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Birthday Clown Cake

 Birthday Clown Cake
I baked this cake for every one of our two sons' birthdays until they became teens. Kids and adults alike love it! —Marlene Dick, Oakville, Ontario
16 ServingsPrep: 1-1/2 hours Bake: 25 min. + cooling


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 8 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Yellow, orange, green, teal, magenta and black paste food coloring
  • 10 Starburst candies
  • 5 ice cream sugar cones
  • Assorted candies for decorating


  • Line two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper
  • and grease the paper; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the first
  • five ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, water and

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Birthday Clown Cake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • vanilla until smooth; stir into dry ingredients until well blended.
  • Transfer to prepared pans.
  • Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near
  • the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from
  • pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat shortening and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.
  • Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread frosting between
  • layers and over top and sides of cake.
  • Divide the remaining frosting among six small bowls. Tint each with
  • yellow, orange, green, teal, magenta and black food coloring. Cut a
  • hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert round tip #3.
  • Fill bag with yellow frosting. Pipe ribbons and bows around tops of
  • Starburst candies to make gifts; set aside. With black frosting,
  • pipe "Happy Birthday" on top center of cake.
  • Place cones around top edge of cake for clown hats. On sides of cake,
  • pipe clown faces and collars. Using a variety of frosting colors,
  • piping tips and candies, create clown hair, faces and collars.
  • Decorate clown hats. Place gifts around bottom edge of cake. Yield:
  • 16 servings.