Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes


I was a huge *NSYNC fan back in the day, and every year, I get a real kick out of the “It’s Gonna Be May” meme. Seeing it 2390859 times on Facebook this week made me watch the video again, and it reminded me of the days when I would get to drive my Mom’s minivan and would blast *NSYNC’s “Pop” CD in the old Discman (with the cassette tape attachment), since the minivan only had a cassette player. Ahh…how times have changed, y’all!

(Please tell me someone else attached their Discman to the car stereo with the cassette tape adapter…)

Anyway…it’s May (whoa..). And well, since it’s May, Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner. Usually the tex-mex places appeal to me with their food and margarita specials for the day, but lately, I’m not that much of a drinker since I started calorie counting. Give me ice cream over a 1,000 calorie cocktail. I know…I’m weird. We actually purchased alcohol on our cruise in December, and this is the first time I opened the tequila we bought there. We’re kind of boring in this house. 😛

I’ve been wanting to make these cupcakes for a while, but the boozy aspect is what got to me. I can’t exactly do my usual baking routine of baking a recipe and bringing it to coworkers. I’m pretty sure HR would be at my desk within 2 hours, so I’ve never made them. However, these are for a celebration for a good friend of mine, and since she’s a big fan of everything tex-mex, I thought these would be the perfect cupcake to celebrate. :-)

I ended up adapting a strawberry cupcake recipe by adding lime juice and zest, as well as brushing the tops of the cupcakes with tequila (which I found this idea on another blog). The frosting is a simple buttercream with strained strawberry puree, lime zest and of course, tequila. The combination of these flavors are just awesome. I hope she enjoys these! :-)

Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes
Source: cupcake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart, technique from Confections of a Foodie Bride, frosting is a Nifty Foodie Original


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • juice and zest of one lime
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 10 oz. strawberries, hulled and diced finely
  • 1/4 cup tequila

For the buttercream:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3-4 cups of confectioners sugar, divided
  • zest of one lime
  • 1 tbsp. tequila
  • 1/4 cup strained strawberry puree (puree in a blender, put in a sieve over a bowl to let excess liquid drain for appx. 30 minutes)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and prepare 2 cupcake pans by lining them with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the two flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer (using the paddle attachment), beat the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl, and beat in the eggs one at a time, until well-mixed. Add in the vanilla, as well as the lime juice/zest, and mix until just combined. Put the mixer on low speed, and add 1/3 of the flour mixture (mixing until combined) and then 1/3 of the milk (also mixing until combined), repeating until everything is in the batter. Fold in the strawberries.
  4. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake the cupcakes, rotating the pan halfway through baking (at the 10 minute mark), for 20 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean). Immediately brush the cupcake tops with tequila (using a pastry brush), and then transfer the pans to a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes, and then remove the cupcakes from the pan to finish cooling on the wire racks.
  5. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream. Cream the butter for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in 3 cups of confectioners sugar, and beat well until the mixture is sort of crumbly. Add the lime zest, tequila and strawberry puree, and beat the mixture for 2 minutes. If the buttercream appears to be too wet for piping, add more confectioners sugar (1/4 cup at a time), beating for about a minute after each addition.
  6. To serve, pipe or spread the buttercream on completely cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!


  1. How fun I made strawberry margarita cupcakes and posted them today too!

  2. That meme had me laughing this year, too! These cupcakes are beautiful and sound delicious!


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