The signature mil hojas cakes at Miranda’s Bakery in Woodburn, Oregon, which are topped with fresh grapes, strawberries, kiwifruit, peaches and pineapple, are so popular that the Hispanic bakery does not experience a typical slowdown in cake sales during the winter months. Cake sales are strong and steady all year long.
In fact, customers increasingly order mil hojas cakes for their special occasions including weddings and quinceañeras. Miranda’s Bakery recently created a four-tier mil hojas wedding cake with two full sheet cakes, three half sheet cakes and one quarter sheet cake. The amount of fresh fruit on top makes quite a statement.
“I worked with mil hojas cakes for many years in Los Angeles,” Miranda’s Bakery owner Gustavo Miranda says of his time working at a Southern California bakery prior to moving to Oregon. “When I came here, I think we were the first to have it in this area.”
With creative cakes and other products, Hispanic bakeries across the country are seeing more opportunities to expand business and broaden their appeal to a diverse customer base.
For Panadería San Miguel in Minneapolis, helping wedding couples plan ahead is vitally important. The bakery’s cake showroom features dozens of wedding cake designs and creative stands. “A lot of big cakes are still popular,” the bakery’s Stacey Romero says. “People come here to get a better idea of what they are going to buy. It’s been cool for people to let us be a part of their celebrations. Celebrations are a big part of our culture.”
One trend that Panadería San Miguel has witnessed involves a move away from pillars as the cake stands for the elaborate quinceañera and wedding cakes ordered by their customers. One of the most popular cake stands at the bakery resembles a tree trunk, which is consistent with the current trend of couples choosing nature-based themes for their celebrations. Popular color trends for cake decorations include red and maroon.
“We try to accommodate what we can,” Romero says. “Our cashiers are trained to ask what ribbons they want for their cake, and some cakes have different patterns and sequins. For quinceañeras, usually the color of the cake is determined by what color their dress is going to be. A lot of quinceañeras are popular in the summertime. Most times, depending on the specific cake they want, we may get orders a year ahead of time. It’s like a wedding, you have to plan a lot.”
Once the order is place and the cake design is determined, Panadería San Miguel doesn’t bake their special cake until the week of the celebration. Final assembly of the cake is handled at the venue on the day of the event. The bakery uses two mini transit vans for cake deliveries. Romero says they have dabbled a little in doing fondant cakes for celebrations, but these types of cakes are a bit more expensive and not as popular with their customers.
At El Mexicano Panadería in Minneapolis, owner Filiberto Onofre makes both whipped topping and fondant from scratch for wedding and quinceañera cakes. “We are starting to see more demand for fondant cakes,” he says, adding that most customers still prefer the flavor of whipped topping over fondant.