Anything goes once you’re at the gate in a very “what happens en route to Seattle gets lost or forgotten or dissipates into the atmosphere at 30,000 feet” kind of way.

That’s a traveling law of physics.

Equally as scientifically proven as “an object in motion will stay in motion”.

Einstein for a new age.


So while I may or may not have dived into something citrusy and tequila-infused at the US Airways bar in JFK yesterday morning…

…I recognize that all of you might not be spending your AM hours in the land that any time other than 5pm forgot.

Or maybe breakfast margaritas just aren’t your thing.

Weird but. It happens.


And so for you. I come bearing cupcakes. Of the alcoholic variety.

Because maybe we can agree to disagree on this whole morning cocktail business.

But dessert-for breakfast? That’s just non-negotiable.

Especially not when it tastes this good.


Margarita Cupcakes
Makes 24, adapted from Confections of A Foodie Bride

For the Cupcakes:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup tequila

For the Tequila-Lime Buttercream:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 egg whites
  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1-2 tbsp tequila


  1. Preheat oven to 325.  Prepare the muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down after each addition.  Mix in the lime zest and lime juice.
  5. Turn the mixer down to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk.  Mix only until just incorporated.
  6. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full.  Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs attached, rotating at the halfway point.  Allow the cupcakes to cool completely in their pans before frosting.
  7. Brush the cupcake tops with tequila while they are still warm.
  8. To make the frosting, place your stand mixer bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Whisk the sugar and egg whites together in the mixer bowl until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  9. Place the bowl on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until the mixture is cool and holds stiff, glossy peaks (about 10 minutes).
  10. Change to the paddle attachment and beat in butter 1 tbsp at a time on medium.  The mixture might appear to curdle but keep on whisking, it will be okay.
  11. Add lime juice and 1 tbsp tequila.  Increase speed to high and beat until frosting reincorporates and is smooth and fluffy.  Add one more tbsp of tequila if desired.



You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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79 Responses to Margarita Cupcakes

  1. Some of my favorite cupcakes that I make have alcohol in them. Go figure 🙂 These look awesome! A perfect summer cupcake. Enjoy Seattle!!!

  2. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere… Party on

    Thank the gods for the magic cooking alters flavors… just pondering a shot of buttermilk/tequila


  3. These look super! I love a good boozy cake! Also, have fun in Seattle!! I soooo wish I could have gone 🙁

  4. You are too funny, Joanne. I don’t drink alcohol but I have more hard liquor purchases than Rob! I cook with it, babe! 🙂 Have fun this weekend.. can’t wait to hear all about it. 🙂

  5. Beth says:

    Your cupcakes are adorable. Have a great time in Seattle!

  6. How could anyone resist these cupcakes at any time of day?!

  7. Meghan says:

    These look just fantastic! I have had a hankering to bake all week – I think I just found my recipe 🙂

  8. I am so intrigued by this frosting! These would be the perfect accompaniment to a backyard BBQ!

  9. Oh my! These cupcakes look amazing! I love margaritas but never in a million years would I have thought to make it into a cupcake. These must taste out of this world!!

  10. patsy says:

    I’ve made another version of these cupcakes, and they are to-die-for! I can’t wait to hear about your trip!! Have fun!

  11. Amy says:

    That’s a long ass flight for you. But I will say, even if I have to go to Seattle (which is only a mere 1.75 hours in the sky from where I am), I would need 5x the tequila, minus the cupcake. I don’t like to fly 🙁

  12. What a breakfast!!! Sign me up… please 🙂 Fly here and bring cake and I’ll make coffee.

  13. Marisa says:

    I made rum cake for a recent dinner party and everyone raved. I’ll have to make these for the next one! I’m all for tequila in the frosting.

  14. SallyBR says:

    We’ve got margaritas in our mind! 😉 Will publish a very healthy margarita drink (is there such a thing?) tomorrow.

    well, I guess when you add enough cucumber to the drink, might as well be healthy!

    lovely cupcakes… nice post!

    (I comment less than usual, but continue to be a faithful reader, just too much stuff happening in my life right now – sigh)

  15. kelsey says:

    Margaritas anytime, anyway. That’s my motto anyway, now in cupcakes! I shall enjoy these with a margarita!

  16. It’s okay for the kids to have tequila, right?? 🙂

  17. I made these recently too! They didn’t look quite so pretty when I made them though, heh. I am beginning to accept that alcoholic cupcakes are the best kind of cupcakes.

  18. Tequila lime buttercream? Oh my goodness, I need these now!

  19. love2dine says:

    Awesome idea!!! Can’t wait to try this!

  20. These must have been made with me in mind 🙂

  21. london bakes says:

    I’m never going to say no to desserts-for-breakfast.

  22. Jenna says:

    These look so divine. I want them. I have visions of eating at least 5 at my own baby shower–is that wrong?

  23. Gloria says:

    Love these cakes esopecially the frost look amazing!!

  24. Your writing is very good, very easy to find my core advice that you convey, thank you

  25. How could they not be good! Tequila and 4 cups of sugar. I better set my mind to running at least 8 miles if I want to make these today…

  26. Oh man you’re killing me with that tequila-lime buttercream! And I’m totally having 3 of these for breakfast 🙂

  27. Jay says: the recipe & the flavor of it..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  28. Lynn says:

    These look great. Hope you are enjoying your trip!

  29. Faith says:

    You’re right, dessert for breakfast is definitely non-negotiable, lol! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

  30. have fun girl!
    that buttercream is what its all about.
    love foodiebride!!

  31. I would like some cupcakes and cocktails for breakfast please… Not everyday, just every now and then hehehe

  32. Blond Duck says:

    This is better b/c it has frosting!

  33. Big Dude says:

    I always read posts that have margarita in the title 🙂

  34. wow those look amazing! and they sound fantastically delicious! thanks for sharing!

  35. Guru Uru says:

    What deliciously cute lil cupcakes 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  36. Debbie says:

    The frosting alone looks mouth watering! Delicious!

  37. Jenn Kendall says:

    those look like some amazing cupcakes! i would definitely eat these for breakfast!

  38. Sippity Sup says:

    Have a great trip and say hello to all the “hers” for me! GREG

  39. Karen says:

    I made a Margarita Cheesecake years ago… it was so good…bet these are too!

  40. They look amazing! I want to just swipe my finger into those little cakes and grab some frosting!

  41. marie says:

    I don’t drink alcohol but I would definitely have to partake in these cupcakes.

  42. Hotly Spiced says:

    They look gorgeous. I love how you piped the frosting. I was curious about your cupcakes as soon as I read the title of this post. I have used other alcohols before like Kahlua and Contreau but not Tequila – must try! xx

  43. Erica says:

    these cupcakes look delicious! Beautiful pictures and presentation,Joanne!I love margaritas and these are my favorite cupcakes 🙂

  44. That Girl says:

    Breakfast margaritas just scream “VACATION” to me.

  45. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, These cupcakes look perfect! They look delicious. I would like them with a good cup of coffee. Blessings dearest. Catherine xo

  46. Nina says:

    Did i read it right….Margarita Cupckaes??? Wow interesting one…looks fantastic Joanne:)

  47. Kari says:

    I have never baked with alcohol, but it seems like I should start!

  48. Elizabeth says:

    Breakfast margaritas- meh. Breakfast cupcakes? hells yes.

  49. Foodycat says:

    I think margaritas (and cupcakes) for breakfast sound like a great idea!

  50. daphne says:

    genius! i love the addition of lime in this-and of course tequila! I wonder if it will work with vodka :p

  51. I’m game for these any time of the day. They’re so fun and sound delicious – I wouldn’t be able to resist!

  52. right up my alley! enjoy Seattle!

  53. Danielle says:

    I’m up for a marg for breakfast…with a side of margarita cupcakes of course. With all my margarita consumption (cocktail of choice of course)…I don’t know why I have not gotten around to making these!

  54. grace says:

    tequila is not my friend–he has abused me too many times. however, that buttercream is irresistible. lovely, joanne!

  55. katiez says:

    Dessert is absolutely the best at breakfast – ’cause I’m starving. And as long as I’m having dessert….. Love those cupcakes – finally one I would actually eat! (Adult cupcakes)

  56. Katie says:

    I’m always a fan of dessert for breakfast. Isn’t that the reason they invented brunch? These sound delicious!

  57. Reeni says:

    Dessert for breakfast is definitely non-negotiable! These are divine! They would make flying a piece of cake!

  58. YUM, they do look breakfast worthy!

  59. Johanna GGG says:

    my head says no to dessert for breakfast but my stomach disagrees esp when I see these cupcakes – gorgeous

  60. Saguna says:

    Dessert, breakfast and a drink in one! I’ve never made alcohol-infused cupcakes but I think it’s time I start 🙂 And yeah, anything DOES go while traveling. Coffee in the night, drinks in the morning all the way…

  61. OH MY YUM!!!! These look soooooo good, Joanne!! Beautiful pictures…if only I could reach into my screen and grab one! 😉

    Tammy <3

  62. Cathleen says:

    Oh my goodness. Dessert for breakfast is always a good thing. Especially when it looks this good. I love it!

  63. I see I’ve missed some deliciousness here while I’ve been on my little blogging break! That tomato gratin down below sounds wonderful and these fresh, summery cupcakes actually sound refreshingly good.

    New York to Seattle? Ouch! That does call for a margarita (or two).

  64. Megan says:

    I love margarita cupcakes. The zest on top looks so pretty!

  65. Ummm any baked good with booze in it…I’m there! These sound wonderful and are gorgeous!

  66. While I think there’s nothing wrong with a morning cocktail every once in awhile, I suppose these are a more appropriate way to start the day 🙂

  67. Elizabeth says:

    Yum! That frosting looks amazing!

  68. Cocktail cupcakes are always amazing! Double the naughtiness.

  69. Alana says:

    Awwww yeeeahhh BOOZY CAKE! This recipe brings a tear to my food-blogger eyes :’)

  70. Mo 'Betta says:

    Tequila-Lime Buttercream?! Have I mentioned lately that I love you! Sounds amazing.

  71. vianney says:

    LOve,love,love…. oh I love!!

  72. Kevin says:

    Tequila in cupcakes with butter cream! I am sold!

  73. Mmmm…gotta love that splash of tequila! 🙂

  74. I can’t to make these for my girlfriends!! yummmm!!

  75. Marlene says:

    When I made the icing it just turned to liquid? The merigue was ok, then when I added the butter it went liquid. What went wrong? mmmm Cupcakes are good, a little heavy though.

    Still fun to try.

    • joanne says:

      Meringue frostings can be really finicky and sensitive to temperature! When that happens I advise putting the whole mixer bowl full of frosting in the fridge for a half hour and then whipping again. It should come together.

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