Cinco de Mayo is the perfect day to over-indulge in yummy Mexican food. Chips, salsa, guacamole , Margaritas, and… cupcakes? Well sure, if they’re Margarita cupcakes. We recently discovered this terrific recipe from the Brown-Eyed Baker blog and decided to try it out for this year’s Cinco de Mayo festivities. And of course, we had to improve it by adding BACON! Because bacon does indeed make everything better.
Just what exactly makes a cupcake a Margarita cupcake? Tequila! And lime. Tequila is added to the batter and the frosting, and is also brushed onto the cooked cupcakes to infuse them with even more tequila flavor (or to increase the alcohol content). Depending on how boozy you want these cupcakes to be, you could certainly choose to omit any of these steps.
Lime juice and lime zest are added to the frosting which give these their Margarita flavor. The star ingredient is the bacon (of course). You could add cooked, chopped bacon bits to the batter, or top the cupcakes with bacon sprinkles. Or, do both (as we did)! Bacon is the perfect addition for those who don’t like a super-sweet cupcake. Adding bacon makes ‘em sweet and savory. We also added cayenne pepper to the batter to give the cupcakes a hint of spice. Use a jalapeno or chipotle bacon if you like a lot of heat!
For the tequila, we used a Silver Tequila, but you can substitute your favorite brand. So bake these up for your next Mexican-themed party and watch them get devoured! But trust us, they are so moist and delicious, you’ll want to make them year-round.
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
For the Cupcakes:
4 pieces cooked, crumbled bacon
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest and juice of 1½ limes
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
1 pinch cayenne pepper (to taste)
For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Cooked and crumbled bacon
Pinch of coarse salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, bourbon vanilla extract, cayenne pepper and tequila. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, but don’t worry).
6. Reduce the mixer speed to 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. Stir in the cooked bacon pieces.
7. Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden and a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached.
8. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.
9. To make the frosting, whip the butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment 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. Mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the lime juice, tequila and salt and mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears too soft, add one additional teaspoon of sugar at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes and garnish with bacon bits and lime zest. Enjoy!