Tequila-Lime Cupcakes: (Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker) Yield: 12ish cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temp
1.5 limes, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons tequila (plus 1 tablespoon for brushing)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
Tequila-Lime Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Adapted from Jason and Shawnda)
2 cups granulated sugar
8 egg whites
12 ounces unsalted butter (3 sticks), room temp
2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 to 2 tablespoons tequila
To Make the Cupcakes:
Prepare your cupcake tin with liners, and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until creamy and pale in color (about 5 minutes). Then add in the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Add the tequila, lime juice/zest and vanilla all at once and mix on low until combined (it may start to look separated and yucky at this point, but just keep going, it turns out fine).
On low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 batches alternating with the buttermilk (added in twice). Mix until just combined. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl again.
Divide the batter into your cupcake tin, and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out with only a few crumbs. Let cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan, and while they are still warm, brush the tops with the extra tablespoon of tequila.
To Make the Buttercream:
Place your stand mixer bowl over a small pot of simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water). Whisk together the sugar and egg whites over the bain marie until the sugar dissolves and it reaches 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.
With the stand mixer and whisk attachment, beat the sugar/egg whites on high speed until cooled and thick/glossy stiff-peaked meringue forms (about 10 minutes). Switch to the paddle attachment, and add the butter one bit at a time on medium speed.
If the buttercream starts to break just keep beating it (you may need to do some extra maneuvering to get it to the right consistency). Add the lime juice and tequila, and beat on high until it comes back together and is a smooth delectable buttercream.
Using whatever tip you prefer (I used a Wilton open-star 827 tip), pipe the frosting over the cakes. Top with lime zest, sliced lime and salt (or however you’d like to garnish it).