Cortadillos (Mexican pink cake)

Prepare these delicious Cortadillo cakes at home so you can enjoy it with a delicious coffee in the morning. Those colourful squares are also know as “Pastel de Niños”, a common pan dulce to find at any mexican bakery.

I love having Cortadillos with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk in the morning, because, well… Who doesn’t like cake for breakfast!?

Cortadillos: Mexican pin cake. Displayed on a light environment.

What is mexican cortadillo?

Cortadillos is a very popular Mexican sweet bread (pan dulce) very appreciated throughout the country by everyone.

It has a very cake-like texture, fluffy and soft to the touch. Its flavor is vanilla with aromatic notes of citrus (lemon and / or orange); It is covered with pink icing, this and the colored sprinkles give a very nice look to this Mexican cake.

The name is because once the cake is prepared and decorated, it need to be cut into squares to be sold separately in the Mexican bakeries.

Related Recipes: Polvorones (mexican cookies) | Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead, a traditional bread)

Variations

There are some versions of the Cortadillos, one of the most popular is by making the frosting with buttercream instead of glaze, which gives a more creamier texture and look.

In various States the Cortadillo Pan is also cut into triangles. You’ll find those types mostly in the northern States.

Another version is precisely the color of the frosting since in some cases no colorant is added, leaving it in white instead of pink.

And finally, we can find also Cortadillos that doesn’t contain any filling and are just decorated, usually with buttercream instead glaze. If cortadillos cake include a filling it will be normally strawberry jam or maybe pineapple jam.

Ingredients for cake

  • All-purpose flour (300 gr – 2 cups)
  • White sugar (300 gr – 1 ½ cups)
  • Small eggs (6 pieces, 300 gr approx.)
  • Whole milk (150 ml – ⅔ cup)
  • Vegetable oil (240 ml – 1 cup)
  • Baking powder (3 tsp.)
  • Baking soda (1 tsp.)
  • Salt (½ tsp.)
  • Vanilla extract (2 tsp.)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon (3 tbsp.)

For the frosting and filling

  • Confectioner’s sugar (175 gr – 1 ⅓ cup)
  • Whole milk (3-4 tbsp.)
  • Butter, melted (2 tbsp.)
  • Red food coloring
  • Sprinkles
  • Jam (200 gr – 1 cup)

Step by Step Recipe

Grease a 16 × 12 inch (40cm x 31cm) rectangular cake pan. Heat the oven to 360F (180°C) and place the rack in the middle.

In a bowl, sift the flour together with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Put the eggs, sugar and lemon zest in a separate bowl.

Beat on high speed until it forms a light yellow foamy cream (see video).

Add the oil, vanilla, milk and lemon juice. Beat on low speed to integrate everything.

Add the flour in three parts, beating a little on low speed to integrate it into the egg mixture between each addition.

Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake between 20 to 25 minutes (depending on your oven) or until you see that the bread has reach a golden -brownish color on the surface and when you insert a toothpick in the center it comes out completely clean.

Take the cake out of the oven and place it on a rack. Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then carefully remove it and place it on the rack. Let it cool completely.

Cut the cake in half lengthwise.

The filling

Distribute the jam on top of one of the halves covering it very well.

Carefully place the other half of the cake on top and press a little to stick them to each other.

If you are going to decorate Cortadillos with two different colors of icing, the next step is to cut the cake in two again. If you are only going to decorate it with a single color, continue with the recipe.

Decorate

Place the confectioner’s sugar in a bowl, add the milk and the two tablespoons of butter. Whisk until the ingredients are integrated.

Add the colorant one drop at a time and mixing very well to integrate it until the desired degree of color is achieved.

Pour the icing on the surface of the bread and with a spatula distribute it very well to cover everything.

Sprinkle with the colored sprinkles on top and let the cake sit for at least an hour.

After the resting time and when you see that the glaze has completely dried, cut the bread into squares or triangles.

Tips & Tricks for Cortadillos

  • While I give you the measurements in cups too, I highly recommend that you use a kitchen scale. There are very cheap ones in the market and they are perfect to use in bakery recipes.
  • It is best to add the sprinkles to Cortadillos as soon as the glaze is on, when it is still wet to help them stick well and not fall off when cutting and handling the cake.
  • Let the frosting dry completely before cutting the cake, so the cut is more even and clean.
  • If you’d like your Cortadillos with buttercream frosting, there are many recipes around for delicious and easy buttercream. Adding buttercream will make this recipe a wonderful cake for parties!

Watch How To Make It

Cortadillos (Mexican pink cake)

Prepare these delicious Cortadillos cakes at home so that you can enjoy it with a delicious coffee in the morning. Those colourful squares are also know as “Pastel de Niños”, a common pan dulce to find at any mexican bakery.
PREP 30 minutes
COOK 25 minutes
TOTAL 55 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 12
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

For the cake

  • 300 gr (2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 300 gr (1 ½ cups) white sugar
  • 6 small eggs (300 gr aprox.)
  • 150 ml (⅔ cup) whole milk
  • 240 ml (1 cup) vegetable oil, canola, sunflower, etc.
  • 3 tsp (9 gr) baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

For the filling and decorating:

  • 200 gr (1 cup jam) , strawberry, apricot, etc.
  • 175 gr (1 ⅓ cup) confectioner's sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp whole milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • red food coloring
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

  • Grease a 16 × 12 inch (40cm x 31cm) rectangular cake pan. Heat the oven to 360°F (180°C) and place the rack in the middle.
  • In a bowl, sift the flour together with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Put the eggs, sugar and lemon zest in a separate bowl.
  • Beat on high speed until it forms a light yellow foamy cream (see video).
  • Add the oil, vanilla, milk and lemon juice. Beat on low speed to integrate everything.
  • Add the flour in three parts, beating a little on low speed to integrate it into the egg mixture between each addition.
  • Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake between 20 to 25 minutes (depending on your oven) or until you see that the bread has reach a golden -brownish color on the surface and when you insert a toothpick in the center it comes out completely clean.
  • Take the cake out of the oven and place it on a rack. Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then carefully remove it and place it on the rack. Let it cool completely.
  • Cut the cake in half lengthwise.

THE FILLING

  • Distribute the jam on top of one of the halves covering it very well.
  • Carefully place the other half of the cake on top and press a little to stick them to each other.
  • If you are going to decorate Cortadillos with two different colors of icing, the next step is to cut the cake in two again. If you are only going to decorate it with a single color, continue with the recipe.

DECORATE

  • Place the confectioner’s sugar in a bowl, add the milk and the two tablespoons of butter. Whisk until the ingredients are integrated.
  • Add the colorant one drop at a time and mixing very well to integrate it until the desired degree of color is achieved.
  • Pour the icing on the surface of the bread and with a spatula distribute it very well to cover everything.
  • Sprinkle with the colored sprinkles on top and let the cake sit for at least an hour.
  • After the resting time and when you see that the glaze has completely dried, cut the bread into squares or triangles.

notes

  • While I give you the measurements in cups too, I highly recommend that you use a kitchen scale. There are very cheap ones in the market and they are perfect to use in bakery recipes.
  • It is best to add the sprinkles as soon as the glaze is on, when it is still wet to help them stick well and not fall off when cutting and handling the cake.
  • Let the frosting dry completely before cutting the bread, so the cut is more even and clean.
Nutrition
Serving: 1grams
Tried this recipe?Don't forget to tag us on Instagram! @maricruzava.blog

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