Hint-of-lime cupcakes topped with margarita buttercream. Any takers?
These were inspired by a family friend's top-shelf margarita recipe. And I love them!! The cupcakes, that is. Well, and the margaritas, too. On the rocks. Sorry, but I'm not a fan of that frozen give-me-an-ice-cream-headache stuff. On the rocks, for me, baby.
The cupcakes themselves have just a hint of lime ... my favorite vanilla cupcake batter with the zest of a couple of limes grated in. When I was developing this cupcake, I was hoping I could get a touch of lime flavor simply by adding zest - and I did! I was very excited when this method worked and gave me just the touch of lime I was looking for.
The cakes are then frosted with margarita buttercream ... that's the part inspired by the top-shelf margaritas. Take basic buttercream with a little lime juice, lime zest, Triple Sec, Cuervo Gold tequila, and a pinch of salt and you've got margarita buttercream. Tasty. Word of caution - the salt takes over the flavor of the buttercream pretty easily, so go easy. I used about 1/16th of a teaspoon, and felt that came out about right.
Sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with a little lime zest to make them extra pretty, if you'd like - and then dig in. No blender required.
Margarita Hint-of-Lime Cupcakes & Margarita Buttercream
Source: Cupcakes adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook's Vanilla Cupcakes; Frosting inspired by top-shelf margaritas; method adapted from The Best Recipe by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, Vanilla Buttercream
1 c. all-purpose flour
A scant 3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 T. butter, at room temperature
1/2 c. whole milk or 2% milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Zest of 2 limes
Margarita Buttercream Frosting:
2 c. confectioners' sugar
3 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. Triple Sec
1 T. Cuervo Gold tequila
2 T. lime zest
1/16 tsp. salt
Prepare the Cupcakes:
1. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter in mixing bowl. Beat on slow speed until everything is combined and you have a crumb mixture with a sandy consistency. Gradually pour in half of the milk; beat until the milk is just incorporated.
2. Whisk together the remaining milk (1/4 cup), egg, and vanilla. Pour into the flour mixture and beat until all ingredients are just incorporated. Beat for about another 30 seconds to one minute until the batter is smooth. Do not over mix. Gently fold in lime zest.
3. Spoon batter into muffin pan cups lined with paper cupcake liners, filling cups 1/2 full. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, or until light golden and the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool slightly in the pan before removing cupcakes to a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
NOTE: This recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Fill your cups only 1/2 full, as this batter rises quite a bit. When I divided the batter between only 10 muffin cups, I had several that rose over the sides of the cups way too much. If you're like me, you'll feel like there's not enough batter to stretch to 12 cupcakes, but there really is.
Prepare the Frosting:
4. Beat butter in bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating for a few seconds between each addition.
5. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes.
6. Add remaining ingredients (starting with 1/16 tsp. salt); beat on low speed to combine. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Frosts 12 cupcakes.