FROM its fruit roll-up comb to its licorice legs, this sweet treat is more than just chicken feed! It's a delectable dessert fit for an "egg-stra" fun birthday. You can make the feathered confection by shaping round cakes using a packaged mix like CT's home economists did. Then spread on homemade frosting and add goodies for decorations. We've included the directions you'll need to prepare the bird right here...so take a crack at creating your own!
- 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cream-filled sponge cake
- 4 lemon-flavored or black licorice twists
- Shoestring black licorice (15 inches)
- 2 chocolate-covered peanut butter candies
- 1 red fruit roll-up
- Prepare cake batter according to package directions. Divide among six greased and floured muffin cups, a greased and floured 10-oz. custard cup and a greased and floured 9-in. round baking pan.
- Bake at 350° for 15-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a small saucepan, whisk flour and milk until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture; beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
- On a large platter or covered board (about 17 in. square), place 9-in. cake for chicken's body with small cake above it for head. For wings, cut sponge cakes in half widthwise; place four on each side of large cake. Frost tops and sides of cakes and tops of cupcakes. Arrange cupcakes randomly around board and serve separately.
- For legs, cut two licorice twist into 12-in. pieces and place below large cake. For beak, cut a 1/4-in. triangle of licorice; center on bottom third of head.
- Cut remaining licorice twists into 1-1/2-in. slices; cut one end of 16 of the slices at an angle. For chicken feet, arrange one diagonally sliced licorice piece on each side of legs, straight edge down. Place one straight-cut licorice piece in the center of each cupcake; arrange remaining diagonally sliced pieces on each side.
- Shape black shoestring licorice into glasses; press gently into frosting to hold the shape. Add chocolate-covered candies for eyes.
- For chicken's comb, cut fruit roll-up into a 3-in. strip. Cutting along a long edge of the roll-up, making three connecting semicircles. Gently press strip, flat side toward cake, onto top of head. Yield: 12-15 servings.
Originally published as Chicken Cake in Country Woman March/April 2001, p64
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