For from-scratch flavor, Marcia C. of Toledo, Ohio adds 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and one whole egg to a white cake mix in place of an egg white. “Everyone always tells me my cake has the best flavor,” she says.
At the root of this pretty pine-shaped confection is a sweet secret you won't be able to keep to yourself. In fact, as soon as the cake is cut, it'll come spilling out...in the shape of tasty candies you use to fill the center! To create it, our crafty kitchen crew took a cue from Bonnie, who shared the treat-filled holiday dessert she annually makes for her family's festive Christmas celebration. The CT crew simply speeded up Bonnie's idea by using a store-bought cake mix as the foundation. Then they followed her instructions for cutting and stacking layers of baked cake to create a hole in the center for stashing candy. Gumdrops fill this version, but you can add whatever sweets your group likes best.
This dessert is simple to make but looks so beautiful on the buffet. I appreciate easy recipes like this that have impressive results. Since it makes two pans, everyone can save room for a creamy, fruity piece or two.
-Marilyn Hillam, Brigham City, Utah