Margarita cupcakes begin with a simple sweet lime cupcake base and are topped with fluffy tequila lime frosting!
- 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature preferred
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk*
- zest + fresh juice of 3 medium limes*
- optional: 2 Tablespoons tequila (for brushing in step 5)
Tequila Lime Frosting
- 1 cup (230g; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 4 cups (480g) confectioners’ sugar
- 3–4 Tablespoons (45-60ml) tequila*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- lime flavoring (please see notes– there are options)*
- pinch of salt, to taste
- optional: lime slices, lime zest, and/or coarse sugar for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- Make the batter: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add some of the dry ingredients alternating with some of the milk until all is mixed. Increase to high speed and beat in the lime zest and juice until incorporated. Try to avoid overmixing.
- Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only 1/2 – 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For around 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature. While still warm, brush finished cupcakes with tequila. This infuses extra tequila flavor. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, beating on low at first then increasing to high speed. Once incorporated, add the next cup. Once creamy and combined, beat in the tequila, vanilla extract, lime flavoring, and pinch of salt on high speed. Taste. Add more salt or flavoring as needed.
- Frost cooled cupcakes. I used a Wilton 1M tip for these photos. (Another favorite is this Wilton #12 round tip.) Garnish with lime slices, lime zest, or coarse sugar.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3 days. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Milk: For richest taste and texture, I strongly recommend whole milk or buttermilk.
- Lime Zest & Juice: You’ll want about 2 Tablespoons zest and 1/4 cup lime juice.
- Tequila: Any tequila works! Want them alcohol free? Use 3 Tbsp of milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream instead.
- Lime Flavoring: 2 options! You can use 2 teaspoons lime extract or 1 teaspoon lime oil. Start with those amounts then taste the frosting and add more to taste. I use exactly 2 teaspoons of key lime flavoring when I make these. You can use 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice and lime zest from 1 lime instead. Zest is optional. This amount of lime juice will add flavor, but it will thin out the frosting. The zest makes it difficult to pipe. See the post above for more detail.
Keywords: margarita cupcakes, tequila lime frosting