Cortadillo is a Mexican dessert also known as pink cake. Learn the history and facts; easy cortadillo recipe and ingredients; professional kitchen tips and improvisation to make yours at home conveniently.
This article contains the following subheadings:
- Description: What it is, history, and facts.
- The Recipe: Detailed information on preparation and more.
What is Cortadillo?
Cortadillo is a traditional Mexican cake, which means cut into pieces in Spanish. The cake is also known as Mexican pink cake because of its light pink color.
The main ingredients of this cake are flour, sugar, eggs, milk, butter or margarine, vanilla extract, and food coloring. More ingredients could be added like cocoa powder or coffee granules to change the color of the cake to brown or black.
There are several other variations of cortadillo depending on where it’s made. The most popular one is cortadito that is usually eaten with hot chocolate or coffee after dinner on Christmas Eve. Another type of this cake that can be found on New Year’s Eve celebrations is called coquitos that has cinnamon, cloves and other spices for flavor along with raisins, walnuts or pecans inside it.
Ingredients needed for Cortadillo
For the Cake:
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
For the Buttercream:
- 1 cup Unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract I used clear Mexican vanilla for the buttercream and regular vanilla for the cake
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- neon pink food coloring
How to make Cortadillo step by step
Make the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350oF and grease and line a 9x13" baking pan with a parchment sling, leaving a piece hanging over the pan on the two longer sides to aid in lifting later.
- Set aside the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy and pale in color, about 2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time, making sure each one is thoroughly combined before adding the next. After the eggs have been mixed in, add one-third of the dry ingredients, mix on low to incorporate, then one-third of the buttermilk, another third of the dry ingredients, another third of the buttermilk, and finally the last amount of each.
- Mix just until combined, then use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth it out, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake is lightly golden brown and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Set aside, and make your buttercream.
Make the buttercream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, vanilla extract, and salt for 1 minute on medium speed. Reduce the speed to low and add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time to avoid a powdered sugar cloud.
- After you've incorporated all of the powdered sugar, add the heavy cream and mix on low for a minute before increasing to medium high for a full minute to make the buttercream nice and fluffy.
- Once the buttercream is ready, color it with food coloring. I used regular food coloring, but if you live near a cake supply store, you can look for gel coloring there; just make sure it's a neon pink to look like the traditional cake. To achieve the desired saturation, I used 40 drops of neon pink food coloring, but start with 20 and work your way up. Start with a few drops of gel coloring and work your way up. Mix the buttercream until all of the color is incorporated, then spread it evenly over the cake and top with sprinkles.
- Return the cake to the fridge for 30-45 minutes to allow the frosting to firm up for a clean cut and an even better tasting cake!
Recipe Video: How to make Cortadillo
Learn how to make cortadillo. This is a video on how to prepare your cortadillo.
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