I love birthday parties… LOVE them. Not only does it give me an excuse to experiment with different cakes, but it also gives me an excuse to eat cake. And, of course, I love birthdays because it means getting together with good friends for good times.

Tonight my friend Paige and I are throwing a little birthday soiree for two very important people, Becca and Wes! I am SO excited. We have about twenty people going to a super fun Mexican restaurant in Dallas called Monica’s. After that, we plan to go out on the town.

Since we have a somewhat large group, I thought we would need a pretty big cake. Being such a huge fan of themes, I really wanted my cake to fall in line. I started thinking about all the different kinds of cakes I could make and decided on a “sombrero” cake. Since the cake would have two different sections, I emailed Becca and Wes to see what kind of cake they would prefer. Lucky for me, the both chose relatively easy cakes. Wes requested “funfetti” and Becca requested chocolate. Yum!!

To start the sombrero cake making process, I borrowed a Pampered Chef bowl from my co-worker. The bowl was the one that is typically used in making the dress part of the “barbie cake.” I’ve never actually made a barbie cake, but I imagine I will later in life when I hopefully have little girls. My co-worker had never made it either, but was very helpful in coming up with recipes on how to cook the cake. The next step was heading out to the Cake Carousel in Carrollton to find a round pan large enough to be the base of the hat. I ended up purchasing a 15 inch round pan. It turned out to be the absolute perfect size.

Not a fan of box mixes, I really wanted to make a funfetti cake from scratch. I decided on a simple white cake with a variety of different sprinkles mixed in. This is the recipe I used for the white cake. The only change I made was instead of beating in the meringue, I folded it in. I’ve never really heard of beating in egg whites, folding is what felt natural. And of course to make the “funfetti” portion of it, I added sprinkles. I used the long skinny sprinkles, not the little ball ones. Since the white cake was the portion going into the dome of the hat, I cooked it for about 50 minutes at 325 degrees. The top part got pretty brown, but luckily that is the part that gets cut off in the actual assembly of the hat. I was actually really pleased with how this cake came out. It looks like it is going to be a little dense, but also very moist.

For the chocolate cake, I used this recipe, which reminded me of one I use for a chocolate sheath cake. I omitted the cinnamon though; I’m not really a big fan of the flavor. To make enough batter for my 15 inch round pan, I had to make 2.5 of this recipe. It was really easy to double and also really easy to half. I recommend it if you ever need to make a large chocolate cake. It cooked for a little under 30 minutes. I got a little antsy and took it out at about 28. It probably should of stayed in for another two or three since the bottom was still really moist and broke a little when I took it out of the pan, but all in all, I think it came out pretty good. Since portions of it broke, I was able to sneak a few bites. Wow. It was really really good. Can’t wait to try that with buttercream.

The frosting recipe I used was sort of a “little of this, a little of that.” I used
2 sticks butter
1 stick crisco
about 3/4 bag powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp combo milk and half and half

I then colored the icing. I made a yellow straw color, red, and green. The yellow color was used all over the cake. I used the red for the writing and the green for the cactuses. For added decor, I bought multi colored twizzlers in blue, red, green, and yellow, and added them as a base around the brim of the hat. I am really really pleased with how it came out. Although it was a decent amount of work, I really think it was worth the time and I can only hope that everyone will think the cake is cute tonight.

I’ll let you know how it actually tastes and if the recipes were winners. Here is a cute pictures of the cake and the birthday boy. He was a tremendous help in the sombrero decorating process.

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