Boozy Margarita Lime Cake

Margaritas are my favorite cocktail. There is no "when push comes to shove" or hesitancy in that statement. I declare it with the utmost certainty—I love margaritas. Truthfully, when celebrations come around, margaritas usually find a place in the mix, whether it be on the Fourth of July, ringing in the New Year, or reveling in turning twenty-five. Pair it with a side of chips and salsa and I'm yours. Though margaritas may come in every shade and flavor to match, the classic will always have a place in my heart.

The tart and sourness of fresh lime juice never grows tired.

When it comes to boozy cakes, I don't like them to shy away from the alcohol. It's not that I am much of a drinker (which I am not), but if a cake is going to advertise itself as such, I'd like it to live up to my expectations. When I worked in a bakery, I had visions of opening my own "boozy bakery," providing cupcake cocktails in martini glasses. I dreamed of cupcakes infused with Kahula or red wine, and chocolate cupcakes with rum.

While the dreams of my cake shop never grew to fruition, my boozy cake bakery idea stuck with me, settling somewhere inside my sugar-addled brain.

When I thought of making my own margarita cake, I consulted quite a few recipes on the subject. Some included a couple tablespoons of tequila in the batter, some brushed the top with it, but I felt that both of these options did not give enough to fulfill my lofty expectations. Whenever this happens, I set out to do something completely different. There is not only alcohol baked into this particular cake, but it is soaked into the finished product. While lime may be the primary flavor, the tequila isn't too far behind, providing a subtle taste and tingling taste buds.

Cocktail cakes should never fail to please.

This Boozy Margarita Lime Cake is a celebration of lime and tequila. Fresh lime juice and zest find their way into the batter (along with the alcohol to make a margarita complete). When finished baking, the cake is soaked in tequila and orange liquor to give it a little extra zing. Topped with a lime coconut whipped cream and slices of citrus, the cake goes from ordinary to extraordinary. This cake makes for the perfect end to a Mexican meal or fabulous dinner party.

Note: This cake has a significant alcohol content and should not be shared with minors. Enjoy this cake with adults and great company.

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Boozy Margarita Lime Cake

Yields 10-inch cake

Boozy Margarita Lime Cake
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
Zest from 2 limes
1/4 cup (57 grams) butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (59 ml) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (175 grams) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
1/3 cup (80 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
1/2 cup (60 ml) tequila, divided
1/4 cup (60 ml) orange liquor, divided (I used Triple Sec)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Lightly grease a 10-inch springform pan and set aside (I strongly suggest using a spring-form pan because the cake will be too moist to remove from a standard cake pan).

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and lime zest for several minutes, or until very fragrant. Beat in the butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the milk, lime juice, 1/4 cup tequila, and 2 tablespoons orange liquor, mixing until batter is uniform and smooth.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and using a skewer or fork, stab several dozen holes into the top of the cake. Stir together the remaining 1/4 cup tequila and 2 tablespoons orange liquor and slowly pour it evenly over the top of the cake, allowing it to absorb as you go. Cool the cake to room temperature in the baking pan; the cake will continue to absorb the alcohol.

Coconut Lime Whipped Topping
1 recipe coconut whipped cream (2 cups whipped cream can be substituted)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Zest from 1 lime
Lime slices and zest, for garnish

In a small bowl, mix together the coconut whipped cream, powdered sugar, and lime zest. Set aside.

Once the cake is completely cool, remove it from the springform pan and carefully transfer it to a serving platter. Spread the coconut whipped cream evenly over the top and decorate with additional lime slices and zest (optional). Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.