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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ImagineAsia: A Hidden Gem Situation

ImagineAsia and Wanderable have created four customized itineraries, just for you.

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Have you ever been gotten lost in your own city, wandered down a cobblestone alley and ended up in a little shop? It has no sign on it, but you see intriguing jewels in the window, so you head in and end up finding the necklace that will soon become your everyday staple; your good- luck charm.

Well, ImagineAsia is the travel equivalent of this little daydream. A complete white-glove luxury service, they plan your entire trip, tailored to the vibe and focus you want. Every moment of your travels, espeically its energy and aesthetic, is tailored to your desires.  The thing that’s magical about ImagineAsia is “ ‘forty-five minutes here and back on the bus’ is not part of [their] vernacular, nor will it be part of your travel experience.”

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For the nervous traveler, they leave absolutely nothing to chance: the company is off-the-beaten-path and small enough that they care about each traveler on a human level. They have no social media presence, and we only found them ourselves through word-of-mouth raving of their stellar approach and attitude. We also love their hipster mentality of traveling: “Our experts have lived and traveled throughout Asia since 1982. We know where to go years before the crowds arrive.”

Their guides are cool locals, not wannabe ex-pats, and they travel with you as much or as little as you desire. It’s a new thing for us to offer a complete pre-designed trip, rather than relying on you to be your own honeymoon architect. It’s because we really trust and love these guys.

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Together, we have designed four gorgeous trips for you, and they are all in the Kingdom of Thailand (a.k.a. paradise).

The first is Bangkok, Chiang Mai, & Phuket, where you can gaze at Buddhist temples, adopt an elephant, and learn how to cook like a Thai Nigella Lawson.

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The second trip is Bangkok Golden Triangle & Phuket, with focus on roaming city streets after a stop at the mythical Emerald Buddha.

The third is Bangkok & Koh Samui, a chance to catch up on some history…and then hop back into the present, shopping for keepsakes & snorkeling in lagoons.

The fourth option is Bangkok & Khao Lak, where you’ll indulge in a culinary taste fest then hop on a boat for Thai music & dancing. ImagineAsia appeals to the different travelers within each of us…the student-at-heart, the food lover, the art groupie, and the overworked A-type.

Eleven days of bliss tending to each of these hungry parts of my heart, and I think I’d feel like a brave new human. Which of these trips appeals to you most? Leave your musings in the comments section below, and let’s continue the conversation.

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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.

Destinations We Love: Costa Rica

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Photo Credit: Nickodemo via Compfight cc

Costa Rica is one of the top destinations for Wanderers and it is easy to see why. Featuring two gorgeous coastlines, abundant wildlife, awesome adventure sports, and acres of national parks, this Central American country is a great pick for a couple that loves nature or is seeking adventure.

Here are our top five things to do while in Costa Rica:

Raft the Pacuare: Costa Rica is home to some amazing rafting, and the Pacuare is considered the best of the many raftable rivers.

Ziplining in the Cloud Forest: Ziplining was invented in Costa Rica, and one of the most popular places to do it is in the cloud forests of Santa Elena and Monteverde.

Relaxing in Hot Springs: Arenal Volcano is surrounded by naturally occurring hot springs. Remember to include an evening for soaking in warm waters and enjoying each other’s company.

Meet the Local Wildlife: A trip to Costa Rica wouldn’t be complete without seeing some of its famous wildlife. Our favorite spot for wildlife is in Tortuguero, where we’d recommend visiting the nesting sea turtles and exploring the vibrant jungle canals by boat or kayak.

Enjoy the Surf: Costa Rica is a fantastic place to learn to surf or to simply laze on the beach. Make sure to give yourselves at least a couple days to work on your tans or surfing skills or both.

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Photo Credit: joiseyshowaa via Compfight cc

When to go: Avoid hurricane season, and visit between late November and early April.

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

Unmissable journey: The dirt roads of the Nicoya peninsula may be bone rattling, but they make for fantastic travel stories, and at their end you’ll find spectacular beaches.

Best meal: Fresh fish ceviche and a freezing cold Imperial eaten in view of the ocean can’t be beat.

Souvenirs: Take home some of Costa Rica’s famous coffee or a bottle of the ever-present Salsa Lizano.

Language: Spanish, though many Ticos (Costa Ricans) speak English.

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

Bed & Breakfasts We Love

Have you considered staying at a bed and breakfast for your honeymoon or wedding night? At Wanderable we love the personalized service and local flavor of staying in B&Bs, and when it comes to choosing one, we love the selections on bedandbreakfast.com. Below we’ve selected five B&Bs that feature luxurious amenities and personal touches, set in locations that are perfect for romance. Enjoy!

Wine Country Inn – Saint Helena, California

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Perfect for: Foodies and wine lovers. Spend your days exploring wine country, visiting wineries, hiking in state parks and eating at fantastic restaurants.

Why we love it: Perched on a knoll overlooking a vineyard, this property features stunning views and gorgeous grounds. Rooms feature local antiques, family made quilts, fireplaces and balconies to create an atmosphere of unparalleled comfort. Learn more.

Hale Puka ‘ana – Kekaha, Hawaii

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Perfect for: Beach and nature lovers. Visit the rain forests of Koke’e and Waimea Canyon national parks, explore the Napali Coast and lounge on the longest white sand beach in Hawaii.

Why we love it: Set feet from the beach, this B&B lets you enjoy Hawaii away from the crowds. Rooms feature high thread count bed linens and private lanais (verandas) for sunset gazing and whale watching. Learn more.

Addison on Amelia – Fernandina Beach, Florida

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Perfect for: Beach bums, golfers, and hikers. Amelia Island has white sand beaches, maritime forests, treed marshlands, three nearby state parks and numerous golf courses.

Why we love it: Nestled in a historic seaside village, this historical property marries ‘old Florida’ elegance with luxe modern amenities. Rooms feature tall ceilings, four-poster beds, rich hardwood floors, luxurious bed linens and lots of large down-filled pillows. Learn more.

The Ruby of Crested Butte – Crested Butte, Colorado

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Perfect for: Nature lovers, adrenaline junkies, and snow bunnies. Whatever the season, Crested Butte has a plethora of activities on tap: fishing, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, skiing and snowboarding.

Why we love it: This gorgeous mountain lodge is surrounded by beautifully landscaped grounds with unobstructed views of Mount Crested Butte. Rooms feature spectacular views, luxurious 1000 thread count linens, antique furnishings and thoughtful details, enveloping guests in exceptional comfort. Learn more.

The Governor’s Inn – Charleston, South Carolina

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Perfect for: Romance lovers. Horse drawn carriages, trees draped in Spanish moss, cobblestone streets and legendary southern hospitality make Charleston an ideal honeymoon destination.

Why we love it: Situated in the heart of historic Charleston, this pre-revolution mansion is rich in history and glamour. Rooms feature crystal chandeliers, family antiques, four-poster beds, original hardwood floors, whirlpool baths and private porches. Bliss. Learn more.