Friday, March 14, 2014

Margarita Cupcakes

This is for you lil' sis - Happy Birthday!!! Can't believe you are turning 23 this year... how time flies! I'm glad I had the opportunity to send you a nice birthday treat through our middle sis, so I hope you enjoyed it.
With your standing request of green treats, this time I made a margarita cupcake - although not entirely green (the green curd was made by adding artificial coloring, or else it would just look like lemon curd), you get a nice surprise green middle. And limes are green, so that counts right? :)
Here is my wish/hope that you have a wonderful birthday, and that this coming year is as exciting and fulfilling as you want it to be!

For the curd: 

  • 2 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
  • a tiny bit of green food coloring (optional, add a little at a time)

For the cupcakes:

  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 100g (about 1 1/4 cup) unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (about 4 limes), zested and juiced
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk

For the frosting:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 large egg whites
  • Pinch fleur de sel (coarse salt)
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. tequila


1. Lime Curd: combine whole eggs and yolks, sugar, and lime juice in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat back of a spoon. Remove from heat. add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).
2. Cupcakes: preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, coconut flakes, and salt; stir with a fork to blend.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the lime zest and lime juice.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat each addition just until incorporated.2. Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ full.  Bake 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  If desired, brush the cooled cakes with tequila to emphasize the true margarita flavor.3. Frosting: combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.  Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated.  If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more (don’t worry, it will come together, though it may take a very long time!)  Stir in the lime juice and tequila and mix until fully incorporated and smooth.4. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.  Frost the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream.  Garnish with a dot of lime curd.

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats (for cake and frosting) and Martha Stewart's Cupcakes (for lime curd)