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Coco Loco Tequila Cupcakes

by Joanne Weir

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Coco Loco Tequila Cupcakes These soft, moist, and very coconutty cupcakes should come with a warning! Not only can you not stop after eating just one, but these adult-only cupcakes provide enough kick to make you feel like you are on vacation south of the border.

Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup 100 percent agave tequila
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 12-cup cupcake pans or line with paper liners.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing well after each addition. Add the coconut milk, ginger, and coconut extract and beat for 1 minute at high speed until well blended. In a measuring pitcher, stir together the tequila and buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches to the egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture in 2 batches, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing well after each addition. Fold in the shredded coconut.
4. Fill each cupcake well about three-fourths full with batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
5. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Coconut Cream Frosting

  • 1/2 pound cream cheese, at room temperature    
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk, or more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons 100 percent agave tequila
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, or more as needed
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1. Using the electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on high speed until smooth. With the mixer on high speed, slowly add the coconut milk, tequila, and coconut extract. Continue beating until thoroughly combined and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating on high speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. The frosting should be smooth and spreadable. Adjust with more coconut milk if the consistency is too thick, or more confectioners’ sugar if it is too runny.
2. To assemble, spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the shredded coconut.

Recipe courtesy of Joanne Weir. Reprinted from Tequila: A Guide to Types, Flights, Cocktails, and Bites by Joanne Weir. Photography by Lara Hata. Copyright © 2009. Ten Speed Press. For more information visit

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