I do enjoy a mixed drink from time-to-time, however, I normally do not add alcohol in my baked goodies. I don’t know why, because these are DELICIOUS! I cannot stop eating them! I love the colors in them, everything about them screams, “Summer”! With the added orange in the cake it takes your taste buds on a tropical vacation! Speaking of vacation, we are going to the beach in a few weeks, I think I need to make some of these for the trip…hmm…

ANYHOW…. Even if you do not like tequila, you will enjoy these cupcakes, because if I am being honest, I am not too crazy about it unless it is in a flavored margarita. Also, there is only a few tablespoons in the whole recipe and the amount you put in the cake bakes out anyways.

This is the first time I have ever added orange zest into a cake recipe and it will not be the last!  I was a bit skeptical but I am so glad I went through with it! It added just the right amount of tang, with the added sweetness of the buttercream it is just perfect!! And adding in the grenadine to the frosting gave it the perfect cherry flavor that mixed so well with the orange!! I just love everything about this recipe!!

Lets get into the good stuff shall we?


Tequila Sunrise Cupcakes

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 14 Cupcakes 1x


These are my all time favorite cupcakes. A perfect mix of citrus and sweet! 



For the cupcakes

  • 6 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt (if you use salted butter you can omit this part)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tbsp tequila
  • 2 tbsp milk

For the frosting

  • 3/4 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp tequila
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 4 tsp grenadine
  • 12 cherries (optional (for topping))
  • 12 orange slices (optional (for topping))


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a cupcake. 
    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together about 2-3 minutes until fluffy. 
    3. Add sour cream, vanilla, and orange zest and mix until combined. 
    4. Add egg whites in two batches, mixing well to combine each time. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl often. 
    5. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the remaining wet ingredients in a small measuring cup. (tequila, orange juice, and milk). 
    6. Add half of the dry ingredients into your mixing bowl and mix until combined. Add in all of the liquid mixture. Then add in remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. 
    7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix an additional 1-2 minutes on high speed. 
    8. Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
    For the frosting:
    1. Fit a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. 
    2. Beat the butter and shortening together until combined and smooth. 
    3. Add 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until combined. 
    4. Add in the tequila, and mix until combined. 
    5. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups of sugar and mix until smooth and fluffy, 
    6. divide your frosting in half. Adding the orange zest and juice to one batch, and the grenadine to the other. 
    7. Add each frosting to an individual small pipping bag. Then add those pipping bags into a larger pipping bag fitted with a star tip. 
    8. Pipe swirls of the frosting on each cupcake and top with a cherry and orange! 
    9. Enjoy! 

  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
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I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I did!! Post your creations below and let me know how it worked for you!

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