These are moist and delicious lemony/limey cupcakes with tequila and triple sec. Everyone always asks for this recipe.


  • 1 package lemon cake mix
  • 1 (4 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup frozen margarita mix (thawed)
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup gold tequila
  • 2 tbs triple sec
  • 2 tbs lime zest


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    Combine cake mix, pudding mix, vegetable oil,
    Margarita mix, water, eggs, tequila and triple sec in a large
    mixing bowl.
    Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed with an electric
    Divide among cupcake pans
    Bake for 15-20 minutes or until inserted toothpick in
    the center comes out clean.


cakedreamer101 Says... 2010-05-21 15:23:09

Suggestions for the frosting??? These sound amazing!

pastasmom Says... 2010-05-21 18:38:43

I am thinking vanilla frosting with a lime twist on top. Any other ideas?

imcr8tive4u Says... 2010-05-21 19:38:58

how much water do you add?

armywife1 Says... 2010-05-21 20:01:58

These sound great! I too would like to know how much water to add.

pattycakessweetiepies Says... 2010-05-21 20:19:58

does this recipe call for frosting?

jhanson81 Says... 2010-05-21 23:25:02

I'm pretty sure the margarita mix and tequila are in place of the water. Any more liquid and it would probably be extremely runny.

patticake22 Says... 2010-05-22 05:07:40

Whenever I make Margarita Cupcakes..I make a vanilla buttercream icing with lime juice and zest to taste.

audreykonte Says... 2010-05-22 12:11:46

what is triple sec?

newbaker55 Says... 2010-05-22 15:40:06

Hmmm...wonder what Triple Sec or Tia Maria would do in a vanilla buttercream...(or even Gran Marnier) for these luscious-sounding cuppies?

newbaker55 Says... 2010-05-22 15:41:54

Cancel the Tia Maria (duh, it's coffee-flavored).

newbaker55 Says... 2010-05-22 15:43:09

audreykonte: triple sec is a strong orange flavored liqeur.

cakedreamer101 Says... 2010-05-23 07:21:26

okay, so here's a silly question: does the alcohol bake off so that kids can eat these?

SweetIndulgences Says... 2010-05-23 07:44:13

And when does the lime zest go in or is that for adding to the frosting?

carmijok Says... 2010-05-23 08:15:03

I bet these would be good with a lime glaze instead of frosting too.

pammadee61 Says... 2010-05-23 17:55:36

I rather use this recipe for cake then cupcakes. I can't wait to give it a try.

cakedreamer101 Says... 2010-05-23 21:21:42

Okay, I made these today. Followed the recipe exactly... I frosted with a white canned frosting, with just a touch of Triple Sec stirred in, and dusted with lime zest off a kitchen rasp.

My thoughts: they were good and would definitely make them again. But - seemed to be just a jazzed-up lemon cupcake. No real margarita taste about them. Maybe I missed something (tho not a part of the recipe), but I couldn't taste the tequila nor the triple sec at all, and could barely get the essence of the margarita mix. I was ready for the likes of a good margarita, sans the salt...

When I make them next, I might consider leaving out the pudding as to not put forth such a dominant lemon flavor. Maybe then the other flavors will rise to the occasion.

shannont1110 Says... 2010-05-24 06:19:51

I've had this before with a vanilla cake mix as opposed to the lemon, but still using the lemon pudding mix. It wasn't as lemony, and did taste like a margarita. I prefer the flavored margaritas though, and think that you can use almost any fruit flavor cake mix (strawberry) in place of the lemon, and maybe vanilla pudding as opposed to the lemon. The alcohol will cook out, so if you want a stronger tequila flavor, leave out the triple sec and place with tequila, or use a stronger tequila.

afwife87 Says... 2010-05-24 12:03:40

Maybe some lime juice to the vanilla frosting? Can't wait to make these, we just decided to have a memorial day bbq and wanted to make something fun like this!

thecakemaker Says... 2010-05-24 12:39:16

I make a key lime cupcake/cake with key lime frosting. For flavoring the frosting I just use key lime juice in place of some of the liquid in the recipe so maybe some tequila or margarita in place of some of the liquid in the frosting.

chefjess819 Says... 2010-05-26 07:59:18

i would love to try this recipe. maybe instead of the triple sec (texas margaritas aint made with no triple sec...lmao) go with some chambord and frost with a raspberry- vanilla bc.....oh yeah...know what i will be making for memorial day!

sweets2001 Says... 2010-05-27 04:17:44

I make it with white cake, margarita mix, tequila, lime zest, and the juice from the lime I zest. YUMMY!!

JerseyCakes24 Says... 2010-05-27 06:48:47

I know this might be a stupid question but do you put the lime zest into the batter?? It doesn't say in the directions.

JerseyCakes24 Says... 2010-05-27 09:57:23

I decided to make this recipe today to bring to a tailgate party for the BonJovi concert tonight. I followed the recipe almost exactly. I read everyones input and was afraid it would taste to much like lemon and not enough like a I used the lemon cake mix and instead of lemon pudding mix I used vanilla. Result: It still tasted like a jazzed up lemon cupcake as CakeDreamer101 had said. Still delicious but did not last like a margarita. I topped the cupcakes off with vanilla bc with lime juice/margarita mix added and around the edges of the cupcake I put a green sugar rim. Im hoping everyone will like them! I'll keep you posted.

jhanson81 Says... 2010-05-30 11:16:36

I made these a few days ago with the exception of the cake mix flavor. I used a white cake mix and the lemon pudding, then followed the rest of the recipe as directed. I brushed each cupcake with Triple Sec for a little extra zip then I piped a little canned key lime filling in each cupcake. The icing I made for this was a regular buttercream with some lime juice and zest added in. I garnished them with little lime wedges. Everyone that tried them loved them. Hope this helps!

shannonorourke Says... 2010-05-31 08:06:31

im making them today for a bbq at my moms, she LOVES the drink!!!! i had the cake mix and pudding mix already together when i read that it was too i mixed half of the triple sec w the other of lime juice and 1T of the zest. i think for the icing im going to mix the other T of zest and some of the melted mar. mix. hope it turns out....ill let you all know!!!

cwek Says... 2010-06-04 09:55:37

i made soemthing like this the other day, and definitely could tast the tequila, but i used a white cake mix. Really good flavor.

jenn6498 Says... 2010-07-06 20:59:02

I made this as a bundt cake and drizzled a frosting made of powdered sugar tripe sec, tequila and lime zest. You can really taste the "margarita" taste this way. Generally kids do not like it but the adults love it!

Stu-Geno Says... 2010-08-02 14:06:18

The first time I made these cupcakes I followed the recipe above exactly and agreed with other readers that the lemon flavor was overwhelming. This past weekend I made them again but instead of using lemon cake I used white cake and I filled the cupcakes with a lime custard filling and iced them with a plain buttercream. This time the flavor was much closer to a margarita! Hope this helps!

All4Show Says... 2010-08-10 13:49:18

According to "Booze Cakes" (contray to popular beleif) alcohol does not bake out of your bake goods. It varies with baking time and temperature but a certain percentage remains.

Sunshine_barbie Says... 2010-10-08 08:06:29

sweets2001 , do you leave out the pudding as well???

cattycornercakes Says... 2010-11-04 12:42:26

I make mine with key lime cream cheese icing (recipe on I sometimes put lemon sugar around the edge of the icing on the cupcake. Everyone loves them :)

YummyTipsyCakes Says... 2011-02-20 13:57:01

I bake a similar cupcake but I don't use the lemon cake mix because you can never taste the tequila. The white cake mix by far gives the best flavor. I use it when baking with all sorts of liquors like cognac, brandy, vodka, and rum!!! Great recipe! Thanks for sharing!!

mplaidgirl2 Says... 2011-03-07 09:51:00

I make these but with a white cake mix and Egg Whites. They taste more like a Margarita

Charb31 Says... 2011-03-11 20:25:12

I just baked some cuppies (white mix, with lemon pudding, lime juice, and tequila). I have read all these comments, and decided to brush the cuppies with tequila when they came out of the oven (allowing to cool a little of course). I tasted one brushed and one not brushed, and brushing them with a little tequila makes a HUGE difference!! I am going to make a swiss meringue buttercream for them. These are for my birthday!! :)

nikki7232 Says... 2011-03-13 03:10:04

I brushed a baked white cupcake filled with a keylime filling with the margarita mix with the alcohol already in it and they were awesome ! Icing was a tequila buttercream topped with a lime twirl. Yummy!

SweetsSpot Says... 2011-03-21 10:55:14

You guys are the BEST!!!....Thank you for all of the GREAT feedback...All of your comments will assist me in making these cupcakes!!!! THNX!!!

SMfly16 Says... 2011-07-15 14:20:06

I put little straws and umbrellas with brown sugar on top of buttercream! super cute

Dulcinea2805 Says... 2011-09-07 19:54:56

Ok, I have a question reggarding the pudding : you add the powdert or you make it and then you ad it already converted in pudding ???

SweetDelites Says... 2011-11-08 08:33:57

Dulcinea2805, Add the dry pudding mix.

lajones0301 Says... 2012-02-08 12:49:48

Would this cake hold up if using to carve out a tequila bottle? My client wants margarita flavor but didnt know with all the extras if this was sturdy enough to stand with MMF..Thanks in advance!!!

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