Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sombrero Cake for your Fiesta!

Once again, my best friend wanted a cake for her birthday party. This time it wasn't going to be just my family having her over for dinner, though. It was my family and about 20 other guests having her over for a Mexican Fiesta party. What a great idea that was!

Around here, it's hard to find someone who DOESN'T like Mexican food. We went to the international grocery store to do our shopping. We bought jalapenos by the dozen, many pounds of queso, about 180 corn tortillas...we even got several of the Jarritos brand soda made in Mexico. Those turned out to be adored by the kids!

I kept thinking about the cake. A chili pepper cake? Maracas? A margarita cake? I settled on the sombrero cake. I'll get to the other ones some other time. The deciding factor was finding one of my really big aluminum serving trays that was perfect for the sombrero's brim...

The middle of the cake was made using a Betty Crocker Bake-n-Fill dome pan. This is one time I used Duncan Hines cake mix - remember, I "always" use Pillsbury. Duncan Hines was on sale for $1 a box so I thought I'd go ahead and use it. Never have I had so much trouble with a cake mix before! It was dry and crumbly. It didn't want to release from the pan. It didn't have any spring to it. But, I managed to "glue" the cake together with some icing and complete the job.

I placed the cake in the middle of the large aluminum serving tray and coated the whole thing, including the tray, in yellow icing. I tinted the icing with yellow and brown food coloring gel to get more of a straw color rather than a bright neon yellow. It still looks bright in the photo.

I did the writing big and loopy around the edge of the brim to make it more like the fancy sombreros you see in the Mexican restaurants. Then I just made the trim around the middle of the sombrero very bright and colorful.

The colorful "pom-pom balls" around the edge of the cake are supposed to resemble the fabric pom-pom trim from decades ago. I think Cheech and Chong had some in their car in their movie Up In Smoke.

We got crazy spiral candles for the top of the cake. The cake got rave reviews, but I think the best thing was the Fiesta theme itself. I would love to have another one of these! The food was great, everyone had a good time, the decorations were loud and fun (we even played themed music). We had people here ages 3 to 60+. The only thing missing was a pinata but I couldn't bear the thought of a bunch of kids swinging sticks in my house. We'll save that for warmer weather when they can do it outside.

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