Recipes, Desserts

Margarita Cupcakes

A tequila and lime cupcake paired with a lime buttercream creates a really fun and delicious adult treat!

Margarita Cupcakes Amanda Rettke1Resize

I have to admit, I was not one for shots. Shots of tequila and other hard liquors never really appealed to me and I would stick to beer or wine. When the opportunity came for me to try these margarita-inspired cupcakes, I was pretty darn excited. This was the perfect way to indulge in a sweet treat and still be reminiscent of tequila shots.

Margarita Cupcakes Amanda Rettkeresize

The concept of a margarita cupcake is simple. You take a lime cupcake and infuse it with tequila. (I will tell you my trick for this in a moment!) Then you create a deliciously sour and sweet buttercream. The combination of these is a decadent and perfect pairing, much like the margarita itself.

Margarita Cupcakes Amanda Rettkeresize

Simple, lip-smacking deliciousness.

Margarita Cupcakes Amanda Rettke1Resize

Because the tequila is added to the hot cupcake and not baked in, these are not safe for kids to eat. If you want to make them safe for children, simply omit the tequila.

I shared these cupcakes with some tequila-expert friends and they were quite impressed! There were 12 cupcakes, 4 friends, and no cupcakes remaining at the end of the night. That is a success in my eyes!

Margarita Cupcakes Amanda Rettkereszie

Margarita Cupcakes Recipe


12 cupcakes



  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup or 113g) room temperature butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 lime, juiced (should be about 2 tablespoons)
  • ½ cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon tequila

Lime Buttercream:

  • 1 stick (½ cup or 113g) butter, room temperature
  • 2-3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 5 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sanding sugar
  • Kosher salt (optional)


For the Cupcakes:

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Pour milk into a 1 cup measuring cup and add 2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lime juice. Stir to incorporate and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. With the mixer on low, add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
  5. Slowly add in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just incorporated and make sure speed is always on low.
  6. Divide batter evenly in a muffin pan. Bake for 18-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. When done baking, remove cupcakes from oven and brush with tequila. After about 5 minutes, transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to completely cool before frosting.

For the Buttercream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add butter. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Turn mixer off and add in confectioners sugar. Turn mixer on low and slowly add in fresh squeezed lime juice, one tablespoon at a time.
  3. Mix until thick and creamy.
  4. Make sure to add the tequila to the cupcake while it is still warm! I have found the best way to do this is to brush it one with a pastry brush, but you can also use a small spoon and pour it over.
  5. To decorate the cupcake, add frosting to a pastry bag fitted with an open-star tip. Pipe out frosting onto cooled cupcake and top with sanding sugar. If you want to add salt, sprinkle just a couple granules over the top cupcake.
  6. Cupcake last about 3 days but are best served immediately.

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