I made THE ultimate summertime cupcakes, the kind you want on a nice sunny day to have at a family BBQ, babies are playing outside, disposable plates and plastic silverware are out, and flies are trying to get at your food. Super light margarita cupcakes spiked with just enough tequila and lime-flavored tangy frosting are the perfect way to end your meal. My inspiration: this huge tub of margarita mix I bought when I must have been completely out of it b/c I can’t have citrusy stuff or alcohol right now anyway. But just b/c I can’t enjoy it doesn’t mean everyone else can’t.
I wanted to make these for a while and had to wait for a legitimately nice summer day. The weather this year has been a roller coaster ride: a couple extremely warm days in February and March and a crapload of chilly, rainy days in May. So this weekend was perfect. Originally, I had planned to make them for the T-house mega party on Saturday to celebrate Vin’s mom’s retirement, his sister’s birthday, and Father’s Day, but since we were out late on Friday night Johnny Prime style, I didn’t have any time to bake and make fresh frosting. But after getting a good night’s sleep after Saturday’s festivities, I woke up and started getting my things together to bake and make citrusy icing.
The twins were still out on the counter from my Memorial Day weekend masterpieces, which was very helpful since I used one for the cake batter and the other for the frosting. A month ago, I bought a quart of milk and put it in the freezer (helpful hint: it’s totally safe to freeze milk for up to 3 months). Since I only use about a cup and a half for a batch of cupcakes, I usually end up with extra milk and it goes bad within a week, so after letting it thaw in the fridge overnight, I measured out what I needed and put the container back in the freezer for the next baking project. I poured half a container of lime extract AND half a cup of the margarita mix into the cake batter but it didn’t have enough of a citrus scent. I didn’t want to add more of the liquid mix to make the batter soupy, so I decided to overload the frosting with the flavor.
While the cupcakes were baking, I took out the butter and sugar for the frosting. I dumped @ LEAST 2 cups of the margarita mix into the frosting and Vin said it tasted really good. I set that aside and let the cupcakes cool, and I mixed a little of the margarita mix and some tequila (now a real margarita) into a dropper bottle and injected some of that tasty goodness in half the cupcakes so the kids could have some, too. Since it’s probably not a good idea for my little nieces and nephews to have tequila just yet…
After I put in extra ruffly swirls of tangy frosting on the cupcakes (stupid icing tip was clogged), I had this silly idea to make limes. I was too lazy to go to the supermarket, which is not more than 50 yards from my house, and pick up real limes to zest or cut up to decorate the cupcakes. So I took out some leftover fondant and food coloring and mixed up some pale yellowish-green fondant, a ball of darker lime green, and left a small ball of white fondant for that fuzzy bitter part of the rind. I made 4 pale green balls in my hands, rolled out thin layers of white fondant to wrap around them, and then rolled out the darker green fondant to wrap around that. And there you have it… sweet, chewy limes. When I cut the fondant ball in half, I squealed out loud with delight @ the sight of my own handiwork: “AhhhhHHH!!! I’m a f*ckin’ GENIUS!!!” (Vin was in the other room and he completely ignored me; he’s used to my excited outbursts by now. haha) My little experiment turned out GREAT! Each fondant lime was cut into 8 wedges and I stuck a slice into each of the cupcakes. They looked awesome. I love my wedges. =)
I had leftover batter so I made whoopie pies with the pan Vin bought me for Christmas, and they came out really well. I didn’t want to jump on the whole trendy whoopie pie bandwagon, but I admit they were super easy and successful and I will be making some more whoopie pies in the future. The margarita icing was a great filling and Vin said it was like eating key lime pie. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pics of these; I only made 6 of them and they were scooped up pretty quickly.
I brought them over to the T house to share with Vin’s family and they were a hit. As feedback, I got “delicious!” “yummy!” and “this was the best cupcake I’ve ever had in my life.” Well, what about my other cupcakes? =) I have a big bucket of leftover margarita mix, so I may have to make another batch of these before the summer is over… or just give it to some party animal that wants to actually make margaritas. haha