After 16 years in Chicago’s most populous Mexican neighborhood, Bombon Cake Gallery (3748 W. 26th St.) has the quinceañera cake down pat. Co-owner Laura Cid-Perea has crafted hundreds of towering confections for this Latin American rite of passage marking a girl’s 15th birthday.

The cakes are literal showpieces, made of fondant-wrapped plastic foam, save for the edible top tier—a gift to the birthday girl—and a part of the bottom layer reserved for the ceremonial slice. (Separate sheet cakes are baked for the guests.) Here, Cid-Perea shows us how one is made—in this case, a Paris-themed number for Skokie teen Tanya Perea (no relation).