Ready for the Fiesta!: Margarita Chiffon Cake

A couple of weeks ago I was looking for a dessert to make for a colleague's Cinco de Mayo party, and I decided that a Margarita Chiffon Cake was in order. I know that chiffon cake has absolutely nothing to do with Mexico, but I figured that the margarita flavor of the cake, glaze, and accompanying strawberry compote made it appropriate for the occasion.

I only recently discovered chiffon cake, and I think that it's pretty wondrous stuff -- light, delicate, and yet incredibly moist. This cake was no exception. You make the batter through the standard chiffon cake method: add dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) into the wet ingredients (egg yolks, vegetable oil, lime juice, Cointreau, tequila, lime zest); fold in egg whites beaten with sugar and cream of tartar; and bake.

After fully cooling the cake upside down and releasing it from the pan, you drizzle on a glaze made from powdered sugar, lime juice, tequila, Cointreau, and lime zest. Even though I let the cake stand for 2 hours after applying the glaze, the glaze did not set totally firm. I served the cake with the strawberry compote made from strawberries, sugar, lime juice, Cointreau, tequila, and lime zest.

Given that the cake, glaze, and compote each contain tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and lime zest, you will not be surprised to hear that this cake tastes exactly like... a margarita. It is pretty darn boozy, especially the strawberries; for a teetotaler like me, it was too much to bear.

Still, I could not help but appreciate the exquisite texture of the chiffon cake, which was simultaneously weightless and rich. I would love to make this recipe again as a straight lime chiffon cake without the booze. And while I personally was not a fan of the alcoholic strawberries (although drinkers certainly had no problem with them), I recognize that berries are the perfect accompaniment to this cake, and I might go with balsamic strawberries instead. But if you're a fan of margaritas, this cake is for you!

Recipe: "Margarita Chiffon Cake" and "Strawberry Compote with Tequila and Lime" from

Previous Posts: