Margarita Cake

This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog: Mamacita Needs A Margarita Cake.

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Margarita Cake

Yield: 16 servings

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Here's a delicious Mexican-style cake that doesn't start with a cake mix! It is a nice, light cake with a touch of margarita flavor on top. Don't skip the whipped cream and the cute lime slice garnish.


1 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plain or lemon-flavored yogurt

1/2 cup superfine granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon tequila
whipped cream and lime slices, for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch cake pan.

2. Prepare cake: Combine sugar, butter, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and beat until blended. add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Add the flour and yogurt alternately, beating well after each addition.

3. Spoon the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

4. Prepare glaze: Combine sugar, lime juice and water in a saucepan and mix well. Cook until the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Stir in the tequila.

5. Assembly: Invert the warm cake onto a serving platter and brush with the glaze until it is absorbed. Let stand until cool. Slice and garnish each serving with a twisted lime slice and a dollop of whipped cream.


*If you’re having trouble inverting the cake onto a serving platter, or if you’re afraid that it might fall apart, it’s ok to just spoon the glaze over the top of the cake while it’s in the pan. Then cut neat slices and transfer to a serving platter.
*If you don't cook with alcohol, it's okay to leave it out & just make a lime glaze to drizzle on top.
*If you don't not have superfine sugar and don't wish to purchase it at your market, simply place regular granulated white sugar in your blender and give it a few whirs until it turns into superfine sugar!

Leave a Comment

25 Responses to “Margarita Cake”

  1. 1

    Suzanne — June 5, 2009 @ 7:56 AM

    Oh, yay!! Finally a margarita cake that doesn’t use a yucky cake mix. I’m going to make this today! May have to sample our tequila and make sure it has not spoiled… ;)

  2. 2

    Kim B — April 29, 2010 @ 12:44 PM

    This should work as cupcakes, right? I am competing in a cupcake challenge that has a Mexican theme and am still trying to decide if I should bake a margarita cupcake or a horchata cupcake, but I think I’ll use this recipe if I choose margarita. It looks great!

  3. 3

    Lori Lange — April 29, 2010 @ 12:47 PM

    @Kim B, I haven’t tried this particular recipe as cupcakes. I made a margarita cupcake once but it had a cake mix as a base

  4. 4

    Krystal Obbink — April 29, 2010 @ 1:18 PM

    Hey Lori,
    I have a co-worker with a gluten allergy, but would love to make this cake for her. Any suggestions on substitutions?

  5. 5

    Lori Lange — April 29, 2010 @ 1:49 PM

    @Krystal Obbink, I’m sorry to say that I know absolutely nothing about Gluten Free baking! Sorry I can’t be of help…

  6. 6

    Mary Kuhn — April 29, 2010 @ 2:59 PM

    This recipe will definitely be dessert for my next Mexican dinner party!

  7. 7

    Rose in Ohio — April 30, 2010 @ 7:06 AM

    So glad you posted this! It’s exactly what I’m going to take to work on Cinco De Mayo. No need to even mention the tiny little splash of tequila, right? (Not that it would discourage any of MY co-workers!)

  8. 8

    Susan — April 30, 2010 @ 11:10 AM

    When you consider that 80 Proof liquor has 40% alchol, and vanilla extract is 35% alchol, it’s not much diffence. We even feed children cakes with vanilla, right? Heck yes..I’d take this cake to work!

  9. 9

    Janis — August 27, 2010 @ 7:49 AM

    Made this for bunco with the girls only I made a layer cake. Actually 3: Margarita, Strawberry Daq, and Irish Car Bomb in the shape of dice…yes I’m crazy. ANYWAY, the cake is delicious! I had to “taste test.” Right? I made a butter cream frosting and added tequila and lime juice to it. OMG>>>>SO GOOD! Can’t wait for the girls to try it!

    Loaded up my party cart with wine (from the grill contest), so thanks again! :)

  10. 10

    KD — May 5, 2011 @ 11:21 AM

    I have a cupcake company and will definitely be giving this recipe a try — thanks for the great idea!

  11. 11

    Catherine Catala — June 6, 2011 @ 5:56 AM

    I would probably use LIME zest AND lemon zest in the cake. It would add a nice color to the cake.

  12. 12

    Diane — July 11, 2011 @ 6:14 PM

    This sounds perfect for a friend’s birthday. She loves her some margaritas! Question: How does this do overnight? Does the cake get soggy if baked and glazed the night before? Thanks!

  13. 13

    Lori Lange — July 11, 2011 @ 8:59 PM

    It should be just fine overnight!

  14. 14

    Tiffiny Felix — February 3, 2012 @ 9:29 AM

    Hello! I wanted to let you know I’ve included this post in my “5 Recipes I would love to make” Friday round-up. I loved the Mamacita Needs a Margarita Cake post. Totally made me LOL for real ;) Please let me know if you’d like me to remove your picture and link from the round-up. Thanks! :)

  15. 15

    Shawn @ I Wash...You Dry — May 2, 2012 @ 8:07 AM

    Yummy! Do you suppose it would still taste good as a virgin margarita cake?

  16. 16

    Debbie — May 2, 2012 @ 8:46 AM

    Probably a novice question but I have everything on hand except yogurt. Can I use sour cream instead? If so is it 1:1?

  17. 17

    Lori Lange — May 2, 2012 @ 8:58 AM

    Well, I haven’t tried it with sour cream but cakes are usually okay with either.

  18. 18

    Lori Lange — May 2, 2012 @ 8:59 AM

    Of course! Just make a lime glaze and leave out the tequila!

  19. 19

    Cheri — February 22, 2013 @ 8:34 AM

    Instead of tequila, what do you think of the daily’s margarita mix?

  20. 20

    Lori Lange — February 24, 2013 @ 4:50 PM

    I’m not familiar with that.

  21. 21

    Rebecca — May 2, 2013 @ 4:20 AM

    Sounds so good!!

  22. 22

    Natalie S. — May 20, 2013 @ 2:37 PM

    Made the cake.
    Love the cake.
    Making it again!

  23. 23

    Dan B — November 2, 2013 @ 6:21 PM

    This will be a first…..Never had any kind of Margarita that wasn’t in a pitcher

  24. 24

    Peggy ichinodr — February 21, 2014 @ 12:07 PM

    I love how considerate you are of your readers; your suggestions at the end of the recipe are so thoughtful.

  25. 25

    Peggy Ong, Singapore — April 12, 2014 @ 2:01 AM

    Baked last night. Added more lemon juice to the cake mixture & more lime juice to the glaze. Mama Mia….! It turned out fantastic n yummy! Will definitely bake again! ????