I’d been wanting to make these cupcakes for eons it seems, but I was always a little bit thrown off by them. Who wants a margarita cupcake, when there is chocolate or red velvet to be had? Silly girl. We had a newlywed couple over for dinner earlier this week, so I took the opportunity to make them for dessert. Jamie is always declaring my previous cupcake creations “the best she’s ever had”, but she says this one now takes the cake (no pun intended!). It’s a new favorite in my book as well!
The flavors are so light and refreshing, and even with the additional tequila/orange liqueur brushed onto the cupcakes when cooling, they weren’t too boozy. Just a hint! And I loved all the lime zest in the batter. My hands reeked of lime all day long after making these! I’d made Swiss meringue buttercream some time ago, and I remember not being impressed. This frosting, however, was a completely different story. Even while beating, I was unsure. I thought it would be too sweet, and it seemed runny – “I’ll never be able to pipe this”, I thought. Then, all of a sudden, it came together magically to form the perfect consistency. Piped beau-ti-fully. And, definitely not too sweet. Loved, loved, loved it!
I also topped the cupcakes with a sprinkling of fleur-de-sel right before serving. Something about the occasional salty bite hiding in the fluffly cloud of frosting that really “sealed the deal” for me – just like a margarita. Make these now!
For the Cupcakes:
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temp
3 limes, zested and juiced
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup tequila (or half tequila/half orange liqueur, optional)
For the Tequila-Lime Buttercream:
2 cups sugar
8 egg whites
3 sticks butter, room temperature
2 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp Tequila
lime zest and wedges, for topping
fleur-de-sel, for garnish
Preheat oven to 325. Prepare muffin tins with paper liners or baking spray.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar on a high until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next one.Add lime zest and lime juice. Add vanilla.
Turn mixer to low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated. Fill each muffin cup ~3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pans at the halfway point.
Allow cupcakes to cool completely in the pans before removing. While the cupcakes are still warm, brush the tops with tequila or tequila/orange mixture if desired.
To make the frosting, place the stand mixer bowl over a simmering pot of water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Whisk the sugar and egg whites until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture registers 160 degrees with a candy thermometer.
Place bowl on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until the mixture is cool and holds stiff, glossy peaks (approximately 10 minutes).
Change to the paddle attachment and beat in one tablespoon of butter at a time on medium. The mixture might appear curdled but keep beating, it will pull back together.
Add lime juice and 1 Tbsp tequila. Increase speed to high and beat until the frosting reincorporates and is smooth and fluffy. Beat in remaining tablespoon of tequila, if desired.
Frost the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream as desired. Garnish with lime zest, lime slices, and fleur-de-sel.
Source: slightly adapted from Confessions of a Foodie Bride