Grapefruit lovers, rejoice, and bake a Paloma Citrus Cake with Tequila-Lime Glaze immediately! This light and fluffy tequila cake, inspired by the classic cocktail, makes a perfect dessert for any occasion and feeds a crowd. Makes 12 servings.
If you’ve tried and enjoyed a Paloma cocktail, you’re in for a treat!
I’ve taken this well-loved cocktail and turned it into a cake.
This is either totally your jam or something you’d rather not consider.
What is a paloma?
It’s a cocktail that features grapefruit soda paired with tequila. It’s refreshing, tart and crisp.
Why I love this tequila cake recipe:
Boozy cakes can be precarious, and goodness knows I’ve made my fair share of errors with them.
But this cake is something to behold. Also, the glaze tastes like a margarita, which is both good and dangerous.
Please eat responsibly. Y’all have been warned. 😉
Unlike a paloma cocktail, this cake strikes a perfect balance between the sweetness and bitterness of grapefruit. And when combined with that glaze, it’s just something special.
The crumb is light and fluffy, and this cake is hard to stop eating once you start.
Other cakes to bake for a gathering: Upside Down Cranberry Cake | Strawberry Chocolate Cake | Spiced Apple Upside Down Cake with Bourbon Caramel Glaze | Praline Upside Down Pumpkin Cake with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Need more cake inspiration? Head on over to my Cake Recipe Index for more ideas!
What you need to make this recipe:
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In addition to these tools, you’re also going to need some ingredients to make this cake a thing of reality:
- Coconut oil—you may use refined or unrefined, just depending on your tastebuds. I like using this in place of butter for a dairy free cake, but you can certainly use unsalted butter in its place if you’d rather.
- Granulated sugar—also known as white sugar, there is no substitute for this in this recipe.
- Eggs—to provide structure and some lift to our bundt cake
- Grapefruit—we need the juice and zest to make this cake. You’ll probably need more than one grapefruit for all the juice, too. Pro tip: zest it first, then juice it!
- Lime—you need this for the juice and zest, too.
- Silver tequila—use your favorite brand! It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to be drinkable because you WILL taste it in the cake and the glaze.
- All-purpose flour—we keep unbleached AP flour in our house, but the regular kind totally works here, too.
- Baking powder—this is going to give our cake its rise, and it’s very important for the powder to be fresh.
- Kosher salt—I like to use a fine grain kosher salt for this recipe, but a fine grain sea salt would also work.
- Powdered sugar—this serves as the base for our glaze, and there is no replacement for it. Sometimes, it’s referred to as confectioner’s sugar.
A note on the tequila: You’ll need some for both the cake and the glaze. If you do not drink, you may swap it with the same amount of lime juice in both to make this a nonalcoholic citrus cake.
If you want to bake this Paloma Citrus Cake for a mixed group of adults and children, I advise going that direction. ^^
Our daughter, the toddler foodie she is who insists on trying everything we cook, was so sad that we wouldn’t give her a slice, so I tested it out to confirm it tasted just as good without the tequila. It does. And not shockingly, she loved her slice.
How to make this Paloma Citrus Cake
Make and Bake the Cake
Prep everything. Preheat the oven. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Zest your citrus, then squeeze them for juice.
Combine the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil and sugar. Whisk or hand mix until combined. Add the eggs next, whisking until combined.
Add the juices. Pour in the freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juices. Add the tequila (or replace it with the same amount of lime juice.) Sprinkle in the grapefruit and lime zest. Whisk until combined.
Add the dry ingredients. Sprinkle in the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until just incorporated.
Bake it! Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake until cooked through.
Flip it. Once baked, flip the bundt pan upside down immediately on top of a plate so the cake can begin to release from the pan.
Let it cool. When the cake releases from the pan, remove the pan, and let come to room temperature.
You can speed along the cooling process by placing the cake on a wire cooling rack.
Make the Tequila-Lime Glaze
While the cake cools, measure powdered sugar, tequila, lime zest and salt into a bowl.
Use a whisk or a hand mixer to blend the ingredients toether until combined.
Set aside until the cake is completely cooled.
How to Glaze a Bundt Cake
Once the cake is completely cooled off and at room temperature, lightly drizzle the glaze over the top of it in whatever pattern you like.
Be sure to save some of the glaze to drizzle on individual pieces of cake.
Slice immediately, and enjoy!
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
This Paloma Citrus Cake would be a brilliant addition to serve at any gathering, especially if you’re serving adults only. (Yes, you can make it for kids, and I go into detail about that above and in the recipe card below.)
This would be an excellent dessert to serve at a Mexican Dinner Party, Cinco de Mayo or a nighttime gathering of friends.
Here’s how I recommend making and serving this cake for guests:
- Bake the cake in advance. It’ll keep at room temperature for a day (without the glaze), and baking it early helps you be less stressed the day of.
- Make the glaze early, too… but don’t pour it onto the cake just yet. Store it in the fridge until just before serving guests, then drizzle it on! Be sure to remove it from the fridge 1-2 hours before you want to serve it so it’s more easy to drizzle on.
Frequently Asked Questions
The combination of zest and juice really sing in this cake recipe. You can definitely taste the citrus!
We’re balancing the citrus in this cake with sugar and coconut oil!
Now who wants to throw some booze into a cake batter and make a glaze that tastes like a marg? 🙋🏻
Love grapefruit? Try these recipes, too:
Here’s how you can do it and treat the folks you love with this delightful twist on a classic cocktail:
Paloma Citrus Cake with Tequila-Lime Glaze
Paloma Citrus Cake
- 8 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup grapefruit juice freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons lime juice freshly squeezed (1 oz.)
- 4 tablespoons silver tequila, OPTIONAL 2 oz.
- Zest of 1 grapefruit (~2 ½ tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 5 tablespoons silver tequila 2 ½ oz.
- Zest of 1 lime
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Make the Paloma Citrus Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
- In a large glass bowl, combine the coconut oil and sugar. Whisk together until combined.
- Measure in the eggs, breaking the yolks and whisk into the wet ingredients.
- Pour in the freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juices. Add the tequila if adding the tequila. Sprinkle in the grapefruit and lime zest, then whisk until incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet: Sprinkle in the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, and flip upside down immediately onto a cake plate so the cake can begin to release from the pan.
- When the cake releases from the pan, remove the pan, and let come to room temperature.
Make the Tequila-Lime Glaze
- In a glass bowl, measure in the powdered sugar, tequila, lime zest and salt.
- Whisk together until combined, and set aside until it’s time to glaze the cake.
Glaze the Cake
- When the cake is at room temperature, drizzle the glaze over it in whatever kind of pattern you like,
- Save a little glaze to decorate individual pieces of cake.
- Slice with a cake knife, and enjoy!
Easy entertaining tip: Bake the cake a day early, and let to keep at room temperature. Drizzle on the glaze right before serving.
How to store: Use a cake dome for optimal freshness. (If you don’t have a dome, consider using a large bowl to place over the cake plate.) This cake will keep for 2-3 days after glazing.