Margarita Cake

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!

Margarita Cake

Margarita Cake recipe

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.

Best Margarita Cake recipeFavorite Margarita 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!

Best Margarita Cake sliceBest Margarita Cake slice

Read transcript

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upright slice of Margarita Layer Cake on plate

Margarita Cake

  • Author: Life Love and Sugar
  • 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

Lime Frosting

  • 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

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Recipe rating

  1. Lari

    This cake was a hit for my good friend’s birthday! The layers were absolutely delicious. I added lime curd between layers and on top, sprinkling sanding sugar around the “rim”. Used a traditional buttercream and added a little Contreau. Wonderful! Thank you for the recipe

  2. Wilma Pinedo

    I am so excited to try this recipe. In the ingredients, it says all purpose flour, is cake flour the same?
    Thank you, Wilma

    1. Lindsay

      The potential issues there are if there’s added sugar and acidity from lime juice. It could affect the outcome. You could try it though.

  3. Janice L Gendron

    It was super fun making this cake, esp while having a little shot here and there of Tequila! Big hit for my bosses birthday! I wish I could share a pic of the cake because by no means am I good with the icing and details, but I was really happy & proud with the outcome!

  4. Rebecca

    Hey Lindsey! I love your recipes! You are the only person I go to for cake recipes! Great job, as always! I graduate nursing school this week and will be having a Taco bout a nurse themed grad party this weekend. I was thinking of doing this cake but doing the strawberry version. Where would you add the strawberry puree? Frosting? and just add more powdered sugar to thicken it? Thank you so much! Congrats on the baby girl as well!

  5. Annie

    Planning to make this today and im so excited! 2 questions. 1-can I use buttermilk in place if regar milk? I usually use buttermilk in my cakes. 2-do you think the frosting would work if I subbed cream cheese for the crisco? I often find cream cheese buttercream cuts the sweetness a bit.

  6. Teresa Carrano

    I made this cake for a friend’s birthday and It was a huge hit! I added 2 Tablespoons of Triple-Sec to the measuring cup before I added the tequila, put a layer of home-made lime curd over the top of the frosting to mimic a liquid, and added two large plastic straws. I love your recipes and use them all of the time!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12