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Elephant Cake

 Elephant Cake
My son's beloved elephant blankie was the inspiration for the theme of his fourth birthday party. His cake, shaped like a friendly pachyderm, was a huge hit! I'm no cake decorator, but I found it fun to make. No special pans are needed, and the frosting is easily applied with a pastry bag and star tip. —Kristen Proulx, Canton, New York
24-30 ServingsPrep: 40 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package devil's food cake mix (regular size)
  • 1-1/2 cups shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 12 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 4 to 7 tablespoons milk
  • Black and blue paste food coloring

Directions

  • Line two 9-in. round baking pans and one 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan
  • with waxed paper; grease the paper. Prepare both cake batters and
  • bake according to package directions, using the 9-in. pans for the
  • yellow cake and the 13-in. x 9-in. pan for the chocolate cake. Cool
  • for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Level cake tops if necessary.
  • Referring to Fig. 1 and using a serrated knife, cut out a trunk and
  • two feet from one yellow cake. Referring to Fig. 3, cut out an ear
  • and tail from second yellow cake. (Discard leftover cake pieces or
  • save for another use.)
  • Center chocolate cake on a 28-in. x 16-in. covered board. Referring
  • to Fig. 2, position trunk along left bottom edge of cake and tail on
  • right side. Place feet at bottom corners of cake. Place ear 2 in.

2 of 2

Elephant Cake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • from left side of cake.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, cream the shortening and butter until
  • light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla
  • and enough milk to achieve desired consistency.
  • Tint 1/4 cup of frosting black; set aside. Set aside 1/2 cup white
  • frosting. Tint remaining frosting blue-gray, using small amounts of
  • black and blue food coloring. Spread 2 cups of the blue-gray
  • frosting over top and sides of cake.
  • Trace a 1-1/2-in. x 1-1/4-in. oval for the eye. Cut a small hole in
  • the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert round tip #4. Fill bag
  • with black frosting. Outline eye and fill in pupil; pipe eyelashes
  • and mouth. Using star tip #25 and reserved white frosting, pipe
  • stars to fill in eye and add nostril and toes.
  • With blue-gray frosting and star tip #16, pipe stars over top and
  • sides of elephant. Yield: 24-30 servings.