Feb 22 08
by cara
at 11:07 PM
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Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes

Since I live in Houston, it is only fitting that I love Tex-Mex.  Love love love it!  Cheese enchiladas, sizzling beef and chicken fajitas, tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, queso, lime, cilantro, fresh flour tortillas….yum!  There are so many restaurant options here for Tex-Mex, so we usually make our decision based on what kind of dinner we want.  We have a certain place to go for cheese enchiladas (Chuy’s).  A different restaurant for fajitas (Lupe Tortilla).  I have a favorite place for chips and sauce (Los Cucos-love that green sauce).  A restaurant nearby (La Finca) for the fastest service and decent all around food (crucial now with The Littlest Apple).

Whenever we go out for Tex-Mex, I always order strawberry margaritas.  It is my absolute favorite drink, so the quality of the strawberry margarita is yet another consideration when we’re deciding on our Tex-Mex dining destination.  I’ve had some strawberry margaritas that were so bad I barely drank any of it, and I’ve had some that were so delicious I wanted to keep drinking and drinking and drinking them until I couldn’t stand up (Chuy’s, Cafe Adobe).  Um, not that I ever did that.  Nope.  Not me….hi Mom and Dad!

Part of the reason I started my blog was to participate in all of the great events.  Laurie of Quirky Cupcake hosts a monthly event called Cupcake Hero with a different theme ingredient each month.  When I saw that the theme for this month’s Cupcake Hero event was liquor, I immediately thought of my favorite drink, the strawberry margarita.  After doing some research, it seemed that strawberry margarita cupcakes are a little played out in the food blog world.  I got a little deflated and thought about other drinks I might make into a cupcake.  But I kept coming back to that strawberry margarita.  I just couldn’t shake the idea of a strawberry margarita cupcake, and besides, they’re new to me.  I was inspired most of all by this recipe for Cherry Limeade cupcakes over at Oooh, You Tasty Little Things because of the use of limeade concentrate, which is exactly what we use when we’re making margaritas at home.  I’m not a big fan of the pre-fab margarita mixes.  In addition to limeade concentrate, I also used some strawberry preserves that I made last week in my continuing quest for the perfect strawberry cupcake.  And of course, the star of the show, tequila!  The cupcakes sure did smell like a booze fest before they went in the oven, but I actually think I may have gone a little too light on the tequila in retrospect.  Or maybe the tequila is just overshadowed by the tartness from all of the lime.  Regardless, they turned out decent, though the buttercream wasn’t as smooth as usual.  I had so much fun throwing this together, and I can’t wait to see all of the other drink-inspired cupcakes!


Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes

Makes approximately 22 cupcakes.

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons limeade concentrate
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup tequila
  • 5 tbsp strawberry preserves

Margarita Glaze:

  • 3/4 cup limeade concentrate
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp tequila

Strawberry Margarita Buttercream:

  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp limeade concentrate
  • 2 tbsp tequila
  • 3 tbsp strawberry preserves
  • Red food coloring


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix together the flour, salt, baking soda and powder and set aside. In a medium sized bowl, cream the butter until smooth then add the sugar and cream together. Once the butter and sugar are creamed add in the limeade concentrate, strawberry preserves, and 1/3 cup tequila. Mix in one egg at a time. Add in flour mixture 1/3 at a time. When flour is thoroughly mixed, mix in the milk. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Divide the batter evenly into lined muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, poke holes in the top of the cupcake, not quite to the bottom of the cake. Make the glaze by mixing together 3/4 cup of the limeade concentrate with about 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbsp tequila.  Whisk the mixture well, so there aren’t any lumps. Pour about a tablespoon of the syrup over the holes in each cupcake, slowly, so that the syrup absorbs into the cake.
For the buttercream: Cream together butter, powdered sugar, limeade, tequila, and strawberry preserves until smooth.  Add drops of red food coloring until frosting is desired shade of pink.

Refrigerate cupcakes.

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