24 January 2010

Margarita (Rainbow) Cake

based off of this recipe

I've made this cake twice. The first time, I made it in it's normal color.

I also made it as my "wild card" entry in the bake-off this week. I made it into a rainbow cake and called it "stumbling over the rainbow" garnished with whipped cream (clouds) and tequila (a pot of gold!). I have made a few rainbow cakes before. I got the idea from my friend Sarah, and learned how to do it from this blog, which explains how to make a layer cake. A bundt is a little different.

The first time I made this cake it was AMAZING. This week when I made it, it was good, but not great. I made it exactly the same (except for the colors, of course) and I think the problem was the limes. I tried one of the limes and it just didn't taste very good. There is a lot of lime juice in both the cake and the glaze. So, my take home message is, don't make this cake unless you have delicious limes!

Onto the cake!

1 package of Betty Crocker French Vanilla Super Moist Cake (or other vanilla box cake)
1 3.4oz package of instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup orange juice (no pulp)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup reposado or silver tequila--cheaper quality is fine, but I would recommend against "gold" tequila (I generally am against "gold" because it has fake flavors) and "anejo" tequila (because it is more expensive and has a stronger flavor)
2 Tbsp triple sec (cheap is fine here too)

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
2 Tbsp tequila (same rules as above)
1/4 cup triple sec or higher quality orange liqueur (I use Contreau)

coarse salt for garnishing

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour a bundt pan. I am always worried about cakes not coming out of the bundt pan, so I always flour well!!

2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix until combined thoroughly.
if you want to make this as a regular cake, just pour all of the batter into the bundt and skip to step #7

3. To make a rainbow cake, separate the batter into 6 small bowls.
4. Add food coloring to the bowls. Use gel food coloring instead of liquid, if possible. Gels make a might brighter dough.

5. Keep adding colors until very bright. I don't think you can over-color. Purple is the hardest color to make, but you can do it! Mix thoroughly.

6. Put the colors in the pan. Purple first, them blue, green, yellow, orange and red.

7. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick or chopstick inserted into the middle of the pan and comes out clean.
8. While the cake is baking, make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup triple sec and 2 Tbsp tequila and whisking until smooth.
9. When the cake is ready, remove it from the oven. Pierce the cake with a fork several times. Pour 1/2 cup of the glaze on the cake. Allow to sink in for 10 minutes.
10. After 10 minutes, flip the cake over onto a cooling rack that has been placed in a large tray or baking pan (so glaze can drip off without making a mess!).
If you used the coloring, the cake will not be pretty! Because of the purple food coloring and the butter from the pan, it looks brownish. Don't worry!

11. Pour 1/3 of the glaze (about 1/4 cup) on the cake. Wait ~15 minutes. Pour another 1/3 on. Wait another ~15 minutes, then pour the last 1/3 on. Make sure the whole cake has been covered with glaze. Use a brush if you have one.
12. Once the cake has fully cooled, squeeze lime juice over the cake and sprinkle with coarse salt.
13. Cut and serve!

Notes: I arranged the colors the way I did because I knew I wanted to arranged the slices of the cake on the plate to look like a whole rainbow. I wanted the purple end in the middle and the red end on the outside, so I made the purple the round end. If you are going to serve this just as single slices, I would put the red in the bottom because the colors will look more like a real rainbow.


  1. Plus, with as much liquid food coloring as you would need to add, it can thin out the batter and can change the cake consistency or cooking time.
    The cake looks great! =)

  2. ooh, good point Amber! I hadn't even thought of that. I just use the gels because they have a much more vibrant color.