Tequila Sunrise Tiki Cake

My friend’s husband recently celebrated his 30th birthday. And what better way to celebrate than with a luau?  My friend is a party planning machine!  She creates the most beautiful parties and she is so sweet – she always has me make the cake!

For the luau, we decided on a fun Tiki Cake!  And because plain old cake is boring, we had a fun Tequila Sunrise Cake (not to worry there were alcohol-free cupcakes for the kiddies…more on that next week).  The cake is delicious, with a moist crumb that absolutely melts in your mouth.  The tequila buttercream is also amazing, especially when paired with the salty pretzels rods! 

Oh and those Hawaiian shirt cookies?  Check out Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle for an amazing tutorial!

Tiki Cake
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe

1 recipe Tequila Sunrise Cake (recipe follows)
1 recipe Tequila Buttercream Icing (recipe follows)
1 (12 oz) package pretzel rods
2-4 tbsp dark brown sugar
Quarter sized ball of MM Fondant, tinted blue
Cocktail umbrellas
Hawaiian Shirt Cookies

Tequila Sunrise Cake
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe

1 package plain yellow cake mix
1 package vanilla instant pudding
¾ cup orange juice
½ cup canola oil
½ cup tequila
4 large eggs
½ tsp orange extract
½ tsp vanilla extract
Orange & red gel food coloring (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray three 8-inch round pans with non stick spray.

Combine all of the ingredients (except for the food coloring) into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix on low until combined, then switch to medium and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Separate the batter evenly into 3 separate bowls (about 2 cups of batter per bowl).  Tint the first bowl orange, the second bowl orange-red, and the third bowl red.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Move the cakes to wire racks and cool for 10 minutes.  Then run a knife along the edges of the pans and flip to remove the cakes.  Cool completely.

Tequila Buttercream Icing
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe

1 ½ cups Crisco vegetable shortening
6 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ tbsp meringue powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp tequila
4-5 tbsp water

Place the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix on low until combined.  Then switch the speed to medium and mix until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Tint, if desired.

Cake assembly

Stack the cakes, with a layer of Tequila Buttercream in between each layer.  Be sure to place the red layer on the bottom, followed by the red-orange layer, and ending in orange to mimic a sunrise.  Frost the sides and top of the cake.

Snap the pretzel rods in half (they should not all be exactly the same height).  Stick the pretzels rods directly onto the buttercream on the sides of the cake.  Use a small amount of buttercream to stick to Hawaiian shirt cookies onto the sides of the pretzels.

Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the cake to mimic sand.  Roll the fondant into a small rectangular beach towel and place on top of the cake.  Place a cocktail umbrella next to the beach towel and serve!


  1. Absolutely adorable! My mouth is watering.

  2. Oh I am so glad you got pictures!!!!! I realized I only took 5....yes 5 pictures for the WHOLE PARTY!!!!!! grrrrr. It was SOOOO yummy! And thanks again Amy!!! We make a great team ;0)

  3. It looks wonderful and YUMMY! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. That is so fun and cute!! The tequila buttercream sounds so good too :)

  5. This is adorable!! I'd love to have you link this up to Tasty Thursdays on The Mandatory Mooch. It's a new linky party starting today. Hope to see you there. Thanks, Nichi

  6. Wow, what an amazing cake! You have definitely got some talent, Amy! Thanks so much for sharing on Marvelous Mondays. :)


  7. Amy, I will be featuring this cake on my blog today! Thanks again for sharing it on Marvelous Mondays!


  8. This is so cute!! Thank you so much for linking up to Tasty Thursdays last week. Hope to see you again this week!!
    Nichi - The Mandatory Mooch

  9. This is one of the cutest cakes I've ever seen! This looks like the perfect cake for your husband's luau.

  10. Those cookies are adorable, and I love the pretzel sticks around the cake!

  11. This is just so cute, and the inside is so pretty - it definitely reminds me of a sunrise!

  12. This is such a cool idea! Love it! :) And the cake layers are so pretty.

    Thank you for entering the Spiked! Tequila Recipe Challenge! (Psssttt... Please be sure to include the Spiked! button in this post to be considered for judging- Thank you!! ;) )


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