Yield: 6 mojito cupcakes // Total Time: 50 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. // Recipe updated 3/12/23
Why you’ll love these mojito cupcakes
If you’re looking for the perfect party cupcake, it’s gotta be these mojito cupcakes right here. I mean, is there really a better way to consume alcohol than through a delicious cupcake? Here’s why you’ll love them:
1. They’re super light and fluffy. These cupcakes use the reverse creaming method (beating the butter with the dry ingredients) to ensure you get only the lightest and fluffiest of cupcake after baking.
2. They’re the perfect balance of mojito flavors. These cupcakes aren’t too overwhelming with the rum flavor, but the flavor is certainly there. It starts with a light and fluffy lime cupcake which gets soaked with a bit of rum, then topped off with a mint and rum flavored cream cheese frosting, and garnished with some key limes and mint leaves.
3. They’re paired with a cream cheese frosting. The tanginess of the cream cheese paired with the sweetness and slight booziness of the cupcake is honestly a perfect pairing.
Why do you post small batch recipes?
I love making small batch bakes because they are the perfect size myself and others who don’t have a lot of people to bake for in their home. Small batch helps cut down on waste and eliminates the feeling that all that excess dessert MUST be eaten. Here on my blog I like to post a mix of small batch and “regular batch” recipes from time to time. All my recipes can easily be doubled or tripled to fit your need, so long as you use grams to measure!
Weigh your ingredients
- Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient. In a small batch recipe it is especially important to get those correct measurements because there is less room for error. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Mix the batter carefully
- It is super important to not overmix the cupcake batter. Overmixing the batter leads to more gluten development which will make the cupcakes super tough and chewy. Only mix just until the last bit of flour is incorporated.
Room temperature ingredients
- It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. Take out the egg, butter, buttermilk, and cream cheese at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe. Here’s how to get room temperature ingredients FAST if you’re in a time crunch or forgot to take the ingredients out (like I often do):
- Egg: place the egg in a bowl and run hot water over it for 1 continuous minute, or let it sit in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.
- Butter/cream cheese: slice the butter and/or cream cheese into 1 tbsp. slices and place them flat on a plate. Microwave in 5-second intervals until the butter is soft to the touch, but not melting.
- Buttermilk: microwave the buttermilk in 5-second intervals until it is no longer cold, but is not warm (room temp!) Because you’ll only need 1 tbsp. for this recipe, this should only take 5 seconds.
Keep an eye on those cupcakes!
- Cupcakes like to go from under-baked to over-baked super quickly so it is important to keep a close eye on them. Start checking at 15 minutes with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out wet, check them again in 2 minutes and so on until only a few moist crumbs stick to the toothpick.
A little garnish hack
- The limes and mint unfortunately want to fall over when placed into the frosting. An easy solution to keep them propped up is to stick a toothpick into the cupcake behind them and have them kind of lean on to the toothpick. Just be sure to warn any unsuspecting cupcake eaters! Also another little note is that the limes will make the frosting wet around them if left in for a while – so it is probably best to garnish them no more than 2 hours before serving.
Ingredients and substitutions
For the vanilla cupcakes:
All purpose flour: gives the cupcakes their structure.
Baking powder: for helping the cupcakes rise.
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness of the batter.
Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the cupcakes and adding that nice buttery flavor to them. You can substitute salted butter, just be sure to omit the extra salt in the batter.
Lime: you’ll need ~1 large lime to zest for the cupcakes.
Vegetable oil: for tenderizing the cupcakes. If you don’t have vegetable oil on hand, you can use another neutral oil such as canola.
Granulated sugar: for adding sweetness and for locking in moisture.
Egg white: for binding the batter together and adding moisture.
Vanilla: for flavor. I use and love this vanilla extract!
Buttermilk: for tenderizing the cupcakes and adding moisture – be sure to use full fat for the best texture. I highly recommend using buttermilk but I know it can be hard or annoying to purchase, especially if you don’t plan on using it for anything else. It won’t be completely the same, but you can make a homemade buttermilk substitute. For this recipe, simply combine 35g sour cream with 50g whole milk.
White rum: for brushing on the cupcakes and for flavoring the cream cheese frosting. You can’t have a proper mojito without some rum!* (*But you can definitely leave it out to make these non-alcoholic.)
For the mint rum cream cheese frosting:
Cream cheese: adds tanginess to the frosting.
Unsalted butter: adds some structure to the frosting so that it holds up well for piping. You can use salted, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the frosting.
Salt: to balance and bring out the flavor and sweetness of the frosting.
Powdered sugar: for sweetening the frosting and thickening it.
Mint extract & rum: for flavoring the frosting.
Key limes & fresh mint: I used key limes since they are much smaller and look nicer on the cupcakes, however, you may be able to find small limes which will work just as well.
How to make mojito cupcakes
Here are the basic steps to follow to make these cupcakes. You can find the complete recipe at the end of this blog post!
1. Beat the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and butter, and lime zest into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Beat the mixture together until no clumps of butter remain.
2. Add in the wet ingredients. Add in the oil, egg white, vanilla, and buttermilk. Whisk the mixture together just until a cohesive batter forms.
3. Bake. Portion out the cupcakes into six parchment liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of them comes out clean. Poke holes in the tops of each cupcakes using a clean toothpick, and brush the tops of each of them with rum.
4. Make the mint rum cream cheese frosting. Beat together the butter, cream cheese and salt until the mixture is smooth. Add in half of the powdered sugar at a time, beating until smooth, then beat in the rum and mint extract.
5. Frost, serve and enjoy! Once the cupcakes have cooled to room temperature, frost them with the mojito cream cheese frosting, garnish with fresh key limes and mint, serve, and enjoy!
Small batch mojito cupcakes Q & A
Can I double this recipe?
- Of course! It obviously won’t be small batch anymore, but small batch isn’t always what we need! Simply double all the ingredients in this recipe to make 12 delicious mojito cupcakes. However, if you plan on doubling the ingredients I would even more strongly recommend using a kitchen scale for the best results.
Can I make these mojito cupcakes non-alcoholic?
Certainly! Omitting the rum will leave you with light and refreshing mint lime cupcakes.
Can I make these cupcakes ahead of time?
- Definitely! I would recommend making the cupcakes no more than two days ahead of time. Store the unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature. I’d recommend waiting to make the frosting until the day you want to serve them so that you don’t have to deal with bringing it to room temperature to frost.
How to store these cupcakes
Because they are frosted with cream cheese, these cupcakes do need to be stored in the fridge and should technically not be at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Be sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and Ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
Did you make these small batch mojito cupcakes?
If you made these small batch mojito cupcakes I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Small Batch Mojito Cupcakes
Vanilla Lime Cupcakes
- 100 g all purpose flour (¾ c. + 1 tbsp.)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 90 g granulated sugar (scant ½ c.)
- 1 tbsp. lime zest (~1 large lime)
- 41 g unsalted butter cubed, room temperature (3 tbsp.)
- 32 g vegetable oil (2 ½ tbsp.)
- 1 egg white room temperature
- 85 g buttermilk (3 oz.)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tbsp. white rum for soaking
Mint Rum Cream Cheese Frosting
- 110 g cream cheese room temperature (½ c.)
- 85 g unsalted butter room temperature (¼ c. + 2 tbsp.)
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 180 g powdered sugar (1 ½ c.)
- 1 tbsp. white rum
- ½ tsp. mint extract
Vanilla Lime Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line a muffin tin with 6 parchment liners.
- To a medium sized mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, lime zest, and butter. Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to beat the mixture together until the butter has completely combined with the dry ingredients and only tiny clumps remain.
- Add in the vegetable oil, egg white, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat just until combined.
- Distribute the batter evenly between the six liners. Bake for 15-20 min., or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Use a toothpick to poke many small holes into the top of each cupcake. Use a pastry brush to brush rum over each of the cupcakes. Set aside to cool.
Mint Rum Cream Cheese Frosting
- With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and salt until light and fluffy (~2 min.)
- Add half of the powdered sugar to the frosting and beat until combined, then repeat with the remaining half.
- Add in the rum and mint extract and beat for an additional minute.
- Once the cupcakes have completely cooled to room temperature, transfer the frosting to a piping bag and frost each cupcake. Top with key lime slices and fresh mint if desired. Serve and enjoy!