In honor of the holiday tomorrow, this post is all about how to make Cinco de Mayo margarita cupcakes! These festive cupcakes can be made with a margarita cake and lime frosting or using your favorite cake recipe! Frosting, fondant, and sprinkles make these margarita cupcakes easy to make and super fun so there’s really no better way to say happy Cinco de Mayo!
Okie doke. So to start off these cupcakes, we need to do a little arts and crafts. Don’t panic – all you need are some 3″ dowels (I cut in half some cake pop sticks), cardboard (I used cake boards), one 2.5″ round cookie cutter (that’s diameter), one 1.5″ round cookie cutter, and a hot glue gun. If you don’t have cookie cutters in those sizes, simply find household objects of approximately the same size.
These materials are going to serve as the stem and base of the margarita cupcake, and also provide the structural support. To make, first, hot glue three of the 3″ dowels together in a triangle formation. Next, trace the cookie cutters onto the cardboard and cut out the circles. Finally, hot glue the larger circle to the bottom of the dowels and the smaller circle to the top. Hold in place so you have a nice straight stem. (Margaritas are only supposed to look crooked after you’ve had a few!)
Awesome! That concludes arts and crafts and now we can focus on the cake! Use the same cookie cutters to cut sheet cake so that each margarita cupcake gets one cupcake of each size. Depending on the cake recipe you chose, you may need to cut each cake round in half so that your Cinco de Mayo margarita cupcakes aren’t insanely tall!
Okie doke. Next, crumb coat the cake rounds using a piping bag. I know it’s kind of a hassle to get the piping bag out and all ready but trust me when I say you do not want to do this with a knife as you will end with a crumbly mess. (And tears if you’re anything like me.) As much as possible, try to get a thin and even layer of frosting on the cupcakes so they don’t get all lumpy when you fondant them later.
Now for the fondant. The smaller cupcake needs to be fondant-ed (is that even a word??) all around. I eventually found it was easiest to wrap the sides, top, and bottom in separate steps but how you do it is totally your call. The larger cupcake can be covered in fondant like you would a cake since the top, uncovered side will be the top of the margarita glass.
After that, attach the two cupcakes by putting a small amount of frosting in between and sticking a toothpick through the top. (Just be sure to warn whomever is eating them since I’d imagine choking on a toothpick would put a slight damper on the festivity!) Next, spread some green frosting on the top. Roll a thin log of fondant and circle to top of the margarita cupcake to simulate the rim. Brush lightly with water and add sanding sugar for my favorite part of a margarita – the salt!
At this point, you’re probably anxious to see how the dang things come together, which means it’s time to revisit our earlier arts and crafts project. Cover the structure in a light coat of frosting and then in fondant. This is easiest if you cover the base and stem individually. To attach to cupcakes, spread either a strong frosting (like royal icing) or melted chocolate on the top round of the stem before placing the cupcake on top.
Of course, when you order a margarita, you can see the drink inside the glass. To achieve this effect, we can “paint” the sides of the glass. This is done using a clear alcohol and gel food dye. Treat your food dye as watercolor paints and the alcohol as your water and paint away! The alcohol will evaporate off and you’ll be left with a pretty effect.
Finally, add a little fondant lime for garnish and your Cinco de Mayo margarita cupcakes are all done!
I made this little guy for fun to join in on the festivities and I’ll admit, I think he’s pretty darn cute in his itsy bitsy sombrero!
There you have it! Celebrate your hard work by enjoying your cupcakes! (And maybe having a margarita or two!)
Happy Cinco de Mayo!