My high school level 4 Spanish skills are finally coming to good use...aside from my ability to order MAS GUACAMOLE at Lauriol Plaza (DC classic Mexican food establishment) they’ve been kept a bit rusty. For my co-workers send off to her new job I offered to make a celebratory cake. Using the Quick and Delicious vanilla cake recipe (featured here) I decided to attempt something a bit more exciting. The theme of the party was Fiesta-del-Rachel-o! (because Rachel loves a fiesta…, but really, who doesn’t?) so I immediately thought of sombrero cake. I Google imaged a few options and decided this wouldn’t be that difficult. And actually…it wasn’t!
After baking two 9 x 13 in. sheet pan cakes, one cupcake and three mini round cakes (you’ll need to quadruple the original recipe for this so I’ve adjusted the portions below to save you the math troubles.) I let them cool completely and then crafted the delicious Mexican hat. When the cakes have completely cooled take them out of their pans and place the two sheet cakes beside one another. Cut out an oval shape and then ice the base completely. Next, stack the mini cakes and top with the cupcake. Use toothpicks to secure the top of the hat. Place the top in the center of the cake and cover in icing. Then, decorate away! There are lots of fun Mexican patterns online that are simple geometric and colorful to use as inspiration.
for the two 9x13 inch. cakes, 3 mini cakes and 1 cupcake:
1 lb. unsalted butter or margarine
2 cups milk (or water is fine)
6 cups flour
6 tsp. baking powder
4 tsp. vanilla
3 cups sugar
for the icing
4 cup unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature
8 tsp. vanilla
8 cups confectioner's sugar (icing sugar, powdered sugar...it's all the same)
8 tblsp. milk or water
Cream together the butter and sugar (and by this i mean use a beater or a spoon until the two ingredients are well combined into a nice smooth batter). Add the eggs to mixture. In a separate bowl mix the flour and baking powder together and then spoon these dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Finally add the milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
*For a single layer cake use a 9in. greased round pan and bake @ 350 for 35-40 minutes. (Feel free to double the recipe if you want a double layer cake!)
*For cupcakes, spoon into paper lined tins and bake @ 350 for 25 minutes.
*For these mini cakes, spray the pie tins with non-stick cooking spray and bake @ 350 for about 30-35 minutes.
For the icing, use beaters on medium speed to soften the butter. Then add the icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time until completely combined. Finally add the milk to smooth out the icing and then the vanilla for flavor and any food coloring you like for style.
Make sure cakes are completely cool when you take them out of their pans or ice them.