Easy Taco Cake

IMG_7758 (2)

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, it only seemed appropriate to make a Taco Cake to celebrate!! This cake is just as fun to decorate as it is to eat 🙂 The recipes can be found below:

Vanilla Cake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (about 3 large egg whites)
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil

Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Additional tools and Ingredients:

  • 1 cup crushed Oreos
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, colored with yellow and orange food coloring
  • Wilton 103 tip
  • offset spatula
  • 10 1cm cubes of red fondant (tomatoes)
  • yellow, orange, and green food coloring
  • piping bags

Recipe makes two tacos; each taco has roughly 6 servings.


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line one 8″ pan, and one 7″ round pan.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium high for about 30 seconds.

Bake for 32-35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling.

To make the frosting, beat the butter on high for 30 seconds, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

NOTE: When making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

Add 1.5 cups of frosting into a separate bowl, and mix in 1/4 cup of cocoa, and 2 tsp of heavy cream to make chocolate buttercream.  To create the “beef” of the taco, add 1/2 cup of this chocolate frosting to 1 cup of crushed Oreos in a different bowl, and set aside. Place another cup of frosting into a bowl, and color a bright shade of green with gel food coloring. Place frosting in a piping bag with a Wilton 103 tip (petal tip). Set aside 1/4 cup of uncolored frosting (to be the sour cream), and color the remaining frosting a bright shade of yellow with gel food coloring.

MVI_7744_Moment (2)

To assemble the cake, cut the cake layers in half. Secure one of the halves of the 6″ cake layer in the center of the cake round, vertically. Cover with an even layer of chocolate buttercream. Place two halves of the 7 inch cake round vertically against the frosted layer, and cover with yellow buttercream. These two layers will be the taco shell. Smooth, then add the crushed Oreo/chocolate frosting mixture on top of the 6 inch cake half. Next, pipe on some lettuce with the green buttercream. Gently place some of the shredded coconut on top, then add the fondant diced tomatoes. The last step is to top the cake with a dollop of white buttercream. Repeat these steps with the remaining cake layers.

IMG_7758 (2)

I had leftover chocolate cake batter from a different baking project, so I decided to use it for the center layer of this cake. It could also be fun to make this a funfetti cake by adding 1/2 cup of sprinkles to the batter, or even 1/2 cup of crushed Oreos!!

IMG_7794 (2)