Margarita Cupcakes With White Chocolate-Lime Buttercream

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Permission to speak freely? April has been a shitstorm. Just a crappy month. I’m ready to say sayonara. Buh bye. And I can think of no better way to kick April to the curb than by celebrating with Margarita Cupcakes. Sweet Kate over at ¡Hola! Jalapeño organized an entire Margarita Week that runs from now until May 5…scroll to the bottom of the post to see all of the other margarita + margarita-inspired recipes and search the hashtag #margaritaweek on social media — there are so many amazing and exciting recipes!! Your Cinco de Mayo is sorted. So, let’s chat about these margarita cupcakes… I was a little hesitant to do margarita cupcakes. There are a million margarita cupcakes out there. What could I bring new to the table? I stewed over this recipe for a long time… I wanted the margarita cupcakes to be super citrus-y…I wanted the alcohol to be optional and flexible (so you can go from zero booze to mega)…and I wanted a frosting that would dazzle. And, in case you’re suspicious of white chocolate buttercream let me assuage your hesitation. It’s amazing. My kids and I are convinced that these are the best cupcakes EVER. Even better? They’re super easy.

Before We Get Started

  • Margarita Soak. If you want to make these alcohol free, just omit the soak. If you want to amp up the boozy flavor add more tequila…you do you.
  • White Chocolate. I’m going to be honest, I love my chocolate dark. I’m new to the white chocolate scene…but it is absolutely sublime in this buttercream. Pick some really high-quality white chocolate as the cheap stuff can get squirly when you try to melt it. I melt the chocolate in the microwave. If you do too, make sure you do it in 30 second increments, stirring lots so that you don’t burn the chocolate. Otherwise, you can use a double boiler.
  • Tequila. If you won’t drink it straight up, don’t put it in your margarita cupcakes. There are some really beautiful tequilas out there…pick a yummy one!!
  • Orange Blossom Water. I’m currently obsessed with it…I have a couple more recipes coming up that use it so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to bake with it. If you don’t want to purchase it, substitute with some fresh-squeezed orange juice. It won’t be as concentrated as the orange blossom water, but it’ll do the trick.
  • Lime Sugar. Make this. It will change your life. Not only is it pretty, but it tastes amazing and looks gorgeous on top of the margarita cupcakes. If you don’t have a food processor, you could finely chop the zest and sugar until they come together. You will have extra lime sugar…rim your cocktail glasses with it. You can thank me later.
  • Decoration. I know I say this every time we’re dealing with frosting…but I’m the world’s worst cake/cupcake decorator. But I’m working on it…and to overcompensate, I usually find little tricks along the way. Such as using the back of a wet spoon to smooth your frosting (if you don’t have an offset spatula). Also sprinkling lime sugar obscures unintended bumps and dips and the fresh lime slices further mask any boo boos. I’ve got your back.
  • Watch. Watch me make these margarita cupcakes over on the feedfeed!

Let’s get our bake on!

Margarita Cupcakes With White Chocolate-Lime Buttercream Recipe by Rebecca Firth | DisplacedHousewife

Margarita Cupcakes With White Chocolate-Lime Buttercream Recipe by Rebecca Firth | DisplacedHousewife

Margarita Cupcakes With White Chocolate-Lime Buttercream Recipe by Rebecca Firth | DisplacedHousewife

Margarita Cupcakes With White Chocolate-Lime Buttercream Recipe by Rebecca Firth | DisplacedHousewife

Margarita Cupcakes With White Chocolate-Lime Buttercream Recipe by Rebecca Firth | DisplacedHousewife

Margarita Cupcakes With White Chocolate-Lime Buttercream Recipe by Rebecca Firth | DisplacedHousewife

Margarita Cupcakes With White Chocolate-Lime Buttercream

Makes 15 Cupcakes


For the Cupcake

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup veggie oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (about 1 ½ limes)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup whole milk

For the Margarita Soak

  • 3 tablespoons tequila
  • 2 teaspoon fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grenadine

For the Buttercream

  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 6 ounces white chocolate melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lime juice

For the Lime-Sugar

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup lime zest (about 4-ish limes)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place a rack is in the center of the oven. Butter + flour a standard cupcake tin (or spray with nonstick or use muffin papers).
  2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the eggs and sugar on medium speed until light and frothy, about 3 minutes. Add in the sour cream, veggie oil, lime + orange zest, orange blossom water, vanilla extract and mix for 2 minutes more. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl so that everything is incorporated. Take the bowl out of the mixer stand and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately to the egg batter, ending with the milk. Fill the muffin cups until 1/2 to 3/4 full. Gently tap the tin on the counter several times to release any trapped air bubbles.
  4. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes on the center rack of the oven. The cupcakes are done when gently pressed on the top and they spring back. If using the Margarita Soak, whisk together the tequila, orange + lime juice and grenadine and brush over the tops of the cupcakes. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
  5. To make the frosting: In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and shortening on high until completely blended together. Add in the powdered sugar and mix on low until smooth, about 2 more minutes. Drizzle in the melted white chocolate while the mixer runs on low. Lastly, add in the lime juice and mix on medium for 1 minute more. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed together. Set aside.
  6. To make the lime sugar: Add the lime zest and sugar to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until they’re well blended, but you still see bright bits of zest.
  7. Put a blob of buttercream on a cooled cupcake. If you don’t have an offset spatula, use the straight side of a butter knife or the back of a spoon to smooth the top and sides of the cupcake. Run the utensil under warm water and then gently run it over the frosting to smooth it even more. Lightly sprinkle with the lime sugar. And vìola you’re celebrating margaritas and Cinco de Mayo all in one delicious sweet treat.
  8. Please tag me @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your gorgeous cupcakes!

On My Mind

  • Tour graveyards? I’m in!
  • Has anyone watched the show 13 Reasons Why? What are your thoughts?
  • Will you be watching any of these documentaries? Do you remember?
  • I was just a judge for the AOL 2017 Product Awards and I can’t tell you how much I loved the electric griddle they sent me. I have been using it every day. If you didn’t know you needed an electric griddle, you do. Think pancakes, grilled cheeses and quesadillas. I’ll let you know once they post the reviews!
  • I know I wasn’t the only stressed person in April and I highly recommend these. I’ve mentioned them before…take them for a test drive…they don’t take much time and I swear they can give you some peace when life is stressing you out.
  • Sometimes loving your job is a luxury…and what this means to women.
  • This sweet lady came to visit…we made Mexican hot chocolate cream puffs, gougères and fresh pasta…everything was so good, I’m hoping to share all of it with you soon!
  • I also met with Amisha from The Jam Lab…we had breakfast, chatted…go look at all of her beautiful work. Such a sweetie!
  • Sending you all heaps of love and wishing you a wonderful weekend!

–Rebecca xoxo

M A R G A R I T A week 

Perro Oaxaqueño from Casa Artelexia Sparkling Dragon Fruit Margarita from Husbands That Cook The Paloma-Rita from Jojotastic  Fuego Margarita from The Spanish Tin Spicy Guava Margarita from Ready to Yumble Pink Lady Apple Margarita from Cake Over Steak Rosemary and Fresh Watermelon Margaritas from Always Order Dessert Jalapeño Mint Margarita from Smart In The Kitchen Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita from ¡Hola! Jalapeño Rosemary Infused Orange Margarita from Nibbles and Feasts Strawberry Watermelon Basil Frozen Margarita from Heather Christo Lake Pátzcuaro’s Paloma from Lola’s Cocina Strawberry Margarita Smoothie from ¡Hola! Jalapeño for Shape Spicy Cucumber Margarita from Ciao Chow Bambina Lime Cookie Bars with Hibiscus-Lime Buttercream and Tequila Drizzle from The JamLab Blood Orange Gose Margarita from Beer Girl Cooks Frozen Strawberry Mango Margarita from Girl Heart Food Spicy Sunset Margarita from No Spoon Necessary Watermelon Pomegranate Margarita from Salt & Wind Margarita Sugar Cookies from Alicia’s Delicias Blueberry Sunrise Margarita from Tasty Ever After Pineapple Vanilla Bean Margaritas from Hungry Girl Por Vida Fizzy Lime and Blackberry Shrub Margarita from She Eats Simple Lavender Margarita from The Almond Eater Fresh Fig Margaritas from A Cookie Named Desire Strawberry Champagne Margaritas from Foolproof Living Margarita Cake with Salted Lime Frosting from The Road to Honey Ginger Rosé Margaritas from Appeasing a Food Geek Margarita Sangria from Warm Vanilla Sugar Coconut Lime Margarita Tiramisu from Easy and Delish Margarita Ahi Tuna Ceviche from Cookin Canuck Smoky Pineapple Vanilla Bean Mezcal Margaritas from Plays Well With Butter Passionfruit Margaritas from Katie at the Kitchen Door Smoky Strawberry Jalapeño Margaritas with Chile Salt Rim from Yes to Yolks Mango Shrub Margarita from What Should I Make For Margarita Muddy Buddies from Donuts, Dresses, and Dirt Coconut Lime Frozen Margarita from Nutmeg Nanny Rhubarb Ginger Beer Margaritas from This Mess Is Ours Mint Watermelon Margarita from Give Recipe Creamy Coconut Mango Margarita Popsicles with Basil from Floating Kitchen Naturally Sweetened Sparkling Ginger Margarita from With Food + Love Margarita de Piña y Menta Sin Alcohol {Pineapple and Mint Margarita Mocktail} from Piloncillo y Vanilla Strawberry Watermelon Margaritas from Spanglish Spoon Margarita Cupcakes with White Chocolate-Lime Buttercream from Displaced Housewife Sparkling Margaritas from Wood & Spoon Honey Lilac Margarita with Vanilla Bean Salt from Flan & Apple Pie Strawberry Margarita Cookies from Square Meal Round Table Tropical Margarita from Laylita’s Recipes Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita by ¡Hola! Jalapeño for Powell & Mahoney Very Berry Margaritas from Chef Sarah Elizabeth Raspberry Habanero Margarita from Southern Fatty Salty Ancho-Chile Watermelon & Cantaloupe Margaritas from Worthy Pause Prickly Pear Margarita from Muy Bueno Cookbook Ginger Margarita from Shiny Happy Bright Pineapple Chile Margarita on the Rocks from Dora’s Table Visit ¡Hola! Jalapeño for a complete list of this year’s and last year’s recipes!


  • Jenna February 21, 2018 at 4:02 PM

    Hi Rebecca,
    I LOVE these cupcakes, huge hit with everyone that tries them :)
    I was wondering if you’ve tried making this into a layered cake?
    I was toying with the idea of making a 5 layer 6″ cake but would be terribly upset if it didn’t turn out and I wasted all that delicious batter.
    Thanks! :)

    • Rebecca Firth February 21, 2018 at 7:22 PM

      Hi Jenna!! I’m so glad that you like these!! I absolutely love them!! I haven’t made them into a cake…but I don’t see why you couldn’t? You would have to estimate the bake time and watch for doneness…but you’ve given me a great idea…I think I will schedule a post to make this into a cake. What a yummy spring cake!!!
      R xox

  • Patty September 7, 2017 at 2:28 AM

    Just made these for an office birthday tomorrow. I was a bit worried how strong some of the flavors (lime zest and tequila) would come through. It is the PERFECT balance. In hindsight, I could have used a heavier hand with the soak but was worried they would be too boozy. Is there such a thing, I am asking myself now. The cake itself has such a wonderful texture.
    Can’t wait to bring them to work in the morning. First recipe I’ve tried from your site. I’ll be back! Took some decent pics so will post and tag on Instagram.

    • Rebecca Firth September 7, 2017 at 2:38 AM

      Hi Patty!!! This makes me so happy to hear — I’m so glad that you love these. I have to say, they might be one of my most favorite things I’ve made (I’m thinking top ten material). I love the consistency of the cupcake…and that buttercream. I die. I hope your coworkers love them. And happy birthday to your friend. I can’t wait to see the photos!! xoxo

  • Courtney L. May 20, 2017 at 11:23 PM

    I will preface by saying that I don’t like cupcakes. I don’t get the whole craze. I would eat a moist slice of frosted cake over a cupcake any day. I decided to make these though for a Cinco de Mayo event because cupcakes are just easier at large events. I made a mini cupcake version. I was AMAZED at how moist these were. And of course the lime sugar took the cake. Thanks for posting. I’ve loved every recipe of yours that I have tried.

    • Rebecca Firth May 23, 2017 at 1:43 AM

      Hi Courtney! Your comment put the biggest smile on my face — thank you so much!!! I”m glad I’ve converted you!! xoxo

  • Nthabiseng May 20, 2017 at 12:33 PM

    Wow these are fantastic! I’d like to bake these for a party, so lots of batches. Is it possible to cut down on the amount of sour cream, say half a cup, and substitute with something else?

    • Rebecca Firth May 21, 2017 at 4:01 PM

      Hi and thank you! I wouldn’t cut back on the amount of sour cream…it would change the moisture balance of the cupcake. Lots of people sub in full-fat greek yogurt for sour cream…you could try that although I haven’t tested this recipe with it. If you do make it with yogurt please come back and let us know how it goes. Have fun!!!

  • Coco in the Kitchen May 8, 2017 at 9:02 PM

    There are days when these cupcakes will cure any ill!

  • Traci | Vanilla And Bean May 5, 2017 at 4:50 PM

    I’m SO glad you went ahead and shared these Rebecca! I’m totally motivated to whip these up with an extra tequila soak! hehe! Sorry to hear your April has been crap… I hope May is better to you love! How fun is that you hung out with Amisha and Emma! What a treat! See, April wasn’t all bad, right?! xo

    • Rebecca Firth May 5, 2017 at 5:58 PM

      Exactly!! I ended the month on a mega high note! And yes to the extra tequila soak!! xoxo

  • Dawn - Girl Heart Food May 5, 2017 at 12:03 PM

    Oh my goodness! I would LOVE one (three) of these right now! Cheers to a better May :) If all month looked as good as these cupcakes, I’d be a happy girl ;)

    • Rebecca Firth May 5, 2017 at 5:57 PM

      Hi Dawn! I can’t stop at just one…they’re addicting…and therefore you must make them!! xo

  • [email protected] May 4, 2017 at 11:55 PM

    These are wonderful! I love the flavors, buttercream and decoration! And I’m especially happy that I watched your feedfeed video…the musical accompaniment was superb! Brava, my friend! xoxo

    • Rebecca Firth May 5, 2017 at 5:52 PM

      Why thanks my dear!! I’m so happy you watched!! Enjoy your day — I hope it’s filled with lots of margaritas and delicious Mexican food!! xo

  • Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary May 4, 2017 at 7:05 PM

    Oh gawsh, I’m so sorry April was a shhhh-storm for you. I feel you girl, all of 2017 has been just awful. Here’s to hoping May brings ALL the joy and happiness our way. If not, at least we have these margarita cupcakes! I’m totally fine with locking myself in my closet and devouring these cupcakes on repeat should life not go my way. ;) These look amazing!!! Cheers!

    • Rebecca Firth May 5, 2017 at 5:49 PM

      I think we got the crappy stuff out of the way…May is already feeling awesome and I have a veryyyy good feeling about the rest of the year!!! Thank you so much Cheyanne!! xo

  • Stephanie Chavez May 3, 2017 at 8:58 PM

    I’m all over that lime-sugar! OMG! These cupcakes are genius.

    • Rebecca Firth May 4, 2017 at 6:21 PM

      Thank you so much Stephanie!! And yes, that lime sugar is life changing!!! xoxo

  • Hannah May 3, 2017 at 4:52 PM

    These are so beautiful, and they sounds absolutely delish!

    xx Hannah //

  • Lynn | The Road to Honey May 3, 2017 at 12:31 PM

    I’ll be dreaming about that lime sugar for the rest of my life. Cake, cookies, salad. . .I want to sprinkle it on everything.

    And really, can one ever go wrong when they soak cake in a margarita and top it with white chocolate buttercream? I think not!

    • Rebecca Firth May 4, 2017 at 6:39 PM

      Hi Lynn!! I think these might be my most favorite cupcakes EVER!!! xoxo

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci May 2, 2017 at 8:29 PM

    These beauties are absolute perfection! (And I’m obsessing over that buttercream – please pass me a spoon!) xo

    • Rebecca Firth May 4, 2017 at 6:39 PM

      You will die Laura — it’s so good!!!! xoxo

  • amisha May 1, 2017 at 6:30 AM

    OMG! I am in love with these cupcakes! Esp that lime sugar, and the tip to use t as a rim for margaritas! Brilliant! The cupcakes look perfect! Love the pictures – just so pretty all of them! :)

    And thanks for the mention dear! Loveddd meeting with you and seeing your bubbly personality IRL! :) Wish we lived closer! Wishing May to be swell for you. xo

    • Rebecca Firth May 4, 2017 at 6:42 PM

      Loved loved loveeddddd meeting you!! Can’t wait to see you again soon!! And ditto to you about May!! xoxo

  • Kate April 30, 2017 at 9:16 PM

    Do me a favor and just put some of that buttercream on everything from here on out. Dreamy.

    I hope your May looks up for you, friend. <3

    • Rebecca Firth April 30, 2017 at 10:48 PM

      Ok. On everything!!! And meeeee too!!! xoxo

  • Kate April 30, 2017 at 5:52 PM

    Um, I’m pretty sure you live close enough to me to warrant a drive-by cupcake takeover. You got any leftovers? Cause I’ll be there in about 20-25 seconds.

    • Rebecca Firth April 30, 2017 at 6:05 PM

      You do?!?!? Where are you? I’m thinking of making a new batch today?? ;)

      • Kate April 30, 2017 at 8:58 PM

        I’m in you think you can throw that far? :)

        • Rebecca Firth April 30, 2017 at 9:06 PM

          Next time I have to head to LA let’s meet up!! I had no idea!! ❤️❤️❤️

          • Kate April 30, 2017 at 9:13 PM

            I’d love that!!

  • 2pots2cook April 30, 2017 at 3:06 PM

    Love the ingredients’ combination ! Thank you so much !

  • Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen April 30, 2017 at 2:45 PM

    Love all the citrus going on in these yummy looking cupcakes Rebecca! Intrigued by the orange blossom water. Sounds wonderful. That icing is killing me. Love the lime white chocolate combo. These definitely stand out from the other margarita cupcakes on the internet, for sure!!

    • Rebecca Firth April 30, 2017 at 4:57 PM

      You’re so sweet, thank you Mary Ann!! I’m not even a white chocolate fan and I’m obsessed with this frosting!!!! xoxo

  • Alida | Simply Delicious April 30, 2017 at 7:34 AM

    Hot damn. These look uh-mazing!!

  • heather (delicious not gorgeous) April 29, 2017 at 7:33 PM

    good thing april is almost over! (: these sound like such a good way to transition into may. and i love how you iced these; the smooth edges almost make it look like a mini layer cake, and if you squish a bunch in a tight container, there’s less chance of them touching/getting smeared!

    • Rebecca Firth April 29, 2017 at 8:38 PM

      I’ve always wanted to do the straight-edge frost thing…I love it!! These are so good…I won’t even tell you how many I’ve eaten…but let’s just say yesterday alone I ate three. ;)

  • Josh April 29, 2017 at 5:46 PM

    Wow, these look fantastic!! I cant wait to use the recipe!


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