Cactus or sombrero shaped cake pans are hard to find novelty pans. If you want to make a Southwestern-themed cake that looks like a cactus or sombrero, you can try to track down one of the few shaped pans. However, you may also want to consider the option of shaping a cake baked in a more traditional pan.
Cactus or Sombrero Shaped Cake Pans
Amazon and Target sell a pre-seasoned saguaro cactus pan from Lodge Logic that contains five small molds for baking tiny cakes, cornbread, muffins, or other baked goods. The pan is made of cast iron and is non-stick. Since the molds are smaller than those made for a traditional cake, this pan would be a good one to use for making cupcakes or an assortment of different-flavored small cakes.
Wilton, America's most well-known manufacturer of cake decorating supplies and equipment for home and professional bakers, makes a cowboy-boot-shaped pan with a cactus imprint. The model has been discontinued and can often be found used or new on eBay or in secondhand stores. In addition, Wilton used to manufacture a party-hat pan that has also been discontinued. Models can occasionally be found on Amazon or eBay, and with extra cake added to the bottom and sides of the pan, a decorator could form a sombrero from it without much trouble.
It's tough to create your own cactus or sombrero shaped cake pans, but with a little extra planning and time, you can create these cakes with conventional round- or sheet-cake pans. You just need a long serrated knife to cut the cakes into pieces and buttercream frosting to join the pieces together.
- Wilton offers one design for a "Happy Trails" cake on its website. The cake uses an oval pan, a square pan, and a round pan. Wilton shows bakers how to combine the products to create a sombrero-shaped cake decorated with cacti, flowers, and an old-fashioned horse cart.
- Taste of Home posts instructions for a cactus cake and flowering cactus cake on its Web site. One is baked and assembled in two 9-inch by 13-inch sheet cake pans, and the second is baked in three parts with one 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan and two mini-loaf pans. Each cake is decorated with green buttercream frosting.
- Disney's Family Fun magazine exhibits one of the notable entries from its "Great Cake Contest," the sombrero cake, on its website. To make the cake, you need a 16-inch round cake pan and a doll-dress cake pan (traditionally used to bake the curved bottom part of a doll's dress). After both cakes have baked, use buttercream to seal the doll-dress cake on top of the large round cake, and decorate the cakes with colorful buttercream frosting.
- Another way to make a sombrero cake is to start with a cookie-cake base that you can bake yourself or purchase ready-made at a bakery. Use a doll-dress cake pan or round cake pan to bake a conventional cake, and freeze the cake briefly to firm it up after it cools. Then use a sharp serrated knife to curve the top and sides of the cake to resemble the top part of a sombrero. Cover the cookie cake with buttercream, place the curved cake on top, and frost the entire cake with buttercream to finish.
- If you don't want to bake and prepare two separate cakes, you can frost a round serving tray or pizza pan to serve as the base of your sombrero cake. Use a domed cake pan to bake your single cake, position it on top of the frosted tray, and frost and decorate the top of the dome before serving.
Because cactus or sombrero shaped cake pans are difficult to find, you may have better luck creating one with regular cake pans all ready in your cupboard.