Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Margarita Cupcakes

I realize that I've been lax in making cupcakes lately. What started out as the heart and soul of this blog has been passed over recently in favor of other dessert recipes and savory dishes. I also realize that Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner. Granted, it's not an actual celebration of Mexico's Independence Day (that's September 16th), but it's still a celebration of Mexican heritage. And when I think of Mexico, I think of tequila. There are other things I can think of as well, mostly having to do with food, but tequila is obviously the most important.
I dug around in my Cupcake Bookmarks folder (yes, I have one) and found a cupcake I've been meaning to make for at least a year now: a Margarita Cupcake.

I first heard of this cupcake when I was perusing the Cupcake Project website. Unfortunately, the cupcakes were vegan and I'm so not vegan, it's not even funny. No offense to my vegan peeps. I just enjoy eggs and butter as often as possible. So I looked around on the internet and to my not-so-great surprise, I found several other margarita cupcake recipes. I ended up combining the frosting from one cupcake recipe with the cake of another cupcake recipe and I think I ended up with some pretty respectable alcoholic cupcakes on my hands.

Margarita Cupcakes
recipe from Annie's Eats
makes ~24 cupcakes
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
1) Preheat oven to 325˚F.

2) In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3) Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.

4) Pour in the sugar and beat until combined with the butter.

5) Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

6) Add the lime zest, lime juice and vanilla to the batter and stir to incorporate.

7) Turn the mixer speed to low and alternately mix in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat each addition just until incorporated.
8) Fill each cupcake liner ~3/4 full of batter.

9) Bake 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
10) Let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the cupcake tins.
Margarita Cupcake Frosting
recipe adapted from I Heart Cuppycakes!
Note: I doubled the recipe for this frosting because it only frosts ~12 cupcakes. The doubled recipe is below:
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon tequila
  • ~5 cups powdered sugar
1) In a mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy, ~5 minutes.
2) Pour in the vanilla extract, lime juice and tequila.
3) Add the confectioners sugar, slowly, until the frosting is sweet enough and/or has the desired consistency.
I liked these cupcakes, but I wasn't 100% sold on them. Ultimately, I felt that the lime flavor shone through quite well, but the taste of the tequila was not very prominent.
Let's tackle the cake and the frosting separately. The cake was amazing. Very lime-y and soft and fluffy (even though the cake did sink slightly in the middle). And this could have been the best batter that I've ever eaten. I called my roommate into the kitchen to sample it, it was that good. And then I may have proceeded to eat the leftover batter with a spoon. Maybe.
The frosting was a bit too sweet. I understand that this was my fault because I added too much sugar, but I kept trying to "infuse" as much tequila and lime as possible in the frosting. The flavors kept getting lost, so naturally I kept adding more tequila and lime and then, consequently, more sugar! It's a downward spiral.
I think if I make these again, I would opt to brush some tequila over the cooled cupcakes to help infuse the margarita (read: tequila) flavor better. This was a suggestion from Annie's Eats, but somehow I missed that when executing the cupcake recipe.
All together, I still think the entire cupcake was pretty good. I just wish the tequila was a bit more pronounced and the frosting was stiffer (aka easier to pipe onto the cupcakes). Otherwise, this is still a cupcake I can get behind. Because why would I ever turn away a margarita in cupcake form?

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