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Clown Cake

 Clown Cake
You can't go wrong planning a circus theme for your child's birthday party, especially with this colorful cake from our Test Kitchen. Use some of the clown cookies on the cake and serve the remainder alongside.
8-10 ServingsPrep: 40 min. Bake: 30 min.


  • 1 tube (18 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 package yellow or chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons shortening
  • 9 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Red, blue, yellow and green gel or paste food coloring


  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out cookie dough to 1/4-in.
  • thickness. Cut out with a lightly floured 3-in. to 3-1/2-in.
  • gingerbread man cookie cutter. Bake according to package directions.
  • Cool on wire racks.
  • Prepare and bake cake according to the package directions, using two
  • greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes
  • before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, cream butter and shortening until
  • fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla and salt; beat
  • until smooth.
  • Place 1/2 cup of frosting each in four small bowls; tint one red, one
  • blue, one yellow and one green. Place 3/4 cup frosting in a small
  • bowl and leave white. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and set

2 of 2

Clown Cake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • aside.
  • To assemble, place one cake layer on a 10-in. round serving plate.
  • Using some of the remaining frosting, frost top of cake. Top with
  • second layer; frost top and sides of cake.
  • Using 1/2 cup of the reserved white frosting, spread over nine cooled
  • cookies; let stand until set.(Set aside remaining cookies for
  • another use or decorate and serve along sides of cake).
  • Cut a small hole in the corner of four pastry or plastic bags; insert
  • a tip and fill each bag with a tinted frosting. Decorate frosted
  • side of cookies with zigzag, star fill-in, ruffle garland or sotas
  • (lace) to resemble clowns. Let stand until dry,
  • Gently press a clown cookie into the lower left side of top of cake.
  • Using frosting, make three balloons. Pipe strings from balloons to
  • the clown's hand. Pipe "Happy Birthday" on cake. Pipe a shall border
  • around top edge. Pipe two large dots on the back of each clown with
  • remaining white frosting. Evenly space clowns around sides of cake;
  • gently press into cake. Yield: 8-10 servings (about 2 dozen
  • cookies).