Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

La Panadería’s Mexican Pink Cake

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Simple, nostalgic and delicious... there's a reason I used to love my parents' Sunday trips to the panadería!

This recipe brings back some great childhood memories. La Panadería’s Mexican pink cake, also known as “Pastel de Niños” (Children’s Cake) was a fixture on Sundays when I was growing up. On Sundays my Mom would send my Dad to the Latin bakery and I would tag along just to get my pink cake fix. With its simple vanilla filling topped with pink frosting and sprinkles, this cake will brighten up any birthday celebration.


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  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray or oil a 9×9 (for a thicker cake) or a 9×13 (for a thin cake) pan and set aside.
  2. In one bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, cream together the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla until creamy. Add in the lemon zest, if using. While the mixer is running, alternate adding some flour with some milk until the batter is smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean from the center of the cake. If you over bake it, the cake will be dry. Remove from oven and let cool.
For the Frosting
  1. Once the cake has cooled, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Add the food coloring and stir until well combined.
  2. Frost the cake in the pan and add sprinkles. The frosting will firm up as it sets.
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