Tasty Tuesday–Margarita Layer Cake

Last week, I tried a new recipe for my birthday cake. I was a little worried about it, because I tweaked the original recipe to the point where it was unrecognizable, and I’m not sure that birthdays are the right occasion for such baking experimentation. I shouldn’t have worried, though…this turned out to be one of the best cakes I’ve ever made! I’m planning on trying a strawberry-margarita version soon, by substituting a strawberry cake mix for the orange…this recipe has lots of potential for future tweaking!

Margarita Cake

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package orange cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup tequila

Lime Pastry Cream Filling

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest (from 2 large lime)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 large lime)

Tequila-Lime Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • Zest and juice from one lime
  • 3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8 or 9 inch cake pans.
In a large bowl combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, water, 1/4 cup lime juice, and 1/2 cup tequila. Beat for 2 minutes.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove to rack and cool completely before frosting.
To make the lime pastry cream: In a small saucepan, bring the milk and lime zest to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar and flour (mixture will be thick). Pour the milk mixture into the bowl and whisk until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until smooth and thick, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Whisk in the vanilla and lime juice until smooth. Transfer the pastry cream to a clean bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the tequila lime whipped cream: Beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add tequila, lime juice and zest, and powdered sugar (to taste) and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

To assemble: Spread a generous layer of lime pastry cream between cake layers. Frost top and sides of cake with tequila-lime whipped cream. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, for best flavor. If you happen to have pastry cream and whipped cream left over (I had doubled the pastry cream recipe, which was unnecessary, but delicious!) you can fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream for a wonderful tequila lime mousse.

Stay tuned for the other margarita dessert I made last week…I may have reached the pinnacle of my baking career!

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