Office Party Margarita Poke Cake

Office Party Margarita Poke Cake

Need an easy idea for the Cinco de Mayo office get-together (one the boss will actually approve of)? Here it is. A subtle margarita taste in the iconic poke cake. Covered in homemade lime cream cheese buttercream. Cream cheese buttercream. Three of the most delicious words ever eaten. I mean, spoken. I am not eating frosting as I type this. The keyboard is just naturally sticky.


Strawberry gelatin is not the only thing you can pour in a poke cake. Found this brand at my local Wally World. Apparently another well-known gelatin brand makes this flavor as well. But this was all my store had. They have strawberry daiquiri flavor, too. Because this box has fewer ounces than some other brands, I had to reduce the amount of water I would normally mix in to it. I also added a couple drops of green food coloring. The gelatin is barely visible in the finished cake without it, but you may omit it.

I cheated and used a white cake mix, substituting the juice of one lime for part of the water called for on the box. You can use your favorite homemade white cake recipe if you like. Bake, cool a bit, poke holes all over the cake, and pour the gelatin mixture down the holes, then refrigerate to let everything meld together. Poke cakes, if you’ve never eaten one (What? You must not be from the midwest because these babies have been staples at every potluck and barbecue for, like, since the invention of time around these parts.) are insanely moist cakes you never need to worry about drying out. Cheater tip: did you bake a cake too long and it’s a little dry? No problem-you planned on turning it into a poke cake all along, right?

Let’s eat talk frosting. This is my favorite cream cheese frosting. It’s actually a buttercream frosting with cream cheese, but the most important thing is it’s lip smackin’ good. Pass me a spoon. I omitted the vanilla and added lime juice and zest to compliment the margarita flavor in the cake. Because the frosting contains more liquid than in the original recipe, I found it helpful to refrigerate it 20 minutes before I piped it. Not piping, just spreading? I think you can skip the refrigeration.

Bring this faux-boozy cake to the office anytime, not just on May 5. Your boss will promote you if you do. Okay, I cannot guarantee that. I heard your boss likes cake, though. So bring it.

Office Party Margarita Poke Cake

May 2, 2017
: 15-20


  • 1 2-layer size white cake mix + all ingredients called for on box (or use your favorite white cake recipe)
  • Juice of one large lime
  • 1 pkg. Margaritaville margarita gelatin mix
  • ¾ c. boiling water
  • 6 Tbs. cold water
  • 2 drops green food coloring, optional
  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 8 oz. brick cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ½ c. powdered sugar (the original recipe calls for sifting. I personally don’t sift the powdered sugar unless it’s extremely lumpy)
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • Step 1 Make cake following directions on package except squeeze the juice of one large lime into a measuring cup and then add enough water to make the amount of water called for on the package. Add all other ingredients as directed on package.
  • Step 2 Bake the cake according to package directions in a 9”x13” pan. Don’t underbake.
  • Step 3 Cool cake in pan on wire rack 45-60 minutes.
  • Step 4 Use a regular size drinking straw (or something with similar diameter, nothing larger) to poke holes all over the cake, being careful not to go all the way through to the bottom.
  • Step 5 In a small bowl mix the gelatin with the boiling water.
  • Step 6 Mix in the cold water and food coloring if using.
  • Step 7 Carefully pour the gelatin in all the holes in the cake.
  • Step 8 Refrigerate 2 hours.
  • Step 9 In a mixing bowl beat the butter 30 seconds.
  • Step 10 Add the cream cheese and beat until well-combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Step 11 Reduce speed and gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, mixing well.
  • Step 12 Mix in the 2 Tbs. lime juice and the zest.
  • Step 13 Gradually add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth and well-combined.
  • Step 14 Refrigerate 20 minutes if planning to pipe the frosting. Skip if just spreading.
  • Step 15 Frost cake. Store in refrigerator.
Frosting recipe adapted from Wicked Good Kitchen



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