Tequila-Lime Snack Cake

When you’re in need of a quick and easy dessert, or looking for something to enjoy with an afternoon drink, look no further than this recipe. Tangy, tart lime complements the subtle flavor of masa harina in this simple, two-bowl cake. While it can be glazed directly in the pan we suggest turning the cake out onto a plate, so its bright glaze can drip lazily down its sides.

20 mins
24 to 30 mins
1 hr
one 8” square or 9" round cake
Tequila-Lime Snack Cake - select to zoom
Tequila-Lime Snack Cake - select to zoom
Tequila-Lime Snack Cake - select to zoom


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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8” square or 9" round pan.

  2. To make the cake: Weigh your flours; or measure by gently spooning into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, masa harina, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a larger bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, milk, tequila, and lime zest.

  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

  5. Immediately transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading it to the corners and edges.

  6. Bake the cake until the top feels set, the edges are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean: 28 to 30 minutes for an 8” square pan, or 24 to 26 minutes for a 9” round pan.  

  7. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely before glazing.

  8. To make the glaze: Stir together the confectioners’ sugar, lime zest, tequila (or milk), and enough lime juice to reach a smooth, pourable consistency. 

  9. Leave the cake in the pan, or turn it out onto a plate so the glaze can drip down the sides.

  10. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake and gently spread it to the edges.

  11. Storage information: Store the cake, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Masa harina (translation: dough flour) is flour made from corn that’s been soaked in a solution of slaked lime (nixtamalized) to loosen its hull and soften it, which improves its texture and helps release its nutrients. The soaked corn is ground into a paste (masa), dried, and then ground again, this time into a fine flour. Due to the corn’s special treatment, neither cornmeal nor corn flour are good substitutes for masa harina.