Party & Theme Cakes - Cakes - Taste of Home Cookies, Cakes, & Pies - Editors at Taste of Home

Taste of Home Cookies, Cakes, & Pies: Bake up 368 sweet sensations with three cookbooks in one - Editors at Taste of Home (2017)

Cakes

Party & Theme Cakes


IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR SOME SWEETS TO TOP OFF A HOLIDAY PARTY, A FEW CUTE CLASSROOM TREATS OR EVEN A MEMORABLE CONTRIBUTION TO A BAKE SALE, TURN TO THE EYE-APPEALING BITES FOUND HERE. BAKE UP A SNOW GLOBE CAKE, RED VELVET CREPES OR MINIATURE CASTLES THAT’LL HAVE EVERYONE’S SWEET TOOTH SINGING!

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Summer Celebration Ice Cream Cake

I wanted to make my youngest son an ice cream cake one year for his summer birthday because he prefers ice cream to traditional cake. He picked the flavors, and I decided to try my favorite brownie recipe as a crust. It worked!

—KRISTA FRANK RHODODENDRON, OR



PREP: 15 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 20 MIN. + FREEZING ✵ MAKES: 9 SERVINGS


1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons butter, melted

3 tablespoons orange yogurt

1 large egg

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup baking cocoa

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1 3/4 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened

4 to 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon shortening

Mixed fresh berries

1. Line an 8-in. square baking dish with foil and grease the foil; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, yogurt, egg, orange peel and vanilla until blended. Combine flour and cocoa; stir into sugar mixture. Add chocolate chips.

2. Spread into prepared dish. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool on a wire rack.

3. Spread ice cream over the cake. Cover and freeze for 3 hours or until firm.

4. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Using foil, lift dessert out of dish; gently peel off the foil. Cut into squares. Garnish with mixed fresh berries and drizzle with chocolate.

Autumn Tree Cake

I love the changing colors that come with fall. I make this pretty cake using orange and yellow candy to celebrate.

—MARIE PARKER MILWAUKEE, WI



PREP: 40 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 20 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


1 package butter recipe golden cake mix (regular size)

1 cup orange juice

1/3 cup butter, softened

3 large eggs

FROSTING

6 cups confectioners’ sugar

2/3 cup butter, softened

Orange food coloring, optional

5 to 6 tablespoons orange juice

1/2 cup crushed chocolate wafers (about 8 wafers)

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon shortening

Assorted candy and chocolate leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, orange juice, butter and eggs; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium 2 minutes. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

2. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, butter, if desired, food coloring and enough orange juice to achieve desired consistency. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Lightly press wafer crumbs onto sides of cake.

3. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag or a food-safe plastic bag; cut a small hole in the tip of the bag. Pipe a tree on top of the cake. Decorate as desired with candy and chocolate leaves.

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Holiday Snow Globe Cake

I can change up the decorations on this cake depending on the holiday—or birthday. My daughter loves this Christmas version.

—MARIE LOUISE LUDWIG PHOENIXVILLE, PA



PREP: 65 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 25 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


4 large eggs, separated

2/3 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar, divided

2 tablespoons dark rum

2 cups cake flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup coconut milk

FROSTING/FILLING

1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

2 cups flaked coconut

DECORATIONS

Frosted Christmas Tree (see below)

Porcelain snowman ornament

8-inch glass bubble bowl (about 6-inch opening)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line bottoms of two greased 8-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in rum. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with coconut milk, beating well after each addition.

3. With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until the sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold into batter. Transfer batter to prepared pans.

4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

5. Using a long serrated knife, trim tops of cakes if domed. In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.

6. Place one cake layer on a serving plate, bottom side down. Spread jam over top to within 3/4 in. of edge; top with 1/2 cup whipped cream. Place second cake layer over whipped cream, bottom side up.

7. Spread remaining whipped cream over top and sides of cake; sprinkle with coconut. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes. Just before serving, place Frosted Christmas Tree and snowman on center of cake. Carefully invert bowl over decorations.

FROSTED CHRISTMAS TREE Lightly brush a small star-shaped sugar cookie with corn syrup; sprinkle with silver edible glitter. For tree, tint canned vanilla frosting with green paste food coloring. Stack two ice cream sugar cones. Using a #32 open star tip, pipe tree branches onto top cone to resemble a pine tree. Decorate with candy-coated sunflower kernels or colored sprinkles; sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place star cookie at top.

5 INGREDIENTS

Chirpy Chick Cupcakes

These adorable cupcakes are so much fun to make and share. They’re perfect for an Easter dessert.

—SARA MARTIN BROOKFIELD, WI



START TO FINISH: 30 MIN. ✵ MAKES: VARIES


1 to 2 cans vanilla frosting (16 ounces each)

Yellow paste food coloring

Cupcakes of your choice

Miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Orange spice drop or candy corn

1. Set aside 1/4 cup frosting for eyes. Tint remaining frosting yellow; transfer to a pastry bag. Insert #17 star tip; pipe stars to cover top of cupcake. Pipe a large ball for head. Place tip on each side of the head and pull out for each wing.

2. Place white icing in a pastry bag; insert #2 round tip. Pipe eyes and decorate with mini chocolate chips. For the beak, flatten an orange gum drop and cut into 2 triangles or add candy corn.

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5 INGREDIENTS BIG BATCH

Rainbow Cake with Clouds

Some cakes stand on their own without icing. For this Rainbow Cake, use a little whipped cream to make fluffy clouds.

—JANET TIGCHELAAR JERSEYVILLE, ON



PREP: 30 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 40 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


1 package white cake mix (regular size)

Purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red paste food coloring

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 10-in. fluted tube pan. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Transfer 1 1/3 cups batter to prepared pan; spread evenly. Reserve an additional 2 tablespoons batter in a small bowl.

2. Divide remaining batter into six separate bowls, tinting each with thefood coloring to make the following: 2 tablespoons purple batter, 1/4 cup blue batter, 1/3 cup green batter, 1/2 cup yellow batter, 2/3 cup orange batter, and the remaining batter red.

3. Fill six small food-safe plastic bags with a different color batter. Cut a hole in a corner of the red batter bag; pipe a wide ring onto white batter to within 1/2 in. of pan edges. Pipe a ring of orange in the middle of the red ring, leaving some red visible on each side. Repeat by piping remaining colors in the middle of the previous layer, in rainbow color order. (Each ring will be narrower than the previous layer.) Fill a bag with reserved white batter; pipe over purple ring only.

4. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

5. Remove cake from pan; place on a serving plate. In a bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until soft peaks form. Serve with whipped cream clouds.

NOTE To remove cakes easily, use solid shortening to grease plain and fluted tube pans.

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BIG BATCH

Easter Basket Cupcakes

My mother and I would make these when I was growing up, and I had just as much fun sharing the same experience with my own children when they were young.

—KATHY KITTELL LENEXA, KS



PREP: 35 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 20 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 2 1/2 DOZEN


4 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup canola oil

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 pound carrots, grated

2 cups chopped walnuts, toasted

1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup flaked coconut

FROSTING/DECORATIONS

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon water

6 drops green food coloring

3 cups flaked coconut

Optional candies: jelly beans, bunny Peeps candy and Sour Punch straws

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 30 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugars, oil and vanilla until well blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger and nutmeg; add to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Stir in carrots, walnuts, pineapple and coconut.

2. Fill prepared cups three-fourths full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until blended. Beat in theorange peel and vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Frost cupcakes.

4. In a large resealable plastic bag, mix water and food coloring; add coconut. Seal bag and shake until coconut is evenly tinted. Sprinkle over cupcakes. Decorate with candies, as desired. Refrigerate until serving.

NOTE To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

“The receipe for the carrot cake itself was very tasty and moist. Everyone thought these were good and very cute. The frosting was also very good.”

—MILLSAPM FROM TASTEOFHOME.COM

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FREEZE IT

Chocolate Peppermint Log

What a great make-ahead dessert! It’s perfect for the holidays because you can make it when you have time, store it in the freezer and scratch dessert off of your to-do list.

—BRENDA SINCLAIR PRINCETON, MO



PREP: 35 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ BAKE: 15 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


3 large eggs, separated

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup baking cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided

1/3 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FILLING

1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed

1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies

GLAZE

5 teaspoons butter

2 tablespoons baking cocoa

2 tablespoons water

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons crushed peppermint candies

1. Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°. Line the bottom of a 15x10x1-in. baking pan with parchment paper. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt twice.

3. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, beating on high speed until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in water and vanilla. Fold in flour mixture (batter will be very thick).

4. With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft glossy peaks form. Fold a fourth of the whites into batter, then fold in the remaining whites. Transfer to prepared pan, spreading evenly.

5. Bake 12-15 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool 5 minutes. Invert onto a kitchen towel dusted with cocoa. Gently peel off paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.

6. For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping and crushed peppermint candies.

7. Unroll cake; spread filling over cake to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up again, without the towel. Place on a platter, seam side down. Refrigerate, covered, until cold.

8. For glaze, in a small saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in cocoa and water until blended. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Cool slightly.

9. Spread glaze over cake. Sprinkle with peppermint candies. Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.

FREEZE OPTION Securely wrap and freeze cake before glazing. To use, thaw wrapped cake in refrigerator overnight. Unwrap cake and glaze as directed.

BIG BATCH

Sherbet Cream Cake

For an Easter ice cream social, it doesn’t get any more showstopping than this. In my family, this is how we celebrate special occasions and birthdays. It takes a little time to prepare, but it’s easy and turns out beautiful and delicious!

—PAULA WIPF ARLINGTON, VA



PREP: 30 MIN. + FREEZING ✵ MAKES: 14-16 SERVINGS


3 cups each raspberry, orange and lime sherbet

3 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened, divided

2 cups chopped pecans, divided

2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided

3 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

Raspberries and orange and lime slices, optional

1. Using a 1/4-cup ice cream scoop, shape sherbet into balls. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour or until firm.

2. In a large bowl, combine 1 qt. vanilla ice cream, 1 cup pecans and 1 cup chocolate chips. Spread into a 10-in. tube pan.

3. Alternately arrange 12 sherbet balls, four of each color, against the center tube and outer edge of pan. Freeze for 30 minutes.

4. Spread with 1 qt. ice cream; freeze for 30 minutes. Top with remaining sherbet balls. Combine remaining ice cream, pecans and chips; spread over sherbet balls. Cover and freeze overnight.

5. Run a knife around edge of pan; dip pan in lukewarm water until loosened. Invert cake onto a serving plate. Frost with whipped cream. Return to freezer. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with raspberries and orange and lime slices if desired.

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Miniature Castle Cakes

You can easily make several of these pretty palaces with a boxed cake mix, canned frosting and a few common confections. Grab a goblet of milk and enjoy one with your prince or princess.

TASTE OF HOME TEST KITCHEN



PREP: 45 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 20 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 6 CAKES


1 package white cake mix (regular size)

2 1/2 cups vanilla frosting

2 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each)

27 nonpareil candies

12 pretzel sticks

1/2 cup flaked coconut

1 drop blue food coloring

3 sticks Fruit Stripe gum

6 small ice cream sugar cones

36 star sprinkles

1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour batter into a greased 11x7-in. baking pan and six greased muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes for cake and 15-18 minutes for cupcakes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cupcakes for 5 minutes and cake for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

2. Cut the cake into six square pieces; place on serving plates. Frost tops and sides of cakes. Position a cupcake on top of each; frost cupcakes.

3. For the drawbridges, divide each candy bar into four three-piece sections. Center one section on one side of each cake; gently press into the cake. Divide the two remaining chocolate sections into three pieces; place one piece above each drawbridge for a door. Cut three nonpareil candies in half; arrange a half circle above each door. Press pretzels into cake on each side of bridge.

4. In a resealable plastic bag, shake coconut and food coloring until coconut is evenly colored. Sprinkle around bases of castles to represent water in the moat. Cut each stick of gum in half widthwise; cut one end to form a flag. Trim sugar cone tips; dot with frosting, and attach flags to frosted cone tips.

5. Place three nonpareil candies on each cupcake for windows. Frost backs of remaining candies; place one on the front of each cone. Attach star sprinkles to cones. Position cones on cupcakes.

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BIG BATCH

Sunshine Cake

I brought this cake to the county fair for 4-H and easily took home a purple ribbon. For a quicker lemon filling, use a cup of lemon curd from a jar.

—LEAH WILL BEL AIRE, KS



PREP: 1 HOUR + CHILLING ✵ BAKE: 25 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


1 cup butter, softened

1 2/3 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons each grated lemon, orange and lime peel

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup 2% milk

FILLING

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup water

2 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup lemon juice

FROSTING

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

3 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

Dash salt

3 drops yellow food coloring

1 drop red food coloring

Assorted lollipops, unwrapped

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom of a greased 15x10x1-in. jelly-roll pan with parchment paper; grease paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and citrus peels. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.

3. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack; remove paper. Cool completely.

4. For the filling, in a small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in water. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat.

5. In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in butter. Gently stir in lemon juice. Press plastic wrap onto surface of filling; cool slightly. Refrigerate until cold.

6. For frosting, in a large bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, orange juice, vanilla, orange peel and salt until smooth. Tint orange with yellow and red food coloring.

7. Trim edges of cake; cut crosswise into thirds. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with half of the filling. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost the top and sides of cake with frosting. Insert lollipops in top for flowers. Refrigerate leftovers.

TO MAKE A WINDOW BOX CAKE For window box, press 28 cream-filled wafer cookies against sides of cake. Tie two shoestring licorice together to make longer strands. Wrap and tie strands around window box. For flowers, cut Fruit Roll-Ups with flower-shaped cutters. Sandwich two cutouts around each unwrapped small lollipop, moistening edges with water. For stems and leaves, insert drinking straws in cake. Top with lollipop flowers. Cut leaves from green licorice twists and insert in cake.

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BIG BATCH

Giant Cupcake Pumpkin

Make a smiley statement by decorating a whole tray of chocolate-spice cupcakes. Once everyone’s seen the big picture, they can each take a treat.

—GENA LOTT OGDEN, UT



PREP: 35 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 20 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 26 CUPCAKES


1 package spice cake mix (regular size)

1 cup solid-pack pumpkin

1 cup water

2 large eggs

1 cup (6 ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips

2 cans (16 ounces each) vanilla frosting

1 teaspoon maple flavoring

Orange food coloring

Reese’s pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 26 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pumpkin, water and eggs; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Fill prepared cups two-thirds full.

3. Bake 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

4. In a large bowl, beat the frosting and flavoring; tint frosting orange. Arrange cupcakes on a large platter, forming a pumpkin. Spread frosting over the cupcakes. Decorate with Reese’s pieces.

Ocean Cake

Whether it’s for a pool or birthday party, this fish-themed cake will snag smiles from kids of all ages!

TASTE OF HOME TEST KITCHEN



PREP: 30 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 25 MIN. + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


1 package white cake mix (regular size)

2 2/3 cups canned vanilla frosting

Blue and green Fruit Roll-Ups

Fish candies

Black shoestring licorice

Candy stick

1. Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two greased 9-in. round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

2. Spread 1 2/3 cups frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Using the back of a spoon, make waves on top of the cake with remaining frosting.

3. Cut wave shapes out of Fruit Roll-Ups; gently press along bottom of cake. Arrange additional wave shapes and fish candies on top of cake as desired. Tie licorice on one end of candy stick to create a fishing pole.

HOW-TO To create ocean waves, smooth frosting first. Then use the back of a spoon to make a small twisting motion in one direction. Next, move spoon over slightly and make another twist the opposite way. Repeat. Cut the Fruit Roll-Ups in half vertically. Then fold in half, keeping the plastic sides together. Cut into wave shapes.

“I made a variation of this for my son’s 6th birthday. Instead of gummy fish, I used sharks.”

—PIERSTAR FROM TASTEOFHOME.COM

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BIG BATCH

Red Velvet Crepe Cakes

It’s well worth the time to make this absolutely stunning cake. Each thin layer is separated by a rich and creamy filling. Treat your family on special occasions with this cake.

—CRYSTAL HEATON ALTON, UT



PREP: 1 1/4 HOURS ✵ COOK: 25 MIN. ✵ MAKES: 2 CREPE CAKES (8 SERVINGS EACH)


1 package red velvet cake mix (regular size)

2 3/4 cups whole milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup butter, melted

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

FROSTING

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 cups confectioners’ sugar

5 teaspoons vanilla extract

Fresh blueberries

1. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, milk, flour, eggs, egg yolks, butter and vanilla; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.

2. Heat a lightly greased 8-in. nonstick skillet over medium heat; pour 1/4 cup batter into center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to coat bottom evenly. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook for 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between.

3. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and salt until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

4. To assemble two crepe cakes, place one crepe on each of two cake plates. Spread each with one rounded tablespoon frosting to within 1/2 in. of edges. Repeat layers until all crepes are used. Spread remaining frosting over tops and sides of crepe cakes. Garnish with blueberries.

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5 INGREDIENTS BIG BATCH

Sunny Flower Cake

I made this cake for my niece’s 4th birthday party and again for a baby shower. Both times, it was the hit of the party!

—DEBRA HARASZKIEWICZ CEMENT CITY, MI



PREP: 1 HOUR ✵ MAKES: 1 CAKE (19 SERVINGS)


19 cupcakes of your choice

Frosting of your choice

Food coloring

Assorted cake decorations

1. Place one cupcake in the center of a large platter; arrange six cupcakes around the center cupcake. Add an outer ring of remaining cupcakes, forming a flower shape.

2. Tint frosting as desired; generously spread over tops of cupcakes. Pipe on additional frosting to define the flower petals and the center. Decorate as desired.

TOP TIP

Evenly Divided

To easily fill cupcake liners or muffin cups, our Test Kitchen prefers to use a dry measuring cup if the batter is thin and a spring-loaded ice cream scoop for thicker batters. This assures that the batter is divided evenly.

Creative Cake

If you have patience and strong hands ready for kneading, I suggest making the fondant yourself. Whether you use store-bought or homemade, this artistic cake will get rave reviews.

—KATIE MOLITOR CEDAR, MN



PREP: 2 HOURS ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


Two-layer cake of your choice (9 inches)

Frosting of your choice (in a pale color)

White and dark brown ready-to-use rolled fondant

New paintbrush

1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract or water

White pearl dragees

Fresh strawberries

1. Place cake on a serving platter; spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake (save 2 teaspoons frosting for decorating the cake).

2. Roll out white fondant into a 16-in. circle; place over cake. Smooth top and sides of cake; trim excess. (Keep unused fondant wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.)

3. Roll brown fondant into a 16x4-in. rectangle; cut with a 3x2-in. diamond-shaped cookie cutter. Dip paintbrush in vanilla; lightly brush over a diamond. Secure diamond to side of cake. Repeat. Decorate with dragees, securing with reserved frosting. Top with strawberries.

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