Strawberry margarita cupcakes and mini margaritas: Cinco de Mayo is coming right up and summer is on the way! These both mark the beginning of Strawberry Margarita season in my opinion! It’s really hard to say what’s better, a cupcake or cocktail? Well how about both!

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For the base of this cupcake we went with a pound cake recipe, infused with fresh lime zest and tequila. Once cooled, we cored each cupcake to make room for an extra burst of flavor with a Strawberry Tequila Puree. Since we just wanted a small pocket of this extra flavor, a jumbo or mid-size French frosting tip makes the perfect tool for coring cupcakes! Simply press the tip into the top of the cupcake and give it a little twist as you gently press down. Pull out the little piece of cupcake and you are left with a small space to fill with the puree!

Next is the delicious Strawberry Tequila Buttercream Frosting! This frosting is heavenly and reminds me of strawberry ice cream. I use a basic buttercream recipe, but instead of adding milk I use fresh strawberries blended smooth. You can also use the Strawberry Tequila Puree since the recipe makes more than enough to fill cupcakes, make frosting and a few cocktails!

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If you want to get the sugared rim look for your cupcake, we found it is best to frost them in two steps. Start by outlining the cupcake with a thick round of frosting using a jumbo plain tip. Then have a bowl of sparkling sugar ready for dipping the cupcake in. Work quickly so you don’t lose any of the puree. Next, add a small swirl of frosting with a jumbo open star tip sealing in the puree to complete the cupcake. From here you can add a small candied fruit slice or other decoration of your choice! Now all that’s missing is a lovely Strawberry Margarita Cocktail! Stay tuned for a delicious recipe…..

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Tequila Lime Cupcakes:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2-3 tsp lime zest (from 2-3 limes)
1 tsp lime oil or lime extract
1 tbsp tequila
3 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half & half

In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the zest, extract & tequila. In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients. In a small bowl whisk together the sour cream and half & half. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternating with the sour cream mixture. The batter will be thick. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
Recipe makes 24-30 standard size cupcakes.

Strawberry Tequila Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened but still cool to the touch
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
3-4 tablespoons purred strawberries
1 tbsp tequila
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the tequila and vanilla. Slowly add the strawberry puree 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency for frosting cupcakes.

Tip: I puree fresh strawberries with my Kitchen-Aid Immersion Blender. I like to keep the seeds in so it looks like real strawberry icing! Just make sure to blend for about a minute to make sure there are no large strawberry chunks. You can also use the Strawberry Tequila Puree below in place of fresh pureed strawberries.

Strawberry Tequila Puree:
1 pound of strawberries, sliced
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp tequila

Place the strawberries and sugar in a small pan over medium heat. Once the strawberries begin to breakdown, add the tequila. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, then blend to remove any large pieces of strawberries. Cool complete before using.

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post written by Shauna & photographed by Esther