These Margarita Cupcakes are a fun dessert to serve at an adult party. These are lime infused cupcakes with a bit of tequila and Grand Marnier in them. They’re frosted with a lime buttercream frosting.
Cinco de Mayo will soon be here. Though it’s a Mexican holiday, here in the USA, 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.
There is also some Grand Marnier in these cupcakes. 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). 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 Margarita Cupcakes 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). 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. In the photo pictured above, I made larger-sized cupcakes in the large muffins pans to accommodate the size of a shot glass on top.
If you’re looking for more delicious recipes to serve at your Mexican-themed party, you might enjoy serving my Slow Cooker Mexican Street Corn Dip or these Pineapple Margaritas. This Cinco de Mayo Mexican Charcuterie Board would be an awesome display too.
- 9 ounces margarita mix
- 3 ounces tequila
- 3/4 ounce Grand Marnier
- 1 box white cake mix
- 3 large egg whites
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
LIME BUTTERCREAM ICING:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 5 to 6 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- green food coloring, if desired
- small lime slices for garnish, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two dozen cupcake tins with paper liners.
PREPARE THE 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.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the cake mix, egg whites, 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.
Spoon the batter into cupcake liners (about 3/4 full). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for about 10 minutes in the pans, then remove them to a rack to cool completely.
PREPARE THE ICING:
Place the butter in a large bowl and beat with electric mixer until the butter is fluffy. Add 5 cups of powdered sugar, lime juice, zest and salt. 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 the cupcakes in whatever manner you prefer... spreading or piping the frosting. Use small lime slices as garnish.
- *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.