WANT a festive grand finale for a patriotic party? Set out these spectacular sparklers. You're sure to draw "oohs" and "aahs" from the crowd. Simply follow our kitchen staff's directions to bake a jelly roll-style cake, cut it in two pieces and stand them on end. Them just spread on bright red, white and blue frosting and add gumdrop stars to turn the desserts into eye-catching firecrackers. With a luscious lemon filling, they're bound to delight taste buds, too!
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- LEMON FILLING:
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk
- Red and blue paste or gel food coloring
- 8 large red, white and blue gumdrops
- 5 pieces uncooked spaghetti
- Place egg whites in small bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with waxed paper; grease the paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually beat in 1/3 cup sugar. Beat in extract. Sift flour and baking powder together twice; gradually add to yolk mixture and mix well (batter will be very thick).
- In a small bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold into batter. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
- Bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes. Invert onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- For filling, in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and peel until blended. Add butter; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a metal spoon. Transfer to a small bowl; cool for 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- Unroll cake; spread filling over cake to within 1/2 inch of edges. Roll the cake up again. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
- Using a serrated knife, cut cake roll into one 5-1/2-inch-long piece and one 3-3/4-inch-long piece. Trim off uncut ends of each cake roll. With a cut end down, place each cake roll on a serving plate.
- For frosting, beat cream cheese in a small bowl until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar, lemon extract and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency.
- Tint 1/3 cup of frosting red and 1/4 cup blue. Frost sides of the large firecracker white. Frost the small firecracker red, white and blue, creating a striped pattern.
- Flatten the gumdrops with a rolling pin. Using a 1-inch star cookie cutter, cut eight gumdrop stars. Arrange three stars on side of the large firecracker, press them gently into the frosting.
- Insert one end of each spaghetti piece into a remaining gumdrop star. Break off the opposite end of each piece to create different lengths. Insert spaghetti into tops of the firecrackers. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Firecracker Cakes in Country Woman July/August 2003, p39
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