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Coco Loco Tequila Cupcakes

From the book Tequila by
Yield 2 doz. cupcakes


These soft, moist, and very coconutty cupcakes should come with a warning! Not only can you not stop after eating just one, but these adult-only cupcakes provide enough kick to make you feel like you are on vacation south of the border. The inspiration for this recipe comes from my friend Tina Gherzi, who loves tequila and coconut as much as I do.



2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
~ Large pinch of salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. coconut extract
¼ cup tequila (100 percent agave)
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Coconut Cream Frosting

½ lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut milk, or more as needed
2 Tbsp. tequila (100 percent agave)
2 tsp. coconut extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, or more as needed
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 12-cup cupcake pans or line with paper liners.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing well after each addition. Add the coconut milk, ginger, and coconut extract and beat for 1 minute at high speed until well blended.
  4. In a measuring pitcher, stir together the tequila and buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches to the egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture in 2 batches, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing well after each addition. Fold in the shredded coconut.
  5. Fill each cupcake well about three-fourths full with batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a rack and let cool completely before frosting.
  7. Meanwhile, using the electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on high speed until smooth. With the mixer on high speed, slowly add the coconut milk, tequila, and coconut extract. Continue beating until thoroughly combined and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating on high speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. The frosting should be smooth and spreadable. Adjust with more coconut milk if the consistency is too thick, or more confectioners’ sugar if it is too runny.
  8. To assemble, spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the shredded coconut.

This content is from the book Tequila by Joanne Weir.

There are 2 comments on this item
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0% recommend this recipe
1. by anonymous on Feb 13, 2013 at 10:04 PM PST

These look fantastic. Any idea what I could use instead of buttermilk? I prefer to avoid buying that kind of thing.

2. by EvaToad on Feb 18, 2013 at 8:29 PM PST

Buttermilk can always be replaced by the same amount of milk with some lemon juice mixed in (let stand 10min), or white vinegar. Yogurt can also do the trick––basically, you need something acidic.

That said, buttermilk keeps for many weeks in the fridge (and eventually turns to cheese), so it’s a pretty stable dairy product to buy.

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