You have to try it to believe it…this Margarita Pound Cake with Tequila Glaze is a seriously amazing cake. Flavored subtlety with tequila and citrus, glazed with a tequila/sugar icing and finished with a lime/salt/sugar topping; it is the epitome of a margarita but in a cake!
Anyone who knows me at all knows how much I love margaritas; as a matter of fact my whole journey into the art of cocktail making started with this Margarita and it was life changing, well, in the sense that a cocktail can in fact change your life! I had certainly had enough margaritas over the years at local watering holes but I don’t think I ever loved them. I realize now that cheap tequila and fake orange liqueur certainly was a part of that problem.
Once I tried my hand at making them at home using good ingredients, I was hooked. So when my friend Marye posted this recipe for a Margarita Pound Cake, of course I was intrigued. Though the most old fashioned recipes might still call for a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs and a pound of flour, I saw that this was close enough (some cream cheese did sneak in there) to deserve the moniker.
I knew it would have that dense texture and rich flavor I expect from a pound cake but more than that, it was a Margarita Pound Cake with a sweetened tequila glaze. I’m sure I must have uttered, ‘Oh my.’ Pretty perfect for Cinco de Mayo sure, but why limit it to this one day?
I followed Marye’s basic recipe to a ‘T’ but made a few revisions to some embellishments that we just loved. Her cake was going with her husband to work so she had to lay low on the tequila but not me. So I put it in the glaze and in the cake but I also make a syrup from orange, lime and lemon juices, sugar and tequila and poured it into holes I punched in the bottom and made sure it soaked into the crust as well.
Once it had dried a bit, I used a brush to spread some of the glaze all over the cake on top of the syrup and then when it had also dried a bit, I dribbled more glaze on top of the cake. Not really hard…all that drying stuff happens pretty quickly when you’re putting it on a cool cake.
Still, one of my favorite touches is the sugar, salt and lime garnish I sprinkled liberally all over the top of the cake. Marye’s recipe calls for dusting the inside of the Bundt pan with pretzels but I didn’t have any and since I don’t love them I opted to not rush out and buy a bag but instead thought about how I could add that salt factor without them. One thing about my favorite margarita? I rim the glass with a combination of margarita (or kosher) salt and sugar; not only do I love it more than just salt but I have converted everyone who used to say ‘hold the salt’ as well.
It’s a nice balance, I thought it would add that slightly salty edge we expect from a margarita but not be really SALTY and I was right. Just to dress it up a bit more, I grated the rind from one lime into the salt and sugar combination. I loved it so much I can guarantee you that you will be seeing that combination rim my next margarita.
This cake. Is amazing. No words really. Perfectly put together ingredients with a real pound cake look and feel but with just enough citrus and tequila and yes, my fun sugar/salt/lime combo to really be reminiscent of a margarita. My favorite drink is now also my favorite cake. Go figure!
By the way, I planned this cake for my friend Sam’s birthday celebration. When I heard it was Sam’s birthday this past week, I invited him and his family to come down Sunday afternoon for cake and I would invite other neighbors. His daughter Lily was with him and asked if we could make it a surprise party. Aren’t kids cute? So the invites went out, all the kids were instructed to show up a few minutes early to get party hats on and hide and Sam knew to show a bit late and ACT SURPRISED! I bought plates and napkins and my plans were set.
Until we got the news that one neighbor is expecting their second child. My plans were to make cupcakes for the kids and yes I could have given her a cupcake instead of Margarita Pound Cake but since she is vegetarian I’ve had enough other moments of feeding her something not quite up to snuff because I had prepared for a crowd (think Thanksgiving!) so I punted and made this Chocolate Pound Cake that I had seen posted on Facebook.
One nice thing about pound cakes? They are so rich that they can serve an army. That chocolate cake was enough for 11 adults and 8 kids and some even had seconds! Everyone loved it so much there were no leftovers, as a matter of fact it completely disappeared so I might have sobbed a bit…but I knew I had this one coming up next so it was a total win-win!
PIN ‘Margarita Pound Cake with Tequila Glaze’
Margarita Pound Cake
1 hr, 40
For the Cake
- 1 cup of salted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 cups of sugar
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups of flour
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of tequila
- 1/4 cup of lime juice
- 2 tablespoons lime zest
For the margarita syrup
- 4 oz orange juice
- 2 oz lemon juice
- 2 oz lime juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp tequila
For the Glaze
- 1 & 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon tequila
For the salt/sugar/lime garnish
- 1/4 cup kosher or margarita salt (DO NOT USE TABLE SALT)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Zest from one lime
To Make the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Grease and flour a Bundt pan well and set aside.
- Beat the cream cheese and butter on the lowest speed of the mixer until well blended.
- Add the sugar and continue to beat until blended.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each in thoroughly before adding the next one.
- Add the flour, salt, lime zest, tequila, and juice.
- Mix just until blended and smooth.
- Spoon into Bundt pan and smooth top.
- Bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in halfway between the edge and the center comes out clean.
To Make the Tequila Syrup
- Put all the ingredients except tequila into a small saucepan and heat just until boiling; allow to boil for one minute, remove from heat and add tequila. Let cool.
To Finish the Cake
- As soon as cake is removed from the oven, use a toothpick and poke holes all over the bottom of the cake.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from the pan to make sure it releases. Put back into the pan and drizzle 3/4 of the syrup over the bottom of the cake; letting it run into poked holes and down sides.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes to absorb the syrup and then remove the cake from pan on top of a wire cooling rack over a cookie sheet so that any excess can run off. Using a basting brush, brush the remaining syrup over the outside of the cake and allow to cool.
- Make the glaze and brush a layer over the entire cake.
- Combine the salt, sugar and lime for the garnish (taste it...the salt should be evident but not overpowering, add more sugar if necessary for your taste).
- Once the glaze has cooled on the cake move it to a cake plate and drizzle the remaining glaze over the cake and sprinkle with the salt/sugar lime mixture.
- Let stand until the glaze has hardened.
- Slice, Serve and Cheers!
You may have some of the salt/sugar/lime mixture left over; only use enough to sprinkle liberally on top but not to completely cover glaze. Use it for your next margarita!