Thursday, July 7, 2011

Margarita Cupcakes

As Breena's visit coincided with Amy's birthday weekend, we knew a marathon baking session was in order.  Wanting to make desserts that were special and felt birthday-like, we decided cupcakes were in order and that we would make two different types. After perusing the always helpful Beantown Baker website, I selected one and Breena was wavering between Oreo cupcakes and Margarita cupcakes (we stayed away from chocolate because Amy's tastes are just like mine in terms of cake).  After conferring with Andrew, who told us to go for the Margarita cupcakes because they were out of the ordinary, I think you know what we decided on.  Full confession: I didn't think I would like these cupcakes because I hate tequila. No bad hangover story to along with this story, I was always hated the taste of tequila so I've never had the opportunity to drink too much of it!

Margarita Cupcakes from Beantown Baker

2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) cake flour

1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 tsp grated lime zest (I went ahead and grated one full lime)
1 stick (8 Tbsp or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp lime juice
1/4 cup tequila (equivalent of one nip of tequila - I left this tequila out)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.

This is my favorite part - put the sugar and lime zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. The scent of the lime sugar is intoxicating - resist licking your fingers thinking that it will taste like Fun Dip! Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.

Beat in the lime juice, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.

Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.

Divide the batter into the cupcake liners. Resist temptation to overfill them - they really should be filled 2/3 of the way rather than 3/4 to avoid overflow over the liners.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch. Transfer to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pans and cool completely. Once cupcakes have cooled, brush the top of each cupcake with a 1/2 tsp of tequila.  I clearly skipped this part. 

Tada! You end up with perfect cupcakes, with a nice rounded surface begging for some frosting. I love how you can see the lime zest in the cake.

Be sure to use some colorful cupcake liners to help set a fun and festive tone for your cupcakes!




2 sticks of butter, room temperature
2 lbs (8 cups) powdered sugar
1/4 cup tequila (again, this is the equivalent of 1 nip)
Zest of 2 limes
pinch of salt

Add butter to the bowl of a stand mixer, beat until light.

Add half the tequila, lime zest and salt, mix.

Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well and scraping down sides as necessary.

Continue to add sugar and tequila as necessary.

This makes a very stiff (and pretty forgiving) frosting. It takes some muscle to pipe it out but makes beautiful looking frosting. Taking a cue from Beantown Baker, I decorated each cupcake with a coordinating straw (I didn't have purple straws, so the purple liners got orange straws instead):

The end result? You get a wonderfully soft and dense cake with a touch of lime flavor. The frosting on top tastes great and is nice and thick.  This really may become my go-to white cake and white frosting recipes (sans lime zest and tequila).  The margarita flavor shines throw in a subtle way and even the tequila adds a complimentary, slightly salty note that balances out the sweetness of the frosting.

Hot summer nights may call for a margarita to cool off, but summer BBQs, showers, birthdays, pretty much anything can do with some colorfully delicious margarita cupcakes!

1 comment:

Jen said...

So glad you enjoyed them!