Cordero perfects her cake craft and shares delicious Mexican culture with customers
Alejandra (Alex) Cordero has a dream of owning her own bakery in Pratt someday. As a staff member at El Trancazo, a Mexican restaurant located on North Main in Pratt just before the railroad tracks, Cordero has immersed herself in baking cakes when she is not waiting tables, taking orders for the restaurant, cooking or filling in where most needed.
"A dream - it doesn't cost anything," she said.
Cordero began baking and decorating cakes in 2016 for the enjoyment of her family. A friend encouraged her to raffle one of her cakes through the restaurant, which her mother established eight years ago. She sold 20 tickets at two dollars each and with her first raffle created a way to make her talents known, mainly within the Hispanic community in town. Today, she offers small slices of cake and mini cakes to customers so they can taste her dessert delights before ordering an entire cake.
At one point, she said she was asked to bake a unicorn cake. She was disappointed in the results and was uncertain that she had the talent to provide this service to customers. It took her six months to try her hand at cake decorating again. She made her second unicorn cake for her daughter’s birthday recently. She said she enjoys showing photographs of the two unicorns – the failure and the success. The unicorn is now her favorite cake to make and she takes much pride in her achievements.
At the beginning of the 2020 pandemic, Cordero said her family asked her to focus more on her baking as a way of bringing additional income to the restaurant. Hesitant at first, uncertain of her abilities, she finally decided she could help in this way.
It's been a win-win situation for all. Cordero’s warm, inviting personality, in conjunction with her enthusiasm for baking is charming. She said she wants to make people happy by sharing what she does with her baking skills.
“If you don’t love what you do, don’t do it," she said. "I really love what I do.”
Cordero said she enjoys experimenting with flavors, ingredients and decorations. Her desserts are all “homemade” in the restaurant, meaning nothing is pre-made, as in boxed cake mixes or frostings. She uses fresh fruit, nuts and chocolate to decorate the beautiful, traditional, Mexican desserts.
Her specialty is now a traditional Mexican cake called Tres Leches (three milk)" cake.
"I want Americans in Pratt to taste and know how delicious these are," Cordero said.
Cordero said Tres Leches is also known as a “wet” cake, a mixture of evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream are poured over a light, airy sponge cake. Because of the consistency of the cake, it does not become soggy. Instead, topped with whipped cream and fruit, it is rich and moist.
Besides her dream of owning her own bakery, Cordero has a big goal of doing wedding cakes. She would like to do other large events, as well.
Cordero came to Hutchinson from Mexico 15 years ago with her mother and brother. She married and now has two children. She came to Pratt for two weeks to help set up her mother’s restaurant eight years ago. The rest of her family moved here shortly after that initial visit. She still has connections in Hutchinson, making regular cake delivery trips there, as well as to Great Bend, McPherson, Lyons, and Kinsley.
In Pratt, her cakes may be ordered at the restaurant, 620-508-6307, and delivered by the Cari-Out delivery company at 388-9083, or picked up in person at 703 N. Main, Pratt.
Cordero also makes gelatins, flans, breads, and is developing a flour tortilla-based cannoli with a variety of fillings . Her focus is on desserts, especially traditional desserts of her homeland.
Photos of her work can be seen on her Facebook page, La Reyna.