Homemade Margarita Cupcakes (With Tequila)

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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Even before I got into baking, I’d always been a sucker for a good ol’ Margarita. I mean, who isn’t? There’s just something about the mix of tequila, lime juice, and that hint of orange liqueur that hits the spot after a long workday! 

Margarita Cupcakes

Fast-forward a bit to when I had my own bakery, and I couldn’t shake off this crazy idea: What if I turned my favorite cocktail into a cupcake? That’s how the amazing Margarita cupcake recipe came to life in my kitchen!

Margarita Tequila Cupcake Recipe Has Us Obsessed, And Here’s Why

Margarita Cupcake complete
  • It’s like biting into a fluffy, citrusy cloud with a hint of lime that’s super refreshing. And, of course, they’ve got a sneaky little kick thanks to a touch of tequila in the mix. Perfect for all the grown-ups out there who are suckers for that Margarita flavor! 
  • As with all my easy-peasy recipes like Funfetti cupcakes or ice cream cone cupcakes, you can totally make this baby your own. Want them tart? Just throw in some extra lime zest! Not too in the mood for any boozy stuff? Then, skip the tequila altogether or go easy on it.
  • And let me tell you, they aren’t just for sunny days. Sure, these cupcakes do scream springtime and summer parties, but honestly? They are a hit ALL YEAR ROUND, whether you’re throwing a fiesta, celebrating Cinco de Mayo, or just want to jazz up a regular Tuesday night! 

How To Make Lime Margarita Cupcakes

Margarita Cupcake ingredients

Cupcakes

Step 1.

Preheat your oven to 350°F (or 177°C). And don’t forget to line your two muffin pans (each 12-cup size) with all those cute cupcake liners!

Step 2.

Now, onto the batter! Grab a big bowl and whisk together the baking powder, flour, and salt until combined, then set aside for later. 

Step 3.

Time to take out your trusty stand or handheld mixer! Get a nice big bowl and toss in the butter, then crank your mixer up to high speed and let it work its magic until the butter’s all creamy – about a minute should do!

How to make Margarita Cupcake

Next, throw in some granulated sugar. Let it rip away for another 2 minutes until everything’s creamed together. Remember to scrape down the bowl’s sides to make sure every last bit is getting in on the action! 

With your mixer on low speed, crack the eggs into the mixture one by one before adding vanilla extract. Once they’re all in, change the speed to medium-high and keep the mixer going until combined. And yeah, you guessed it: give the bowl a good scrape down again so that nothing’s missing out on the fun! 

Step 4.

Alrighty, with your mixer going back to low speed, start adding in the dry ingredients a little bit at a time, alternating with splashes of milk until everything’s mixed together.

Once it’s all in there, crank to high speed and toss in the juice and lime zest. Give it a good mix, but don’t go overboard!

Step 5.

I bet you can’t wait to get that batter into the cupcake liners! Fill them up about halfway to two-thirds to the top to avoid any overflow disaster. 

Pop them in the oven and let them bake for about 18 to 20 mins, or until the toothpick poked in the middle comes out mostly clean. If you’re making mini Margarita cupcakes, they’ll need about 11 to 13 minutes at the same temperature.

After that, just make sure to let them cool down completely before you break out the frosting. Who wants melty frosting for their cakes, right? 

Oh, and here’s my tip: while they’re still warm, I brush my finished cakes with a little tequila for some extra flavor.

Frosting

Margarita Cupcakes Frosting
Margarita Cupcakes Frosting

Step 6.

Grab a big bowl and handheld/stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Throw in the butter and crank up the speed to high. Let it beat away for 2 to 3 minutes until super creamy and smooth! 

Now, toss in the confectioners’ sugar, cup by cup. Start on low speed to avoid a sugary mess, then go higher once it’s all mixed in. 

Keep adding the sugar until it’s all in there, then throw in a bit of tequila, lime flavoring, vanilla extract, and a little salt. Give it a taste and adjust with more flavoring or salt until it’s perfect! 

Step 7.

Here comes the fun part: frosting our cooled cupcakes! If you want a bit of pizzazz, throw on some lime slices, zest, or maybe even a sprinkle of coarse sugar. 

Margarita Cupcakes recipe

Notes

1. Don’t want to use liquor for these cupcakes? You can totally leave it out of both the frosting and the cupcakes, no problem at all! Instead, you can add 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract to your frosting.

2.  Now, if you’re the planning-ahead type, you can make the cupcakes one day ahead! Then, cover and leave them at room temperature. Same goes for the frosting: make it a day ahead, cover it up, and stash it in the fridge until you’re ready to dive in.

3.  About leftovers: if you happen to have any (which is unlikely, by the way, because they’re just THAT tasty), just keep those cupcakes tightly covered in the fridge, and they’ll stay good for about 3 days.

And hey, do you know that both unfrosted and frosted cupcakes can stay in the freezer for 2 to 3 months? You only have to let them thaw in the fridge overnight before serving. 

4.  Keep an eye on your baking powder! It’s supposed to get your baked goodies to rise just right. Sadly, once you crack it open, it doesn’t last forever; that’s why I never stock up on it! 

Just sprinkle a pinch into boiling water to check if it’s still up for the job. If happy bubbles pop up, you can still use this baking powder. But if it just sits there like a sad lump, you know what to do: time to get yourself a new batch! 

FAQs

Can You Switch The Tequila In The Frosting For Something Else?

Totally. You can swap it for a splash of another citrus liqueur, like orange liqueur or limoncello, for a slightly different twist! And as I said earlier, you can even skip tequila altogether (no substitutes) if you don’t want to use it at all. 

How Can I Make The Cupcakes Moist?

You don’t have to do anything special. Just make sure not to overmix the batter! Once the dry and wet ingredients are just combined, stop mixing immediately. 

Have fun!

Discover More Unique Cupcake Recipes:

Margarita Cupcakes

Margarita Cupcakes

These cupcakes are fun little twists on our classic Margarita. And just like the original cocktail itself, they’re totally cool flying solo, but you can also have them play nice with other lighter dishes.
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Course: Cupcakes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Margarita Cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Calories: 515kcal
Author: Brenda Maher

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 3 cups leveled & spooned all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup 2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs (preferably at room temperature)
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • zest & fresh juice of 6 medium limes
  • optional 4 tablespoons tequila

Frosting

  • 2 cups 4 sticks softened, unsalted butter
  • 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 – 8 tablespoons tequila
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lime oil (or 4 teaspoons lime extract)
  • a pinch of salt
  • optional lime zest, lime slices, coarse sugar

Instructions

Cupcakes recipe:

  • Preheat the oven temperature to 350°F (or 177°C) and line two 12-cup pans.
  • Mix baking powder, flour, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Cream butter and sugar with a mixer, then add eggs and vanilla extract. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk until combined. Mix in fresh lime juice and zest.
  • Fill cupcake liners halfway and bake for 18 to 20 mins for regular cupcakes or 11-13 mins for mini cupcakes.
  • Let your cupcakes cool down before frosting.

Frosting recipe:

  • Beat butter in a bowl with a mixer until creamy, then gradually add the confectioners’ sugar while mixing.
  • Add tequila, lime flavoring, vanilla extract, and salt. Adjust flavor as needed.
  • Frost your boozy cupcakes and garnish with coarse sugar, lime zest, or lime slices for extra flair.

Notes

  • You can omit liquor from both cupcakes and frosting, substituting 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract in the frosting instead.
  • Cupcakes and frosting can be whipped up 1 day ahead and stored appropriately: cupcakes at room temperature and frosting in the fridge.
  • Leftover cupcakes can be stored in the fridge for 3 days or frozen for 2 to 3 months (both unfrosted and frosted). Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Test baking powder by sprinkling a pinch into boiling water. If there are bubbles, it’s still effective. But if nothing happens, you should throw it away.

Nutrition

Calories: 515kcal | Carbohydrates: 63.5g | Protein: 3.8g | Fat: 12.2g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 1731mg | Potassium: 1763mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 45.2g | Calcium: 745mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @cakegirls or tag #cakegirls!

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

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