My friend and fellow instructor at the gym, Norman, has been trying to get our little gym crew together for a party for awhile now. He finally managed to find a date that worked for all of us, so tomorrow after we work out we're partying at Norman's! I offered to bring a dessert to the get together and wanted to make something fun. Brownies and cookies are great, but I wanted something that felt fun and festive. I remembered reading about margarita cupcakes on a few of the cooking blogs I read recently, so I went hunting for the recipe. There were a few different versions out there, but I went with this one from Confections of a Foodie Bride. I liked that the base of the cupcakes was a cake mix! The only change I made was to leave out the alcohol (I didn't have it on hand and didn't want to spend the money on it) and just add additional margarita mix. I made my own makeshift piping bag with a gallon Ziploc bag to try to make the frosting look a little prettier, but as you can see my technique needs a little work. Joe said they were cute but that they looked "a little like dog doo." Hmph. I figure once my friends have enough REAL margaritas in them tomorrow, they won't take any notice of my less that professional frosting job ;)
9 oz Margarita mix
3 oz tequila (I omitted)
3/4 oz Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur) (I omitted)
White cake mix (No-pudding mix works best)
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp lime zest
1 recipe Lime Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)
Mix together the margarita mix, tequila, and Grand Marnier in a large glass or spouted bowl. You will use 1 1/4 cup of this in the cupcake mix. Put the remainder in the fridge to chill and then consume how you see fit. (I just use 1 1/4 cup of the margarita mix.)
In a stand mixer, add the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, lime zest, and 1 1/4 cup of the margarita mixture. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then increase to medium speed for two minutes (the batter will still be a bit lumpy).
Spoon the batter into a prepared muffin pan (fill the cups somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 full) and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick registers “done” in the center cupcake. Remove the pan from the oven and cool 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool completely on a baking rack.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the frosting for the cupcakes.
Lime Buttercream Frosting
3 cups + 3 Tbsp cups confectioner’s sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbsp lime juice
green food color (optional)
Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, food coloring, and lime juice to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined. Turn the speed to med-high until the icing is fluffy. Add the icing to a pastry bag or use a spatula/knife to frost the cupcakes.
Note: Use additional lime juice or water to thin the frosting, if necessary. (I needed several additional squirts of lime juice to make them lime-y enough!)