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!

Almond Joy Cupcakes

You need this cake in your life, and you need it right now! Bright and early in the week, I promise that you won’t regret it!

Here is my story for the week, my sweet baking friends—I got in this wildly unmotivated mood the past handful of days. I was feeling all sorts of exhaustion, from working to baking to wedding planning, when I finally had a second to sit down, I didn’t want to get up for maybe a month or two. It felt crazy, and even more out of this world saying it out loud!

Okay. Out loud aka typing

We all have those moments, right? When you decide for a few minutes that you don’t know what you’re doing with your life, that maybe you should be going down a different path, that maybe eating a bowl of cookie dough isn’t the right answer but you’re okay with being wrong…right?!

Say yes! Anyone!

Well that was little Miss Katie these past days. I have started planning my training schedule for some upcoming races, and then I realized that there is 2 million wedding things to get done, and then it was like oh my gosh we are moving in a few months, but shoot, I need to focus on the wedding…and clearly I’m veering off course. So, as you can see, my mind has been everywhere, my urge for baking was more like another task—what?! You live for sugar, Katie—and I couldn’t seem to focus on one thing at a time.

In comes my future husband, aka the man with all of the answers, aka the reason for this amazing recipe, aka why I am a bit calmer than I was 2 days ago!

He tells my stubborn self to take a break, forget about everything for a while and come back to it—so we go to Target, because DUH, and then after we try on wedding bands…instantly more relaxed.

And I am back, refreshed and ready to get elbow deep in some dark chocolate, almonds and coconut—it’s just as incredible as it sounds.

So here we have it, the cake that seemed to save my life this weekend all because of the man who surely gives me life! Insanely rich chocolate cake that is stuffed with even more bittersweet chocolate chunks, almonds and coconut…plus coconut buttercream, it’s everything you will need to make this week magnificent, and more!

Whether you are feeling like Slumpy Katie from Sunday or World Conquering Katie from Tuesday, this cake will give you the power to do all of the things—which may be a laundry list or just a little self love!

cake ingredients

Butter—2 oz, or 4 TBL

Sugar—2 oz, or ¼ C

Brown Sugar—1 oz, or 2 ½ TBL


Milk—1.5 oz, or 3 TBL

Vanilla—½ tsp

Corn Syrup—0.5 oz, or 1 TBL

Flour—2 oz, or ¼ C + 1 TBL

Cocoa Powder—0.75 oz, or 2 ½ TBL

Baking Powder—½ tsp

Baking Soda—¼ tsp

Salt—½ tsp

Shredded Coconut—0.5 oz, or ¼ C

Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped—2 oz, or ½ C



Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

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

In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Combine the milk, egg, vanilla and corn syrup in another cup.

Once the butter is smooth, alternate between the wet and dry, slowly adding it into the mixer.

Make sure to always scrape down the sides of your bowl!

Once all of the ingredients are in the bowl, fold in the coconut and chopped chocolate.

Fill your cupcake tin with liners and put enough cake batter in each to fill them up about ½ way.

Bake in your preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until the top springs back slightly when touched.

Allow to cool completely before frosting!

*Note—this is a small batch of cupcakes, only makes 6, so this way I won’t eat them all myself! It is very simple to double or triple the batch for any type of party, gathering, etc.*


buttercream ingredients

Butter—6.5 oz, or 13 TBL

Confectioner’s Sugar—12 oz, or 3 C

Milk—2 oz, or 4 TBL

Almond Extract—2 tsp

Shredded Coconut—0.5 oz, or ¼ C



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

Sift the confectioner’s sugar and slowly add it to the creamed butter.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then stream in the milk and almond extract.

Whip on high until smooth.

Add in the coconut.

I used a medium-sized star tip to pipe onto these cupcakes, but you may use either a spatula or a flat tip—whatever you think looks the best! Sprinkle on more coconut and chopped chocolate for garnish.


Bon Appétit!

Chocolate Matcha Cupcakes

Never have I doubted the wonderful combination that is chocolate + anything. With cookies, cakes, ice creams? Yes. With fruit, coffee, oatmeal? Absolutely. I would probably put chocolate chips in my salad if that wasn't so frowned upon! The most recent match that I have found to be incredibly divine is chocolate + matcha. Not only is matcha (aka green tea) full of nutritional value and antioxidants, but it can be incorporated into delicious baked goods as well!

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