Margarita Cupcakes

Cinco de Mayo will soon be here (May 5th for those non-Spanish speakers). Though it’s a Mexican holiday, here in Southern California, Cinco de Mayo celebrations are pretty widespread… mostly an excuse to eat Mexican food and partake in downing a few margaritas. We had a party last year for that very reason. These Margarita Cupcakes 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.
Also in these cupcakes is margarita mix and Grand Marnier. If you look closely, you’ll see that I bought “margaritas” instead of mix. Oops. My cupcakes were extra good (wink!)Β  Grand Marnier can be pricey, so you can always pick up a tiny bottle at a liquor store, or you can substitute Cointreau or Triple Sec (which is a bit cheaper).Β  Those who don’t drink might ask if you can omit the alcohol in this recipe… you might try making them using only the margarita mixer, but I can’t vouch for the flavor since I haven’t tried it that way.
These are simple cupcakes that begin with a box of white cake mix. The margarita ingredients. above are mixed in along with egg whites, vegetable oil and lime zest. The margarita flavor takes over, so you don’t even notice that it’s made with a box mix.
The icing is a Lime Buttercream. I added the lime juice slowly until I got the flavor I wanted. Just a very mellow lime flavor is best to go with the tangy flavor of the cupcake (the tequila flavor doesn’t really come through so much). Β Garnish with little lime slices, and add some shots of tequila on your dessert tray too!
I thought this might be a fun way to serve them too, but then things might get kind of, um, interesting when you have your guests licking the bottoms of the shot glasses.

Have fun with these… They were a big hit with my taste testers!

This recipe can be found here: Margarita Cupcakes
You might also like this recipe for: Margarita Cake

93 Responses to “Margarita Cupcakes”

  1. postedMay 2, 2009 2:18 AM

    Ooh, aren’t those pretty! The one with the shot glass looks *extra*-fun πŸ˜‰ I think the closer cheaper relative of grand marnier is cointreau πŸ™‚

  2. postedMay 2, 2009 3:25 AM

    Your photos are gorgeous. (And fun! Love the one with the drink perched precariously on top of the cupcake.)

  3. postedMay 2, 2009 5:13 AM

    I love the shot on top of the cupcake!

  4. postedMay 2, 2009 5:23 AM

    Perfect cupcakes for a party! Love your photos too!!

  5. postedMay 2, 2009 5:32 AM

    So cute I may have to try this recipe too – and you’re right a perfect reason to celebrate is to eat Mexican food and drink Margaritas!

  6. postedMay 2, 2009 6:32 AM
    Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar

    I’m not a margarita fan, but your cupcakes look so good that I’d be unable to resist trying one!

  7. postedMay 2, 2009 5:39 AM

    Very cute cupcakes! I’ll take a shot and two cuppy’s! (insert hiccup):D

  8. postedMay 2, 2009 6:01 AM

    great photos and that sounds like a fun recipe!

  9. postedMay 2, 2009 6:21 AM

    I’m not a huge fan of tequila, but those cupcakes are gorgeous!

  10. postedMay 2, 2009 6:50 AM

    I may be your first tester for the “virgin” versions of these because I have some adults in my world who don’t drink. What I love most about this post is your collection of ideas for serving these – they really kickstarted my own thinking about how I’d serve these up.

  11. postedMay 2, 2009 7:22 AM

    OMG those look incredible!

  12. postedMay 2, 2009 7:43 AM

    What a unique cupcake, I love it! Gorgeous photos too.

  13. postedMay 2, 2009 7:44 AM

    They look scrumptious! I can’t wait to try them~ what a unique idea!

  14. postedMay 2, 2009 8:16 AM

    These will be perfect for my trip to Florida next week- they look fun and delicious!

  15. postedMay 2, 2009 8:37 AM

    Great photos! especially the last one =)

    • postedJan 7, 2011 1:21 PM

      @Jen, I was thinking the same thing! I think it can be done!

  16. postedMay 2, 2009 8:37 AM

    Those are muy bonita. Seriously. Gorgeous. I’d love to attempt a gluten-free dairy-free version. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

  17. postedMay 2, 2009 10:52 AM

    Great photos! What a clever idea!

  18. postedMay 2, 2009 11:23 AM

    Yum!! Those look so nice and sound so yummy!!

  19. postedMay 2, 2009 1:22 PM

    I love that last pic…it would be great to watch people lick the bottom first. Hey, that could be a great way to take the shot!

    I’ll have to try these out. I have bookclub that night!

  20. postedMay 2, 2009 1:28 PM

    These are very cute! And I love your towel or table cloth that is in the last 2 pictures. Would go perfect with my Fiestaware!

  21. postedMay 2, 2009 1:31 PM

    What a creative idea – cheers!!

  22. postedMay 2, 2009 1:34 PM

    Oh My! Since I have all of the ingredients on hand,,,oops I have to buy the cake mix/ha
    I will definitely try these…They look so good!

  23. postedMay 2, 2009 1:39 PM

    Nice cupcakes. so so good

  24. postedMay 2, 2009 2:26 PM

    How adorable! I love your cupcake pictures!

  25. postedMay 2, 2009 3:56 PM

    These look really interesting and different… I give it an A+ for creativity….
    Great job!

  26. postedMay 2, 2009 3:57 PM

    Love these! I don’t know I could do the tequila shot anymore though ;o) Old age has gotten to me in that aspect!

  27. postedMay 2, 2009 5:47 PM

    What a fabulous way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! I love the little shot on top of the cupcake-I’m sure everyone’s eyes lit up at the sight of that Lori! πŸ™‚

  28. postedMay 2, 2009 7:44 PM

    I LOVE that last photo with the tequilla shot on top of the cupcake! Great idea! Only needs to be served cautiously..

  29. postedMay 2, 2009 8:40 PM

    adorable idea!

  30. postedMay 2, 2009 9:33 PM

    Wow! What a perfect ending for a party! You certainly know how to keep your guests happy! I love that you bought the premixed margaritas for your mixer! I bet those were good! I just might have to try these.

  31. postedMay 3, 2009 2:51 AM

    awww they look so cute! Love the one with the shot glass =P

  32. postedMay 3, 2009 3:09 AM

    So absolutely the way to go. Absolutely my kind of cupcake. You truly rock, my friend.

  33. postedMay 3, 2009 3:40 AM

    Oooh, cupcakes with a kick!! Love it πŸ™‚

  34. postedMay 3, 2009 4:02 AM

    Those are my kind of cupcakes!! I love serving them with the shotglass!!!

  35. postedMay 3, 2009 6:49 AM

    All the makings of a perfect margarita in cupcake form? Awesome! I love that last pic with a shot glass. These are such a great summer treat!

  36. postedMay 3, 2009 8:23 AM

    Love the photo w/the shot glass on top of the cupcake! So fun! I would love to try these… maybe I’ll take them to bunko one of the next few months! YUM!

  37. postedMay 3, 2009 8:43 AM

    Your margarita cupcakes look totally awesome!!! πŸ™‚

  38. postedMay 3, 2009 8:51 AM

    Haha, omg I love it! The best of both worlds. A couple shots followed by a cupcake and I’m done for the night!

  39. postedMay 3, 2009 10:35 AM

    Another truly fabulous idea — and they look fantastic! Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

  40. postedMay 3, 2009 10:46 AM

    wahoo these sound fab

  41. postedMay 3, 2009 12:41 PM

    SO CUTE! I love the flavors and that gorgeous swirl. You are so creative — especially with that shot glass. You fill it, swallow once, then dig into the frosting, right? hahahahaha!

  42. postedMay 3, 2009 12:09 PM

    I LOVE this idea. They sound delicious!

  43. postedMay 3, 2009 2:37 PM

    Margarita cupcakes! I’ve died and gone to heaven! Not only do these sound super appetizing, but they are adorable as well. With or without the shot glass, these are the perfect end to any Mexican-style meal, Cinco de Mayo or not!

  44. postedMay 3, 2009 2:57 PM

    These are gorgeous! I’ve made margarita cake before, but cupcakes are a great idea! πŸ™‚

  45. postedMay 4, 2009 1:11 AM
    Just a Girl

    Gosh this looks like so much fun!!!!! You are taking recipes too a whole new level.

  46. postedMay 4, 2009 2:28 AM

    i never need an excuse to consume mexican food, but it is nice when everyone willingly joins me. πŸ™‚
    your cupcakes are all kinds of stellar–i’m particularly infatuated with the frosting. nicely done!

  47. postedMay 4, 2009 8:43 AM

    I would definitely be licking the shot glass bottom. BTW the frosting job looks amazing!

    I can’t believe it is already May. Where has this year gone????

  48. postedMay 4, 2009 8:58 AM

    This cup cake doesn’t just sound good it looks super yummy!! And your creativity is so fun and playful! Contest worthy Lori!

  49. postedMay 4, 2009 9:25 AM

    Amazing sounding cuppies. The frosting look so good!

  50. postedMay 4, 2009 10:59 AM

    Cinco de mayo totally snuck up on me this year! Too bad it’s on a tuesday. These cupcakes are adorable…love the little flecks of lime zest.

  51. postedMay 4, 2009 11:28 AM

    These cupcakes are too precious!! I’m loving all the booze in them. These cupcakes look so much better than any plain ole margarita does! Man oh man, I want a dozen of these. And that lime buttercream looks deeelish! Can’t wait for Cinquo de Mayo!

  52. postedMay 4, 2009 6:34 PM

    Perfect! I’d love to have those for dessert for Cinco de Mayo. Love the lime slice nestled in the frosting.

  53. postedMay 5, 2009 6:20 AM

    YUM! I made these last night to bring into work today and two of them didn’t make it in, because after eating one (I had to test them, of course), I had to have another! So good!

    Of all the food blogs I read, I think I’ve tried more recipes from your blog than anyone else’s and they’ve all been fantastic – thanks!

    • postedMay 5, 2009 6:31 AM

      Jess… thank you!! Such sweet words πŸ™‚ I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  54. postedMay 5, 2009 9:55 AM

    Oh my gosh, you’re killing me – those look awesome!

  55. postedMay 5, 2009 10:08 AM

    Quick question: did you use Key limes for the lime part, or just regular limes?

    Thanks! -J

    • postedMay 5, 2009 10:23 AM

      Joanna- just regular old limes πŸ™‚

  56. postedMay 5, 2009 5:50 PM

    Great idea! Did you glaze the cupcakes with tequila afterwards or was it just in the cake mix?

    • postedMay 5, 2009 6:14 PM

      What a great idea! Nope, just put tequila in the cupcakes, but a quick dunk in a tequila-ey glaze before icing would be quite nice!

  57. postedMay 5, 2009 11:31 PM

    I am loving that last photo! The cupcakes look so yummy too!

  58. postedMay 6, 2009 10:07 PM

    The texture on the lime buttercream looks absolutely perfect! That first photo reminds me of college πŸ™‚

  59. postedJun 3, 2009 1:55 PM

    The only thing missing is the salt. I would love a few sprinkles. Perfect looking.

  60. postedJun 5, 2009 11:50 AM

    Now I just have to find that girl to share them with.

    Love this!

  61. postedJul 9, 2009 3:01 PM

    Just made these and they were amazing! Can’t wait to share them at bunko tonight! Thanks, for another great recipe, Lori!

  62. postedSep 11, 2009 1:23 PM

    great idea for a cupcake, but why would you waste all of that effort just to screw it up with a shot of Cuervo? Don’t give that “it’s 1800 gold, so it’s good.” No it is not. Pair it with an anejo of Corazon, Tres Generationes, Gran Centanario, Chinaco, or many other good tequilas.

  63. postedApr 13, 2010 9:27 AM


  64. postedMay 5, 2010 5:02 AM

    Pretty icing! Anything lime is good with me.

  65. postedMay 5, 2010 5:20 AM

    Oh gosh, I’m so making this if I ever have an adult party at my home. It’ll be so fun. I love your shot on cake. πŸ™‚

  66. postedJun 4, 2010 5:16 AM

    I made these for my Bunco group last night. What a hit! I put a rim of white sanding sugar around the frosting and sprinked with some kosher salt. I will probably use key lime juice the next time for a tangier taste. One for the “mom’s favorites”. Thanks

  67. postedJul 9, 2010 11:30 PM

    These look great!! I would love to make them for my best friends Couples Wedding Shower. I think I will try and make them tomorrow. I am a newbie to baking. Can you add liquor to any cake mix? I was thinking of trying to add Vodka to a cake mix. Do I substitute any ingredients? Thanks for all great recipes!

    • postedJul 11, 2010 2:54 PM

      @Marla Salazar-Higgi, I’m afraid baking w/ alcohol is not really my specialty. You’d just have to experiment and see if it all works out πŸ™‚

  68. postedSep 21, 2010 8:23 PM

    Hey I was curious that since you bake the alcohol, how much of it do you think evaporates?

    • postedSep 22, 2010 7:26 AM

      @Jay, Probably most, if not all. I thought it still kept the flavor though.

  69. postedNov 29, 2010 10:23 AM

    I’m in the UK and we don’t have white cake mix over here. Can I use something else instead? or how do I make the white cake mix?

    They sound lovely though. πŸ™‚

    • postedNov 30, 2010 9:03 AM

      @Kayleigh, I suppose you can look for just a plain white cake recipe & alter the ingredients to make something similar…

  70. postedFeb 20, 2011 6:41 AM

    They do have chocolate shot glasses at some stores…yum!

  71. postedMay 5, 2011 3:30 PM

    I made these cupcakes for an office Cinco de Mayo potluck. I received *rave* reviews and several people told me that they were the best cupcakes they ever had! Great recipe!

  72. postedMay 6, 2011 2:47 PM

    Hey thanks for the inspiration!! check out how mine came out πŸ˜€

  73. postedSep 24, 2011 10:54 PM

    Try edible shot glasses! I made cupcake with a chocolate shot glass shoved on top! yummo!

    • postedSep 25, 2011 11:34 AM

      Love that idea!

  74. postedNov 15, 2011 7:07 AM

    Love these!!! πŸ™‚
    Would this recipe work for one large cake instead of cupcakes?

    • postedNov 15, 2011 10:37 PM

      I have not tried it as a whole cake, but I’m guessing it would be fine.

  75. postedApr 27, 2012 1:40 PM

    I think I’ll try filling the shot glasses with Jello-shots…tipped on an angle to resemble the liquid, but no spills.

  76. postedApr 29, 2012 11:46 AM

    Just made these this weekend and YUM! I’m not a big margarita fan but these are delish. My husband, who is a big margarita fan loved them. They’re a HIT!

  77. postedMay 3, 2012 4:35 PM

    These look so fun and yummy. Perfect for this weekend.

  78. postedMay 5, 2012 6:49 PM

    I made these tonight for cinco de mayo and they were FABULOUS!!! I wish i could upload my pic of them!!

  79. postedMay 5, 2012 10:46 PM

    Made these for my Dessert Fiesta and every one loved them. Light limey taste. Better Margarita recipe then the others I’ve tried. THIS one is a keeper!

  80. postedMay 29, 2012 1:19 PM

    Like any other recipes with alchohol in it, if you bake something with alchohol the taste will remain but the liquor will evaporate.

  81. postedJul 12, 2012 4:32 AM
    Penny Daly

    now i am assuming the whole bottles dont go in so what are the alcohol measurements?

  82. postedJan 30, 2013 8:48 PM

    To avoid the awkwardness of your guests licking your shot glasses, they do have molds to make jello shot glasses. Just an idea, plus it would be lighter and edible πŸ™‚

  83. postedJul 20, 2014 9:42 PM

    Recipe turned out great. I used half a fresh orange and the rind along with the lime for the cake mix. For the frosting, to hide the butter taste since it didn’t taste right with the lime, I used the margarita mix and grand marnier. It came out tasting much better. I kept adding lime and the margarita mix until it tasted right. After icing the cupcakes, I lightly sprinkled them with fine sea salt. It really made everything come together. This recipe is definitetly a keeper. Thanks for sharing.

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