The US Hispanic population is gravitating toward biculturalism instead of fully assimilating into the American culture, according to Geoscape’s new report American Marketscape DataStream: 2012. Seventy percent of respondents in their survey reported they are embracing biculturalism.

This trend is significant to the cake business because it means that Hispanic households are more likely to continue to honor traditional Hispanic celebrations like the quinceañera, which signifies the 15th birthday of a young Hispanic girl.

The transition from childhood to womanhood is a significant passage for adolescent girls in almost all cultures. In Mexico, it is marked with the celebration of the quinceañera. This grand event is a cross between a Sweet Sixteen and a debutante’s coming-out party – a way to acknowledge that a young woman has reached maturity. The event features an elaborate quinceañera cake, which is traditionally covered in meringue frosting and decorated with colorful flowers and bright hues to match the quinceañera’s dress.

Spending trends
Hispanic households continue to show strong signs of spending for the future, which is positive news for the baking sector. US Hispanics represent nearly 58 million people in 2012 and will form the majority of growth into the foreseeable future. On average, Hispanic households in 2012 will spend more than $400,000 more than white non-Hispanic households for the remainder of their lifetimes, partly due to their younger age and longer life expectancy, according to Geoscape.

Hispanics in America spend more than $80 billion annually on food and beverage purchases, accounting for the third largest category of their household spending (trailing only shelter and insurance, and transportation), according to Geoscape. Of note, Hispanics consume 45% more flour than the average American household.

More than 41% of Hispanic households now earn more than $50,000 annually, and 71% earn more than $25,000 per year.

Cake celebrations
All this information adds up to the fact that Hispanic households spend more on celebrations for notable occasions – which are also prime opportunities for the baking industry – throughout the year. During summer months, in particular, quinceañera celebrations are gaining popularity because more Hispanic children are waiting until summer to plan their birthday parties when they are out of school, even if their birth date falls during the school year.

Bakers can gear up for quinceañera celebrations by promoting special cakes and party packages for the summer months, especially in July and August. The most popular type of Hispanic cake is the tres leches cake.

Available in both vanilla and fudge chocolate versions from BakeMark, tres leches cakes can be prepared with ease using Trigal Dorado Tres Leches Cake Mix. To prepare, follow these simple steps:

After mixing the batter, following the easy one-step procedure listed on each bag, scale the batter into a lined or greased cake pan. Bake layers in a moderate oven (330° to 340°F) until firm in center.

Remove the layers from the pan immediately after baking. Turning them over provides an even, flat layer that will help you make a level, finished cake.

Slice each layer in half using a serrated knife. You may choose to use three or four of these half layers to construct your finished cake.

Place the half layers on the workbench cut side up. Ring the edge of the layer with a band of whipped topping. Now pour 4 to 5 ounces of Trigal Dorado Alegría, and finish as desired.

Trendy ideas
Cake decorators are creating all sorts of new ideas for quinceañera cakes. Here are top ideas from across the country:

• Pink Purse Quinceañera Cake
Be creative and design a cake that represents the birthday girl’s favorite things, such as fashion and music.

• Traditional Quinceañera Cake
The classic quinceañera cake includes a court lined up on a staircase, with the quince girl above.

• Three-Tier White Tiara Quinceañera Cake
Help the birthday girl celebrate her day as a princess by placing a tiara on the top tier of your quinceañera cake.

• Quinceañera Dress Cake
Think way outside the box and turn the quince dress into a cake.

• Three-Tier Snowflake Quinceañera Cake
Having a quinceañera in the winter?
A topsy-turvy snowflake cake is a cool idea.

• Castle Quinceañera Cake
Turn the birthday girl into a princess with an elaborate castle quinceañera cake.

• Colorful Quinceañera Cake with Cupcakes
For style, surround a larger cake with colorful cupcakes. For taste, consider fruit fillings.