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Buggy Gal Birthday Cake

 Buggy Gal Birthday Cake
When a birthday comes around, do you scurry to find a dessert to serve that hits the spot? Next time, you won't have to look any further than the appetizing critter our staff of home economists cooked up! Getting this confection off to a flying start is a cinch. Begin by baking a delectably chocolate buttermilk cake—from LaVonne's recipe—in a bowl to form the buggy body. To create the
12-16 ServingsPrep: 30 min. Bake: 1 hour 20 min. + cooling


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 to 5 teaspoons milk
  • Red paste food coloring
  • 1 tube (4.25 ounces) black frosting (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 white baking chips
  • 12 chocolate-covered peppermint patties
  • 2 pieces black shoestring licorice (2-1/2 inches)
  • Leaf-shaped spearmint gumdrops, optional


  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.

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Buggy Gal Birthday Cake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • Beat in buttermilk and eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and
  • salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with water, beating
  • well after each addition.
  • Pour into a greased and floured 4-qt. ovenproof bowl. Bake at
  • 350° for 80-90 minutes (covering with foil halfway through
  • baking time) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out
  • clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from bowl to a wire rack
  • to cool completely.
  • For frosting, cream butter, shortening and vanilla in a large bowl.
  • Gradually beat in the sugar and enough milk to achieve a spreading
  • consistency. Tint with red food coloring. Set 3 tablespoons of
  • frosting aside.
  • Place the cake on a serving platter. Frost with remaining frosting,
  • leaving an 8-1/2-in. x 6-in. x 6-in. triangle of cake unfrosted.
  • Frost the triangle with some of the black frosting.
  • Fill a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag with remaining black
  • frosting; cut a small hole in corner of bag. Pipe a line from the
  • tip of the triangle over the top of the cake to the other side,
  • creating wings. With the same frosting, outline the edge of the
  • triangle. For the eyes, pipe a 1/4-in. black dot on the flat side of
  • each vanilla chip; position the chips on black triangle and press
  • gently into frosting.
  • Randomly place peppermint patties over red frosting for ladybug's
  • spots; press down gently. Fill another plastic bag with reserved red
  • frosting; cut a small hole in corner of bag. Pipe a smile under
  • eyes. Insert licorice pieces above eyes for antennae. Yield: 12-16
  • servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 482 calories, 20 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 35 mg cholesterol, 483 mg sodium, 73 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.