Margarita Cupcakes

Enjoy these margarita cupcakes on Cinco De Mayo, made with fresh limes and a generous serving of tequila. insolence + wine

I know, I know, another cupcake recipe? Don’t worry, this cupcake is simply another part to my Cinco de Mayo theme for the month of April. I’ve been reading plenty of beach reads despite the gloomy weather we’ve been having and am daydreaming about warmer weather and sitting on a beach somewhere with an ice cold beverage.

Margarita cupcakes, cinco de mayo, lime and tequila cupcakes insolence + wine

You know what’s delicious when the weather is hot? A margarita. You know what’s even more delicious and slightly less dangerous? A margarita cupcake. These salted cupcakes taste just like a top shelf margarita, made with fresh lime juice and your tequila of choice. If you love the combination of tequila and lime, then you’re going to love these fluffy cupcakes. I like to make these bite sized so I can eat more of them and trick myself into thinking I'm actually eating fewer cupcakes than if I had made them normal sized. The batter will make 36 mini cupcakes or about 16 regular sized cupcakes if you’re filling the cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way up. 

Margarita cupcakes, cinco de mayo, lime and tequila cupcakes insolence + wine

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to their own version of a Cadillac margarita, but I have yet to find anyone who is picky when it comes to these margarita cupcakes. The cupcakes themselves are light and fluffy with that zesty tequila and lime combination we’ve grown to expect (and demand) in our margaritas. It’s then topped off with a tequila-lime glaze and a delicious tequila-lime buttercream frosting. It’s the perfect combination of salty and sweet all coming together in a single cupcake.

Confession time: buttercream is not my favorite frosting and in fact, I make it as little as possible. But since I knew these cupcakes were going to be out on a buffet table, so I had to whip up a frosting that could handle some warmer temperatures and wouldn’t melt all over the place. When I put this display together, it went from being in the low 80’s to rainy and humid in the matter of minutes—the frosting did not budge an inch! Rather than being overwhelmed by the flavor of butter, there’s plenty of lime and tequila—which shows itself at the very end of each bite that makes this a great option for those of us who aren’t fans of buttercream. If you’re serving these cupcakes in a controlled environment, you can omit the corn starch from the frosting recipe.

Margarita cupcakes, cinco de mayo, lime and tequila cupcakes insolence + wine


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus pinch for egg whites
  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons tequila

Lime Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tequila
  • Green food coloring
  • Course sugar or salt
  • Lime slices for garnish

Tequila-Lime Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup, or 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • juice of 1 lime
  • Course sugar or salt
  • Lime slices for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, sand salt and set aside
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add lime zest and tequila. Slowly add in the dry ingredients until all of the flour is throughly combined.
  4. With a pinch of salt, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold whites into batter.
  5. Fill cupcakes about 1/2 way in liner. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix the lime juice, powdered sugar and tequila, beating until smooth. Stir in food coloring. Brush cooled cupcakes with glaze.
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter. Once silky smooth, add the powdered sugar, lime juice, lime zest and tequila. Continue mixing until smooth and completely incorporated. Add more tequila or lime depending upon your preference.