Margarita Pound Cake with Tequila Glaze
You have to try it to believe it…this Margarita Pound Cake with Tequila Glaze is a seriously amazing cake; it’s like having a margarita on a plate!
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
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
- ⅛ teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of tequila
- ¼ 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:
- 11/4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon tequila
For the salt/sugar/lime garnish:
- 2-4 Tbsp kosher or margarita salt depending on how salty you want the garnish to be DO NOT USE TABLE SALT
- ¼ 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!
I am making the cake TODAY, Nov. 9 2021. We live at 6200 ft. I do adjust ingredients for altitude, however a comment above stated the adjustment for leavening. Is there supposed to be baking powder or baking sprain the recipe? Thanks.
Hi just to make sure, does this recipe work in Mexico City? I know the comments have mentioned cinco de mayo, but so many cakes struggle at this altitude that I have to check before I try it!
I’m at 6200 feet and I make minor adjustments when I make it even though the recipe is for sea level. The biggest thing I do is turn up my oven 10 degrees…if the dough bakes quicker it can counteract that faster rise too. I might use my smallest finger to take a divot out of the leavening but I think the big difference is the baking temperature. Higher than me…you’ll have to remove some leavening too.
Would you be able to update the cake part with how much salt is needed? right now it is showing a question mark.
Oops sorry Ginny. I changed software for the recipe card function and guess the new one had a hard time translating 1/8 tsp! It’s not a lot but hope I got this to you in time, it’s a great cake…cheers!
This cake is REALLY amazing and quite over the top with the syrup and the salt/sugar/lime garnish! It made a great birthday cake for my husband- after so many birthdays, hard to find something new and exciting, but this was perfect! Thanks for sharing!
I baked this in the Nordicware Heritage Bundt Pan which is smaller, plus a loaf pan. Divided that way it took less than 1 hour to bake, and we tried the loaf cake before the party- just to make sure it was ok. ;D
PS- the original recipe used 1/8 tsp salt but the amount was not included above.
I love the sugar topping you used for this! And the glaze and the syrup… okay, I love pretty much everything. Can’t wait to make it!
This cake has been a huge winner; in my book and in the books of everyone I’ve shared it with. And to a person, the touch of salt in that topping is what made it a ‘margarita’ cake for them. I hope you do make it; it is SO good!
I love it when you’re able to duplicate the flavors in something else so perfectly- I like to experiment with brownies! 🙂
I like working with brownies too and of all things…rice krispie treats. This one was special though…getting the taste of a margarita, the citrus component and the salt…loved how it all came together. My favorite brownie has wine in it…have you ever tried that?
What a beautiful cake! And now I’m craving a Margarita!!!
This cake will handle that craving, promise!
Barb, you’ve so beautifully captured this gem in pixels it makes me swoon. After spotting it on Facebook, I knew I’d be by for a closer look. Que rico pastel y yo llevarse bien espléndidamente. Trabajo fabuloso, mi amigo!
Gracias, mi amigo, it truly is fabulous!
Wow, your photography is amazing! And this cake is beautiful! Love the salt and sugar topping!
Thank you Anne; your sweet compliments made my day!
The salt and sugar topping is just brilliant. I can taste it now. I must make this one but I fear I’ll eat way too much of it.
Yes, please have company coming…it will call your name nonstop if you don’t.
I would love to try a slice of this beauty! The sugar salt topping is a genius idea! Gorgeous bundt!
Thanks Anna; appreciate the kind words.
Barb this is just incredible! I love margaritas, and I can’t think of anything better than having it in a slice of pound cake. I loved what you’ve done with Marye’s lovely recipe – what a masterpiece!
Thank you so much Liren; it is truly a keeper; just ask all the neighbors I shared it with so I wouldn’t eat the whole thing! 🙂
I wouldn’t have thought of a margarita turning into a cake recipe and that is what makes this cake so special– it was truly a delight to eat. it disappeared (yes, the whole darn hunk of it!) so quickly that I had to slow myself down to enjoy the flavors. That salt/sugar/lime topping created a lovely balance of flavors and the cake itself was stellar. Thank you, thank you for sharing!!
I’m just so glad we got together so I could share and yes…really happy you enjoyed it! Now…come to one of my girls nite out parties and I’ll give you the real deal. 🙂
Looks totally decadent and so beautiful. So summery!!! I normally PIN dessert recipes for later. But I have already printed this one. It will be on the menu when my in-laws come to visit next week. Can’t wait to taste it!
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did…well are actually! Not sure I’m making a call out to neighbors for this one, I do believe it deserves slices to be frozen for ME for later! 🙂
Love the garnish on this! That’s really super. Fun recipe, and so perfect for today. Happy Cinco de Mayo!
The garnish really makes it John…just like on my cocktails; a bit of salty and a bit of sweet, neither too much but just enough. LOVED this one!
Your description of this cake has me drooling. And when you added that poke cake component I went from “maybe” to “yes, please, now!” I have been trying to cut back on salt, but I’d be willing to try this salt and sugar (with lime) glaze for several reasons, not the least of which is that you recommend it:)
I normally use a wooden spoon to poke holes but had a feeling with the denseness of this cake that it would just smush it together so the toothpicks or even a small knife worked well. Those pockets with the syrup? Oh my goodness. Not really that much salt either, I have a bunch left over but it adds just that oomph that we expect from a margarita. Hmm, where is my knife, think I need a slice now! 🙂
Now THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about for Cinco de Mayo!
Right? Would you like another slice of cocktail? 🙂
This cake would be perfect for Cinco de Mayo!
It is so perfect that I’m going to have to go and cut myself another slice. 🙂
I have never made pound cake because I don’t have one of these awesome pans, but this cake is really calling my name!
No special pan required Kacey; I’ve done them in Bundt pans, tube pans, loaf pans…just watch your baking time depending on what shape and size and you’ll be fine.
I knew that syrup was going to take it over the top! I am so glad you liked it… funny thing… I use a kosher salt/sugar crystal mixture on the rim of my margaritas, too… sometimes I add chipotle to it…just a drop … depending on the margarita. I love how this looks!
It was SO good, thanks for a great recipe and I am so glad I tried both the syrup and that mixture for the top; was sort of perfect. Good to know I’m not the only one making rimming salt/sugar mixes…it is SO much better than all salt isn’t it?