For the margarita cupcakes, I started with a lime cupcake that is infused with fresh lime juice and lime zest. Then I added a shot (or two… or three…) of good tequila. I frosted them with a silky tequila lime Swiss buttercream. The kicker with this cupcake is a sprinkle of the lime margarita salt that I keep marinating in my house. Every time I make margarita cupcakes I reserve some zest and add it to margarita salt and let it sit. This salt gives my margarita cupcakes the extra kick in the pants of a traditional margarita. And just for fun, I stuck a cute little palm tree in it.
1 c. white sugar
½ c. butter
1 ½ c. flour
1 ¾ tsp. baking powder
½ c. buttermilk
4 limes zested and juiced
Cream the sugar and butter together. Add eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour and baking powder). Alternating add flour mixture and buttermilk to wet ingredients. Mix in a double shot of lime juice, half of the lime zest and a double shot of tequila. Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes.
Margarita Swiss Buttercream (this is basically the Joy of Cooking’s recipe for Swiss Buttercream with the added kick of tequila, lime juice and zest)
In a bowl, add four large egg whites, ¾ c. sugar, 2 tbsp. water, ¼ tsp cream of tartar. Beat in a double boiler for 2-4 minutes. You are basically cooking the eggs whites in a double boiler. They should double in volume. Remove from the double boiler and add 1 tsp vanilla. Beat until the mixture is cooled and stiff peaks form – about 3-5 minutes. In another bowl, beat 3 sticks of butter until creamy. Slowly add the egg white mixture, spoonful at a time, to the butter. Beat thoroughly. Add the remaining lime zest, another double shot of lime juice and a double shot of tequila. Beat the snot out of it.