Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

spring hill ranch's biscochito cake

Recipe by
Wiley P
Sierra Vista, AZ

A biscochito is a lovely little sugar cookie developed by the Spaniards and the Indigenous tribes of northern New Mexico in the late 16th and early 17th century, before even one pilgrim had stepped foot on Plymouth Rock. It's flavor is a combination of cinnamon and anise and, try as I might, I cannot replicate a cookie! I can, however, make a cake that tastes *exactly* like my biscochitos should! Do not decrease the amount of anise seed, cinnamon, eggs/yolks or vanilla even if your trained eye says it won't work. Trust me! Oh, and tthis picture looks a bit "rustic" is!

yield 12 serving(s)
prep time 1 Hr 30 Min
cook time 30 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For spring hill ranch's biscochito cake

  • CAKE
  • 2 1/4 c
    all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
  • 2 tsp
    baking powder
  • 1/4 c
  • 2 Tbsp
    anise seeds
  • 1/2 c
  • 1/2 c
  • 1/2 c
    salted butter, room temperature, plus more for the pans
  • 1 1/4 c
    granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 c
    vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp
    vanilla extract
  • 3 lg
  • 2 lg
  • 4 Tbsp
    salted butter, well softened but not melted
  • 2 Tbsp
    ground cinnamon
  • 1 c
    brown sugar (dark is best)
  • 1 1/4 c
    salted butter, softened
  • 1 lb
    powdered (confectioners') sugar
  • 1 Tbsp
    vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp
    ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 c
    whole milk, divided

How To Make spring hill ranch's biscochito cake

  • 1
    FOR THE CAKE LAYERS: Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans, line them with parchment, and butter and flour that, too.
  • 2
    In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and anise seed. Set aside.
  • 3
    In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and brandy. Set aside.
  • 4
    In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer), cream the butter and gradually add the sugar, mixing until it is light, soft, and fluffy. Add the oil and vanilla, mixing to combine, then scrape the bowl down. One at a time, add the eggs and yolks, mixing each addition until incorporated before adding the next. Scrape the bowl down once more and mix again.
  • 5
    In three or four relatively equal alternating additions, while mixing at slow speed and starting with the flour mixture, add in the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and give it a final mix.
  • 6
    Divide the batter evenly between your two prepared pans. Bake until the centers have set and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove the pans to a cooling rack for a couple minutes, then invert them to release the cake layers. Allow them to cool completely on the racks.
  • 7
    FOR THE CINNAMON COATING: Spread the softened butter around the edges of the layers. In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and press the mixture onto the buttered edges. Use as much of the mixture as you can.
  • 8
    FOR THE CINNAMON FROSTING: In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment or a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat the room temperature butter until it is soft and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low. Add in the vanilla and cinnamon, mixing to combine. Add half the milk and mix it in. This will begin to thin the frosting down a little, but probably not enough to spread it easily yet. As needed, thoroughly mix in more of the milk, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the frosting reaches the spreadable texture you want. Scrape the bowl down and mix until smooth.
  • 9
    Pipe or spread the frosting on one layer of your cake, then top it with the second cake layer. Pipe or frost the second layer.
  • 10
    Serve with hot chocolate or coffee. If there are any leftovers, refrigerate them.