Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day of the Dead Margarita Cupcakes

I just love Dia de los Muertos.  Translation:  The Day of the Dead.  Despite the spooky name, it's actually quite a festive holiday.  Cheerful, yet reverent in honoring those who have gone before us. The holiday combines the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead with the Catholic holidays of All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day on November 1st and 2nd.   The calaveras, or sugar skulls represent a departed soul, and are typically placed on a home ofrenda (altar)  or gravestone to honor the departed.  Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style with lots of color and glitter.  When I saw these gummy sugar skulls, I knew right away we would have a special dessert in honor of Dia Day Los Muertos.  Margarita cupcakes seemed appropriate.  I added a lime butter cream frosting, flavored with fresh squeezed limeade.  Like a margarita, I sprinkled them with a bit of flaky sea salt. And like a sugar skull, I sprinkled them with colorful sprinkles before finishing them off with the gummy that is almost too cute to eat!

Fun and Colorful!
The detail on the gummy skulls is adorable.
Celebrate the day with a margarita cupcake!

Margarita Cupcakes

1 box lemon cake mix
1 (3 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice (combine to make 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup tequila
2 tablespoons triple sec

Lime Butter Cream Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 (32 oz) package powdered sugar
freshly squeezed limeade or lime juice

flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
gummy sugar skulls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, water, lemon/lime juice, tequila and triple sec.  Beat for 2 minutes until well combined.  Evenly distribute batter among 24 cupcake liners.  Bake for approximately 23 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  For the frosting, place two sticks of butter in bowl of electric mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar and continue beating.  Pour in limeade or lime juice a little at a time until frosting is desired consistency.  Frost cupcakes and top each with a small amount of flaky sea salt.  Finish decorating with sprinkles and gummy skulls.

Prep Time:  Approximately 30 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 23 minutes

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