Margarita Cake with Tequila Icing

Yep, you read that right… tequila icing.

I recently needed to make a dessert for a dinner party and found myself with a random assortment of supplies which included a boxed white cake mix, pretzels, and a bottle of margarita mix. I googled “margarita dessert” and came up with many options, including this one from the original Betty Homemaker. While Mrs. Crocker created a pretty good cake, I’ve played around a bit to create something perfect for your 4th of July party (or, er…Tuesday.) It tastes like a boozy donut. Need I say more?


Ingredients to make margarita cake

  • 2 cups crushed pretzel sticks (around 3.5 cups sticks to start)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 package white cake mix (or feel better about yourself by creating your own)
  • 1 1/4 cup bottled margarita mix
  • Food coloring
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp grated lime peel
  • 3 large egg whites (Use the yolks with one or two full eggs to create fried rice for dinner. Create a hair mask. Just don’t throw them away.)

Ingredients to make Tequila Icing

  •  2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons tequila
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Sea salt, as desired
  • Grated lime peel, as desired


To Make Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using cooking spray, grease a 13 X 9 inch glass pan.

Just try not to eat this!!Mix pretzels, sugar and butter in medium bowl. Sprinkle evenly on bottom of pan, press gently creating a crust.

Beat cake mix, margarita mix, oil, lime peel and egg whites in a large bowl with with electric mixer on low for 30 seconds. Follow instructions for "minty green" to make margarita food coloring.Next, drip in the appropriate amount of food coloring that gives you that lime margarita feel. (Check the back of your food coloring box for suggestions. I went for the “minty green” option.) Then ramp ‘er up to medium speed for at least two minutes. Don’t try to do this one by hand or for any less time than two minutes. The extra effort gives the cake an airy, almost angel food cake mouthfeel. Scrape down bowl occasionally and pour mixed batter over the pretzel crust.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes  or until the top springs back or a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and cover with icing.
Use a toothpick to make holes in the cake

Bonus tip:

Use a toothpick to poke holes in the cake to allow the icing to get down in there. YUM!

To Make Icing:

Beat together powdered sugar, tequila and lime juice using an electric mixer on a slow speed. Add milk one tablespoon at a time until you achieve the desired consistency. I like keeping mine pretty thin.

Allow another 15 minutes for icing to harden and then decorate using lime peel and/or sea salt (kosher salt works, too).

Cool completely, storing in the fridge if not serving immediately.

Margaritas and cake - a perfect combinationThis cake is perfect for an everyday dinner party, but could be great for summer holidays, bachelorette parties, or showers. Enjoy!

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