I never met a holiday I didn’t like. Celebrations make me happy. And so do cupcakes :)
May 5th, otherwise known as Cinco de Mayo, commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over France in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, Cindo de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the United States, especially in those areas with large Mexican-American populations. And being the California girl that I am, I have always enjoyed participating in the many Cinco de Mayo traditions of parades, festivals and of course food.
Mexican food is a favorite in my household. I have made my fair share of guacamole, tacos (fish and steak), rice (green and cilantro-lime), and beans (black and pinto) in the past few months and will no doubt be enjoying more delicious treats as the days goes by. My recipe for Tres Leches cake is beyond amazing and I plan on indulging in a slice (or two) before the weekend is over. But even with all that wonderful food, there was an important item missing…Margaritas, duh!
Although I am not a huge drinker, when enjoying a Mexican feast, margaritas are an absolute staple. But since I am still nursing, this year I chose to alter my beverage choice for Cinco de Mayo and serve it in a new form. And thanks to the Brown Eyed Baker, that means Margarita Cupcakes! Brilliant!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1 1/2 limes
3-4 tablespoons silver tequila
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Pinch of course salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
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 section.
5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons tequila. mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, but don’t worry, it will all come back together, power on!)
6. Reduce the mixer speed 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.
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, rotating the pan at the halfway point.
8. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1-2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cook 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. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the lime juice, tequila and salt mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the lime juice, tequila and salt mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frosted cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt and a lime wedge.
There is something magical about a hint of lime, the essence of tequila and loads of buttercream frosting. These cupcakes shout celebration and are a delicious treat to share with family and friends. And the good news is, you can still drive on a sugar high!
Wishing you all a safe and healthy holiday! Feliz Cinco de Mayo :)