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Margarita Cake

Margarita Cake – Cheers to this decadent and zingy take on a margarita cake. It’s infused with that classic punchy lime flavor and even better with a bit of tequila!

Who doesn’t love a margarita? Bright acidic lime and ice-cold tequila are an iconic pair. A margarita will light up your taste buds because it incorporates all five flavors: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. This characteristic also makes the drink the perfect foundation for all kinds of baked goods.

I’ve made Margarita Bars, a fun twist on the classic lemon bars—plus a Strawberry rendition because they were such a hit. Then, Margarita Cupcakes were another foray into the possibilities of this iconic flavor combination. And now, I’m hooked on this Margarita cake.

a fork in a piece of cake


Margarita Cake

The crispy graham cracker crust, delicate cake, and creamy topping offer a variety of texture experiences. Add that to the powerhouse of flavors, and it’s easy to get hooked on this recipe. So what are you waiting for? Shake up a margarita, and let’s get baking!

Why This Recipe Works

  • A graham cracker crust stabilizes the cake’s super moist and melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • Alcohol isn’t necessary to give this cake an iconic margarita flavor. However, if you’d like an adult-only recipe, add tequila for an extra burst of flavor.
  • You’ll only need a handful of ingredients to create an indulgent from-scratch cake that’s as simple as it is delicious.
cake ingredients

What You’ll Need


  • Butter – Baking powder includes salt, so you’ll want to use unsalted, room-temperature butter to tone down the salty flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Flour – All-purpose flour has enough protein to stand up against all the acidity (and possibly alcohol) in this recipe.
  • Baking Powder – You can swap the baking powder for ⅓ teaspoon of baking soda if necessary.
  • Margarita Mix


  • Graham Crackers Crumbs
  • Melted Butter – You could use salted or unsalted butter during this step since the added sugar counteracts any additional salt. 
  • Granulated Sugar


  • Heavy Cream
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Margarita Mix – If you don’t have margarita mix, you can use equal parts lime juice for the topping.
  • Lime Zest
spreading whipped cream over baked cake

How To Make Margarita Cake

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for the FULL PRINTABLE recipe card.

  1. Form and bake the crust. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a bowl. Then, press the mixture into the bottom of a 9” baking dish. Bake it in a 350°F oven for 8 minutes.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. While the crust is baking, start the cake batter by creaming together the softened butter and sugar. Use a hand or stand mixer for this job. Beat the two together for about 2-3 minutes until the texture becomes light and fluffy with a pale color.
  3. Combine with the eggs and vanilla. Slowly mix in 1 egg at a time until they’re all thoroughly incorporated. Then, blend in the vanilla. 
  4. Add in the dry ingredients. Next, add the flour and baking powder to the batter. Mix it until it’s combined and no dry flour is left. Take care not to overmix, or you’ll end up with a dense cake.
  5. Incorporate the margarita flavoring. Finally, incorporate the margarita mix until the batter is smooth.
  6. Bake the cake. Pour the batter onto the baked crust. Transfer the pan back to the oven and allow it to bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove it from the oven once the top is golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. When you press on the top of the cake, it should spring back into place.
  7. Make the topping while the cake cools. While the cake cools, start your topping. First, beat the heavy cream with a hand or stand mixer until it forms still peaks. Then, add the powdered sugar a little at a time, so you don’t cover your kitchen in a burst of sugar. Add in the margarita mix and stir until everything is combined.
  8. Frost and serve. Once the cake is completely cool, you can frost and serve the cake. Cheers!
margarita cake topped with lime zest and a slice of lime

Recipe Tips

  • An easy and mess-free way to make graham cracker crumbs is to crush the whole crackers in a resealable plastic storage bag. Place whole crackers into the bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. Seal the bag and place it on your counter. Then, crush them with a rolling pin or heavy pot until you have a uniform and consistent crumb. 
  • Use a 9” spring form pan to make removing the cake from the tin effortless. Since this cake has two distinct layers and a soft texture, a spring-form pan ensures a quick, clean release.
  • You’ll know that the heavy cream is at the “stiff-peak” stage when you lift the mixer out of the whipped cream, and it forms a mountain-like peak. The peak will have a firm tip that sticks straight up and doesn’t flop over. 
  • Even if the cake feels cool, it could still have a warm center. Over time, that residual heat will melt the icing. Ensure you allow the cake to cool completely, around an hour, before frosting it.
a bite missing from a piece of cake

What Can I Use Instead Of Margarita Mix

Easily substitute the ¾ cup of margarita mix in the cake recipe for ¼ cup of lime juice and ½ cup of milk.

Can I Add Tequila To The Cake

Start the party by swapping the ¾ cup of margarita mix in the cake batter for ½ cup of that mix and ¼ cup of tequila. Keep in mind that not all the alcohol cooks off in the oven. After 30 minutes of baking, there will still be about 35% of the alcohol content present in the cake.

How To Store Margarita Cake

The cream in the frosting won’t last on the counter, so it’s best to store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge. This way, it’ll last for about 3 days. Let it come to room temperature before cutting into it and serving.

How To Serve

This Margarita Cake doesn’t need much fanfare since it’s already the star of the show. However, if you’re looking for topping inspiration, try one of these options:

  • Lime – Simply zest a lime over the cake for bright and beautiful flecks of decoration. You could also use lime wedges or thinly sliced rounds. Dried or dehydrated lime rounds would be eye-catching on this cake, too.
  • Mini Tequila Shooters – It would be fun to serve each slice of cake with one of those little tequila mini-bar bottles nestled in the frosting. You could even make this recipe in cupcake tins instead of one large cake, and top each one with a lime wedge and tequila shot! 
  • Coarse Turbinado Sugar – Just like you’d rim a margarita glass, you could rim the cake with coarse sugar crystals! Pair it with a lime wedge, and your guests will immediately get the idea.

More Tasty Dessert Recipes

Yield: 12

Margarita Cake

close up slice of take with a fork in it

Margarita Cake - a moist and tender cake flavored with margarita! Tequila is optional, but gives it a fun twist!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes



  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup margarita mix (see notes)


  • 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon margarita mix/lime juice
  • Lime Zest


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar for the crust. Press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan, or 9 inch square baking dish. Bake for for 8 minutes.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together for 2-3 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until fully incorporated. Add vanilla and mix until blended.
  5. Add flour and baking powder, stir until just combined.
  6. Add margarita mix (or your liquid of choice) and mix until smooth.
  7. Pour into baked curst and bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is just golden, it springs back when you touch it, and a tester comes out clean.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cook completely before topping.
  9. To make the topping beat heavy cream until stiff peaks. Add in powdered sugar and margarita mix/lime juice until well combined.
  10. Spread over the cooled cake. Top with the zest of 1 lime.


You need 3/4 up total liquid. If you don't have margarita mix, you can use 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/2 cup milk. Want to add tequila? Use 1/2 cup margarita mix, and 1/4 cup tequila.

Recipe Adapted from Betty Crocker

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 435Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 86mgSodium 158mgCarbohydrates 58gFiber 1gSugar 41gProtein 4g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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Tuesday 11th of April 2023

Such a gorgeous cake! This is so perfect for parties!!

Beti | easyweeknightrecipes

Monday 10th of April 2023

I would love to try this! It sounds amazing!!

katerina @

Monday 10th of April 2023

This looks and sounds incredibly delicious!! YUM!

The Mom Chef

Friday 20th of May 2011

I love anything with lime in it so this is a keeper by default. That being said, after reading the directions, I'm doubly wanting to make it. Thanks a bunch for sharing your adaptation of the recipe with us.

The Mom Chef

Friday 20th of May 2011

I love anything with lime in it so this is a keeper by default. That being said, after reading the directions, I'm doubly wanting to make it. Thanks a bunch for sharing your adaptation of the recipe with us.

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