Mini Margarita Cupcakes

Mini margarita cupcakes

My good friend Lindsay is getting married in just a few short weeks! To send her off right, her sister -- aka matron of honor -- threw her a bachelorette party the weekend before last in Newport, RI.

As soon as I got all the party details, I asked what I could do to help, and Lindsay's sister asked if I would mind baking something. Never one to shy away from opportunities to bake, I said that of course I would, and then I was off and running, thinking of what would be the perfect, festive thing to bring.

When you get a bunch of girls together in Newport for some wine tasting, a nice dinner out, and a little bar hopping, you've got to find a dessert that can hang with that crowd. And margarita cupcakes certainly fit the bill! And because I knew we would likely be snacking on the cupcakes here and there and wolfing them down when we got home from the bars, I made minis instead of full-size cupcakes.

Mini margarita cupcakes

I checked out a bunch of margarita cupcakes before deciding to use the cake recipe from Beantown Baker. Jen used a buttercream frosting for her cupcakes, but I really wanted a Swiss meringue buttercream, so I tried to go with a recipe from another site for that, but it didn't work out. I ended up trying one more buttercream that failed and then just went with my standby: the crispy magic buttercream from Flour, which worked beautifully. And, of course, I doctored it up with a little tequila and lime.

To make sure the cupcakes would be especially adorable and party-ready, I ordered some green mini cupcake liners with white polka dots and some paper straws from The Bakers Confections on Etsy. (My supplies arrived within days, and I now have a fun, new source for baking paper goods.) And then I also found some light green sanding sugar at Sur la Table.

I went all out because it was such a special occasion. You could easily make the cupcakes and frosting for a summer picnic and leave out the fancy liners, straws, and sugar, but they definitely make the cupcakes just a little more fun.

Mini margarita cupcakes

Mini Margarita Cupcakes

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Note: I made 48 mini cupcakes and then divided the remaining batter between two cake pans and baked and froze the cake layers for some future project.

Cupcakes (adapted from Beantown Baker)


2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
Grated lime zest from 1 lime (about 2 teaspoons)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tequila


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In another small bowl or 2-cup-capacity liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk and egg whites.

Place the sugar and lime zest in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, and rub the lime zest into the sugar with your fingers until sugar is fragrant.

Add the butter, and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes, until very light.

Beat in the lime juice, and then add one-third of the flour mixture. Continue to beat on medium speed.

Beat in half of the egg-milk mixture, and then add half of the remaining flour mixture.

Add the rest of the milk and eggs and then the rest of the flour mixture.

Continue beating for another 2 minutes.

Using a small cookie scoop (2 teaspoon capacity), add two flat scoops of batter to each cupcake cup.

Bake cupcakes for 10 to 12 minutes, turning halfway through, until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean and cupcakes bounce back when touched lightly.

Transfer pan to cooling rack, and when cupcakes are cool enough to handle, remove them from the pan, and place them on rack to cool completely. Re-line the pan with cupcake papers, and scoop and bake remaining batter.

Once cupcakes have cooled, brush them lightly with tequila.

Tequila-Lime Frosting (adapted from Flour)


2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into chunks
1 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons tequila
2 teaspoons lime juice
Light green sanding sugar (optional)
Green and white paper straws, cut in half-inch lengths (optional)
Thin slices of lime, cut in wedges (optional)


In a small saucepan (that your stand mixer bowl can fit in without touching the water), simmer about 1 inch of water. In bowl of stand mixer, whisk together the granulated sugar and egg whites. Place the bowl over the simmering water, and heat, whisking occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until mixture is hot to the touch and sugar seems dissolved.

Place the bowl on the stand mixer, and using whip attachment, whip on medium-high speed for 6 to 8 minutes, or until mixture becomes a light, white meringue and bowl is cool to the touch.

Reduce speed to medium, and add the butter a few chunks at a time. Beat for 3 to 4 minutes or until the butter is fully incorporated.

Add the confectioners' sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla, and continue to beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and satiny.

With the mixer running on medium speed, trickle in the tequila and lime juice, and continue beating until frosting is smooth.

Pipe frosting on cooled cupcakes.

Mini margarita cupcakes

If desired, top each cupcake with a sprinkling of light green sanding sugar, a paper straw, and a lime wedge.

Mini margarita cupcakes

The cupcakes went over extremely well, and I was really pleased with the tequila and lime flavors.

Are you going to any weddings or bachelorette parties this year?