used strawberry mix instead of classic lime, would it turn out the same? Also, if I did substitute in the strawberry mix, is there anything you’d recommend using instead of lime zest?

  40. 40

    Lori Lange — July 22, 2011 @ 6:18 AM

    I think it would probably turn out fine, except I’m not sure how much of the strawberry flavor would come out with just that substitution. You might try adding a strawberry frosting instead. I’d keep the lime zest in there.

  41. 41

    Jessee — July 22, 2011 @ 9:28 AM

    Hm. I was also actually wondering if, since it would be a strawberry margarita, perhaps a strawberry cake mix might work out.

  42. 42

    Lori Lange — July 23, 2011 @ 6:41 AM

    Sounds like a great idea!

  43. 43

    Michelle Maybury — November 5, 2011 @ 12:30 PM

    Margarita Cupcakes,,,,,,,wonderful, made them for an adult Halloween Party.
    Just made another batch with same ingredients, except for the Grand Marnier and Tequila. They also came out great..I called these Key Lime Cupcakes.Thanks for the great ideas. Michelle

  44. 44

    Joni — February 7, 2012 @ 2:26 PM

    Can these be frozen for future use?

  45. 45

    Lori Lange — February 8, 2012 @ 4:53 PM

    I guess the cupcakes themselves can be if they are sealed well… but I wouldn’t frost until serving.

  46. 46

    Marcy — May 1, 2012 @ 1:57 PM

    I found this info from an author who has a book on cakes/cupcakes that use alcohol.
    She states, “when booze is mixed into the batter and baked 40 % is retained for cupcakes baked for 15 minutes and 25% for a cake baked an hour. But when soaked into the cake after baking 70% of the alcohol is retained. Heat and exposure to air is what makes alcohol dissipate a little. Most of our frostings and creams are not heated, so 100% is retained.”

    Everyone always thinks alcohol is totally baked off, and that’s not true. You would have to cook something for hours and even then, there would be trace amounts. Not a big deal for most people, but for some, it is still a concern.

    Here is the site I got the info from: http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com/2010/07/booze-cakes-alcohol-cupcake-interview.html

  47. 47

    Lori Lange — May 1, 2012 @ 9:55 PM

    Great info- thanks for sharing!

  48. 48

    Lisa Smith — May 20, 2012 @ 6:43 AM

    Truly inspired! A huge hit! Everyone loved them and raved at what a great idea it was. Definitely adding them to my regular cupcake rotation. Thanks!

  49. 49

    sweetcreations — June 8, 2012 @ 6:07 PM

    Great recipes, thanks for sharing. Also I tried your buttercream and it was delish. I will try one of the cake recipes tonight.

  50. 50

    Ann Walt — June 24, 2012 @ 7:17 PM

    I could not fine the champaign cupcakes that someone was talking about. Can you tell me where I might find it?

  51. 51

    Lori Lange — June 25, 2012 @ 7:11 AM

    not sure- I don’t have a recipe for champagne cupcakes on my site.

  52. 52

    Nonie B. — June 26, 2012 @ 9:36 AM

    Are there any instructions for making this recipe into a layer cake?

  53. 53

    Lori Lange — June 27, 2012 @ 6:08 PM

    not really- you could always try it as such though!

  54. 54

    Michelle P. — August 18, 2012 @ 7:49 AM

    How would I make these non alcoholic?

  55. 55

    Lori Lange — August 19, 2012 @ 7:20 AM

    I suppose you could use all margarita mix instead of adding any actual alcohol. But you may prefer to just find a lime cupcake recipe instead!

  56. 56

    Olivia — November 12, 2012 @ 9:02 AM

    Hi Lori. I plan on making these for a Farewell Fiesta this Friday! I was only able to find a box of cake mix that was 16.25 oz. How do you think I should alter the rest of the recipe? Thanks for the help!

  57. 57

    Lori Lange — November 12, 2012 @ 7:06 PM

    Those new cake mixes are really messing things up! Some folks have just purchased a 2nd mix and added the extra ounces, but it will likely be okay to make as written with the slightly smaller box.

  58. 58

    Yvonne — December 22, 2012 @ 12:06 PM

    So I have been wanting to make these for so long and am holding back for fear of messing this up so a question just to ease my mind before i make them. When adding ingredients is it replace the water in the cake mix or make the cake mix as is and then add the margarita mix also?

  59. 59

    Jaroslaw — July 26, 2013 @ 1:22 PM

    These look absolutely delicious, but I had to laugh at the “alcohol remaining after cooking” post. There are three ounces total booze in 24 cupcakes. So if 35% remains after 25 minutes, that means barely more than an ounce divided among 24 cupcakes, that is about one ml per cupcake. a ml is a very tiny amount.

  60. 60

    Stephanie — August 15, 2013 @ 4:56 AM

    They look great for a bridal shower that I’m hosting! What kind/size of piping tip did you use for the icing?

  61. 61

    Lori Lange — August 15, 2013 @ 8:49 AM

    It was so long ago that I’m afraid I don’t remember. It was just a basic tip though, nothing fancy.

  62. 62

    Stephanie — August 22, 2013 @ 5:37 AM

    Ok, Thank you

  63. 63

    Whitney — August 30, 2013 @ 6:04 PM

    Yummy! I love your kind of cooking – enjoying an adult beverage to help with the recipe, The cupcakes are fantastic. If I don’t get them out of the house, I will eat them all.

  64. 64

    Kat — February 21, 2014 @ 9:09 PM

    Oh yes, this is why I love you! You make life fun!, I am throwing a big St Pats & Purim party next month. ( The two holidays collide this year!) I think I’ll make these with green icing ????

  65. 65

    Cheryl — March 4, 2014 @ 3:18 PM

    Made these today!! I had Margaritas, (not the mix) and triple sec. Didn’t drink the extra mix of tequila, triple sec and margarita… added it to the frosting!! Then topped the cupcakes with a tiny bit of line zest! Super yummy!!

  66. 66

    Jacquie — April 16, 2014 @ 9:31 AM

    These were yummy! I used the leftover margarita to brush the tops of the cupcake before frosting them. The frosting was soo good- a touch of lime and salt!