This Margarita Cake is flavored with lime and plenty of tequila for a moist and tender layer cake that is so full of margarita flavor! It is definitely a new favorite!
So are all pretty familiar with the fact that when you’re pregnant, you have to cut out certain foods and drinks, such as alcohol. Given that we tried so long to get pregnant before we got pregnant with the twins, it didn’t really bother me much. I totally expected to be able to go back to drinking caffeine and alcohol afterwards though and definitely didn’t take into account that with breastfeeding, you have to keep many of the same things out of your diet.
Of course it’s not as strict, so the occasional thing here and there isn’t going to hurt anything. One of the things I was most excited to taste again was a margarita. It seems like most people have some bad tequila experience that keeps them from loving tequila, but I have to say that it’s one of my favorites.
When I went to test and bake this cake, I was shocked to find that we didn’t have any tequila in the cabinet. I asked the hubs to run out for me and when he came back with the tequila, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. The first thing I did was open the bottle and just smell that delicious tequila smell. Is that weird? HA! What can I say? I’m a fan! Naturally I had to incorporate plenty of tequila flavor in with the lime flavor of this cake.
How to make this Margarita Cake
So to get started with this margarita cake, I used my Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cake as the base. I have several vanilla cakes and cupcakes to choose from, but this cake is so buttery and tender, I thought it was perfect for this cake. It has a whopping one and half cups of butter in it, but it is so worth every bit! It’s produces and wonderfully moist and flavorful cake!
The butter is combined with some sugar and creamed until light and fluffy. It’s important to not gloss over this step, as the creaming adds air to the batter that helps give the cake some of it’s rise.
Next up are the egg whites and vanilla extract. The egg whites add structure to the cake and the vanilla adds some flavor to balance out the tequila and lime. The remainder of batter is made by alternating the addition of the dry ingredients with some milk and the lime juice and zest and tequila.
This margarita cake uses a full half cup of tequila to give it lots of flavor! There’s also a quarter cup of lime juice and some lime zest. I would say though that the tequila is the stronger flavor in the cake. Additional lime flavor comes from the frosting. You can certainly reduce the tequila a bit and add a little more milk, if you want to tone it down a bit. Totally up to you, but like I said – I’m a tequila fan!
Once the cake is baked and the frosting is made, it’s time to frost that lovely margarita cake and dig in! I wish it was possible to give you a taste through the screen because not only is the flavor on point, but the texture is so wonderfully soft and tender, it just melts right in your mouth. It’s a cake you’ll want to make over and over again, for sure!
You might also like:
No Bake Margarita Pie
Frozen Mango Margaritas
- Prep Time: 1 hr 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours, plus cooling time
- Yield: 12-14 Slices
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
This Margarita Cake is flavored with lime and plenty of tequila for a moist and tender cake that is so full of margarita flavor!
Tequila Lime Margarita Cake
- 3 cups (390g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups (336g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (414g) sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup tequila
- 2 tbsp lime zest
- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 1 1/2 cups shortening
- 12 cups (1380g) powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp finely grated lime zest
- 6 tbsp fresh lime juice
- Lime slices, for decor
- Sugar sprinkles, for decor
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed about 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
4. Add the egg whites and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed, to make sure everything is combined.
5. Add about one-third of the flour mixture to the batter and beat on medium speed until incorporated.
6. Add the milk and beat on medium speed until incorporated.
7. Add another third of the flour mixture to the batter and beat on medium speed until incorporated.
8. Add the lime juice, tequila and lime zest and beat on medium speed until incorporated.
9. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until well combined and smooth.
10. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and spread evenly.
11. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Don’t be alarmed if the tops are a little browned, that is normal.
10. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
11. To make the frosting, add the butter and shortening to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
12. Slowly add about half of the powdered sugar, mixing until well combined and smooth.
13. Add the lime zest and lime juice and mix until well combined and smooth.
14. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
15. Add additional lime juice, if needed, to thin out the frosting.
16. To put the cake together, trim the tops of the cakes so they are flat. The cake layers should be pretty flat, but if there’s a dome, trim it off.
17. Place the first layer of cake on a serving plater, then top it with about 1 cup of frosting and spread into an even layer.
18. Add the second layer of cake and another layer of frosting.
19. Top the cake with the remaining cake layer and frost the outside of the cake. I used my 9 inch offset spatula to create the lines on the side of the cake, but feel free to leave that off.
20. Finish off the cake with some swirls of the remaining frosting and lime slices. I also sprinkled some coarse sugar sprinkles around the top of the cake to mimic the look of salt, but that’s optional.
I store my cakes in a large cake carrier (the cupcake inserts are removable) at room temperature, but it can be refrigerated. The cake is best if eaten within roughly 3 days.
- Serving Size: 1 Slice
- Calories: 1033
- Sugar: 113.6 g
- Sodium: 411.5 mg
- Fat: 52.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 138.8 g
- Protein: 5.7 g
- Cholesterol: 54.3 mg
Keywords: Margarita Cake, Mexican cake, lime cake, easy cake recipe
This post contains affiliate links.
This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Wow, this recipe was amazing. My nephew turned 21 and loves lemon/lime desserts so this was the perfectone to make. He said best one ever!
Awesome! So glad to hear that!
In the past I’ve made the Margarita cupcakes from your book and they were a HUGE hit. Now I’ve been requested to make a Margarita cake and found this on your blog. I’m wondering how the two recipes differ in taste. Will I miss the sour cream? (All of your cupcakes from your book are my go to! It’s by far my most used and favorite book). Will this cake be denser than the book’s recipe? Is this cake boozier? Can I/should I turn that cupcake recipe into a cake recipe or do you recommend going with this one instead?
P.S. to anyone reading this, you absolutely need Lindsay’s book: Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes! It’s incredible!
I’m making the cake tomorrow, Saturday, and really hoping to get a response if possible before I start. I bought the ingredients to make either recipe and I’m just waiting to hear back from you on the difference between the two recipes. Sorry to give a nudge.
I’m so sorry I missed your comment somehow! I’m glad you nudged me because I saw the nudge. 🙂
As for answering your question – it’s been a while since making either so it’s hard. This cake definitely has more tequila and a little more lime juice, so I’m guessing the flavor is a little stronger. The texture will be fairly different though. This cake has a tighter crumb that would I would say makes it a little more like a typically bakery-style cake. Whereas the book recipe I think is a little more moist and light, in a way. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either. If you really love the recipes from the book (which is so nice to hear – THANK YOU!), then maybe go with that one. You can certainly double it for a cake and you could probably swap out some milk for a little more tequila, if you want that flavor a touch stronger. I hope that helps!
And again, thank you for the kind words about my cookbook. 🙂
Does this recipe work well for cupcakes?
It bakes fine, but I find that the cupcakes liners tend to peel off for some reason. It could just be the liners I use, but I’m not sure.
I made a non-alcoholic version of this cake today. I substituted margarita mix for the tequila and buttermilk instead of milk. It is very good!!!
Margarita mix is a great idea! Glad you enjoyed it!
Is that non-alcoholic margarita mix ?
This cake sounds divine! Could it be made as a sheet cake or cupcakes?
I imagine that would be fine, I just haven’t tried it to see.
Any substitute for the shortening in the frosting?
Just replace it with additional butter.
Ummm sooo I’ve already mixed all the ingredients…. And I’m about to pour into the pans. I just was reading and saw it says half a cup of tequila… I’m pretty sure I measured out 3/4 cups…. Is my cake ruined???
Hard to say for sure since I haven’t tried adding that much. It’s possible it’ll be ok, I’m just not sure.
I went ahead with it since I don’t have time to make another. They’re out of the oven and cooled. They look good, I won’t know for sure until we eat it but I think it’s going to be ok.
I had this at a local restaurant (this exact recipe) it was divine!
Was is the best Tequila for flavor to use on this cake . I can’t wait to make it .
Any decent tequila should be fine. I honestly don’t remember what I used.