Berry Margarita Cupcake Recipe

Is there anything more refreshing than an icy margarita on a hot summer day? Margaritas always feel like a celebration and are a perfect excuse to gather family and friends this weekend. Add some fresh berries for a fun pink treat!

The only thing better than actual margaritas are margarita cupcakes, so take your next barbecue to a new level with these sweet and creamy bites. Berry margarita cupcakes (topped with margarita-flavored frosting!) will not only look beautiful on your picnic table, but they'll delight your guests as well. The fresh flavors of berries, lime, and tequila come together in this perfect warm weather dessert. They're perfect for a holiday cookout or let's be honest — they're also a good idea for a Tuesday night by yourself.

Gather your ingredients

Start by gathering your ingredients for the cupcake batter. You'll have plenty of time to gather the frosting ingredients while the cupcakes cook. You'll need your usual vanilla cupcake ingredients like flour, sugar, and butter. Then you'll be amping up the flavor with fresh lime juice and mixed berries. 

If you're not a berry fan, feel free to skip them and opt for margarita cupcakes. However, the berries add great flavor and color to this dessert. Once the cakes are cooled, you'll top them with tequila lime buttercream frosting, then just wait as your guests' mouths hit the floor.

A full list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions can be found at the end of this article. 

Mix the dry ingredients

Start by measuring each of your ingredients out to save time during the recipe. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder to a medium bowl and whisk together. It's best to mix the dry ingredients first, so they'll be evenly distributed in the batter. This will also help break up any clumps of flour, because those clumps will only weigh down your little creations.

Set aside your dry ingredients while you mix the wet ones.

Start the batter

Before you start making your cupcakes, allow the butter to soften on your kitchen counter. This will leave you with fluffier cupcakes.

Beat the butter with a mixer until it's light and fluffy, about one to two minutes. Then, with the mixer still running, slowly add the sugar. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you work so all of the ingredients come together. 

Once the butter and sugar are combined, crack both eggs, one at time time, into the batter. It's best to use room temperature eggs, because they'll keep the cupcakes lighter. Allow them to sit at room temperature before using them or you could even place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. However, if you're in the middle of the recipe and only have cold eggs, it's not the end of the world. You'll then add the vanilla extract. 

Beat in the dry ingredients

Once the batter has started to come together, slowly add in the dry flour mixture a little at a time. Then pour in the milk and mix on a low speed. Use your favorite type of milk. I used almond milk, because that's what we had on hand. Going with a thicker milk like whole milk will give you richer cupcakes, but it's all a matter of personal preference. Continue mixing on low speed until all of the ingredients are well combined.

Juice the limes

Next it's time to add the lime juice. Before cutting into your limes, place them on the counter and roll them back and forth with a flat palm. By rolling them first, you're helping loosen the pulp, so they'll be much easier to juice. Once the lime feels softer, cut it into four wedges and squeeze into a small dish. 

Add the flavor

Now it's time to spice up these cupcakes! Pour your freshly-squeezed lime juice into the cupcake batter while the mixer runs on low speed. 

Fold in the berries

Take your cup of thawed mixed berries and fold them into the batter. If you'd like them infused into the batter, whisk them in using the whisk attachment. This will give your cupcakes that fun pink color.

Grab any berries you'd like for the recipe. I used a mix of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Choose one or go for a mix. The sweetness of the berries really balances the tart limes, so I recommend using them.

Fill the cupcake pan

Once the berries are full mixed into the batter, carefully fill your cupcake tin. You could either spray your pan with nonstick spray or use cupcake liners. I chose to skip the cupcake liners, and my cupcakes came out of the pan with no problem.

Fill each tin about two-thirds of the way full. Any more and they could overflow while baking. We want light cupcakes that rise, so make sure to give them some room to grow.

Place the pan in the oven for about 20 minutes. The cupcakes should have a slight golden color to them, and when you insert a toothpick into the center, it should come out clean.

Gather your frosting ingredients

While the cupcakes are baking, it's time to have some fun with the frosting. And by some fun, I mean tequila. For the frosting, you'll need two sticks of butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, limes, and tequila. If you choose to skip the tequila, we can't be friends. You could substitute a little milk though, if needed.

Beat the butter and sugar

Start by beating the softened butter until it is smooth and creamy, then slowly beat in the powdered sugar. It'll look like a lot of sugar (and it is), but the butter will be able to absorb all of it. I like to add about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time and make sure that it's completely combined before adding the next 1/2 cup.

Time for the booze

Now comes the fun part! Add in the vanilla extract, lime juice, and tequila. Keep beating the frosting until it's smooth and creamy. Taste it as you go to make sure the flavors are coming together. 

Create a piping bag

Once the frosting is complete, spoon it into a large Ziploc bag (unless you have a piping bag — in that case, use that). This will make your life so much easier once it's time to frost the cupcakes. 

I like to place the plastic bag in a large cup or small bowl and fold the sides over. Then I have two hands to spoon the frosting in without it getting all over me. Finally, squeeze out all the air and seal the bag. Place it in the refrigerator until you're ready to get your frosting on.

Cool off

When the cupcakes are finished baking, allow them to cool completely before frosting them. This frosting is mostly made of butter, so if you try to frost the cupcakes when they're still warm, your frosting will just melt down the sides. That may put a damper on your glorious picnic dessert. Once the cupcakes are cool, transfer them to a serving plate.

Frost your cupcakes

Now comes my favorite part. You get to pretend like you're the Cake Boss and create truly stunning cupcakes. Take your frosting out of the refrigerator and snip the corner of the bag off. Now you have your own piping bag to decorate.

Starting at the outside of the cupcakes, gently press down as you squeeze the frosting out. Keep moving slowly around the cupcake until you reach the center. Once you do, gently push down then lift straight up. This should leave you with the perfect peak on your cupcake. Repeat with all of your cupcakes, and if you're lucky, there will be plenty of frosting left over for tasting.

Garnish the top of your cupcakes with a fresh lime slice and go make some friends!

Berry Margarita Cupcake Recipe
5 from 1 ratings
The only thing better than actual margaritas are margarita cupcakes, so take your next barbecue to a new level with these sweet and creamy bites.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
12
cupcakes
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk of choice
  • Juice from 4 large limes
  • ¾ cup frozen mixed berries, thawed
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 12-cup cupcake pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add a stick of butter and beat with the paddle attachment until creamed. After about a minute, the butter should be smooth. While the mixer is on, slowly add the 1 cup of sugar and beat until creamy.
  4. Add the egg one at a time, beating until combined. Add 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides to make sure all the ingredients are well-mixed.
  5. While the mixer is beating at a low speed, slowly pour in the flour mixture, allowing it to mix in a little at a time.
  6. Continue running the mixer at a slow speed. Slowly pour in the milk and the juice from two limes and beat for another one to two minutes. Remove the bowl from your stand mixer and fold in the thawed berries.
  7. Pour the batter into the cupcake pan. Fill each cup about ½ to ⅔ full so that the batter does not overflow. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean with no batter. Once the cupcakes are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely before frosting.
  8. While the cupcakes are cooking, prepare the frosting. Place 2 sticks of softened butter in a medium bowl and using a hand mixer, beat until soft and creamy, about two minutes.
  9. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, about ½ cup at a time, making sure it is completely combined before adding more.
  10. Once the butter and sugar are combined, add 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, tequila, and the juice of two limes, and beat until light and fluffy. If the frosting feels too thick, add a touch more lime juice.
  11. For easy spreading, transfer the frosting into a large Ziploc bag and keep in the refrigerator until ready to frost the cupcakes.
  12. Once the cupcakes are cooled, remove them from the pan and place on a serving platter. Remove the frosting from the refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for a minute. With a sharp scissors, snip off one corner of the Ziploc bag to create a piping bag for the frosting.
  13. Starting at the outside of the cupcake, slowly pipe the frosting in a circular motion until you've reached the center. Gently press down, then lift up to create the perfect frosted tip. Garnish with a lime slice and serve!
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 520
Total Fat 24.2 g
Saturated Fat 15.0 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 88.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 74.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Total Sugars 58.0 g
Sodium 278.0 mg
Protein 3.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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