Tequila Sunrise Cake

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This Tequila Sunrise Cake is sure to be one of the prettiest cakes you will ever make. The recipe uses tequila in the batter, making it super flavorful. A sweet orange syrup finishes off this easy and fun dessert that is truly delicious.

Tequila sunrise cake on a cream plate with a slice being taken out.

The cake is made with a combination of orange and pomegranate so you get the classic tequila sunrise flavor. The colorful batters are layered into a bundt pan which results in stunning swirls of red and orange that mimics a sunrise. This cake is great for a special occasion or holiday party.

When it comes to cake, I’m all about the “wow” factor. I love cakes that make a statement by looking gorgeous. My triple chocolate mousse cake and raspberry jelly donut coffee cake are just a couple examples of this.

Tequila Sunrise Cake on a cream colored plate.

This colorful cake is a basic orange bundt cake with a little pizzazz. The batter is divided in half. Tequila is mixed into one-half and pomegranate juice is mixed into the other half. I also added red food coloring to the pomegranate flavored batter. I wanted the color to be bright and bold.

The recipe calls for 5 eggs which helps the cake remain extra moist. Finish it off with a sweet orange glaze made with sugar, orange juice, tequila, and confectioner’s sugar. It’s flavorful and adds a little extra sweetness to the cake.

Close up view of a slice of tequila sunrise cake.

The easiest way to get beautiful swirls of color throughout the cake is to use a 1.5 tablespoon size cookie scoop and drop alternating colors of batter into the pan. Then, gently tap the pan onto the counter to remove any air pockets.

A slice of tequila sunrise cake on a dark blue plate.

Tequila Sunrise Cake is the perfect party dessert. I’m sure it will be a smashing hit if you take it to your next holiday party. Garnish the cake with pomegranate seeds and orange slices for an extra special presentation.

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Tequila sunrise cake on a cream plate with a slice being taken out.

Tequila Sunrise Cake

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

I love a bright, fresh bundt cake and have taken this one to a boozy level. The interior is soft, dense, and colorful. Tequila is baked into half the batter for the classic tequila sunrise flavor. The cake is coated in a sweet citrus glaze that is spiked with tequila. This is one delightful dessert fitting for any holiday or special occasion.


For the cake

  • 1 and ¼ cups unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅔ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup tequila
  • ¼ cup pomegranate juice
  • red food coloring

For the glaze

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • pomegranate seeds for garnish


Make the cake

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and heat to 350°F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with cooking spray. Dust the pan lightly with flour then tap out any excess.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the orange zest and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir with a whisk to combine. Use a silicone spatula to gently fold half the flour mixture into the butter mixture just until incorporated. Add the orange juice and stir until combined. Fold in the remaining flour mixture until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
  4. Transfer half the batter to a medium bowl. Add the pomegranate juice and a few drops of red food coloring. Stir with a whisk until well blended. And the tequila to the remaining batter and whisk until well combined.
  5. Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, drop alternating colors of batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pan on the counter one or two times to remove any air pockets. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few dry crumbs.
  6. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the glaze

  1. Combine the sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in the tequila and confectioners' sugar until smooth.
  2. Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze all over the surface of the cake. Slice and serve with pomegranate seeds.


Try piercing the cake in multiple places with a toothpick. This will create small cavities for the glaze to seep into adding extra flavor and moisture.

Make ahead tip: Cover the unglazed cake tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 2 months. Bring the cake to room temperature, make the glaze, and serve.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 626

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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  1. TAYLOR TURNER says:

    What brand of tequila did you use?

    1. I believe I used Jose Cuervo Clasico Silver. It’s been so long; I don’t remember exactly. Any brand you enjoy drinking will work just fine though.

  2. Could we use a different pan? Possibly small loafs?