Saturday, January 21, 2012

Margarita Birthday Cake




Again. Doesn’t it seem like I only write about birthday cakes? It’s because they’re fun to make, and exciting, and pretty. And delicious.

Ok! Recap. Last year for his birthday Kai requested “an interesting cake” and I gave him a vegan chocolate avocado cake (I know right! I’m still impressed with myself). So I had already geared up for a some weird request that he would have. When I did ask him what he wanted he told me a margarita cake. A margarita cake? half the fun of margaritas is the tequila, so what fun is it when all the alcohol is baked off? But what choice did I have? He wanted a margarita cake, I was going to give him a margarita cake!

I thought it was going to be pretty hard to find a recipe like that. Fortunately, people in this country have an odd obsession with cinco de mayo. I don’t get it…we don’t celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. In fact, I’m sure most of us laugh at the sheer thought of Canadian Thanksgiving. Cinco de mayo is SO not American that even my spell check is giving me the angry little squiggly for cinco (mayo must be used as a short for mayonnaise quite frequently because it doesn’t appear to have a problem with that. I mean, I use mayo in my every day typing, don’t you?)

Regardless, cake recipe was found, and off I went.


The original recipe that I found basically said that it was from a Martha Stewart lemon cupcakes, which she turned into  lime cupcakes and added tequila into. Sounded fair to me. I took her recipe, doubled it for a cake recipe, added more lime, more tequila, and as always didn’t measure properly.

The frosting was a lime-tequila swiss buttercream – my first swiss buttercream experience.

People. Normally I would be gushing, I mean it’s cake. It’s cake that I made. But it didn’t blow me away. Don’t get me wrong, I still ate plenty of it, and it still was quite good, I just realized I totally make better chocolate cakes (thanks for the chocolate cake gene mom!). The cake was lime-y and the frosting was good. I missed the tequila though. I would probably stick to a plain margarita next time though. …oh now I want a real margarita.

No worries. Plenty of tequila was served with the cake in honor of my darling roommate and (MIA….EHEM) blogging buddy.



Margarita Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2  tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature 
  • tequila for brushing on warm cakes

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9 inch round cake pans.

2. whisk flour baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

3. cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until mixed thoroughly. Add lime juice and zest and mix.

3. slowly alternate mixing in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix just until incorporated.

4. Split batter between two prepared baking pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and toothpick comes out clean. Brush (lots) of tequila on warm cake.


Tequila-Lime Swiss Buttercream

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 26 tablespoons butter (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
  • Juice of 2-3 limes
  • a bit under 1/4 cup tequila

Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a BIG bowl over a pot of simmering water until you cannot feel the sugar granules.  Remove from water and whip mixture until it doubles in size and turns white. Add lime juice and tequila and mix. Add butter one stick at a time and whip (forever) until it comes together. This takes like 15 minutes. It’s a pain. It’s weird. Your frosting goes through phases.

Note: I totally made the tequila and lime juice amounts up. Why? Because I made it up the first time and I baked this cake over a month ago and have no idea what I did. It seemed to work in the end so…give it a shot! Or make a different frosting. A cream cheese frosting is always wonderful. Or a glaze. Mmm yeah A glaze would be awesome.

Would I do this frosting again? It was kinda a lot of butter, and whipping. I loved that it was sturdy and I could make a prettier than usual cake (for me), but I don’t think buttercreams are my favorite. That being said it was still good!


I’ll be back with more delicious items. Never fear.


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