Margarita Icebox Cake

Mood Maybe Margarita Icebox Cake

For summer editions of Ladies' Supper Club we usually come up with an outdoor theme, which allows us to enjoy the weather and gives ladies who don't have quite enough in-of-doors space the chance to host a Supper Club. This weekend we spent the afternoon at a beautiful spot in Tilden Park, and made 'icebox' recipes that could be prepared and chilled ahead. This Margarita Icebox Cake was a pretty big hit. It's not...unrich, but the brightness of the lime (and spike of tequila) keep it from being overpoweringly heavy. I made quite an effort to source some agar agar, a vegetarian gelatin substitute, but couldn't find it anywhere (not even Berkeley Bowl, hard to believe). Most vegetarians in attendance could remember having had a jello shot recently though (hey, we were all in Vegas just the other weekend), so exceptions were made.

Mood Maybe Margarita Icebox Cake

Margarita Icebox Cake
Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen
  • 1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp grated lime zest + 1 lime cut into thin slices
  •  3 cups pretzels
  • 6 tbsps unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 tsps unflavored gelatin (or substitute agar agar)
  • 10 oz margarita mix*
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup triple sec
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • *I made my own instead of using pre-made: mix 5 oz fresh lime juice, 5 oz water, and 2 tbsp agave nectar.

Crust: Heat oven to 350 and place rack in middle. Grease a 9" springform pan and line the perimeter with a 3' strip of parchment paper. Process coconut and lime zest in food processor until coarsely ground; reserve 1/2 cup. Add pretzels to remaining coconut mixture and process until finely ground. Add melted butter and pulse to combine. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until edges are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Filling: Combine 1/4 cup of water and gelatin or agar agar in small saucepan and let sit until gelatin softens, about five minutes. Add margarita mix, tequila, and triple sec and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until gelatin dissolves, about five minutes.  Cool 15 minutes. Using mixer fitted with whisk, whip cream on medium-low speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form. Using clean bowl, whip sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese until combined. Add 1 cup margarita mixture and whip until incorporated. Fold in one-third whipped cream, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream. Pour filling into crust. Refrigerate until just set, about 1 hour.

Topping: Stir remaining 1/2 cup water into remaining margarita mixture. Pour mixture through fine-mesh strainer into 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Pour over filling and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. Remove sides of pan and parchment. Press reserved coconut mixture onto sides of cake and top with lime slices. Serve.

Mood Maybe Margarita Icebox Cake
Mood Maybe Margarita Icebox Cake