Brannon and I love Cinco de Mayo. Texas was definitely a good place for us to live because we could live on beef fajitas, chips and guacamole, and margaritas. Living up in Minnesota has proved challenging for this, but we’re determined to find some places up here to get some good Mexican food. So far we’ve found one place in the Mall of America to get fajitas and a pretty tasty pineapple margarita. We’ve also found a place right by our house for some decent tacos, but we’re still hunting!
So… as you can see, we definitely celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Want a bit of history as to why this is a “holiday” (and a delicious recipe for this cupcake?) Well here you go:
What is Cinco de Mayo?
Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla!
- In 1861 Benito Juarez became the president of Mexico. At that time, Mexico was in debt and owed a lot of money to Spain, Britain, and France.
- As a result, all three of those countries sent naval forces to Veracruz, Mexico demanding repayment.
- Mexico was able to negotiate with Spain and Britain, so they withdrew their naval forces.
- However, France, led by Napoleon III, would not negotiate and instead decided to attempt to carve an empire out of Mexican territory.
- This resulted in the Battle of Puebla. The Mexicans were vastly outnumbered and led by Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza
- On the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo) the French led an assault on the Mexican army. The battle lasted from daybreak until early evening, and the French retreated!
- The French army lost nearly 500 soldiers, and the Mexican army had lost fewer than 100.
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is a time where we celebrate Mexican culture and heritage. So there you go, you’ve had your history lesson for the day!
So, as a result of celebrating Cinco de Mayo, we must throw a fiesta! Complete with a fiesta dessert, pinata inspired cupcakes. This recipe is so delicious. If you’ve been looking for a moist vanilla bean cake that provides a lot of flavors, you should print this out and add it to your list of desserts to bake. Pair it with a creamy, rich, and not too sweet American Style Buttercream – perfection.
To get the pinata style for the icing you’re going to want a certain icing tip. Use tip #233 by Wilton. I purchased this Wilton Master Decorating Tip set a few years ago and it’s been the best investment! I say investment, but it’s only about $30, so it’s a great buy! The only other thing you will need is some cake decorating bags. I like the disposable ones for projects like this since they’re such bright colors, I don’t want to have to wash out reusable piping bags.
I only had one #233 tip, so I did all of my cupcakes one color at a time. If you want to make this go by faster then you’ll need to purchase 5 #233 tips. Load up your piping bag with a color, then you’re going to start from one edge of your cupcake and make a line down the center. As you’re going across move slow and steady and wiggle back and forth slightly to give it the “pinata” look.
*TIP* I used one of my cupcakes as my “tester.” Where I first practiced the movement across so I got the texture I wanted, and then I used it to test out each of my color to make sure it was flowing correctly.
Pair this with your favorite margarita! My favorite is getting the Tres Agaves Organic Margarita mix, and your favorite Tequila brand. My go-to lately has been Sauza – I blame Justin Timberlake, did you know he partnered with them back in 2009?
Vanilla Bean Cake Ingredients
- 1 2/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 large Eggs
- 1/3 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla
- 1/4 Cup Water
American Style Buttercream Ingredients
- 2 oz Cream Cheese
- 2 sticks Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
- 2 Tbsp Sour Cream
- 4 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Heavy Cream
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Vanilla Bean Cake Recipe
- Preheat oven to 325º degrees
- Use a stand mixer if you have one! Place all dry ingredients and butter into the bowl of your stand mixer. Turn on mixer at a low speed and let it go to work. Keep mixing until it looks like a crumb with no large chunks of butter. This will take some time (possibly around 8 minutes), so don't worry.
- While that's mixing, combine all of the wet ingredients (except the water!) in a second bowl.
- Once your dry mix is ready to go slowly add the wet ingredients, keeping your speed on low.
- Once your wet ingredients have been added, add the water in two drops. Pour in half the water, let it mix in, then pour the second half in. As soon as it's combined turn off the mixer! You don't want to over mix the batter.
- Put cupcake liners in a muffin tin, and fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way. You don't want to add more than this or else they'll overflow. I like to pour my batter first into a gallon size ziplock, cut the tip off one edge and "pipe" in my batter to keep my pan and edges of my cupcake liners nice and clean.
- Bake for 18-22minutes. You want to insert a toothpick and for it to come out without being wet, that way you know your cooked all the way through. You also don't want the tops to be too dark and overcook. So set it for 18minutes, check it, and then add time in 2-minute increments.
- Let them cool in the tins, and then pop them out (I like to use a fork). You want to let them cool otherwise you'll push the cake into itself when you pop them out and it will squish in that spot.
American Style Buttercream
- Cut up your sticks of butter into 1-2 tbsp size chunks.
- Use a stand mixer if you have one! Place the cream cheese, sour cream, and chunks of butter in the mixing bowl and mix until combined. I placed mine on high speed because I don't have a paddle attachment, more of the whisk, and this worked bets!
- Once it's all combined, turn your mixer down to low and add in your powdered sugar little bits at a time. Add it slowly or it will explode all over your kitchen. Trust me on this one.
- When you have all your powdered sugar added turn the mixer on high and whip.
- Add the heavy cream and vanilla, and continue whipping on high until the icing is light and fluffy.
- If you think your icing needs to be thicker add more powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time. If it needs to be thinned add one teaspoon of heavy cream at a time.
- Use right away! Enjoy, it's delicious.
Please be sure to tag me on social media @breepair if you make these cupcakes! I can’t wait to see how they turn out for you and have fun with the colors. Pinatas are many different colors and I can’t wait to see what you came up with. Happy Cinco de Mayo!