Margarita Trifle

This month for Cosmopolitan I made a Margarita Trifle!! To make this trifle even more festive, I assembled the trifle in a giant cocktail glass. I used my favorite vanilla cake layer recipe, a triple sec and tequila simple syrup, and a lime buttercream. The full video can be seen here. I will also have the full tutorial up on my Youtube channel soon! The recipes used can be found below:

Lime Cake Layers:

  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1 cup egg whites (about 7 large egg whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp lime extract
  • lime green gel food coloring (I used Americolor Gel Food Coloring in the Electric green shade)

Lime American Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • zest of 2 limes
  • juice of 1/2 a lime

Tequila Triple Sec Simple Syrup

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp tequila
  • 2 Tbsp Triple Sec


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line four 8” round pans.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium high for about 30 seconds.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling.

While the cake layers bake and cool, prepare the simple syrup. Place the sugar and water in a heat proof pan, and heat on a medium high heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to allow the mixture to simmer until all the sugar is dissolved (2-3 minutes). Add in the tequila and triple sec, and remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool.

Next, make the lime buttercream. Beat the butter on high for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the lime zest, lime juice, and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

To assemble to cake, begin by adding a sugar rim to your container. Run a lime slice around the perimeter of the container, then dip into sugar.

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Crumb the cake layers into a bowl using a fork.

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Place some cake bits at the base of the container, and gently press down into a flat layer using your palms.

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Drizzle the simple syrup over the cake pieces. Pipe on an even layer of buttercream, and repeat until container is full.

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Top with green sprinkles, a straw and a lime! Then it’s time to dive in. Happy hour just got a whole lot sweeter 😛 It could also be fun to make miniature version of these in individual sized containers for a party!

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