We’ll get to the cake in a minute, but first…A story:

I didn’t drink in high school…I think it’s safe to say I was a bit of a goodie-goodie. When I got to college, I seriously wasted no time discovering alcohol. Like, orientation night. Vodka and I became friends, and I learned that I liked Boone’s Farm (strawberry, of course) because I could get two bottles for super cheap. I liked beer because it was always in abundance at parties and, better yet, it was FREE.

One evening, my friends and I headed out to a party that we heard was going to be pretty awesome. Like most college parties, It was being held in the basement of someone’s off-campus rental house. As we descended the stairs we began to hear rumors that someone had forgotten the all important tap for the keg. Surely not! What kind of irresponsible party-thrower would forget such a thing?

It was true. There we stood with our empty red solo cups, crammed into a hot, smelly, damp basement with a shitload of other college students that were all getting more sober and grumpy by the minute. Just as we were getting ready to leave, someone materialized in front of me with a gallon of cheap tequila. In the real world, this would be a sketchy situation that should be avoided. At a college party, this was like a light shining down from Heaven.

The next thing I know, I’m drinking straight tequila out of desperation and complaining that it tastes like smelly feet. Somehow I ended up finding Tequila Man and getting refills, and when the tap FINALLY appeared I went ahead and topped my tequila off with beer. It still tasted like dirty feet but it was doing the job pretty efficiently.  So well, in fact, that I ended up drinking a few more half and half cups before I lost the ability to find the dude with the tequila.

I don’t recall much of the rest of that night. I DO remember that my friends thought I shouldn’t be left to wander home alone, and that it was decided I would crash in a buddy’s top bunk. They escorted me across campus, while I dashed (ok, stumbled) around, hiding behind potted trees and shrubs while singing the Mission: Impossible theme at the top of my lungs (DUN DUN DUN DUH DUH DUN DUN DUN DUH DUH… DOODELEEEDO…DOODELEEEDO). At one point, I decided to steal one of the potted trees that lined the campus sidewalks…”for camouflage”.

Needless to say, at some point that night the tequila left my body in a rather violent manner. The next day was spend wishing death would come relieve me from the throes of my very first real hangover. I swore to never drink tequila again. My body made sure I would keep that promise by gagging at the mere smell of the stuff.

Fast forward a couple of years (wink, wink).

Friday was my Mama’s birthday. My dad planned to take her out for dinner and a margarita, and since I make a cake every year, I offered to have everyone come to my house after dinner. I knew that I wanted to make her a margarita flavored cake so I started searching for a recipe.

I discovered lots of “recipes” that started with a white cake mix. Um, NO. Lucky for me, just as I was starting to get annoyed I discovered the darling Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe for from-scratch margarita cupcakes and frosting that looked promising.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1½ limes
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk

To Brush the Cupcakes:
1 to 2 tablespoons tequila

For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Pinch of coarse salt

For the directions, please visit the original post here.

I followed the directions almost to the letter…I did leave the tequila out of the frosting (but I added lime zest) and I skipped the brushing. I took a teeny nibble out of one of the cakes and felt like the margarita taste was definitely there, and I didn’t want the tequila to be overpowering. I also used salted butter because I always use salted butter…and I left the extra salt out of the frosting.

I did have a teeny issue with the cakes…they did not rise at all. I ended up making two cakes and just stacking the four layers to be the size of a regular cake. Problem solved!

Everything still turned out beautifully. The margarita flavor was there, but not in an overpowering way. I was a bit disappointed that you couldn’t see the lime zest in the frosting, so next time I’ll reserve some for decoration.

tequila

cake layers   2013-09-21_19-01-26_361

cake and candles

That scarf that my mom is wearing? I totally made it. I taught myself to crochet last week after getting all of my Grandma’s stuff. Neat, huh?

Make this cake (or cupcakes!) if you enjoy margaritas. If you REALLY enjoy tequila, go ahead and douse them in it. You could probably leave the tequila out altogether if you’re not a fan (like me) but I sacrificed my own comfort for my dear sweet mother. I’m a giver.

I ate a whole piece to be a good sport and I didn’t even barf, so that’s a plus!

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