Cupcake Cocktails: The Paloma

Written by Jamie on June 24, 2012


In Spanish, Paloma means dove.  Is is also the name of a popular mexican cocktail consisting of grapefruit juice, club soda, tequila and splash of lime.  Here is the recipe for the boozy cupcake counterpart: grapefruit cake filled with lime curd and topped with tequilla italian meringue buttercream and smoked fleur de sel.  The cake is super moist and light from the meringue base, requires no butter and uses lots of grapefruit zest.  

The key to serving boozy cupcakes is to add the alcohol to the frosting just prior to serving because the alcohol will evaporate over time.

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes.



Tequilla Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting

Use the Jameson Italian Meringue Buttercream Recipe, using Tequilla instead of water, vanilla and Jameson.  When adding the Tequilla at the end, add as much as the frosting will handle.

Lime Curd

Follow the Lime curd recipe.

Grapefruit Cake Recipe

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon himalayan pink salt
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cups safflower oil
  • 2/3 cup fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 4 tbsp grapefruit zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Smoked fleur de sel (use in the assembly phase)



  1. Preheat the oven to 315 degree
    1. Line 2 x 12 cupcake tins with foil liners
  2. In a large bowl, sift together and set aside:
    1. Flour
    2. 1 cup granulated sugar
    3. Baking powder and salt
  3. In a small bowl:
    1. Mix together egg yolks, oil, 2/3 cup grapefruit juice, lemon zest and vanilla. 
    2. Mix this mixture into the flour mixture until smooth.
  4. In yet another large bowl:
    1. Make a meringue
      1. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until it forms soft peaks. 
      2. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar one tablespoon at a time and beat until it forms stiff peaks.
  5. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter and pour into the prepared cupcake tins.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and tester comes out clean. 
    1. Allow cupcakes to cool in tin for 10 minutes, and invert the tin to remove the cupcakes
  7. Place cupcakes in fridge if not consuming for more than 2 hours.



  1. Using an apple corer or butter knife, cut a nickel sized cylinder in the cupcake and discard  
  2. Fill the cylinder with lime curd
  3. Pipe the luscious frosting on top, and lightly sprinkle the fleur de sel.
  4. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator after assembly if not consumed right away
    1. Refrigerated cupcakes need to sit out for about 2 hours prior to consumption, or the icing will be as hard as a rock.  :)



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