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Margarita Cupcakes + Lime Frosting

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margarita cupcake recipe

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! Here’s one of the treats we indulged in after our BBQ yesterday… Margarita Cupcakes! I’ve been wanting to try this concept out ever since last month’s margarita cupcakes post, and am happy to report they tasted great (and very much like their namesake)! I went for the “shortcut” route and modified a recipe that utilizes boxed cake mix as the foundation instead of doing everything from scratch (it was a holiday, after all!).

margarita cupcake recipe

Full recipes for the cupcakes & lime buttercream icing below…





  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 8 oz margarita mix (liquid)
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp grated lime zest

Lime Buttercream Icing:

  • 8 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice (approx 2 fresh limes)
  • 1 Tbsp margarita mix
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 5 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar
  • cane sugar & fresh limes (for garnish)


1. Preheat oven to 350º and prepare muffin pans.

2. Combine margarita mix, tequila, and Grand Marnier in a large glass and stir well.

3. In large bowl, combine cake mix, egg whites, lime zest, vegetable oil, and margarita mixture from step one. Stir ingredients together, then beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for approximately 2-3 minutes.

4. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin pans. Fill each cup/liner about 2/3 full.

5. Bake at recommended temperature on cake mix box (usually 325º – 350º) for 20 – 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.


6. In a large bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, lime juice, margarita mix, and lime zest. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

7. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and continue beating until smooth. If icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar, a couple tablespoons at a time.

8. Spread icing generously on each cooled cupcake* or use a pastry bag to frost. Sprinkle cane sugar around the edges of the cupcake for a “salt rimmed” look and garnish with lime wheels & wedges.

*Make sure to remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely before frosting.

Tip: Leftover frosting makes a great dip for fruit!




  1. Kati May 26, 2009 at 9:40 am

    These look sooooooooo good! Can’t wait to try them out myself this summer!

  2. Jill May 26, 2009 at 9:43 am

    now I have a great excuse for indulging in “mid-day” margaritas!

  3. Joanna May 26, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I wonder how these compare to the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World margarita cupcake recipe.

  4. jenn s. May 26, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Joanna –
    I haven’t tried the VCTOTW cupcakes yet, but would love to try them next. I have to say I’ve heard nothing but great things about them!

    Jenn :)

  5. Jaime May 26, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    FINALLY- a concept combining two of my favorites!! I will definitely give these a try. Thanks for testing them first, Jenn!

  6. Julianne May 27, 2009 at 7:49 am

    I;m not sure where that little plate came from but it is fabulous especially if you were walking around a room serving cupcakes!


  7. Mermaid Shelley May 27, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Oh nummy! And, such a grown-up idea for cake. I love it! Please be sure to pass on any more cocktail-cupcake recipe ideas you have!

  8. .elle denise. May 28, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    *drool* Gimme!

  9. april~living the sweet life May 28, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Those look amazing. Lemon & Lime are my favorites.

  10. Down Pillow May 28, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Those look & sound sooo yummy :)

  11. Rachel May 29, 2009 at 11:52 am

    These look AMAZING! I can’t wait for an occasion to try them. I’ll be linking.

  12. Sara May 31, 2009 at 10:31 am

    YUM!!!! I’m going to try these for my friend’s birthday party next weekend. THANKS!

  13. Melissa June 1, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Yummy – these will do until the margarita machine is in action again this weekend. These look so delicious that may eat them all!

  14. The Mommys Place - Sandy June 6, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    These are so cute and they sound so delish. Will have to try to make them soon.

  15. Beth Ann June 8, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Made these this past weekend – SUPER YUMMY! Everyone that ate them LOVED THEM! The frosting makes the cupcake (I am going to play around with the cake recipe a little bit). I did need more than 5 cups of powdered sugar.

  16. Kimberly June 15, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    These sound delicious! They would be great at my wedding in September!

  17. valerie June 17, 2009 at 4:53 am

    I linked to your post.

  18. Janeen August 7, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    They are delicious!

  19. Dhi August 23, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Hi HWM, great recipe, I’ve tried baking these babies. They’re so delicious!

  20. Mary September 4, 2009 at 6:54 am

    These went so cute with a fiesta themed shower…and they were a hit! Absolutely DELICIOUS! Will make again and again!

  21. […] Found these on the Hostess With the Mostess blog. […]

  22. Catherine May 6, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Made these last night for Cinco de Mayo and boy were they DELICIOUS. Thanks for such a great recipe. They were the hit of the party! Will definitely make them again for a sweet summer treat.

  23. Jennifer E May 11, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Brilliant! I will have to try making these for a party I have coming up at home. Thanks!

  24. Jennifer E May 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I tried out the margarita cupcakes. As Catherine posted above, they were Delicious and a hit at the jewelry party I hosted. Pictures on my blog – I did give credit and linked back to this page as well as the vegan recipe link. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  25. Tanisha May 23, 2010 at 11:54 am

    do you have to refrigerate the cupcakes cause of the cream cheese icing?

  26. Jenn @ HWTM May 24, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Tanisha –
    Yes – it’s safest to refrigerate the cupcakes, but you can remove them from the fridge an hour or 2 before serving to get them back to room temperature and they should be fine :)

  27. Tanisha May 24, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Cool thanks! :)

  28. Tanisha May 29, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Was wondering where did you get that plate? and do they have different colors? I LOVE it!!

  29. Jenn @ HWTM June 1, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Tanisha –
    I got the plate at HomeGoods – it was from a set of 4 – and each plate was actually a different color. I got them last summer though…so not sure if they’ll still have them…

  30. Tanisha June 2, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    thanks! I found some like that at the dollar store today but they aren’t solid colors they have hibiscus flowers on them but they are still pretty. Going to display apricot cupcakes on them to celebrate the apricot fiesta :)

  31. Debbie April 6, 2011 at 7:56 am

    I agree with Julianne, I would love to know where to purchase that orange plate :)

    The cupcake recipes sounds delish!

    • jenn s. April 6, 2011 at 8:10 am

      Hi Debbie & Julianne – The orange “flower” plate is actually from HomeGoods – it came in a set of 4 (4 different colors). Their stuff is seasonal though and I bought these quite a while ago, so I don’t know if they’d still have them!

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  33. Margarita | Modern Hostess June 20, 2011 at 9:51 am

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  34. DorajiDesign August 3, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Nice! We were just talking about a Margarita wish for our next meeting – these will do fine! Will test these for next meeting thank you! – DD

  35. Fiesta! « Simply Party blog April 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    […] no fiesta is complete without margaritas!  These margarita cupcakes from Hostess with the Mostess are amazing!  I made them for a dinner party a while back and they are delicious (and easy!). […]

  36. Azalia May 5, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Do you add the box mix plus the ingredients it calls for and then the other ingredients listed above too? It won’t be too watery?

  37. Azalia Miranda May 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Help? About to max second batch and see if it comes out. Do you add the cake mix plus the ingredients it calls for on the box and then the other ingredients you have listed above: more eggs, veg oil, the liqour etc.

  38. […] source […]

  39. Stephani Scott June 25, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Looking forward to trying these. How many cupcakes does the recipe make? I've got my cupcake pan(s) out and realized I didn't know how many to prep! Thanks!

  40. katiedeegan July 30, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I made these cupcakes for two parties this weekend – an Opening Ceremony Party for the 2012 Summer Olympics and an Engagement Party the following night. They were huge hits at each party. I only had to make one batch of frosting and I had enough for the 44 cupcakes I ended up making (doubled the cupcake portion of the recipe).

    I love this recipe and I’ll come back to it over and over again.

  41. Angela May 28, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I made these this weekend. I didn’t have Grand Marnier, so I added an extra ounce of margarita mix. They were extremely moist and a huge hit! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  42. Jenny May 1, 2014 at 8:03 am

    New baker here! What do you mean by preparing the muffin pan? Could I lightly grease them or do I need to use paper cups?

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