Jillian, a co-worker/friend of mine, hates chocolate. In fact, she’s not a fan of sweets in general. I know, I know… I’m pretty sure it’s proof that she’s demented. Or maybe that she wasn’t born a woman. Whatever her secret, it makes baking up cupcakes for her birthday a little more difficult than it would be for your average office mate. When I asked what flavors she liked, she was way more inspired by cocktails. And thus, we decided on margarita cake with tequila lime cream cheese frosting. Spoiler alert! The birthday girl LOVED them… and so did I. I ate six. In two days.
These pretty things started with a basic white cake recipe – except we substituted margarita mix for the wet ingredients. We used Jose Cuervo Margaritas Pour and Serve, but you could also add the mix and margarita separately if you want the cake to be boozier.
We also grated a little lime zest for the cake and saved some to add to the frosting, too.
Lime zest even made the batter look festive!
We mixed it up and poured it into the cupcake liners. This batter was VERY thick so an even our was tough. Net time, we’re using an ice cream scoop.
The cake came out so pretty! Gorgeous light brown with little flecks of green.
Next up, the frosting. It was a difficult choice for us since most of the margarita cupcake recipes we cam across had lime buttercream. That sounded gross to us and the birthday girl. We finally came across a delicious sounding lime tequila cream cheese frosting. First we sifted some powdered sugar in with a bit of butter.
Then we added the cream cheese, lime zest, and the Jose Cuervo tequila. Just a couple teaspoons.
We mixed until it was smooth and creamy. Look how pretty!
We swirled the frosting on with a round tip. It wasn’t quite thick enough that we could have used a star tip and had it stay looking sharp.
Lisa and I used two different decorating techniques – mine on the big cupcakes and hers on the minis. I started by slicing up some lime gummy candies.
Then I filled a shallow dish (in this case, the lid of a tupperware container) with some green sugar.
I pressed the sugar against the sides, then rolled the edge of each cupcake in the sugar. It wasn’t perfect but it was the best way I could think of to add the ‘rim’.
I plopped a candy lime slice on the top, and, tah dah! A cute little margarita. (This is my tah dah face, btw.)
We added some colorful parasols – what birthday girl doesn’t love those? The cupcakes looked great!
Lisa went a different, and more adorable, way with her mini cupcakes. She started by piping on a dollop of frosting.
Then she added a light sprinkle of green sugar and a teeny tiny sliver of lime gummies. Voila! (This is Lisa’s voila face.)
These looked great next to the lime that inspired them.
The cake got a couple rave reviews, though it was a tiny bit on the dry side. The frosting is what really put people (including me) over the top. Who knew lime and cream cheese were so good together? It tasted so fresh and cool – the perfect cupcake for a post-taco treat on a hot AZ day. YUM! We’ll definitely be making more of these.