Ever wish you could have your margarita and eat it too? Well look no further than these boozy margarita cupcakes topped with tequila lime frosting! These cupcakes are perfect for Cinco de Mayo, a bachelorette party, summer cookout, or just whenever you're craving a margarita. They are light, fluffy, and have them most amazing flavor!
I know what you're thinking. Tequila in a cupcake? Really? Trust me these are so good!
Why You'll Love These Cupcakes
- Perfect adult birthday cupcakes - Does anything say happy birthday like an alcoholic cupcake?? Yeah, didn't think so.
- Lots of real tequila flavor - The cupcakes are brushed with extra tequila and then topped with a tangy tequila frosting!
- Tangy cream cheese frosting - The cream cheese frosting has tequila and lime juice and tastes just like a margarita!
- Super easy to make and decorate - These margarita cupcakes are incredibly easy to make and are just garnished with lime slices and zest!
If you love boozy desserts as much as I do, you might also like champagne macarons or these bourbon eggnog cupcakes!
- Cake flour - I always use cake flour in my cupcakes because it makes them super soft and tender, but all purpose flour also works great!
- Yogurt - The yogurt keeps this cake super moist while also adding a bit of tang! You always want to use full fat yogurt in baking for the best results! You could also use full fat sour cream or whole milk!
- Tequila - you can use any type of tequila to make these cupcakes! I use 1800 Silver Tequila because that's what I always have on hand to drink.
- Lime Zest - don't skimp on the lime zest in these cupcakes! Lime zest adds that wonderful lime flavor without making them too sour! You need the zest from about two limes for these cupcakes.
How to Make Margarita Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup pan with cupcake liners.
Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, sugar, and lime zest.
Add in the eggs, vanilla, lime juice, and tequila and whisk until fully combined.
Stir in about half of the flour mixture. Then stir in the yogurt and the rest of the flour mixture and mix until fully combined.
The batter will be thin.
Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from cupcake pan and let cool on wire rack.
Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Optional: pour 1 tablespoon of tequila into a small bowl and using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the cupcakes before frosting.
Frost cooled cupcakes, then garnish with lime slices and lime zest.
Tips for the Best Baked Goods
Use room temperature ingredients! Always make sure ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. are at room temperature before baking (unless the recipe indicates otherwise)! This ensures they'll incorporate into the batter more easily and leads to overall better texture. Remove all ingredients from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before baking for best results.
Measure your flour correctly! It's most accurate to use a kitchen scale, but if you're measuring by volume you want to spoon and level! Fluff up the flour a bit with a spoon, and then spoon flour into the measuring cup. Once it's overflowing, use the back of a knife to level it off. Don't ever pack flour into the measuring cup or you'll end up with way too much! Improperly measured flour can lead to dry, dense baked goods. [Measure cocoa powder the same way!]
Use an oven thermometer! Just because your oven says it's 350, doesn't mean it is! If you oven hasn't been calibrated recently, it can be as much as 30 degrees off, which will negatively affect all baked goods from cakes to macarons! An oven thermometer is the easiest/cheapest way to ensure your oven is always at the proper temperature.
Make sure you baking powder is fresh! Baking powder is important for helping baked goods rise properly, but it has a relatively short shelf life once opened, so it's one of the few items I never buy in bulk! To test if your baking powder is still fresh, add a small amount to boiling water. If it bubbles it's still good to use, but if not it's time to toss it!
Cupcake Decorating Tips
- Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting!!
- For extra margarita flavor, you can use a pastry brush to lightly brush a little bit tequila on top of the cupcakes before frosting!
- For these big beautiful frosting swirls on these margarita cupcakes, I use the 1M tip from this decorating kit. The tips are much larger than standard sizes and so fun for decorating cupcakes!
- After frosting, garnish with lime zest and little lime slices.
These cupcakes will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days once assembled. To make in advance, store the cupcakes and frosting separately for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Yes! There is tequila in both the cupcakes and the frosting, so be sure to serve them to adults only!!
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Recipes You Might Like!
If you make this recipe, please leave a star rating at the bottom of the page! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. And if you want more delicious, scratch-made recipes you can subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- 1 ½ cups cake flour, substitute all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup plain full-fat yogurt, substitute whole milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon tequila
- lime slices
- lime zest
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup pan with cupcake liners.
- Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, sugar, and lime zest.
- Add in the eggs, vanilla, lime juice, and tequila and whisk until fully combined.
- Stir in about half of the flour mixture. Then stir in the yogurt and the rest of the flour mixture and mix until fully combined. The batter will be thin.
- Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
- Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from cupcake pan and let cool on wire rack.
- Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
- Optional: pour 1 tablespoon of tequila into a small bowl and using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the cupcakes before frosting.
Tequila Lime Frosting
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the softened butter and cream cheese until completely smooth. Then add in the powdered sugar and beat on slow until combined.
- Slowly add in the lime juice, tequila, and salt until fully combined. Then beat the buttercream for 3-4 minutes on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Frost cooled cupcakes, then garnish with lime slices and lime zest.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Can I use sour cream instead of yogurt? Thanks!
Kyleigh Sage says
I made these cupcakes for St Patrick's day and they were a huge hit. My husband liked them better than HEBs cupcakes. He said they were the best I ever made. They had the right amount of flavor and the right amount of tequila. These will be a keeper.
Samantha Renee says
Light and yummy! I’ve made these twice now (not the frosting) and they were a hit. The first time I subbed gluten free flour and you couldn’t even tell! These are perfect for people who don’t necessarily want an overboard sweet cupcake. I sprinkled with corse sanding sugar (instead of salt) and a piece of lime. So cute!
Courtney Paige says
My sister made these for my birthday and they were AMAZING. Not too much tequila and the lime flavoring balanced it SO well.
Make these for your tequila marg loving friend !!
Jessica Formicola says
A margarita is one of my favorite cocktails, but turn it into a dessert and I am SOLD! These look amazing and I can't wait to try them!
Chef Dennis says
This is super delicious!
These are such a fun treat! Perfect for summer.
I was skeptical that these would actually taste like margaritas....but wow! Idk how you did it but I’m blown away. One of my new favorite recipes for sure