Mojito Cupcakes

The classic mojito cocktail gets a dessert makeover with these fresh-tasting Mojito Cupcakes. They’re infused with zesty lime flavor, fresh mint, and rum.

Mojito Cupcakes

As the days get longer and warm weather settles in, I find myself craving something fresh and zesty to match this sunny season. These Mojito Cupcakes are just the thing! They’re bursting with flavors of lime zest and fresh mint. There’s something unique and refreshing about using real mint leaves in the batter. It infuses the cupcakes with a genuine herbal essence that simply cannot be replicated with extracts. I’m tempted to call them gourmet, if cupcakes can be considered as such.

The lime Swiss meringue buttercream topping is delicately flavored with lime zest and lime juice. This meringue-based frosting is less sweet than American buttercream and so silky smooth. It really is a wonderful complement to the moist mojito cupcake.

The mojito is a beloved Cuban punch that is now mostly served as a highball drink. It has a rich history dating back to the 16th century. Originating in Havana, this zesty cocktail is crafted with rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water, and mint leaves. (Read more about the history of the mojito right here.) Its crisp and invigorating flavor has made it a favorite the world over.

Make the Mojito Cupcake Batter

First, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and then incorporate freshly grated lime zest, finely chopped mint leaves, and a splash of rum into the mixture. Alternate the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) with sour cream to create a smooth and flavorful batter. The sour cream keeps this cupcake super moist and adds a nice tang!

Bake at 350 325°F

Unlike most cupcake recipes, these mojito cupcakes are baked at a slightly lower temperature of 325°F to ensure they remain moist and tender. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool the Cupcakes

Once baked, the cupcakes should be pale on top with light speckling from the fresh mint. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. Next, get started on the Swiss meringue buttercream.

Make the Lime Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Cook the egg whites and sugar over a double boiler until the sugar dissolves and the mixture reaches between 140-160°F. Egg whites are considered fully cooked at about 144°F and the sugar should be melted by the time it reaches that temperature. But you can test the mixture by rubbing it between your fingers. If you feel sugar granules, keep cooking. If not – it’s ready! Beat the mixture in a mixer fitted with the whip attachment until stiff peaks form.

Switch to the paddle attachment, then gradually add room temperature butter one cube at a time. Using the paddle attachment knocks out the air bubbles in the buttercream and makes the frosting silky-smooth for piping and frosting.

Add Lime Zest and Lime Juice

Add freshly grated lime zest, lime juice, and a touch of green food coloring to the bowl. Mix well until a consistent lime green hue is achieved. Chefmaster Neon Brite Green Food Color is a great choice for that signature mojito green color. Omit the food color if you prefer, and you’ll have a buttercream that is lightly speckled with green lime zest throughout – still very pretty!

Mojito Cupcakes

Frost the Cupcakes

Once the cupcakes are cooled, top them with a generous swirl of lime Swiss meringue buttercream. Use a large closed star piping tip to achieve beautiful swirls and peaks. (Ateco #849) Or, if you’re not into piping, just dollop on a big scoop of frosting and swirl it around with the back of a spoon.

Mojito Cupcakes

Garnish the Cupcakes

Decorate the mojito cupcakes with some sweet, edible flourishes. Sprinkle white nonpareils over each cupcake for a sparkling, bubbly effect. They also give the cakes a satisfying sugar crunch! Then, crown each cupcake with a fresh mint sprig. Add the mint just before serving – it will wilt over the course of a few hours.

Mojito Cupcakes

These cupcakes have wonderful, complex flavor thanks to the fresh mint in the batter. It’s so different than the flavor of mint extract (which can be overpowering). These cupcakes are zesty, herbaceous, and fresh-tasting.

Mojito Cupcakes

With their unique lime-mint-rum flavor, they definitely fall in the ‘gourmet’ category. I could see these being served at cocktail parties and other formal events, such as wedding receptions and even corporate events. But that doesn’t mean they’re not ideal for casual affairs, like outdoor barbeques, beach parties or lounging at the lake.

These are a must for mojito cocktail-lovers. They really capture the essence of the cocktail, but in cake form! Enjoy!

Related recipe: Coconut Lime Margarita Cake

Mojito Cupcakes

Heather Baird
Mojito Cupcakes are inspired by the classic highball cocktail. Made with fresh mint, lime zest, and rum in the cake batter. A tall swirl of lime Swiss meringue buttercream is the crowning touch to each cake, with a sprinkle of white nonpareils to mimic the drink’s bubbly nature.
This recipe calls for 1/2 cup fresh mint, which can be confusing to measure – so here’s how. Pick mint leaves from their stems and lightly pack them into a 1/2 cup measure, then chop them finely. You’ll also need 3 fresh limes for the lime zest and lime juice. However, sometimes limes from the grocery store are not juicy and too dry to yield enough juice. If this happens to you, bottled lime juice will work well as a replacement for fresh.
Please note these cupcakes bake at a lower temperature of 325°F.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
1 hour cooling time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Cuban
Servings 12


  • Cupcake pan
  • 12 paper cupcake liners
  • Decorator piping bag disposable or reusable
  • large closed star piping tip such as Ateco #849



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons rum light or dark
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest from 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Lime Buttercream and Decors

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature (4 US sticks)
  • 4 teaspoons lime zest from 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon neon Green soft gel food color I used Chefmaster brand
  • 3 tablespoons white nonpareils or Swedish pearl sugar
  • 12 fresh mint sprigs



  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper liners.
  • Whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the rum, lime zest and chopped fresh mint. Mix well to combine.
  • Add the flour mixture alternating with the sour cream to the creamed mixture. Mix well after each addition. Begin and end with the flour mixture.
  • Portion the batter evenly between the cupcake cavities and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pans for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the lime buttercream.

Lime Buttercream

  • Place a saucepan filled 1/3 full of water over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
  • In a large stainless-steel bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over the simmering water and cook while whisking intermittently. Cook until the mixture is hot (140-160°F) and you can no longer feel sugar granules when the mixture is rubbed between your finger and thumb. Transfer the hot mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed for 10 minutes or until a thick, shiny meringue forms that holds stiff peaks. The bowl should feel cool to the touch. If it doesn’t, refrigerate the meringue in the bowl for 10 minutes. Return the bowl to the mixer and swap the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment.
  • Beat the room temperature butter into the meringue one cube at a time on medium-low speed, waiting to add the next cube when the previous cube disappears. The batter will deflate with the butter addition, and may even look curdled (if the butter was the slightest bit cold this happens), but this is normal. When all of the butter is added, beat the mixture on high speed until light in color and smooth, about 5 minutes.
  • Mix in the lime zest. With the mixer running on low speed, add in the lime juice one tablespoon at a time. Add the green food color and mix again until a consistent green hue is achieved. Scrape down the bowl and mix again briefly.
  • Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large open star piping tip, such as Ateco #849. Top each cupcake with a large swirl of the buttercream.
  • Immediately sprinkle on the white nonpareils. Add fresh mint sprigs to each cupcake just before serving.


What to expect: These cupcakes have wonderful, complex flavor thanks to the fresh mint in the batter. It’s so different than the flavor of mint extract. These cupcakes are zesty, herbaceous, and fresh-tasting. The rum in the batter bakes out, leaving behind the flavor of rum but none of the booze. The Swiss meringue buttercream is lightly sweet and tangy with fresh lime zest. The nonpareils can be optional, but provide texture with their sugar crunch.
Storage: Store leftover mojito cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bring them to room temperature before serving for the best flavor and texture.
Keyword cockail-inspired cupcakes, fresh lime, fresh mint, fresh mint leaves, gourmet dessert, lime Swiss meringue buttercream, lime zest, Mojito Cupcakes, mojito cupcakes recipe, rum
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