To lay the foundation for this crafty birthday confection, our kitchen staff turned first to a deliciously simple pound cake recipe supplied by subscriber Ethel Ledbetter of Canton, North Carolina. It's texture was just right for building the blocks. "The secrets in the cream cheese I added to the recipe," confides Ethel. "That's what makes my cake firm for cutting—and easy to frost, too." What'll bring even bigger grins is the fact that the cake can be baked ahead and frozen, then thawed
This heavenly cake, from Elsie Shell of Topeka, Indiana, is so rich and gooey you wouldn't guess it starts with a boxed cake mix. "Although I love making cakes from scratch, mixes are so convenient," Elsie informs. "It's fun to spruce them up with goodies like coconut, almonds and chocolate chips."
This pretty four-layer cake is easy to make with an instant pudding filling and 7-minute frosting. "It tastes like coconut cream pie, so it's like getting the best of two desserts in one," writes Pamela Shank of Parkersburg, West Virginia.
TIP: Prepare the remaining pudding according to package directions for a quick and easy dessert.