Spicy Pineapple Margarita Cupcakes

How are we at Cinco de Mayo again already?! Wasn’t I just making that Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake?! While I am not complaining—the quicker the days go by, the sooner I get to marry the handsome man in my life!—it’s just hard to believe May is here already.

These unreal and unbelievably tasty cupcakes were inspired by one of my most wonderful of friends…all because we love our margaritas, and she sure loves hers spicy.

So, there’s this little restaurant in downtown Charleston, Black Sheep, and they have all things we seem to love the most. Chips, salsa, guacamole, beer, and, most importantly, margaritas! Their margs are the size of my head (almost!) and only $4.50 during Happy Hour…2 being my limit. I am a house margarita kind of gal, but my food and drink enthusiast friend, Elena, gets the Spicy Pineapple Margarita, extra spicy, please. She tells them exactly how she wants it each time, the hotter the better, and won’t take it any other way!

This all started last year when the weather began to get toasty a little earlier than we thought, so patio happy hour it was—time to vent, get sort of sun burnt, and each pick out, without knowing, what would be our go-to drink in the many months to come.

Now, here we are, over a year later, too many margaritas down to say, and we are all moving in the next handful of months to places far too far from one another—yes, tears all around, my friends!

So, to highlight an amazing friend, and a holiday that I will forever love, I made these salty, spicy, sweet little cakes! Moist pineapple cupcake, check! Tart and spicy jalapeño lime curd, absolutely! And what is better than some sweet tequila buttercream? Nothing if you ask me! Naturally, you top these drinks-in-cake-form with a little bit of salt or sugar, and there you have it. Whether throwing a little 5th of May fiesta, lounging on your porch, or wishing safe travels to one of your nearest and dearest friends, there’s hardly a better addition to the party than these Spicy Margarita Cupcakes!

cake ingredients

Butter, room temperature—2 oz, or 4 TBL/½ C

Sugar—4 oz, or ½ C


Vanilla—1 tsp

Flour—6 oz, or 1 C

Baking Powder—1 ¼ tsp

Salt—½ tsp

Milk—2 oz, or ¼ C

Pineapple Chunks—3 oz, or ½ C



Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.

Add in the egg and vanilla, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Combine the milk and pineapple chunks—blend them together.

*Note: if you do not have a blender, chopping the pineapple into tiny pieces will be just fine!*

Alternate adding some of the dry ingredients with the pineapple milk until all is added.

Line a cupcake tin with liners and fill each one up about ¾ of the way.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched.

Allow to cool completely before cutting out the middles to fill with curd.


curd ingredients

Lime Juice—3 oz, or ½ C

Egg Yolks—3

Sugar—4 oz, or ½ C

Butter—2 oz, or 4 TBL

Salt—1 tsp

Jalapeño—½, split with seeds



In a small saucepan, combine the lime juice, sugar, butter, salt and chopped jalapeño.

Put the egg yolks in another bowl large enough to temper into.

Bring the lime juice mixture to a boil.

Once boil, slowly temper it into the egg yolks—doing this by constantly whisking the yolks and slowly streaming in the boiling liquid, maybe sure not to cook the eggs.

Transfer everything back into the small saucepot and bring to a second boil, constantly whisking.

When it comes to a second boil, strain the curd (catching the jalapeño) into a heatproof container, covering very tightly on the curd with plastic wrap so that no film will form.

Refrigerate until you are ready to use.

To use—cut out the centers of the cupcakes and put about 1 tsp of curd (or however much to fill it) in the centers, and then top with the buttercream.


buttercream ingredients

Butter, room temperature—4 oz, or 1 stick

Confectioner’s Sugar—9 oz, or 1 ¾ C

Tequila—1 oz, or 2 TBL



In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter until smooth.

Slowly add in the sifted confectioner’s sugar.

Once all is added, scrape down the sides of your bowl.

Stream in the tequila.

Turn the mixer up to high so that the buttercream becomes nicely whipped and white.

Pipe onto your cupcakes!—I use a star tip, but any can be used or you can smear it on with a spatula.

Sprinkle the top with either some salt or sugar for added flavor and texture!


Bon Appétit!