Friday, April 5, 2013

Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes {Recipe}

Margaritas. I like mine frozen and blended with strawberries, raspberries, even the occasional mango.

Now, everyone has her own opinion about what a margarita should taste like. So, please note that I give you many "ranges" for the flavors in this recipe. If you like it with less lime and more strawberry, by all means, add more strawberry, and less lime. If you get sick at the taste of tequila, skip it. They'll still be tasty. Make it your taste! (Just try to keep the total amount of liquid about the same.)

What You Need:
For 20-24 Cupakes:
White or Vanilla Cake Mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk (whole milk preferred)
1/4 cup (half of a stick) melted butter 
1 - 1 1/2 cups frozen whole strawberries (divided)*
zest and juice from 1-2 limes
2-3 Tbsp. Tequila

For the Icing:
4 egg whites (at room temperature)
1 cup sugar (not powdered sugar)
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) butter (at room temperature)
1/3 cup Strawberry puree*
zest and juice of one lime
2-3 Tbsp. Tequila

Optional for decorating:
Pastry bag with Tip 1A (or 2A)
Sparkling sugar sprinkles
Sliced fresh limes 
Sliced fresh strawberries

*Note: Defrost the strawberries. Strain about 1/4 cup of the juice. Puree the remaining strawberries and juice. Use 1/2-2/3 cup in the cupcakes, save the remaining 1/3 cup for the icing.

Make the Cupcakes

Begin with the strawberries. As noted above, you want to defrost the strawberries, drain off most of the juice, then puree them. You will use 1/2-2/3 cup of the puree in the cupcakes, and 1/3 cup in the icing.

I prefer using defrosted frozen strawberries for a few reasons:
- They are always available, and relatively inexpensive.
- They tend to puree better.
- They have a stronger flavor after you drain off the juice.

Next, you need to zest the limes. I used one lime each in the cupcakes and in the icing, that made for about 2 tsp. of zest in each recipe.
You can either use a microplane, a zester or even a vegetable peeler. The key is making sure you don't get any of that white "pith" under the zest. You only want the green parts. Then mince it up as tiny as possible. You don't want to bite into a big piece of zest!

After you've zested the lime, squeeze the juice in with your strawberry puree. Add the tequila. You want this total juice/puree/tequila mixture to measure between 3/4 and one cup of liquid. If you want to skip the tequila altogether, add more lime juice, or use that reserved strawberry juice.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the three eggs on medium speed until frothy. Add the remaining ingredients for the cupcakes.

Mix like you would any cake mix, 30 seconds on low, then scrape down the bowl. Then, two minutes on medium speed.

Scoop or spoon the batter into prepared cupcake liners. I recommend 1/4 cup of batter for each cupcake. I use a scoop, but you can also use a 1/4 cup measure.
*Please note that this scoop is not an ice cream scoop, those are usually closer to 1/2 cup. This is a dough scoop.

Bake at 350-degrees for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling grid.

Make the Icing
While the cupcakes bake and cool, work on your icing.

Begin by wiping down everything you need to use for the icing with a paper towel dampened with vinegar. (mixing bowl, whisk, beaters, candy thermometer) This helps ensure you will not have grease on anything. Grease will make it difficult for the meringue of your icing to get to a stiff peak.
If you've never made a "Swiss Meringue Buttercream" icing, Click the link to see my complete tutorial, which should help answer some questions. It is a bit fussy, but so, so, so  worth it!!

Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof mixing bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer bowl). Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, and whisk slowly, but constantly until the mixture gets to 160-degrees. (This takes me usually 7-15 minutes, depending on how cold the egg whites were when I started, and how high my water is simmering.)

Let stand for about 5 minutes. Then whip on the highest speed possible until stiff peaks form. This usually takes me about 4-8 minutes in a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

(If necessary, switch to the paddle attachment of your mixer here.)
With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter, strawberry puree, lime juice, zest and tequila.
I, again, combined all of my liquid to make sure the total amount wasn't more than 1/2-3/4 cup. If you add too much liquid, you may make the icing get too soupy.
*I added 3 Tbsp. of tequila to the icing. I thought it was harder to taste it in the icing than in the cake batter. This surprised me.

Turn the mixer up to medium-high or high speed and mix until the icing is fluffy and somewhat stiff again. (This can take anywhere from 2-8 minutes, depending on how warm your mixture is, how soft your butter is, etc.)
*Please note!!! When you add the butter and other ingredients, your icing will immediately go from stiff peaks to liquid soup. This is normal! When you turn the mixer up and let it keep mixing... it will come together. If it doesn't, try putting it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, then mix it again. It may be too warm.

Decorate the Cupcakes

Using a pastry bag fitted with Tip 1A or Tip 2A, Pipe a swirl on the top of the cupcake.
(Click the link to see my tutorial: How to Make a Cupcake Swirl.)

If you want, you can roll the edge of the cupcake in clear sanding sugar. I really like the texture this gives the cupcake. It's like the sugar or salt on the edge of the glass.

Garnish on top with a lime wedge or slice of strawberry.

I added straws on some, too. But... I didn't like those as much.

These should be kept in the refrigerator. But you want to take them out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before eating. The icing gets softer when it warms up a little.

Click the Links Below to See:
Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
My Favorite Strawberry Icing
How to Doctor a Cake Mix
Banana Pina Colada Cupcakes
Beach-Themed Pina Colada Cupcakes

Enter your email address below to receive the latest recipes, tips and ideas in your email inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

And don't forget, if you shop at through my link, you support this blog and its contents. Thank you!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please note that comments containing profanity or those that are spam will not be approved on this website.