The Best Margarita Cupcakes for Cinco de Mayo

These fresh margarita cupcakes have just the right kick of jalapeño-infused tequila. Perfect to ring in Cinco de Mayo and snack on while planning your next adventure to Mexico!

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Margarita + cake = <3

Cinco de Mayo calls for many things: a tall glass of sangria, a plate of crunchy chips and rich guacamole, and amazing margarita cupcakes to top it all off.

These cupcakes are brain fuel, dessert, and inspiration all rolled into a crumby golden cake topped with a dollop of creamy, spicy frosting. Follow the easy recipe below for the sweetest ending to your Cinco de Mayo celebrations and the perfect start to explore our top-rated activities in Mexico.

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Fresh limes – use to garnish your cupcakes.

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker and Martha Stewart Living

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1½ limes
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk

To Brush Cupcakes:
1 to 2 tablespoons tequila

Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons jalapeño-infused tequila
Pinch of coarse salt

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Soak the jalapeño in tequila for an easy infusion.

Make jalapeño-infused tequila: Heat the jalapeño until crispy and dark brown. Soak the jalapeño in a cup of tequila for at least 1 hour (slice for more heat). When fully infused, pour tequila through a mesh strainer to remove jalapeño and seeds.

Prep your oven: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.

Make the cupcakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy (~8 minutes). Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.

Bake the cupcakes: Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden and a skewer comes out clean.

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Don’t forget to let your cupcakes cool for 5-10 minutes.

Make the frosting: In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, use a whisk attachment to beat the butter for 8 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Continue mixing on medium speed for 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and add the lime juice, jalapeño-infused tequila and salt mix until fluffy.

Brush the cupcakes: Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.

Frost the cupcakes: Frost cupcakes and garnish with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt and a lime wedge.

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The lime wedges make a cute decoration.

After baking these beauties, we’re feeling inspired to soak up sunshine and fun in Mexico! We’re dreaming of taking private surf lessons at Costa Azul, swimming with whale sharks, and exploring the Mayan Ruins.

How about you? Which top-rated activity would you love the most in Mexico?

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Couldn’t resist a bite before taking this photo!

Why just stop at Mexico?! Check out our other top travel destinations to fuel your wanderlust today. 

#WanderOn

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The Wanderable Gypset: Nicole Anderson

Wanderable will be featuring wanderlust-y individuals literally living their dreams in our new feature, The Wanderable Gypset.  Nicole Anderson is the inaugural bohemian tastemaker in this brand new series.

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What is a gypset?

A gypset is a gypsy-jetsetter, a free spirit who is young and heart and leads an unconventional career and life, traveling the globe and wandering through life at her own pace, in her own style.

Who is Nicole Anderson?

Nikki is a professional wedding photographer (check out her drop-dead gorg portfolio) who studied Russian literature at Harvard and lives in Singapore with her fiance. Her itinerary this month includes Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, Marrakech, London, Glasgow, and Singapore.

We picked her brain with this lovingly curated questionnaire, and we are happy to reveal the responses to you.

Wanderable: Walk me through an average day in your un-average life.

Nicole: As a wedding photographer, I’m lucky to have a very flexible workday and really no two days are the same. But on most days, I’ve likely gone out for coffee, done some photo editing, made time for reading, thought about going to yoga and then thought up excuses for not going, spent way too much time on Instagram/Style Me Pretty/100 Layer Cake, and somewhere along the way opened a bottle of wine.

W: Did you always want to be a traveler, or did you just fall into this lifestyle?

N: My family spent a summer in Austria when I was 16, and I remember the wild sense of freedom I had wandering around Salzburg. I loved being able to create each day, get lost, hop on a bus, see works of art, discover hidden cafes, and read all afternoon. After college, I had a great job in marketing but I just wasn’t happy tied to a desk. I had no idea if I could make it as a photographer, but I knew it was worth trying. Being able to spend a month in Paris last February during the wedding off-season or book a last minute flight to Culebra with a friend without asking anyone for vacation time definitely confirmed that this was the job for me.

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W: What are you feeling/loving/eating/reading right now?

N:

  • Feeling: blessed
  • Loving : my fiance Daniel
  • Eating: In the past two weeks, Spanish tapas to Moroccan tagines to my friend’s delicious Pakistani food
  • Reading: The Savage Detectives by Robert Bolano and The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester

W: If you could bring anything/anyone from home, what/who would that be?

N: If I have Daniel and a good book with me, I don’t need anything else.

W: What location is on your bucket list, and why?

 N: One of the many reasons I love my fiancé is that even while we were traveling on our engagement trip (I asked for a trip instead of a ring!), we couldn’t help talking about all the places we want to go together. There’s such a lot of world to see. For our honeymoon we have already tossed around wildly different ideas, like beaches in Greece + Albania + Croatia OR a wine + cycling tour of Italy OR Iceland adventuring!

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 W: What are your go-to travel essentials?

  • ONA Bowery camera bag
  • Canon Mark III
  • Journal/book
  • A great necklace (currently alternating between a gold and white 31 Bits necklace and a colorful one scored at an Anthropologie sale)
  • Flowy maxi dresses
  • Comfy but cute walking shoes (currently tribal patterned Toms and trusty Birkenstocks)
  • MAC red lipstick and sunscreen
  • A scarf that can double as a picnic blanket when the occasion calls for it

 W: What has recently taken your breath away?

 N: In Madrid, some of Goya’s later paintings at the Prado Museum. In Cordoba, the stunning Mezquita Cathedral. In Seville, the Puente de Triana at night. And in Morocco, an incredible Berber village perched atop a mountain in Ouirgane.

W: What have you learned about your Significant Other other through your travels?

 N: He’s learned that I wait to eat sketchy street food until the last day of a trip in case I get sick and that when I have my game face on I’ll haggle toe to toe with any Marrakech shop keeper! I’ve learned that his shoulder is my favorite travel pillow, he has a way better sense of direction than I do, and that when I’m sick he’ll rush out to get me tea and lie with me in bed reading Borges stories aloud to keep my mind off my stomach ache. And together we’ve learned that we will both shamelessly tie our sweaters around our waists when the forecast has fooled us.

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W: Advice for aspiring Gypsets? Go.

N: There’s always a way to satisfy your wanderlust. I once took a semester off college and was practically broke, so I worked on a farm through WWOOF in Cornwall, crashed with a cousin in London, and Couchsurfed in Italy and France. That trip cost me very little, but it was one of the best of my life. Make friends that live in other cities and countries. A hundred times better than staying in a hotel, and a heck of a lot cheaper too. Be bold in what you ask of the universe.

Follow Nicole’s adventures at www.sorella-muse.com and on her Instagram

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Featured Hawaiian Island:

Second stop: Kauai

A sneak peek into what the Wanderable experts think are the top 5 experiences not to miss while honeymooning in Kauai!

Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island and is commonly known as the “Garden Isle.” The oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain, it’s known for its tropical rainforests, forking rivers, and cascading waterfalls. It’s definitely an island well suited for couples that love outdoor excursions and adventure.

Kauai


Visit the Beach:
  Once you have checked in and gotten situated in your hotel room, visit one of the nearby beaches. Kick off your flip-flops and enjoy the view! Two of our favorite beaches are the sacred and picturesque Maha’ulepu Beach, which is known for it’s stunning views both in the water and out, and Kalapaki Beach, which is frequented by local surfers and is known as a great place to swim. There are many other beaches to explore, each with their own unique features and a wide-range of activities including snorkeling, swimming, lounging, and luaus; there is something for every couple. Make the memory even more special by packing a romantic picnic to enjoy while you’re there.

BeachKayaking:  One of Kauai’s greatest and most unique draws is that it’s home to the only navigable rivers in Hawaii, which makes kayaking an extremely popular activity. There are many rivers to paddle down, but we recommend the Wailua River for its diverse and breathtaking views. In a single trip, you can see Opaekaa Falls, the famous Sleeping Giant in the Nounou Mountains, and the romantic Fern Grotto… just to name a few. If you are lucky, they might even be playing traditional Hawaiian music in the Grotto.

Wailua River

 Waimea Canyon:  Spend at least a full day exploring Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Park. Waimea Canyon will intoxicate the senses; known as the Grand Canyon of the pacific, this stretch of valley is a smaller and much greener version of the landlocked state park. With breathtaking views and incredible trails, this adventure definitely ranks high on our list. The canyon is protected by the Koke’e State Park, which encompasses 4,345 acres of land and has 45 miles of trails that run through the canyon and the nearby Alakai Swamp. It’s definitely a great stop for adventurists. Frommer’s has a wonderful guide with info about the area and how to best plan your day there.

Waimea Canyon

Helicopter Tour:  No trip to Kauai would be complete without a helicopter tour! There are so many gorgeous sites to see and many are only accessible by air. Ninety percent of Kauai’s beautiful waterfalls cannot be seen any other way. Highlights of the most common helicopter tours include Nawlliwili Harbor, the Menehune Fish Pond, Jurassic Park Falls, the Hanapepe Valley, Waimea Canyon, the Na Pali Coast, the Hanalei Valley, Mt. Waialeale, and Wailua Falls. It is an experience you will never forget.

Helicopter Tour

Zip-lining:  There’s nothing quite like gliding above a jungle-canopy 50-80 feet above the ground. For a rush of adrenaline and some more unforgettable views, go on a zip-lining excursion. Zip-lining tours are both informative and fun. Your guides will teach you about the history of the area and the diverse ecosystems that make this island such a unique place.

Zip-lining

Don’t forget:  Sunscreen! And sports sandals like Keens or Chacos, they might not be cute, but they’re great for any adventure sport you might choose to do.

When to go:  Frommer’s has a great guide to find the cheapest times to travel to Kauai. Weather doesn’t change too much, so it’s not as important of a variable.

Where to eat:  Enjoy a hearty breakfast and some of the best coffee in the area at Kalaheo Cafe and Coffee Company.

For lunch, check out the Shrimp Station, if you are in the mood for seafood. Word has it that they serve “The Best Coconut Shrimp on the Planet.”

Finish a perfect day with dinner at Roy’s Poipu Bar & Grill.

Common souvenirs: Chocolate covered macadamia nuts, coffee, jewelry, and clothing.

Have you been to Kauai? What are your tips for other Wanderers?

The first Hawaiian Island we featured was Maui… find that post here.

Where to Wander When: Beach Edition

Weather can have a huge impact on any vacation, and since you only get one honeymoon, you want to plan around it carefully. While an occasional downpour may give you two an excuse to cuddle up in your bungalow, you don’t want to be trapped indoors for your entire stay and miss out on all the activities you have been dreaming up on Wanderable. To help you get started with your beach honeymoon destination planning, here are our picks for where to wander when.

January

CostaRica

Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

Costa Rica stays driest between December and April, so January is a great time to head to Central America and enjoy this lush, tropical rainforest covered country without too much rain.

Avoid: While the country’s “green season” from May to November is a beautiful time of year, it takes a lot of rainfall to get everything so green. Serious sun seekers should steer clear.

February

Jamaica

Negril, Jamaica

While the climate can vary daily and regionally, Jamaica sees some of its best beach weather from January through March, so planning a February honeymoon will sneak you in to enjoy it before the spring break rush (you don’t want to be having a romantic dinner next to a bikini contest).

Avoid: May, October and November are the three rainiest months in Jamaica.

March

CaymanIslands

Grand Cayman, The Cayman Islands

March is a beautiful time to honeymoon on the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean, with mostly dry weather and cooling trade winds to keep high temperatures at bay.

Avoid: The Islands see the most rainfall from June through November, although there are plenty of nice days throughout the period.

April

Cabo

Los Cabos, Mexico

This oasis on the Baja Peninsula offers great weather nearly year round with an average of upwards of 350 sunny days a year, but spring promises some of the best beach weather with less scalding daily highs.

Avoid: Honeymooners who don’t enjoy extreme heat should avoid visiting during the late summer months when the temperature can soar to over 100 degrees and rain is more common. September boasts a small risk for hurricanes.

May 

Kauai, Hawaii

While Kauai is a great destination year round, visiting in the spring means skipping the summer and winter high-seasons, and rates go down even though the island is seeing some of its best weather of the year. This means plenty of sunshine, less crowds and a more affordable upgrade. Honeymoon Suite?

Avoid: Kauai is a pretty safe bet throughout the seasons, but you are likely to see more rain between December and March.

June 

Bali

Bali, Indonesia

The white sanded beaches of Bali stay driest from May to September, so June is a great choice for a long-distance trip to this exotic honeymoon escape.

Avoid: Bali’s wettest season typically runs from October to April.

July

Santorini

Santorini, Greece

This sun soaked Greek island is warmed up and ready for beach-goers in July, making Santorini a great destination for Europe-bound summer honeymooners who don’t mind dealing with crowds.

Avoid: During the winter months of November through February, temperatures drop to the mid 50s taking sunbathing off the table.

August

LosAngeles

Los Angeles, California

With an average daily high of 84 degrees and lows in the mid 60s, August is a great time to enjoy Los Angeles’ beaches and squeeze in a side trip to Disneyland.

Avoid: During November through February you may be seeing more sweater weather than bikini weather, although the winter is still sprinkled with nice days.

September

Croatia

DubrovnikCroatia

September is a great time to visit Croatia’s beautiful beaches: peak-season has dwindled down and temperatures are still beach-worthy yet less blaring than in August.

Avoid: Cooler weather sets in from November through February, and your bikini is likely to remain in your suitcase.

October

BoraBora

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

October marks the tail-end of high-season at this idyllic Polynesian island, and the crowds start to thin while the rainy season is still at bay.

Avoid: During the winter months of December through March, rainy season settles in and honeymooners will be easy targets for the swell in mosquitos common this time of year.

November

Maui, Hawaii

November marks the beginning of winter which means there is a chance for a little more rain, but Maui is a great destination year round, and visiting before the holiday season can lead to a more relaxing and affordable honeymoon.

Avoid: Maui is a relatively safe bet throughout the seasons, but you are likely to experience more rain between December and March.

December

KohPhiPhi

Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

If you are honeymooning during the holidays, crowds and higher rates will likely be part of the experience, but on the bright side you will have more people around to wish you well!  The rainy season has all but come to a close in December, and it is a great time to fall in love with Thailand’s swoon-worthy Southern beaches.

Avoid: The rainy season runs from July to October, putting your beach time in peril.

A friendly disclaimer: these tips are carefully selected based on research, but opinions on the best months to visit locations vary source by source. Once you have a spot in mind do your own research to make sure it’s aligned with what you want from your honeymoon, and remember it never hurts to bring an umbrella, just in case!