Margarita Cupcakes with Salted Tequila Frosting make the PERFECT dessert for Cinco de Mayo, taco Tuesday, ladies night and more! This dairy free lime cupcake recipe tastes like its boozy namesake. Makes 6 cupcakes.
I like margaritas as much as the next person within reason…
But why does Cinco de Mayo have to be all about the drinks?
Yes, I realize this is the pot calling the kettle black. It’s well-known around these parts that I adore festive cocktails for all occasions. (I even took 2021 to make and share 12+ margarita recipes!)
But today, we’re making a boozy dessert that’s going to make tequila fans so happy.
Why I love this recipe:
This Margarita Cupcake recipe is essentially a lime cupcake… with a shot of tequila mixed in and a little extra tequila in the frosting.
This cupcake recipe is lime-forward. It gets its lime flavor from real lime juice and zest, not margarita mix.
Obviously, it is all kinds of delicious for serving at different festivities.
I will warn you: The frosting is strong. So if you don’t like the taste of tequila, you could easily swap it for classic Cream Cheese Frosting. (Keep in mind if you make this swap that these decadent cupcakes will no longer be dairy free.)
Other non-drink Cinco de Mayo dishes: Ground Beef Tacos / Caramelized Onion Guacamole / Pork Carnitas Enchiladas / Creamy Chicken Enchilada Bruschetta (Instant Pot Appetizer) / Guacamole-Stuffed Fajita Burgers / Black Bean Dip
Hosting a party this May? Head on over to my Cinco de Mayo Recipe Index for more ideas.
What you need to make this recipe:
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- Muffin tin
- Cupcake liners
- Citrus juicer
- Cookie scoop
- Open Star Piping Tip with a disposable piping bag
In addition to these tools, you’re going to need some ingredients to make these boozy cupcakes, too. Be sure to scroll all the way down to the recipe card to get the proper measurements.
- Egg whites—separate the whites from the egg yolks first and foremost, and save those for scrambled eggs. (Just throw ’em in with the recipe, and it’ll be extra rich.) We’re using only the whites so that the cupcakes are a paler color.
- Granulated sugar—also known as white sugar, this is what’s going to sweeten up our cupcakes. There is no substitute.
- Coconut oil—refined or unrefined both work! Use what you’ve got on hand. (Personally, I like the refined coconut oil better because it has a more mild coconut flavor.)
- Pure vanilla extract—use the real deal stuff if you can because it adds such wonderful vanilla aroma and flavor.
- Lime—we need both the juice and zest from one lime. I’d grab an extra one in case your lime isn’t as juicy as expected.
- Silver tequila—a 100% blue agave brand, please and thank you.
- All-purpose flour—we keep unbleached flour at our house, but the regular ‘ol kind works here, too.
- Baking powder—this is our leavener, and it’s going to help our cupcakes get fluffy and gorgeous!
- Kosher salt—I like to use a fine grain kosher salt. You could also use a fine grain sea salt, too, if you have that on hand. A medium grain salt will leave granules in your cupcakes, which isn’t always the best texture or flavor.
- Powdered sugar—also known as confectioners sugar, this is what’s going to be the base of our Salted Tequila Frosting. There is no substitution, so please don’t make one.
How to make this recipe kid-friendly:
Omit that tequila, friend. While they won’t have a boozy kick anymore, if you want to serve these to kids, the alcohol shouldn’t be in them.
The ounce of tequila in the cupcakes themselves will bake out in the oven, so that shouldn’t be a concern.
However, if you are concerned about this and don’t want to use tequila at all, I get that! Just replace the tequila with water or lime juice in both the cupcakes and frosting.
This way, you’ll have Lime Cupcakes with a salty-sweet margarita-esque frosting.
How do I make these Lime Cupcakes with Margarita Frosting?
Make the cupcakes.
Prep everything. Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Juice the lime, then zest it. Preheat the oven and line the cupcake tin.
Mix the egg whites and sugar together in a large bowl. You can use a whisk or a hand mixer* (affiliate link).
Add in other wet ingredients—liquid coconut oil, vanilla extract, lime zest, lime juice and tequila. Whisk until combined.
Add the dry ingredients. Measure in the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl. Whisk until smooth. (The batter will be very liquidy, and that’s OK.)
Measure into the prepared cupcake liners. Fill each about ¾ of the way full.
Bake for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting. This should take about 30-45 minutes.
Make the frosting.
In a large glass bowl, measure out the powdered sugar and salt. Whisk together until combined.
Pour in the tequila and water. (Please note that you can also substitute lime juice for the water.) Whisk until the mixture is smooth—it will be relatively thick.
Transfer into a decorating bag.
When the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost.
For garnish, add extra lime zest onto the frosting, and serve! You can also garnish with lime slices.
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
These Margarita Cupcakes would be an excellent choice of dessert for a small gathering of friends.
Since the recipe itself makes just six cupcakes, you need to be hosting five guests or less. (Because, obviously, you want one of these for yourself.)
If you’re baking these to serve at a gathering, here are some of my recommendations:
- If you’re hosting a larger crowd, double the recipe or make two batches so you’ve got 12 cupcakes.
- Bake the cupcakes in advance. Let them cool, and store them in the fridge. Make the frosting right before guests come over, and let the cupcakes come to room temperature before frosting them.
- Shake it up! If you don’t like a strong tequila flavor in the frosting, use less of the tequila and add some lime juice or water. Or leave out the tequila completely and replace it with lime juice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because they taste like their namesake, right down to that strong tequila kick after the lime does its tart-sweet thing.
The cupcakes themselves are plain vanilla, infused with lime and tequila. The frosting calls for sugar, salt and tequila and offers a salty kick. (Because who doesn’t love their margarita salted?!?)
Taco Tuesday! Cinco de Mayo! A Mexican Dinner Party. Any evening you’re hosting friends and want a fun, boozy dessert to serve after dinner.
I suggest if you’re not eating these cupcakes immediately to refrigerate them.
These cupcakes will keep 2-3 days in the fridge.
Quick tips and tricks to the best cupcakes:
- How to store: Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. If baking the cupcakes early, wait to make the frosting just before serving.
- Make the frosting stronger! This recipe originally called for an ounce of tequila in the frosting. I changed the recipe because I heard it was really strong for some. If you like yours strong, do that! If you’re into a milder taste, use ½ oz. tequila and ½ oz. water or lime juice.
- To make these cupcakes completely kid-friendly: Swap the tequila with water or lime juice in both the frosting and cake. While the tequila in the cupcakes will bake out, I understand not wanting to use tequila in something you’re planning to serve kids. The water swap works in both the frosting and the cupcake.
Other booze-infused cupcake recipes:
- Bourbon Maple Bacon Cupcakes
- Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Chocolate Bourbon Frosting
- Champagne Cupcakes
You ready to learn how to make this goodness?
It’s easy! Here’s how I did it:
Margarita Cupcakes with Salted Tequila Frosting make the PERFECT dessert for Cinco de Mayo, taco Tuesday, ladies night and more! This dairy free recipe, which makes SIX cupcakes, tastes like its boozy namesake. Lime zest and lime juice add tartness to the batter. Once baked, decorate with salty-sweet tequila frosting, then serve. Moist and flavorful, Margarita Cupcakes with Salted Tequila Icing are sure to be a winner at your next get-together!
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 oz. silver tequila
- ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Salted Tequila Frosting
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ oz. silver tequila
- ½ oz. water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Make the Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place six cupcake liners in a cupcake pan, spray lightly with nonstick baking spray, then set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and granulated sugar.
- Measure in the coconut oil, vanilla extract, lime zest, lime juice and tequila. Whisk until all the wet ingredients are combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl, and whisk until the ingredients are combined and smooth. (The batter will be very liquidy, so don’t be discouraged.)
- Measure the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes cool and come to room temperature before icing. (This should take 30 or so minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is.)
Make the Frosting
- In a large glass bowl, combine the powdered sugar and salt. Whisk together until combined, then pour in the tequila.
- Whisk until the mixture is smooth. (It will be relatively thick.)
- Transfer the frosting into a decorating bag or a plastic bag for decorating, then when the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost them.
- Zest additional lime zest over the tops of the cupcakes, and serve!
How to store: Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. If baking the cupcakes early, wait to make the frosting just before serving.
Originally, this recipe called for an ounce of tequila in the frosting. If you'd like yours super boozy, do that! If you're into a milder tequila taste, do ½ oz. tequila and ½ oz. water.
To make these cupcakes completely kid-friendly: Swap the tequila with water. While the tequila in the cupcakes will bake out, I understand not wanting to use tequila in something you're planning to serve kids. The water swap works in both the frosting and the cupcake. You can also use freshly squeezed lime juice in place of the tequila if you want extra lime kick!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 231Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 521mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 2g