Friday, May 3, 2013

Mini Margarita Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting

If you're looking for a party cupcake, look no further.  Seriously these mini cupcakes are like margarita shots, complete with tequila, salt and a lime chaser.  But sweet, fluffy and a perfect cake texture.  The frosting has a bit of tequila and lime and a pretty green shade letting you know these aren't just mini cupcakes.  Brushing the cupcakes with a touch of tequila before frosting really lets the flavors seep in since the batter itself only has a hint of tequila in addition to lime and zest.  These are perfect for a party, particularly because they lend a bit of sweetness to what might be an otherwise spicy spread for Cinco de Mayo, but also because the mini version is perfect for a buffet, letting guests take part in several options without feeling gluttonous.  Plus they're super cute.
I think by now you've figured out that usually when I want a cupcake, Michelle over at Brown Eyed Baker is my go-to girl.  She made this recipe in standard cupcake form, so I just miniaturized it and they were a huge hit.  I pulled the frosting together while the cupcakes baked and they turned out amazing.  Little bites of a margarita fiesta are exactly the kind of thing I like to make for friends, and these margarita cupcakes complete with lime frosting didn't disappoint.  For an alcohol-free version, replace tequila with lime juice, increasing vanilla extract to 1 Tablespoon.  I dare you to not make this for your weekend activities!

Mini Margarita Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients for cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 limes, zested and juiced
4 Tablespoons tequila, divided
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (or combination of 1 teaspoon vinegar and milk to 1/2 cup measured)

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat flour and sugar until light and fluffy, roughly 5 minutes.

Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, scraping sides of bowl as needed.  Add the lime zest, juice, vanilla and 2 Tablespoons tequila.  Mix on a medium speed. until combined.  Note:  The mixture may curdle, but will eventually combine after a bit.

Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk.  end with flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Divide batter among lined cups of a mini muffin pan.  Note: I used a medium cookie scoop to divide the batter.  Bake at 325 degrees F for 12-16 minutes or until gently golden and a tester inserted in center comes out clean or with just crumbs.  Rotate muffin pan 180 degrees halfway through baking.

Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

Brush tops of muffins with remaining tequila and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Ingredients for frosting

1 cup butter, softened
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Tablespoons tequila
pinch coarse salt

While cupcakes bake, beat butter in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-high speed with the whisk attachment.  Alternatively you can also beat with a hand mixer. 

Reduce speed to low and gradually add powdered sugar, scraping sides of bowl as needed until combined and smooth.  Beat on medium speed for another 30 seconds then add in lime juice, tequila and salt, mixing on medium-high speed until fluffy.

Transfer frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes as desired.

Makes 36 mini cupcakes.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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