Margarita Cupcakes with a Twist of Lime

I know it's May the 4th - and I'm ready for all the ensuing Star Wars jokes.

But I'm concentrating on Cinco de Mayo.  In my opinion, it's the better holiday.  In college, we used to go all out for Cinco de Mayo - mostly in a drinking sort of way!  I remember one year, we went to a bar and they had five-cent Miller Lite Bottles - who does that?!  The place was packed and people were buying the bottles six at a time!  It was a good day for college students, haha.

Today, I'd rather sit on an outdoor patio and have a mango margarita or some sort of mojito.  It needs to be more relaxing than fighting people for nickel beers!

This margarita cupcake recipe is one that displays the classic flavor of the drink: LIME!  Lime is incorporated in a few ways: a little juice in the batter; some juice and zest in the syrup; and some zest (and extract, if you can find it) in the frosting.  Yum!

Margarita Cupcakes with a Twist of Lime
Cakes adapted from The Pretty Bee

1 1/2 c. organic flour
3/4 c. organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. cold water
1/4 c. tequila, or more water
1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lime juice

For the simple syrup
1/4 c. organic cane sugar
1/4 c. water
2 T. lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest

For the frosting
1 c. organic non-hydrogenated shortening, like Spectrum
1 tsp. vanilla (or lime extract, if you have it)
3-4 c. vegan powdered sugar
zest of one lime

vegan sprinkles for decorating, get them from Pink Peppercorn or India Tree

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Stir.  Create a well in the middle of dry ingredients.  Set aside.

Make sure all of your wet ingredients are ready to go.  You want to make sure the reaction goes appropriately, so add them all in at the same time.  Pour them into the well and use some elbow grease and a wooden spoon to stir (or use your mixer).  Stir until everything is combined and the batter thickens up.

Fill your cupcake liners about half-way full - these cupcakes puff up a decent amount.  Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.  As they're cooling, use a toothpick to poke a few holes in the top of the cakes.  It will help the syrup soak in.

For the simple syrup: combine the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan over medium high heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer.  Make sure all of the sugar has dissolved.  Once it reduces slightly, remove it from the heat to cool.

When it's cooled, brush a coating of syrup on each cupcake.  Once it dries and/or soaks in, brush them with a second coat.  

***TIP*** If you have some simple syrup left over, save it for your own cocktails!

For the frosting: cream the shortening, flavoring, and zest in a large mixing bowl.  Gradually add the powdered sugar in, a cup at a time, until the buttercream is somewhat stiff.  Place the icing in a piping bag and frost your cupcakes.

I love the rustic look of the natural green sprinkles; it kind of reminds me of the side of a margarita glass.  I dipped my cupcakes in the sprinkles and smushed the tops flat.  Add a lime peel or slice and you have an adorable margarita cupcake on your hands!