Gluten Free Dairy Free Margarita Cupcakes Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on May 2, 2014

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Gluten Free Dairy Free Margarita Cupcakes Recipe

If there is one holiday I can definitely get behind, it is Cinco de Mayo! A celebration of independence accompanied by Mexican food and margaritas – seriously, what could be better?

This May 5th you may want to end your celebration with margaritas in another form – cupcakes! You know I have an obsession with turning cocktails into cupcakes so it was just a matter of time until I did gluten free margarita cupcakes.

These cupcakes are bursting with lime flavor, sweet but not too sweet, and just a little boozy. If you want a G-rated, alcohol-free version, feel free to leave the tequila out, just add a tablespoon of vanilla to the frosting instead. They will be just as good.

Recipe notes: I used my flour blend, you can make your own home version with this recipe here. You can use your favorite gluten free flour blend. If it doesn’t have xanthan gum, add ¾ teaspoon. I used Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Sugar in the cupcakes and their powdered sugar in the frosting – just FYI, Wholesome Sweeteners powdered sugar is also corn free! Please, please, please, use fresh lime juice and zest the limes before you squeeze them. My favorite shortening is Spectrum Organics – I actually prefer frosting made with it over butter and I don’t have to be dairy free.


Gluten Free Dairy Free Margarita Cupcakes Recipe


Margarita Cupcakes

½ cup rice milk (or dairy free milk of your choice), at room temperature
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons gluten free flour blend (with xanthan gum)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup organic shortening
¾ cup Wholesome Sweeteners organic sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
Zest of 1 lime, finely grated
2 tablespoons tequila

Margarita Frosting

1 cup organic shortening
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ cup lime juice
Zest of 1 lime, finely grated
3 – 3½ cups powdered sugar


Finely grated lime zest
12 thinly sliced lime slices


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Combine the rice milk with ¼ cup lime juice and vanilla. Let sit for 5 minutes. It may look curdled, that’s ok.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

In an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the ½ cup shortening with the ¾ cup sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the lime zest. Turn the mixer to low, add half the flour, the milk mixture, then the rest of the flour, Mix just until combined. With a spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and make sure the batter is well combined. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with tequila if desired. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

While the cupcakes bake and cool, make the frosting.

In a mixer preferably fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together the shortening, 2 tablespoons tequila, lime juice, and lime zest. Add 3 cups powdered sugar and beat, starting at low speed then raising to medium-high until smooth and the consistency of buttercream. If too soft, add more powdered sugar, at little at a time.

Frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish with lime zest and a lime slice.


This Gluten Free Dairy Free Margarita Cupcakes recipe makes 12

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Alicia Elder March 13, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Please do not mislabel your recipe “stating its Gluten Free”, when its not. For people with Celiac Disease this can cause serious health issues. Key hint* Powdered sugar is not Gluten Free.
“Xanthan gum may be derived from a variety of source products that are themselves common allergens, such as corn, wheat, dairy, or soy. As such, persons with known sensitivities or allergies to food products are advised to avoid foods including generic xanthan gum or first determine the source for the xanthan gum before consuming the food”-wiki


Carol Kicinski April 6, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Hi Alicia. I used Wholesome Sweeteners Powdered sugar with is totally gluten free. In fact most powdered sugars are gluten free – you just need to read the labels to find which other ones are.I also use 100% gluten free xanthan gum. If you can not tolerate xanthan gum, you can use guar gum instead.


Allison Heck June 5, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Hi there! I was wondering if you could substitute coconut oil for veg shortening in the icing?


Carol Kicinski June 9, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Allison, it won’t really come out the same, but you could use palm shortening as your substitute!


KC July 24, 2016 at 11:31 pm

Loved these! I made them for a friend that has a strict diet and normally has a hard time finding desserts that are more than just fruit. I thought they would be expensive to make but I found all the ingredients easily at Kroger. I used the Red Mill bread flour and they came out wonderfully!


Alma September 4, 2016 at 12:04 pm

I made these for a friend’s birthday. He has a casein allergy so cannot have anything dairy. I cannot have gluten. These were so so good. That icing is to die for! Everyone said they just wanted to eat the icing by the spoonful. I was so impressed with this recipe. I’ll definitely be making it again!


Carol Kicinski September 6, 2016 at 8:17 am

I’m so happy to hear they were a hit Alma!


Coconutty March 17, 2017 at 2:47 pm

Hi Carol,

Can you make this into a cake (vs. Cupcakes)? How long would you bake it for?


Kat May 4, 2017 at 7:05 pm

Would this work if I substituted the shortening for butter in equal amounts?


Carol Kicinski May 15, 2017 at 2:46 pm

yes it should as long as it is solid shortening.


Carol Kicinski May 15, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Sure just use solid shortening.


Jenna May 29, 2017 at 6:25 pm

So yummy! How would you suggest storing?


Carol Kicinski August 24, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Glad you liked them! Cocktails-turned-cupcakes are my fave! Depending on the climate of where you live, I think storing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days should be fine, or in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days longer.


Cindy Bryan August 7, 2017 at 2:18 pm

To make it alcohol-free, what can be used in place of the tequila?


Carol Kicinski August 18, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Hi Cindy,
If you want a G-rated, alcohol-free version, feel free to leave the tequila out of the cupcake batter. And for the frosting, add a tablespoon of vanilla instead.


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