It seemed only fitting to whip up a home-brew batch of margarita cupcakes to complement a bridal shower we held at one of the best Tex-Mex restaurants in Houston. El Tiempo on Washington Ave, in my opinion, serves the very best margaritas and chicken fajitas in the city – and y’all, this is a big city!
A search on Google yielded very few recipes and none that completely peaked my interest (ie, included booze) or taste buds – you know what that means: Let the experiments begin!
My husband makes a fabulous margarita (aka “The Unofficial State Drink of Texas”). You know the ol’ Lush-In-Training motto: You can’t drink just one That inspiration, along with a shell of a recipe from Wilton proved to be the winning combination as the cupcakes turned out far better than I could have hoped for – a fabulous cupcake to honor a fabulous friend!
I decorated boxes from a local craft store in lime green and fuschia and used those to transport the individual cupcakes from the Tapas party at my house to the restaurant. I think I temporarily gave myself arthritis from using that flower-shaped scrapbooking punchy thingy. No matter – the boxes looked great! And apparently, tequila cures arthritis.
*Update* Click here for the from-scratch version that does not use a box mix. It’s much better. The frosting is to-die for. And only takes a few extra minutes!
A fun cocktail-turned-dessert for a Cinco de Mayo party!
- 9 oz Margarita mix
- 3 oz tequila
- 3/4 oz Grand Marnier (or favorite orange liqueur)
- 1 (18.25 oz) box white cake mix (No-pudding mix works best)
- 3 large egg whites
- 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp lime zest
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
- pinch of salt
- 2-3 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp lime zest
- green food coloring, if desired
- lime wedges/slices for garnish, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
- Whisk together margarita mix, tequila, and Grand Marnier in a small bowl. You will use 1 1/4 cup of this in the cupcake mix. Pour the remainder over ice and enjoy the mini-rita while you’re baking :)
- Mix the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, lime zest and the reserved margarita mix. Blend on low for about 30 seconds and then increase speed to medium and blend for two additional minutes (follow the directions on your box mix if they vary greatly). Batter might be slightly lumpy.
- Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full, baking for 20-25 min, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let cupcakes cool for about 10 minutes in the pans, and then remove and cool completely.
- Beat butter in a large bowl until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add ~5 cups powdered sugar, salt, lime juice, and lime zest. Mix until thick and creamy.
- Add more powdered sugar if necessary to get a nice spreadable/pipeable frosting.
- Add a bit of green food coloring or gel paste, if desired.
- Frost cupcakes with a spatula or piping bag fitted with a tip. Garnish with lime slices, if desired.
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Estimated time: 45 minutes