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Dec 16, 2012 07:58 PM

Trying to Find a Particular Type of Mexican Cake [moved from MSP]

A few years ago - when I was working in Bloomington - I used to eat at La Mixteca on Portland just south of 494. It was really good Mexican - or at least it was at that time.

They kind of had an on-again, off-again bakery section in the restaurant. It would be there for a few months, then not there, then back again. When they did have the bakery, but only some days, they would have this particular kind of cake that I haven't found anywhere else, and I was wondering if anyone knew where I might find it, or where I could get a recipe for it.

I tried a few times to ask the woman who did the baking what it was called, but I don't think she spoke (much) English, and all I could get out of her was something that sounded like "wheat". It was a sheet cake, about 2.5-3" tall, cut in triangles. It was a _very_ hearty whole-wheat cake, dense and sweet, but not too sweet. And _really_ whole-wheaty - tasted like it would be a really healthy cake, if it weren't so "moist" that it would kind of leave grease stains on the paper bag. No frosting - it seemed to be kind of dusted with wheat bran - almost seemed like they saved the chaff of the wheat and dusted that on top.

So, is that ringing any bells with anyone? I still get a craving for it occasionally, and haven't found it at any of the other Mexican bakeries I've tried.

Any help would be appreciated - thanks in advance.


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  1. I would check Marissa's Panaderia on 28th & Nicollet, Panaderia del Mexicano in Midtown Global or perhaps someone can make a recommendation for St Paul (a google search brings up Don Panchos on Cesar Chavez St).

    1 Reply
    1. re: bkmnus

      Been to both of those (and 5 or 6 others) - no dice, unless it's only a once-in-awhile thing. I don't think it was a seasonal thing - I got it several times over a several-year period.

    2. Sorry - I've never seen anything like this at the bakeries I frequent. But I wonder if it's a Mexican version of those great bran muffins that Supermom's makes...

      Did it look anything like a sheet-cake version of the loaf cake shown in this blog?

      I found it with a google image search for "pastel de salvado de trigo" (which, Google Translate tells me, is Spanish for "wheat bran cake"). If this lovely picture is close to the remembered cake of your dreams, you could take the picture with you to each Mexican bakery in town. Or show it to every Spanish speaker you meet, in case they know where to find it.

      Good luck!

      6 Replies
      1. re: AnneInMpls

        Good guess - and a good-looking cake/bread - but that's not quite what I'm trying to find. This cake had no nuts/fruits/etc. inside - it was very much, texture-wise - like a large, plain, bran muffin. but not quite as sweet, and a bit more "bran-y" than most muffins I've had.

        But, using your search terms, I've found something that, at least, _looks_ similar to what I'm after:

        The cake at La Mixteca definitely wasn't chocolate, It looked almost exactly like this one, but rectangular and with additional wheat bran on top.

        I tried Google to translate that recipe, but it didn't do such a great job with the ingredients. Not sure that "wheat bran" and "oat bran" are the correct translations for the main ingredients - whole wheat flour and oat flour? And where would I buy 4 cups of "cheese smoothie"? I like the directions, though - "mix everything together and microwave for 7 minutes". Doesn't get much easier.

        Thanks for the suggestion - getting closer.

        1. re: AnneInMpls

          Okay - thanks to the search suggestion from AnneInMpls, I believe I've found the cake I was looking for:

          It really does seem to be lacking "normal" flour - it's listed under "sin harina" (flourless) in several of the pages I looked at.

          Here's a video for a similar cake - it looks like a very rough, dry dough:

          I'll need to do a little research to translate a few of the ingredients - does anyone read Mexican recipes? I can get Google to translate "sobre de levadura quĂ­mica hacendado" as either yeast or baking powder, depending on how I group the words.

          Thanks again, AnneInMpls for the helpful pointer.


          1. re: greghoffman

            Hey Greg -- hope that you've found your cake! For translation help, I'd suggest posting something like "Please help translate Mexican cake recipe" on Home Cooking board -- you might hit a wider audience.

              1. re: greghoffman

                Well, given that quimica = chemical, that more closely corresponds to baking powder (a quick chemical reaction) than yeast (a slower reacting micro-organism). Also, given the context of the rest of the recipe - there's no kneading to develop gluten, no rising or resting time like you have for yeast, and the relatively short bake time - looks like a quickbread type recipe to me that's calling for baking powder, not yeast (granted, my Spanish is a little rusty and I haven't had reason to bust it out in the last few years - but I'm pretty confident on this one).

                1. re: amishangst

                  Yeah - that's the gist I was getting from it, too. But how much is a "packet"/"envelope",

                  Also, as far as I can tell, the unit of measurement is a glass Nutella (Noccilla/Nocilla) jar?

                  I'll use DuchessNukem's suggestion and post it somewhere more general. I get the basic idea of the recipe - the video I pointed to earlier helped with a few things - but I fear there might be some things I'm not quite grasping.

            1. I did find a recipe and gave it a try - the English translation, discussion, and results are here:


              The cake ended up tasting very close to what I was looking for, and with a few tweaks, I think it will make a reasonable substitute...

              Thanks for everyone's help.