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Paloma cupcakes frosted and lined up, with grapefruit and lime wedges and a bottle of tequila in the background.
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5 from 5 votes

Paloma Cupcakes

Paloma cupcakes are a citrus-filled and boozy treat, inspired by the crisp flavors of a Mexican Paloma cocktail - lime, grapefruit, and tequila. These are the perfect unexpected treat to wow guests for Cinco de Mayo or any summer fiesta!


For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups (213 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 113 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 lime zested and juiced
  • 1 grapefruit zested
  • 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon white or silver tequila
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) buttermilk

To Brush the Cupcakes:

  • 1 tablespoon white or silver tequila

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 226 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups (340 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon white or silver tequila
  • pinch of coarse salt


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 C). Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Add the lime and grapefruit zest and juice, vanilla extract, and tequila. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix until combined. (Don’t worry if the batter looks slightly curdled; it will come back together.)
  • Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix each addition just until incorporated, and use a spatula to give it one last stir by hand.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the muffin wells, and bake until the cupcakes are light golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 25 minutes.
  • Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the cupcake tops with the 1 tablespoon of tequila, then set aside to cool completely before frosting.
  • To make the frosting, whip butter using an electric mixer on medium-high for 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally as you go. Add the lime and grapefruit juice, tequila, and salt, and beat on medium-high for 3-4 minutes, until frosting is smooth and fluffy. Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with zest and small wedges from leftover limes or grapefruit.


  1. Adapted from classic margarita cupcake recipes via The Brewer and the Baker and Brown Eyed Baker.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 480kcal, Carbohydrates: 63g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 89mg, Sodium: 74mg, Potassium: 133mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 49g, Vitamin A: 1001IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 53mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!