Love and Olive Oil

Tequila Sunrise Cupcakes

Tequila Sunrise Cupcakes

Ok, is it just me, or do I tend to bake cupcakes modeled after drinks? Chai Latte, Hot Chocolate, Strawberry Lemonade… see a pattern developing?

Well, I’ve got another one for you.

Tequila Sunrise cupcakes.

For those of you unaware of the concoction, it is simply orange juice, a dash of grenadine (sweet pomegranate syrup), and tequila. And it is those exact flavors that have been baked and frosted into this sweet cupcake.

While they were quite delicious, a perfect blend of citrus and sweet, they’re not chocolate, and thus didn’t do a lot to satisfy my sugar craving. I ended up baking (or, not baking) a batch of eggless cookie dough to snack on the very next day. Whoops. Guess that’ll teach me not to try and substitute fruit in place of chocolate. My stomach knows when you’re trying to pull a fast one.

Needless to say, it’s a good cupcake. An interesting one too. Though next time I’d up the pretty factor by adding food coloring to the batter. See, I used blood oranges for my juice and zest. And when I mixed the batter, it was a beautiful shade of rosy pink. Lovely! I thought, how pretty will these be? Well, something must have happened in the oven, as my pretty pink cupcakes turned an odd shade, the precise color you get when you mix red with green and golden cupcake… not too pretty. So, I’d make my own pink by adding some red food coloring, plus a touch of yellow, to the batter next time. Overpower whatever chemistry it was that caused my cupcakes to cross to the dark side of the color wheel.

Tequila Sunrise Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes.

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1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 cup soy milk (plain or vanilla)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tequila
1 tablespoon grenadine
red+yellow food coloring (optional)
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-2 tablespoons soymilk
2 teaspoons tequila
1 tablespoon grenadine
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest


Preheat oven to 350?F. Prepare muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together orange juice, orange zest, soy milk, oil, tequila, vanilla, grenadine, food coloring, and sugar. Slowly stir in dry ingredients and mix until just combined (may be slightly lumpy). Fill cupcake liners with a scant 1/4 cup of batter (should be just under 2/3 of the way full). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set, and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

For frosting, cream butter in electric mixer for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add 1 tablespoon soymilk, tequila, zest, and grenadine, and mix until combined. Add more soymilk and/or confectioners’ sugar if needed to achieve proper consistency. Mix at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. Just made these last night and they are delicious. Frosting set up perfectly for me without adding the milk. It was perfect to pipe on the cupcakes. They are going so fast, I will have to make more in a hurry. My only problem was the cupcakes stuck a little to the paper liners so I will just spray them next time. What a great, delicious and easy recipe.

  2. These are seriously amazing. I made them for a Cinco de Mayo party, and everyone loved them. They were beautiful. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. i made 1 ounce cupcakes and baked them for 12 minutes… but still when i tried to taste it the cake were sticking on the liners… so i have difficulty eating it and at the same time some of the cake were sticking on the liners… what to do? any suggestion…

  4. i made these cupcake a while ago… and i’m so excited to taste it… frosting was great but i’ve encountered a problem regarding the cake itself… it didn’t come out of the liners easily… the batter stocked on the liners? what would suppose to be the problem? did i take it out off the oven too early or what?

  5. I made these cupcakes last night and I had people standing in my kitchen waiting for me to ice them!! The first six were gone within minutes. Very good results and I will be making them often.

  6. I just made Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes that I saw here and now I wanna make these tequila sunrise cupcakes. We are like cupcake kindred spirits I think.

  7. I tried these with regular milk and they did not rise at all–love the way they look and smell and the description of the taste was very accurate, but I would fill them all the way up next time.

  8. I just made these (with a few substitutions – real milk instead of soy and pomegranate juice since I couldn’t find grenadine at the store) and the icing is delicious, but my cupcakes came out kind of oily. Any suggestions?

  9. That pink frosting is CALLING to me. So pretty.

  10. Tequila sunrise was the very first alcoholic drink I had – an “illegal” cocktail bought in Germany by my host brother for the then 17-y.o. me. It was sweet and pretty and so easy to drink quickly with a straw! It’d be fun to relive that through cupcakes…



  11. I was too distracted by the beautiful icing to notice the color of the cakes. They look great! Any relation to the movie? :)

  12. i cannnot wait to try these, i had a past obsession with the drink. LOOOVES your blog, can’t wait to brag about it :)

  13. My best friend would love these! i need to file this away for her birthday! :)

  14. mmm delicious! They look wonderful. How frustrating the lovely colors didnt show up, I’ve had my fair share of that kind of stuff with my red velvet fiasco.

  15. Enough with the alcohol-inspired cupcakes. They’re all too tempting! :)

  16. What a great creation. I hope to try making these one day :) And, yes, I have the same chocolate “issues”…no fruity dessert substitutions here either!

  17. Wow, that looks gorgeous to me! The colorful frosting more than compensates for any shortcomings of the cupcakes color.

  18. Oh my these sound tasty!! Adding to my list. I’ve got a recipe for Mimosa cupcakes that I’ll have to try out and share on my blog. ;p

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