Tequila Sunrise Cupcakes. A cupcake recipe inspired by the cocktail with orange juice, grenadine and tequila decorated with two-tone frosting and maraschino cherry. A new recipe by our contributor, Lindsay Conchar.
I am a cocktail girl. I also love my sweets. So turning a cocktail into a cupcake is right up my alley. Tequila Sunrise is one of the first cocktails that I fell in love with. For those who haven’t ever had the cocktail, it’s a combination of orange juice, grenadine and tequila. I love the sweetness paired with the tequila. Plus, the orange juice makes me feel like I’m being a little bit healthy. ☺
These cupcakes are light, fluffy and fun version of the classic cocktail. The cupcake is flavored with fresh squeezed orange juice and orange zest which gives it the most wonderful citrusy orange flavor. I chose not to color the batter, but feel free to add a little orange coloring if you’d like. I also added a bit of tequila to both the cupcake and the frosting.
The frosting is a combination of both orange and cherry buttercreams swirled together for a fun multi-colored cupcake. The orange frosting has a little bit of fresh squeezed orange juice and orange zest, and the cherry frosting is flavored with grenadine. I added a touch of orange icing color to the orange frosting, but the pink shade of the cherry frosting is all from the grenadine. Feel free to add more color to the frosting if you want a bolder swirl.
I added the frosting to two separate, smaller piping bags, then put both of those bags into a large piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip. The two bags combined into one does a great job of keeping the colors from combining before being piped onto the cupcakes.
The cupcakes are topped with a cherry and slice of orange, to give the full cocktail effect! They make a really fun presentation and feel like summer in a cupcake. They are light and delicious and make me feel like I should be sipping my tequila sunrise cocktail and eating a cupcake right by the pool.
Tequila Sunrise Cupcakes
Tequila Sunrise Cupcakes. A cupcake recipe inspired by the cocktail with orange juice, grenadine and tequila decorated with two-tone frosting and maraschino cherry.
- Yield: 12 - 14 cupcakes
- Category: ✽ ✽ ✽
For the Cupcakes:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cups sugar
- 6 tablespoons sour cream
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 3 egg whites
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- 2 tablespoons milk
For the Frosting:
- ¾ cup salted butter
- ½ cup shortening
- 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon tequila
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed orange juice
- 5 teaspoons grenadine
- orange icing color, optional
- 12-14 cherries, optional
- 12-14 quarter slices of orange, optional
Make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add sour cream, vanilla extract and orange zest and mix until well combined.
- Add egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the orange juice, tequila and milk in a small measuring cup.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the orange juice mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Fill the cupcake liners about halfway. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
Make the Frosting:
- Beat the butter and shortening together until combined and smooth.
- Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Add the tequila and mix until smooth.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Divide the frosting in half. Add the orange zest and juice to one half and the grenadine to the other. Add some orange icing color to the orange frosting, if desired.
- Put each of the two frostings into two piping bags, then place both piping bags into one larger bag fitted with a large closed star tip (I used Ateco 844). Pipe swirls of frosting on top of each cupcake, then top them with a cherry and quarter slice of orange.
- If you prefer an all butter frosting, simply substitute the ½ cup of shortening with ½ cup of butter (totaling 1 ¼ cups of butter for the frosting).
- Store cupcakes in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.
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