Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes

As I’ve been building my cupcake repertoire, I noticed that I didn’t have any cupcakes with alcohol in them. [FYI: I am not an alcoholic! Actually, I hardly ever drink. But on occasion, I do enjoy a nice cocktail or two] After much thought, I decided to try a strawberry margarita flavor. However, I didn’t have a reason to try them. [I don’t make cupcakes just to make cupcakes. My husband and I couldn’t eat them all if I did. I have to have a reason to make them (ie: somebody’s birthday, for a party, etc)]

So I saved the recipes until I had a reason to try them out. And what do you know, a few days later I had my reason! One of our friends invited us to a surprise birthday dinner for his wife. I offered to bake cupcakes and asked what flavor she would like. He told me I could make any flavor, so I knew this would be a perfect time to try the strawberry margarita cupcake. It must have been fate because he told me that their wedding cake flavor was strawberry margarita!

Let’s get to it, then!!

For the cake, I used Courtney’s recipe. Here’s what you need:

3 cups flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature), 2 cups sugar, 4 eggs (at room temperature), 3 limes (zested and juiced), 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 cup buttermilk, 2 tbsp + 1/4 cup tequila

Here’s what to do:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line two muffin pans with liners. [I used green and white polka dot liners to go with the margarita theme]

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and set it aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating them fully before adding the next one(s).

Whisk together the vanilla, lime juice, lime zest, buttermilk, and 2 tbsp of the tequila.

Starting and ending with the flour mixture, alternate adding the flour and the buttermilk mixture in 2-3 increments, with the mixer at low speed. Mix just until incorporated. Divide batter among the muffin tins. [I always use a large cookie scoop to divide my batter evenly among the liners]

Bake 18-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly touched. [I baked mine for 21 minutes]

Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes. Brush the tops with the remaining 1/4 cup of tequila and allow to cool completely.

[Something I did differently: After the cupcakes cooled completely, I used my cupcake corer and removed the middle of the cupcakes to make room for the filling. I then took my pastry brush, dipped it into the tequila, and brushed the inside of the hollowed out cupcake]

For the filling, I used Audra’s recipe but adapted it…just a little. Here’s what you’ll need:

1 – 8 oz container of strawberries, juice and zest of 1 lime, 1/2 cup of tequila, 2 tbsp of sugar, 2 tsp cornstarch

Here’s what to do:

In a bowl of a food processor, add the strawberries, lime juice, tequila, and sugar. Puree the mixture until there are no chunks of strawberry. Transfer to a small saucepan and mix in the cornstarch. Cook on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. [I doubled my recipe, because I wanted to use some of the filling in the frosting. And even though the cornstarch is supposed to make the filling thicker, this filling will not be thick – it will be quite runny, but it will taste delicious!] After cooking the filling on the stove top, allow it to cool before filling the cupcakes.

For the frosting, I honestly don’t remember what recipe I used. But here’s what I used:

2 sticks butter at room temperature, 4-5 cups powdered sugar, 1/3-1/2 cup of filling

Normally, I follow recipes to the “T” and never stray from the directions. However, now that I’ve been baking so much lately, I feel more comfortable not following them exactly. After I add something in and mix it, I taste it and go from there.

I beat the butter until it was light and fuffy, about 2 minutes. Then I added 2 cups of powdered sugar and mixed. With my leftover filling, I poured some in and mixed. It wasn’t very sweet so I added more powdered sugar and a little more filling. After mixing, I thought it tasted pretty good overall. But I wanted more tequila and lime flavor. So I added a little more lime juice, lime zest, and tequila. BIG MISTAKE!! Although the frosting tasted great, the consistency wasn’t good. It wasn’t completely curdled, but it was well on its way.

I added another cup of powdered sugar and beat until it was all mixed together. Stopping there before it got worse (more curdled), I piped the frosting on top of the cupcakes. To complete the ‘look’ of a margarita, I rimmed the frosting with white decorative sugar. On the very top of the frosting, I added a lime wedge and a strawberry slice. Don’t they look good? They tasted even better!! And everyone really loved them 🙂

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Unfortunately, there was a little girl at the birthday dinner who wasn’t allowed to have a cupcake (duh!), and she was not happy about that 😦 I felt so bad…

Keep your eyes peeled for more cupcake posts and several posts about the spa party!! Happy crafting,

~ Traci

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