Single-Layer Chocolate base w/Chocolate Buttercream
Double-Bundt Red Velvet Cactus w/Vanilla Buttercream & Pink Coconut Macaroons
We celebrated a friend's return home to Cyprus with a Going Away Taco Night Party! And I wanted to bake a special cake.
When thinking about a fiesta, taco night, Tex-Mex goodness, etc... the desert is a perfect representation of these ideas. Super. Time to Google, "cactus cake." Surprisingly, there are plenty of cake styles to choose from and individual interpretations of 'cactus.'
The design I chose as inspiration is this round cactus with a little flower. Most cakes that follow this design are large ball-shaped cakes sitting in a fun terra cotta pot with Oreo "dirt". I don't have a ball-shaped pan. I decided to bake two Bundt cakes and invert one - that's kinda ball-shaped, right? The size of pan I had was too big. When I went looking for a smaller pan, all I found were really small - too small for a full cake. Ok...let's make the dessert floor. That's when I decided to bake a 10" round...big enough to make a statement and support the cactus.
Since the Bundt cakes are already hollowed out in the center, it seems like a perfect opportunity to turn that little bit of yumminess into a piñata cake! Perfect for Taco Night. I placed a Red Velvet cupcake at the base, filled the center with yellow M&Ms, and topped with a second Red Velvet cupcakes. Vanilla Buttercream was a good choice to bring all those pieces and parts together.
|Notice on the right side of the photo, the bits of the small bundt cakes I cut off in order for the pair to form this shape.|
The green vanilla buttercream is the natural choice for the exterior. I piped the cake like a beach ball - making seams that went from one side, over the top, and back down again. This kept me from making rows and allowed for a more organic/haphazard look.
I piped royal icing spikes...but they were very fragile and broke apart. I'll need to practice working with this medium a few more times. I chose to sit this cactus into some Oreo dust dirt, but didn't want to cover the entire desert floor.
The little bits of pink are coconut macaroons I bought from a carnival here in town.
I baked cupcakes in addition to cake because I had additional batter. Of course, the lemon cupcakes seemed like a 'must have' for taco night.
Setting up photos before the dinner was easy, the cake-cutting pictures were done mid-party so they're not what I would have done. But...I'd much rather enjoy an evening with friends, always!
It was well received and enjoyed by our wonderful friends.
|The 8-person selfie...wouldn't be Taco Night without it. I'm the one in the back, on the right.|