Tequila Lime Cake

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Serves 12-16

INGREDIENTS

Cake:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

Zest of two limes

4 eggs

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup tequila plus 3/4 cup tequila for later

3 lime halves

Glaze:

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

Juice of one lime

Zest of one lime

1/4 cup tequila

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together with a whisk to blend.

In a stand mixer (or with handheld mixer), cream together butter, sugar and lime zest. Add eggs one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. At low speed, add a third of the flour, then a third of the milk. Beat until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Repeat, alternating the flour and milk. Add 1/2 cup of the tequila and beat until incorporated. Do not overmix.

Divide the batter between the cake pans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Check for doneness at 30 minutes.

Allow to cool and remove from pans. Sprinkle each cake layer with 1/4 cup (or more to taste) tequila and the juice of 1/2 lime.

After cake layers are baked and cooled, prepare glaze:

Place the sugar, water and lime juice in a sauce pan. Heat on medium-high heat, gently stirring to dissolve sugar. Allow to boil until large bubbles form on the surface (230 degrees). Remove from heat and stir in lime zest. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes maximum. Add tequila and Grand Marnier.

Spread about a fourth of the glaze on one layer; stack on second layer and spread another fourth of the glaze on top. Add the third layer.

Thinly slice a whole lime into wheels. Place on top of cake and cover with remaining glaze. (Warm glaze slightly if it begins to harden.)

Per serving based on 16 servings: 478 cal.; 5 g pro.; 73 g carb.; 13 g fat (8 sat., 4 monounsat., 1 polyunsat.); 86 mg chol.; 104 mg sod.; 1 g fiber; 51 g sugar; 25 percent calories from fat.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, by Rocco DeSpirito, adapted from his web site.