Margarita cupcakes, like margaritas themselves, go down smooth. They leave you with just a small tickle in your mouth from the coarse salt and sugar sprinkled on top.
They won’t get you drunk, but they are boozy. There’s tequila in both the cupcake batter and the margarita buttercream!
These cupcakes are beloved by readers, friends, and family. I’ve made them for friends’ weddings and some of my friends have started making them themselves if I don’t make them often enough.
They are EASY to make! There is no need to use an electric mixer for the batter; you only need two bowls.
The cupcakes are also incredibly moist and loaded with fresh lime and a splash of tequila.
How to Make Margarita Cupcakes
First, mix all of the wet ingredients, lime zest, and sugar. The wet ingredients include lime juice, vegetable oil, milk, tequila, and vanilla.
Next, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.
You could frost these cupcakes with any frosting that you like, but using margarita buttercream makes them extra special.
To make it, use a basic buttercream recipe. Instead of flavoring it with vanilla extract, use lime zest and a little tequila.
For those of you who like your margaritas with a salted rim, I highly recommend sprinkling a mixture of kosher salt and coarse sugar over the frosting. It makes the cupcakes sparkle and also helps gives them their distinct margarita flavor.
The cupcake recipe (not the frosting) originally came from the vegan cupcake cookbook called Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. While I typically make the recipe using whole milk, the only change required to make the whole cupcake vegan would be to use soymilk as the recipe was originally written. The frosting can be a vegan buttercream if you swap the butter for plant butter.
Other Cocktail Cupcakes
If you like cocktail cupcakes, consider trying some of my other favorites:
Margarita Cupcake Recipe
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon lime zest zest of two limes
- 2 cup milk whole milk or soymilk for a vegan option
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 teaspoons tequila
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Margarita Buttercream Ingredients
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest zest of one lime
- 1 tablespoon tequila
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- coarse sugar to taste, optional for topping
- kosher salt to taste, optional for topping
- In a large bowl, mix together lime juice, lime zest, milk, oil, tequila, vanilla, and sugar.
- In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the lime mixture and stir until just combined.
- Divide evenly among 18 cupcake liners.
- Bake at 350 F for 20-24 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed.
- Beat butter on high speed with an electric mixer for about three minutes until light and airy.
- Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
- Add lime zest, tequila, and salt and continue to beat for another minute.
- Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
- Optionally, mix coarse sugar and kosher salt together in a small bowl in a 3:1 ratio and sprinkle over the tops of the cupcakes.