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Brown Bear Cake

 Brown Bear Cake
Homemade chocolate frosting dresses up a boxed cake mix in this cute cake from our Test Kitchen home economists.
18-20 ServingsPrep: 1-1/2 hours Bake: 40 min. + cooling


  • 2 packages chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 cups flaked coconut, divided
  • Brown gel food coloring
  • 5 chocolate-covered peppermint patties
  • 16 brown milk chocolate M&M's
  • 2 dark chocolate kisses
  • 5 pieces red shoestring licorice


  • Prepare cake mixes according to package directions. Pour 3 cups
  • batter into a greased and floured 2-qt. round baking dish. Pour
  • 1-1/2 cups batter into a greased and floured 1-qt. ovenproof bowl.
  • Using remaining batter, fill six greased jumbo muffin cups and four
  • greased regular muffin cups two-thirds full.
  • Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes and cakes for 40-45 minutes at
  • 350° or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out
  • clean. Cool cupcakes for 5 minutes and cakes for 10 minutes before
  • removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Level the top of the cakes, four jumbo cupcakes and two regular

2 of 2

Brown Bear Cake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • cupcakes. (Save the remaining cupcakes for another use.) Place large
  • cake top side down on an 18-in. x 12-in. covered board. For teddy
  • bear's head, place the small cake top side down above large cake.
  • Position jumbo cupcake cut side up for arms and legs. Place regular
  • cupcakes on top of head for ears.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add
  • the confectioners' sugar, cocoa and milk; beat until smooth. Frost
  • tops and sides of cakes and cupcakes. Tint 2-1/4 cups coconut dark
  • brown; tint remaining coconut light brown.
  • Sprinkle dark brown coconut over arms and legs. Leaving a 4-in.
  • circle in center of bear's body, sprinkle dark brown coconut in a
  • 1-in. circle around edge of cake. Sprinkle dark brown coconut in a
  • 1/2-in. circle around edges of the head and ears. Press dark brown
  • coconut into the sides of the body, head and ears. Sprinkle light
  • brown coconut over the middle of the body, head and ears.
  • Position one peppermint patty on face for nose. Place one peppermint
  • patty and four M&M's on each paw. Insert chocolate kisses point side
  • down for eyes. Cut one licorice piece into two 2-in. strips; shape
  • to form a mouth. Cut two licorice pieces into a 7-in. strip; place
  • around the neck. Shape the remaining licorice into a bow; place
  • below neck. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 18-20 servings.