Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gluten Free Margarita Cake

I saw a recipe a couple years ago in a Kraft email for margarita cake and it sounded sooo good, but not gluten free.  I have tried it and tweaked it and changed it around so that it's gluten free, all me, and well, perfect!

I use this recipe in place of angel food cake because it is so much easier, I get reliable results every time, and the texture is amazing.  The lime is fairly mild, so it goes well with just about anything.

The original recipe I read had a pretzel crust.  I tried it and honestly didn't like it.  And GF pretzels are just too expensive to use in something you don't love them in!  It was a flat cake and served with frosting, but when I made it, it just tasted like it needed fruit and cream instead.

A couple years ago a good friend of mine was diagnosed with celiac, and for his first gluten free birthday, he wanted strawberry short cake, made with angel food cake.  I seriously tried 10 different recipes.  I had made angel food cake many times with gluten but for some reason, every time I made it gluten free it was a disaster.  It would come out looking perfect and golden, it would even taste good, but it fell flatter than flat.  This cake was my solution.

So in honor of berry season, here is this great summer recipe.  It is fantastic with any berries, but I particularly like it with the yummy blackberries out of my garden.  I take it to parties and people who don't know it's gluten free ask me for the recipe (ha ha ha, you just loved something gluten free!).

printable recipe 

Gluten Free Margarita Cake

Betty Crocker gluten free yellow cake mix
6 egg whites
1 lime
2/3 cup margarita mix
1/3 cup cooking oil

Preheat the oven to 350°

Prepare a bunt pan by coating it with cooking spray then sifting powdered sugar over the cooking spray.  Turn the pan upside down and tap it gently to release extra sugar.

Wash the lime and zest it (I don’t have a zester so I just use the fine grate on my cheese grater).  I like a lot of zest, so I try to get most of the outside of the lime.

Slice the lime in half and juice it.  I invested in a citrus juicer, a little hand held tool that turns the lime nearly inside out and squeezes all the juice out.  For years I thought this an unnecessary gadget, but after using a friend's, I had to have one. Set aside the lime juice and zest.


Place the egg whites in the mixer and beat until they form peaks.  I tried making it without beating the egg whites and the texture was not as good, it was almost dry and crumbly.  When you beat the eggs, it changes the structure of the protein and adds air to the batter.


Add the oil and the cake mix to the egg whites and beat until smooth.  The batter will be quite thick at this point.

Add the margarita mix and the lime zest & juice.  Beat until combined.  The lime juice creates a chemical reaction with the leavening in the cake mix, it will foam up, don’t over-beat it and get it into the pan quickly.  Pour it into the prepared bunt pan and put it into the oven.  The first time I made it, and it foamed up so quickly, I had flashes to elementary school science class and baking soda/vinegar volcanoes.


 Bake about 45-50 minutes until the cake is golden brown and springy.

Remove from the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes, then invert it onto a plate to continue cooling.  Serve cooled cake with whipped cream and fresh fruit.


Welcome to yummy!  Sometimes when there is leftover cake I will sneak out to the kitchen in the middle of the night and snitch a slice of the cake plain.

I cut it into narrow pieces so it makes 20 servings, but no one eats just one piece!