Margarita Cupcakes - Lime & Tequila!

This past Cinco de Mayo, my girlfriend and her hubby invited us over for a delicious Mexican-inspired dinner and margaritas. While none of us are of Mexican descent, we couldn't possibly pass up an opportunity to get together and enjoy delicious food! (Plus, if you read about that day in history- the significance is inspirational) I asked Ashley what I could bring to the festivities and she threw me a curve ball: margarita cupcakes.

The issue with making a margarita cupcake is, well... I've never had a margarita! The basic elements are tequila and lime; sometimes they throw in a little citrus. I was a bit weary of using tequila only because of the fantastic stories a friend in college used to tell me. Apparently, the kid could drink with the best of them but something about tequila caused them black out every time. 

Geez, that's exactly what I want to be serving friends and loved ones! Everything in moderation.

This version is a marriage of several ideas and crossed fingers. The base is from Bon Appetit and the frosting is my standard 7 minute frosting. I really liked the rimmed frosting technique by Love From the Oven but didn't want to use cream cheese out of fear it would over power. Instead, I sprinkled sea salt on top.

Mike bought two tiny bottle of tequila from the ABC store. I gingerly sniffed the bottle and shook my head. Potent! After making the mix, there was a little bit left in the bottle. Mike thought it would be good idea to take a sip; the look of disgust was priceless. And I quote, "that stuff is disgusting." I guess we're not tequila lovers. 

The base is a light, soft yellow cake with just a touch of lime. It came out perfectly! I omitted the food coloring from the original recipe and used regular limes instead of key lime. I think in this scenario they're interchangeable. The frosting, as always, came out lovely. I don't know if I will ever be able to go back to butter cream! 7 minute Frosting is just so cloud like!

What really defines this cupcake, in my opinion, was the little sliver of lime and sprinkle of salt. As you eat the cupcake, suck on the lime for a hit of sour. It's fantastic with the dusting of salt on top!  The crowd claimed they made the margarita flavor cut. You be the the judge! Either way, it's a yummy treat! 

Margarita Cupcakes

For the Cupakes
by Bon Appetit

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel
3/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup tequila

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Whisk both flours in medium bowl. Beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat to blend. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then next 3 ingredients (batter may look curdled). Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions. Spoon scant 1/3 cup batter into each liner.

Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool. 

Dip a pastry brush into the tequila. Brush on top of each cupcake. Allow it to absorb for a minute and then apply a second coat. If there's any left over, leave it for for the frosting. 

7 Minute Frosting

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
dash of salt
1-2 teaspoons tequila, to taste

1-2 key limes, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of sea salt

In large metal bowl, whisk together 1/6 cup water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Set bowl over pan of barely simmering water and mix with handheld electric mixer at low speed. Gradually increase speed to high, beating until mixture holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.

Transfer bowl from pan to folded kitchen towel on counter and continue beating until mixture is cool and billowy, about 2 minutes more. Fold in tequila, tasting as you go to make there's enough for your palette.

Garnish with a light sprinkle of sea salt, about a pinch per cupcake. I focused on the edges! Add a little slice of lime; I used key limes because they looked so freaking cute.