Thursday, August 25, 2011

Strawberry Margarita Cake

Look! I made a cake!  My difficulty with cakes has come from two areas: 1) removing from the pan (despite trying various tips and tricks) and 2) frosting.  I can never get it as smooth and pretty as my mom and sister do, so instead I'm just focusing on other yummy treats.  But last weekend we had friends over for dinner and I wanted a light, fruity treat to share with them.  This recipe had been in my stack since May, and now was the perfect timing.  The light cake has a lovely strawberry sweetness and the lime whipped topping was a refreshing change to thick buttercream.

The recipe is based on a boxed cake mix, but as we head into the rigorous schedules of fall (back to school, no more vacations, and all that), consider this a time saver.  It comes from Betty Crocker and was featured as a fun twist on dessert for Cinco de Mayo, but it's pretty much perfect whenever.  I choose to make the standard 9 x 13 inch pan, but you could do 2 round pans, cupcakes or whatever your heart desires by following the baking instructions on the box.  For a split second, I considered adding lime juice to the whipped topping as well, but didn't.  After tasting it, Dave and I both agreed it was good, but a little more lime in the topping would have sealed the deal.  A squeeze of lime juice (maybe 2 teaspoons) would be worth the effort.

Strawberry Margarita Cake


3/4 cup bottled strawberry-flavored margarita drink mix
1/2 cup water
1 box white cake mix (I used Betty Crocker SuperMoist)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (called for on box)
3 egg whites (called for on box)
1 lime, zested
1 8-ounce container whipped topping

Measure out dink mix and add water to total 1 1/4 cups.  Stir to combine.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, pour in cake mix, oil, egg whites, and drink mix.  Beat on low speed for 2 minutes.  Note: You can do this with a hand mixer or with a little shoulder power and a wooden spoon, but I find the final texture of a cake is just better when the batter is beat in a stand mixer.  It's just one of those things that can't be copied.  

Scrape sides of mixer and pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan (or pans of your choosing).

Smooth batter evenly in pan and bake at 350 degrees F (or 325 degrees F for a dark or nonstick pan, like mine) for 27-32 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Note: If using a different sized pan, follow the directions on the box for recommended baking time.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, add the zest of a lime to whipped topping and mix thoroughly to combine.

When cake is completely cooled, spread whipped topping evenly over entire cake.

Cut into squares.

Makes 1 cake with either 12 or 24 pieces, depending on how many people you're serving.  (I cut mine into 24 and found the pieces were quite big enough for dessert.)

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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