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Dec 18, 2012 09:33 PM

Mexican Wheat Bran Cake Recipe Translation Help?

I've found a recipe for what I think is a particular cake I used to purchase at a Mexican bakery here in the Minneapolis area:

I'm having trouble translating the recipe, though. I get the general idea of the recipe - I saw a video of someone making a similar cake - but some of the measurements are confusing me.

1.) If I'm interpreting the Google translation properly - above the ingredient list, does it really say that the unit of measurement is a "glass Nutella (Nocilla) jar"?

2.) How much is a "packet" of baking powder?

3.) I assume "rayadura de limón" is lemon zest - but how much?

4.) What are the times/speeds(?) in the instructions? I assume some kind of mixer settings, but any particular one?

5.) What kind of pan?

If someone who works with Mexican recipes could help me with the translation of this recipe, I'd appreciate it.


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  1. 1) Yes. the author says she uses a glass jar for measure, one that is i am assuming, one cup, like the glass jar from the Nutella.

    2) 1 packet = 2 teaspoons

    3) rayadura should be spelled ralladura, and yes it is zest. the zest of one lemon

    4) Recipe

    .-3 vasos de salvado de trigo
    3 cups wheat bran
    .-1/2 vaso de aceite de girasol
    1/2 cup sunflower oil
    .-1/2 vaso de fructosa
    1/2 cup fructose
    .-1 vaso de leche de soja
    1 cup soy milk
    .-1 sobre de levadura química hacendado ( o cualquiera otra apta )
    2 tsp baking powder
    .-rayadura de limón
    zest of one lemon
    .-3 huevos enteros + 3 claras.
    3 whole eggs + 3 egg whites

    Pulverizar la fructosa y la piel de limón 15sg vel 10
    Mix the fructose and lemon peel for 15 seconds on speed 10 (stand mixer or food processor... i'd prefer the latter for speed 10, the former for speed 1... :) )
    Añadir , los huevos enteros , el aceite y la leche de soja.Mezclar 30sg vel 4
    Add the whole eggs, oil, and soy milk. Mix for 30 seconds on speed 4
    Añadir el salvado de trigo y la levadura , programar 1min vel 4
    Add the wheat bran and baking powder. Mix for one minute at speed 4.
    En un bol, montar las claras a punto de nieve y agregar el preparado anterior envolventemente.
    In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and fold in.
    Untar un molde con aceite y verter la masa.
    Grease a cake pan with oil and pour in the batter.
    Precalentar el horno a 180ª, introducir el molde y mantenerlo 25 min aproximadamente.
    Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F -- 356 F really, but...) and bake for approximately 25 minutes.

    5) Guessing an 8" cake pan.

    Good luck!

    12 Replies
    1. re: Emme

      Thanks so much for the translation - just a few quick questions:

      I assume regular sugar could be substituted for "fructose" ? And regular milk for soy milk? I'm assuming these are attempts to avoid dairy and lower the glycemic index of this recipe, and not some Mexican cooking secrets? It looks like quite a few of the recipes on that blog use "alternative" sweeteners.

      Also - is wheat bran a common ingredient found in Mexican grocery stores, or is that something I'll probably have to look for at a health food store? I looked at my normal grocery store last night, and didn't see it in the obvious locations ("Baking Needs" or the fairly well-stocked "Hispanic" section).

      I think I found the "mixer" that was being used - it's a "My Cook" Heated Blender by Taurus - referenced elsewhere on the page. Looks like an interesting machine - kind of a cross between a mixer, blender, and food processor, but also with an induction heating element thrown in - you can cook right in the mixer, and use it to stir while you're cooking.

      Thanks again for your help.


      1. re: greghoffman


        According to 1/2 cup of fructoes = 1 cup of sugar.

        You can definitely substitute soy milk for regular milk.

        You might be able to find wheat bran at a Mexican store but look for Salvado de Trigo. They might have in the "natural" product section. If you can't find it, GNC might have it.

        1. re: greghoffman

          I'd be wary of this recipe for several reasons:

          - use of wheat bran, and no flour does not make sense. I wonder if the blogger means whole wheat flour instead.

          - the use of a Nutella glass and packets of baking powder suggest this is from Spain, not Mexico. A Mexican cook would have used 'Royal' (the main baking powder brand in Latin America).

          - the use of fructose (presumably crystaline), sunflower seed oil, and soy milk point to a modern natural-foods source, not anything traditional (Mexican or Spanish). These ingredients are easier to find in a natural-foods store than a Mexican one.

          1. re: paulj

            Paul - completely agree this recipe is not Mexican and that it is missing flour. I don't believe there's actually a Mexican recipe for such cake but I found another Spanish recipe that does have flour on it here

            1 taza de germen de trigo (1 cup wheat bran
            )1/2 taza de harina de trigo OOOO (1/2 cup refined flour)
            1 taza de harina integral (1 cup whole wheat flour)
            2 huevos (2 eggs)
            2 cucharaditas de aceite (1 tsp cooking oil)
            2 cucharadas de polvo de hornear (2 tbsp baking powder)
            2 cucharadas de azúcar rubia (2 tbsp sugar)
            1 taza de leche desnatada (1 cup 2% milk)

            Mix all the wet ingredients - eggs, milk and oil.
            In a separate bowl, mix solids - flour, wheat bran and sugar.
            Add wet ingredients to solids. Mix until fully integrated.
            Grease a cake pan with butter and pour the batter.
            Bake for about an hour or until a knife comes clean when dipping it in the center of the cake

            It doesn't tell the baking temp.
            Preparación de la tarta de germen de trigo
            Primero mezclas los ingredientes húmedos, los huevos, la leche y el aceite. Aparte mezclas los sólidos e integras todo. Colocas la mezcla en un molde enmantecado y enharinado y la cocinas por espacio de casi una hora hasta que hundiendo el cuchillo en el centro salga seco. Puedes terminar decorando con algunas semillas.

            1. re: manatisalas

              germen de trigo - that looks like wheat germ

              That looks like a dense quickbread, lightly sweetened (only 2T blond sugar).

              For what's it worth, I regularly make a pumpkin bread, using half flour, half mixed grains (including bran (wheat or oat), almond meal, oats etc).

            2. re: paulj

              Yeah - it didn't quite make sense to me without the flour, but I've looked at some similar-looking recipes, and several of them have "salvado de trigo" and no other flour.

              I looked up pictures of "salvado de trigo", and it certainly looks like wheat bran. The cake I was looking for was _really_ bran-y - if there was any flour in there, it was minimal, and the top was sprinkled/dusted with what looked like wheat bran.

              Guess I'll need a little more research. Thanks, everyone, for your help so far.

              1. re: greghoffman

                i thought the same, but was giving you the literal translation. there are a number of typos, ones that were particularly odd, like the use of a y instead of a "ll" in rayadura... would never use a y in spanish... i thought maybe the blogger intended whole wheat flour as well... i'd say more than likely it needs to be wheat germ and at least a small proportion of wheat flour... whole or regular..

                1. re: Emme

                  the consensus here appears to be that 'rayadura' is a scratch, while 'ralladua' is the result of grating something like cheese or a lemon rind. Still the sound is close enough (in some dialects) that even native Spanish speakers can be confused.

                  1. re: paulj

                    Google translated it as "lime scratchings" I assumed it was a typo, too, but maybe it's not.

                    As far as the wheat bran vs. whole wheat flour vs. whatever else it might be - I'm not sure. I've been looking at a lot of similar recipes - some have flour (harina) and wheat bran, but the pictures look much more bready than cakey/muffiny. There are also several recipes that combine "salvado de trigo" (wheat bran) with "salvado de avena" (oat bran) - maybe the "gluey-ness" of the oat bran kind of holds the thing together?

                    I'll have to look around the Mexican markets here to see what I can find - and maybe take a look at a few other Mexican bakeries to see if anyone else around here makes it.

                    1. re: greghoffman

                      The wheat bran that I get from natural foods bin is a rather fluffy flakes, with no starch or gluten to hold things together. Oat bran is denser flakes. I use oat bran in modest quantites as an additive to quick breads, but haven't used in ways that it dominates. It's supposed to be a good source of soluble fiber, but I doubt if it has much of a binding quality.

                      Trying to make breads where either of these dominate almost falls in the alternate-baking world of 'gluten free'. I say almost, because obviously wheat bran is not gluten free.

                      1. re: paulj

                        I think what's holding this recipe together are the eggs...3 whole eggs + 3 egg whites. That's 6 egg whites and, if whipped, it's probably enough to act as an adequate binder and perhaps add a little additional "poof" power.

                        1. re: DiningDiva

                          That's a possibility I considered, also. It seemed like more eggs than would normally be used for that amount of dry ingredients.

                          I think I'll just have to run an experiment or two. Unfortunately, it'll probably have to wait until after the holidays, since I'm traveling for a week or so, but I'll definitely post results here when I do.

                          If anybody else has more input, please continue to post, though.

                          Thanks for all the info.

        2. Just wanted to say that after all the work you're doing to get this cake back into your life, that it's exactly what you're looking for! :-)

          1. Wheat bran isn't that difficult to find. Bob's Red Mill makes it and most stores like (or similar to) Whole Foods most likely carry it.


            2 Replies
            1. re: DiningDiva

              Really? I thought you always had to use All-bran when making bran muffins. :)

              Out of curiosity, I looked up 'salvado de trigo', and could only find a handful of online suppliers in Latin America (Ecuador, Chile, Mexico). They all were the equivalent of Bob's Red Mill - millers or distributors of 'natural foods', whole grains and the like.

              I have seen whole wheat berries in some Latino markets - from Peru. Looks there's a traditional stew using these, sort of a risotto (trigotto):


              1. re: paulj

                Do they still even make All-Bran?

            2. Okay - I said I would perform an experiment after the holidays, and I finally got around to it (I also got a new hand-hammered wok for Christmas, and experimentation with that took precedence).

              I tried the recipe as translated by Emme (thanks again), with the following small changes:

              - used canola oil instead of sunflower oil
              - used regular milk instead of soy milk
              - used regular sugar in a 3:2 ratio instead of fructose
              - used a blender to "pulverize" the sugar with the lemon zest, and then to mix the rest of the liquid ingredients in
              - I did the rest of the mixing by hand
              - I used a 9x13 Pyrex pan

              So, to summarize, it did indeed make an edible cake, and the flavor was really good. It kind of surprised me, but it actually worked. The batter, before the egg whites were folded in, was fairly runny, and folding in the egg whites made a very foamy-looking, but vaguely cake-like batter.

              There was quite a bit of batter - it filled a 9x13 pan about 2/3 of the way full - I don't think it would have fit in a regular 8- or 9-inch cake pan, but might have fit in a deep one.

              Right away, it puffed up a bit in the oven - probably to about 3/4 full - but not a lot, and as it baked, it kind of sunk back a bit. When done, it was probably between 1/2 and 2/3 full - ended up about 1.25 inches tall. Baking time was very close to the 25 minutes in the recipe.

              It was kind of odd - it never quite looked like it browned much, but as it sat for a day or so, the top got darker. I used the regular toothpick test to check for doneness.

              So - how did it taste? The flavor was really good. I had noticed that there wasn't any salt in the recipe at all, and was going to remember to add a few pinches, but forgot, and I think it would benefit from some, but other than that, it was pretty tasty. I can taste the lemon zest, and it's sweet - I might cut back on the sugar a little next time. It's also very - for lack of a better word - "branny" - you definitely know there is a lot of fiber in this cake.

              The texture is very light - there's really not much holding the cake together. I can slice it, and spatula out a slice and eat it with a fork, but I really can't pick up a piece bigger than about 1"x1" without it falling apart.

              I think the reason for this is that it appears that a lot of the liquid ingredients kind of seeped out of the cake to the bottom of the pan and formed a 1/8" thick layer of sugary/eggy/milky gunk - kind of like a thick custard, almost. It tastes good, but is just a little odd

              So, the answer is "yes" - you _can_ make a cake like this with only wheat bran (I used Bob's Red Mill). I think if I were going to try this exact recipe again, I might let the "batter" set for a bit longer, or mix it a longer/harder, to see if maybe the bran would soak up the liquid better before I folded in the egg whites. As I mentioned, I'd probably add a little salt, too.

              But, what I think would really benefit this recipe is, as suspected, to substitute some of the bran with white or whole wheat flour - maybe sub one cup of white flour for a cup of bran, or maybe two cups for whole wheat? I don't think it would take a lot - just something to make it act a little more like a regular cake without getting rid of the high density of fiber that's in there.

              From what I could tell, there were 72 grams of fiber in the cake, so a 3"x3" hunk of cake would have about 6 grams of fiber - not bad for cake.

              Once again - thanks for everyone's help on this.