Tequila Cupcakes

Looking for the perfect dessert to pair with your fajitas and tacos at tomorrow’s Cinco de Mayo celebration?

Look no further. Infused with lime and Tequila, then brushed with more Tequila, and frosted with more Tequila and lime (get the picture?), these Tequila Cupcakes will both quench your thirst and satisfy your appetite. Mucho Tequila! Muy bueno!

The holiday commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, but as with all holidays in America, it’s also a time to celebrate heritage — which includes authentic food and drink.

To be honest, any Tequila will do, but you’ll learn that there really is a difference in Tequilas — just like fine wines. For the cupcakes, you really should use a white or silver so your cupcakes and frosting aren’t discolored.

I love experimenting in the kitchen and using alcohol in my baked goods. My mom used to hope that I’d open a bake shop and call it “Baking with Booze.” Perhaps I’ll share some other boozy delights in later posts.

Seriously, don’t they look inviting?

And, they look so innocent, right?

Literally filled with Tequila and lime, they are far from innocent. But they are buttery and moist; the frosting is as light and fluffy as a summer cloud, and you can taste the Tequila throughout.

Here’s the recipe that you’ll be thanking for.

TEQUILA CUPCAKES

Yield 12 cupcakes. Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Line standard muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.

Cupcake ingredients:

 1½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 limes, zested and juiced

2 tablespoons Tequila

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

To Brush the Tops of the Cupcakes:

3 tablespoons Tequila

Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 3/4 cups 10X powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons Tequila

Pinch of coarse salt

DIRECTIONS:

For the cupcakes

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).

Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and Tequila. Mix until combined. The mixture will start to look curdled. Don’t worry. It will all come back together as you add the dry ingredients.

Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake until the cupcakes are light golden brown on top and a skewer inserted in the center has moist crumbs attached, about 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack.

Using a toothpick, poke about 5 holes deep into the cupcakes, then brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 3 tablespoons of Tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.

For the frosting:

Whip the butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer for 5 minutes.

Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Then, increase speed to medium and mix for 30 seconds.

Add the lime juice, Tequila and salt, and beat on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy.

If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt and a lime wedge.

I garnished some of mine with a lime wedge and some with homemade sunflower blooms — which are actually very thin slices of pineapple that I’ve dried in my oven for about four-hours at 150-degrees.

Ya’ll are going to thank me later, because these are THE BEST!!

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