Mexican Theme Cake - This cake was the perfect centerpiece for a fiesta-themed party! The rainbow buttercream ruffles, fondant cactus toppers, and bright ribbon bunting make for a perfectly festive birthday cake or Cinco de Mayo celebration cake! If you're looking for fiesta cake ideas - here's a great one!
Originally published April 2019, updated September 2023
One of my most favorite and faithful clients, Rebecca, hosted a super fun and bright fiesta party for her little girl and this was the simple fiesta cake for the day!
I'm gonna be (cake-decorator) honest with you and tell you that making all the bold colors of buttercream and having to use a zillion piping bags and washing that piping tip a dozen times is not fun. But - and this is a BIG "but" - it's SO worth it to see the final effect.
Rainbow buttercream ruffles take me to my happy place every single time!
Fiesta Theme Birthday Cake
I had a few Mexican theme cake ideas but Rebecca sent a photo of a Fiesta cake and while I loved it, I really wanted to change things up. Instead of fondant ruffles (which take forever to make and are not fun to eat), I offered to do the buttercream. She thought that was a perfect idea!
It was going to be such a colorful cake (which I love!) and I was really excited about it. I knew it would be a an easy Mexican Fiesta Cake - and make me so happy!
- Regal Purple
- Electric Pink
- Tulip Red - see my recipe and tips for red buttercream here
- Electric Orange
- Lemon Yellow
- Electric Green
- and Teal
Piping the ruffles was pretty easy using a Wilton #104 tip. I used disposable piping bags (doubled-up) so it was easy to rinse out the piping tip and load the next color! I started at the top and worked my way down.
See the video below for a quick (and very old) tutorial for piping ruffles.
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This is the way I've always done ruffles but this time I had some trouble when I got near the bottom and the teal ruffles were a little messy. However, for this style of cake, I didn't stress over it too much 🙂 If any of you pipe ruffles like this, I'd love to hear - do you start at the top or bottom of the cake?
Cactus Cake Toppers
The Mexican birthday cake I used for inspiration had a single cactus cake topper. However, Rebecca requested a 9" round cake and the single cactus just looked lonely. So I ended up making a second cactus and a sombrero for more fun toppers.
After they dried and hardened (overnight), I used melted lighter green candy melts to paint over the fondant. Before the candy melts harden, I sprinkled them with white nonpariels for dimension extra character.
Fiesta Party Cake
When I finished the cacti, the cake still didn't seem complete and I didn't like the bunting on the inspiration cake, so I brainstormed and finally, it hit me - ribbon bunting! I've done something before (see here!) and I knew with lots of bright colored ribbon, I could make a topper I loved.
In the end, the rainbow ribbon bunting was perfect for the fiesta birthday cake. It was also really easy to make!
I cut several strips of different colored ribbons and tied simple knots over and over again until I was happy with the look! Honestly, I could've added a dozen more and loved it but I didn't want to go overboard.
Simple Mexican Theme Cake (details below)
Last but not least, as mentioned above, this mexican theme birthday cake was a 9" round cake. Magic Line pans are my go-to brand and I use them for 99% of my cake baking. The flavor was butter cake with vanilla buttercream. Red frosting is the hardest color to attain (next to black) so see my red frosting recipe here.
Here are some of the supplies I used for the Fiesta theme cake:
- Bamboo skewers for the cacti and to hold the ribbon bunting.
- Several colors of ribbon - get a variety pack here.
- Jute Twine (to tie the ribbons on)
- Satin Ice Green Fondant
- Bright Green Candy Melts
- White nonpariels
- Confetti Sprinkles
- Wilton #104 tip for piping ruffles
- I have a tutorial here for how I cover the board in glitter paper with a ribbon border.
If I forgot any details, please leave me a comment/question and I'll answser if I can! Do you love ruffle cakes? Check out these others I've done: