Our Cinco de Mayo celebration called for a zesty dessert with south-of-the-border flavor. I made this Margarita Loaf Cake years ago and completely forgot about it until Mom made it and reminded me of how delicious it is.
Fresh lime zest blended with sugar to bring out all the great flavors, mixed with butter (yes, real butter), eggs, flour and your typical cake ingredients...
Topped with a glaze made of Tequila and Triple Sec and put under the broiler to make a crunchy layer... serve it warm with fresh fruit and whipped cream... and it's a terrific Springtime dessert.
2 1/4 cups unbleached cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons minced lime zest
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tequila
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Triple Sec
Coat a 9"x5" loaf pan lightly with no-stick spray. Cut a piece of waxed paper to line the bottom of the pan and press it into place. Lightly coat the waxed paper with shortening or no-stick spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together twice onto a piece of waxed paper.
In a large bowl, mash together 1 cup of the sugar with 2 tablespoons of the lime zest until moist and fragrant. Add the butter and beat until smooth. One at a time, beat in the eggs. By halves, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the creamed mixture; do not overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out almost clean, about 50 minutes. Cool the cake in a pan on a rack for 15 minutes.
Position the rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler.
In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, the tequila, lime juice, remaining 1 tablespoon lime zest, and Triple Sec.
Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the waxed paper. Set the cake upright on a broiler-proof pan. Gradually spoon the tequila mixture over the top of the loaf, allowing it to absorb as much of the glaze as possible. Set the cake under the broiler and broil until the top is bubbling and lightly browned, 30 seconds to 1 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
Although the recipe calls for cake flour, I just used all-purpose. I'm guessing the cake flour would make the cake lighter and less dense, but there were no complaints about the end result.
When you place the cake under the broiler, be very careful to keep an eye on it as the alcohol will catch fire. Once it bubbles and turns light brown, you're golden... so to speak.
I took the leftover cake to work the next day and it disappeared before lunch, so apparently it's great for breakfast too!