The decorations on this patriotic dessert remind me of a fireworks display. Since the recipe includes both cookies and cake, people can take their pick—or have both! —Jennifer Lindstrom, Brookfield, Wisconsin
- 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
- 1 tube (16-1/2 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough, softened
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 12 lollipop sticks
- 1-1/4 cups shortening
- 1/3 cup plus 4 teaspoons water
- 1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon meringue powder
- Red and blue colored sugar
- Coarse sugar
- Red and blue paste food coloring
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 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.
- In a large bowl, combine cookie dough and flour. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut out 12 cookies with a floured 2-in. star cookie cutter; insert lollipop sticks into dough. Cut out eight cookies with a floured 1-in. star cookie cutter.
- Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 7-9 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
- For buttercream, using a heavy-duty stand mixer, combine the shortening, water and vanilla. Combine confectioners' sugar and meringue powder; beat into shortening mixture.
- Spread 2 cups buttercream between layers and over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle the top with colored sugar. Frost cookie pops; sprinkle with red, blue and clear sugars.
- Tint 1/3 cup frosting red and 1/3 cup blue; leave remaining frosting white. Using a #18 star tip and white frosting, pipe a border around bottom of cake. Using a #4 round tip with blue frosting and an additional #18 star tip with red frosting, pipe four flags on sides of cake.
- In a microwave, heat corn syrup for 10 seconds or just until bubbly. Brush over one side of small star cookies; sprinkle with red and blue sugars. Press onto sides of cake. Press cookie pops into top of cake. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Buttercream Blast Layer Cake in Country Woman June/July 2009, p31
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