GRADUATION GUESTS are bound to enjoy this sweet "certificate"...to a high degree! The yummy cake features a layer of creamy filling and fresh strawberries. By rolling up the dessert jelly-roll style, the CT kitchen staff formed an instant diploma shape. To tie it all together, our cooks created a bow and "2002" with red marzipan. If you like, just tint it a different shade to match a school's colors.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- MARZIPAN RIBBON:
- 6 tablespoons almond paste
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon red liquid food coloring
- Whole fresh strawberries, optional
- Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with waxed paper or parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper and sides of the pan. Set the pan aside.
- In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and milk on low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat for 5 minutes or until mixture is light and lemon-colored. Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar and mix well.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold into the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold in the flour mixture. Pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake at 375° for 12-15 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Invert the cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Gently peel of the waxed paper. Roll up the cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack.
- Filling/frosting: In a bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar. Fold in the whipped cream.
- Unroll the cake. Spread 1-1/4 cups of filling evenly over the top of the cake to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Arrange the sliced strawberries on top.
- Roll up the cake and place on a serving platter or 13-in. x 8-in. covered board. Frost cake with the remaining filling.
- Marzipan: crumble the almond paste into a large bowl. Knead in the corn syrup. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar until thoroughly blended, kneading well after each addition. Add the food coloring until combined.
- With rolling pin, roll almond paste mixture to a 1/4 inch thickness between two sheets of waxed paper.
- To form ribbon, cut a 9-in. x 1-in. strip of marzipan. Referring to the photo for position, place the strip across the center of the cake roll.
- Cut a 6-1/2 x 1-inch strip and a 3-1/4 x 1-inch strip. Join the ends of the longer strip and pinch to seal, creating a loop. Wrap the shorter strip around the center of the loop to form the middle of the bow. Referring to the photo for position, place the bow on the cake.
- Cut two 4-in. x 1-in. strips. Cut a "V" in one end of each strip. Referring to the photo for position, tuck the straight end of each strip underneath the bow to create the ribbon ends.
- Using the numeral cookie cutters, cut out two "2's" and two "0's". Referring to the photo for position, place the cutouts on the cake to form "2002".
- If desired, arrange whole fresh strawberries on the platter around the cake. Yield: 8-10 servings.
Originally published as Diploma Cake in Country Woman May/June 2002, p46
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