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Margarita Cupcakes

Key Lime Cupcakes

Inspired by the summertime cocktail, these citrus-y sweet cupcakes are filled with a lemon-lime burst of margarita curd and topped with your choice of a fluffy margarita meringue or tequila-lime glaze.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 18Servings



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons margarita mix
  • 3 tablespoons tequila
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) dairy-free margarine
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 yolk


  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (1-2 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1 tablespoon margarita mix
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine, chilled
  • neon green gel food coloring (optional)


  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tequila
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest


  • 1/3 cup margarita lime curd (recipe above)
  • 2-3 tablespoons tequila
  • 2/3-1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • Neon green food coloring (optional)



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans with paper liners.  

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  

3. In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk, margarita mix, tequila,  lemon and lime juices, and vanilla extract.  Set aside.  

4. In a large bowl, beat margarine on high speed.  Add sugar and cream together with margarine for 3-5 minutes.  

5. Beat in lemon and lime zest, as well as eggs and egg yolk, making sure to beat well after each addition.

6. Slowly add the dry ingredients in three equal batches into the creamed margarine mixture, alternating with two equal additions of the combined liquid ingredients.  With each addition, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not over-beat.  

7. When the last of the liquid and dry ingredients have been added and mixed into the homogeneous batter, divide batter equally into prepared cupcake pans, filling each cup about ¾ full.  

8. Bake cupcakes for 20-23 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes are spring-y to the touch.  

9. Allow cakes to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes before transferring them directly to racks to cool completely.


1. In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, lightly break apart egg yolks with a small whisk.  

2. While whisking, add in the sugar, cornstarch, lime zest, juice, tequila, and margarita mix.  Food coloring may also be added at this point, if desired.  

3. Place saucepan over medium heat and, using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, constantly stir mixture for 5-8 minutes, or until it thickens up to the point where it coats the spoon and holds its shape when you run your finger across the spoon.

4.  Remove the saucepan from heat.  

5. Constantly stirring, gradually mix in small pieces of margarine, allowing each piece to dissolve into the curd before adding the next piece.

6. Transfer the curd to a small bowl and continue to stir until it has cooled.   

7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic wrap to sag into the bowl and cover the entire surface of the curd so that the curd doesn’t develop a skin.  

8. Store cooled, covered pineapple-lemon curd in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


1. Prepare a double boiler fitted with a large glass bowl.  

2. Combine the egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, tequila, lime juice and cream of tartar in the large bowl.  Beat the mixture on high speed over the simmering water until the mixture is thick, fluffy and marshmallow-y, about 7 minutes.  

3. Remove bowl from heat and beat in lime zest.


1. In a small bowl, loosen up lime curd with a fork, and then add in tequila.  Whisk together until homogeneous.  

2. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar into the mixture while stirring to completely dissolve the sugar.

Optional Ingredients for Decoration:

  • Colored sanding sugars
  • Flaked kosher salt
  • Candied lime peel
  • Candied lime wedges


1. Using a round apple corer or a small paring knife, hollow out the centers of each cooled cupcake.  

2. Bring the lime curd filling to room temperature and stir it to loosen it up slightly.  The curd can be transferred to a pastry or zip-top bag with the corner sniped off to be piped into the hollowed cupcakes, or the curd can be spooned into the opening.  

3. A small amount of the curd should be inserted into each cake, just until it plumps and the filling barely reaches the top of the opening.  

4. When all cakes have been filled, replace the very tops of the inside “guts” that have been taken out of the cakes.  I prefer to tear off the bottom half of the “guts” before plugging each of the cupcake holes with only the top piece.

5. The margarita-marshmallow frosting can be spread on the top of the filled, plugged cupcakes with a small spatula, or it can be piped on using a pastry or plastic zip-top bag.  

6. The tequila-lime glaze may be spooned, spread, or brushed onto cooled cupcakes.  

7. Cupcakes can be decorated with sprinkles or sanding sugars as desired.  I used a combination of yellow and green sanding sugars and flaked kosher salt to decorate the outer edges of the frosted or glazed cupcakes to resemble salt-rimmed margarita glasses.  I also garnished some of the cakes with a sliver of candied lime peel or a tiny sugared lime wedge.

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