Margarita Cupcakes

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"This recipe is a composite of many recipes I found on my quest for a Cinco de Mayo dessert. This is definitely an adult dessert, so careful around the kiddos. Where I live, margarita mix is uber-expensive, so I make my own. Check out my recipe #recipe12473 for a really good mix that makes just a small amount - enough for this recipe and a few margaritas on the side! WARNING: the icing is very sweet, but the cupcake itself is NOT."

Original is 24 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (87.6 g)
  • Calories 266.1
  • Total Fat - 6 g
  • Saturated Fat - 3.1 g
  • Cholesterol - 10.3 mg
  • Sodium - 194.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 53.9 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0.3 g
  • Sugars - 43.6 g
  • Protein - 1 g
  • Calcium - 52.5 mg
  • Iron - 0.5 mg
  • Vitamin C - 6.6 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two dozen cupcake tins with paper liners.

Step 2

In a small bowl, combine the margarita mix, tequila and Grand Marnier. IMPORTANT: Measure out 1 1/4 cups for the recipe and set aside

Step 3

Pour the rest of the margarita mix in an ice-filled and drink it while making the cupcakes!

Step 4

Place cake mix, egg whites, canola oil, lime zest and the 1 1/4 cups reserved margarita mixture in the bowl of your mixer. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, stopping to make sure all the cake mix is scraped up from the bottom, and then mix for two additional minutes at medium speed.

Step 5

Pour the batter into the cupcake tins, about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 min, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Step 6

Let cupcakes cool for about 5 minutes, then remove them from the tins to a rack and let them cool completely.

Step 7

Pour about 2-3 tablespoons of tequila into a small bowl. With a silicone brush, brush the tops of each cupcake with the tequila. Repeat.

Step 8

While cupcakes are baking, prepare the icing.

Step 9

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the lime juice, salt, and zest and mix until throroughly combined. It may curdle a bit.

Step 10

Add about 3 cups of the powdered sugar and blend at a low speed until incorporated, then beat at a high speed until smooth and creamy. Reduce speed and add more powdered sugar, about a quarter cup at a time, until it reaches a good consistency for how you want to use it. If you are going to pipe the icing, it should be a bit stiff.

Step 11

Optional: use a bit of green food coloring (careful, just a little teeny bit!!!)if you want a green tint.

Step 12

Frost the cupcakes however you like. If piping, consider sprinkling sugar crystals on the outside spiral, to make it look like a margarita. Add a small half-slice of key lime as a garnish. Or sprinkle lime zest over frosted cupcakes.


  • Electric Mixer

Editorial Notes

The ingredient tips, suggestions, variations, facts, questions and answers below are not edits to the original author's recipe. They are not meant to imply any change would improve the recipe. They're offered for convenience, alternative ideas, and points of interest. If you have any comments about them, please post in the Help & Ideas forum.

  • Be sure to use fresh lime juice for the icing - the bottled stuff won't give you the same flavor.
  • If you don't have canola oil, any neutral oil will work in the cupcake batter.

  • Margarita Mix: You could substitute the margarita mix with equal parts of lime juice and simple syrup. This substitution will reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe, making it a healthier option.
  • Tequila: You could substitute the tequila with equal parts of orange juice and triple sec. This substitution will reduce the amount of alcohol in the recipe, making it more family friendly.

Mojito Cupcakes Replace the margarita mix with mojito mix, tequila with white rum, Grand Marnier with triple sec, lime zest with mint leaves, and lime juice with lime juice and a splash of club soda. Replace the key lime slices with mint leaves for garnish.

Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes Replace the margarita mix with strawberry daiquiri mix, tequila with white rum, Grand Marnier with triple sec, lime zest with strawberry slices, and lime juice with strawberry puree. Replace the key lime slices with strawberry slices for garnish.

Black Bean and Corn Salad: A light and refreshing side dish to accompany the Margarita Cupcakes. The sweetness of the corn combined with the smokiness of the black beans pairs perfectly with the sweet and tart flavors of the cupcakes. This salad is also a great way to get your daily dose of vegetables.

Grilled Zucchini and Tomatoes: A simple yet delicious side dish to accompany the Margarita Cupcakes. The combination of the smoky grilled zucchini and the sweet and acidic tomatoes offers an array of flavors that pairs wonderfully with the cupcakes. This dish is also a great way to get your daily dose of vegetables and antioxidants.


Q: What type of tequila should I use for the cupcakes?

A: You can use either gold or silver tequila, but gold is recommended. For the best flavor, use a high-quality tequila.

Q: How long should I bake the cupcakes for?

A: The cupcakes should be baked for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Fun facts:

The Margarita was invented in the 1940s by a bartender in Mexico, who named it after a customer, Margarita Sames, who was a wealthy socialite.

The Margarita is a very popular cocktail, and is the favorite drink of celebrities like George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Timberlake.