This cake will be sure to delight all of your guests at your shower. Everything can be made ahead and assembled the day of.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
- 1-1/3 cups poppy seeds, divided
- 4 packages white cake mix (regular size)
- 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant lemon pudding mix
- 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
- 15 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup half-and-half cream
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pink liquid or paste food coloring
- Place 1/3 cup poppy seeds in each of four small bowls; add the water called for in cake mix directions to each bowl. Soak for 1 hour.
- Prepare cake batters according to package directions, using poppy seed water. Bake in three greased and floured 13-in. x 9-in. baking pans and two 8-in. square pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Prepare pudding according to package directions; refrigerate.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar. Add the cream, vanilla and salt; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (Frosting may need to be made in batches.) Add food coloring to 4-1/2 cups frosting.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of two plastic or pastry bags; insert #3 pastry tip in one bag and #5 pastry tip in the other. Place 1/2 cup white frosting in bag with #3 tip and 1/2 cup pink frosting in the other. Cover remaining frosting with a damp cloth until ready to use.
- Trim two 13-in. x 9-in. cakes into 12-in. x 8-in. rectangles as in Fig. 1a; level tops. Cut an 8-in. x 2-in. strip off each, leaving two pieces (A). Cut each strip in half, forming four 4-in. x 2-in. pieces. As in Fig. 1b, attach two 4-in. x 2-in. pieces together lengthwise with white frosting to form a 4-in. x 4-in. pieces (B); repeat with two remaining pieces and set aside.
- Trim remaining 13-in. x 9-in. cake into a 12-in. x 7-in. rectangle as in Fig. 2; level top. Cut cake in half to form two 7-in. x 6-in. pieces (C); set aside.
- Level tops of 8-in. square cakes.
- Each frosted layer of the cake consists of two cake pieces with a lemon pudding filling in between. Place one piece A on a covered board; spread with pudding to with 1/2 in. of edge. Place second piece A on top; set aside. Repeat filling procedure for remaining layers (pieces B, C and 8-in. squares) and place on covered boards.
- For bottom layer, frost piece A with 3-1/2 cups white frosting. If desired, attach a ribbon across the corners of piece A (as shown in photo).
- For second layer, frost 8-in. cake with 2-1/2 cups pink frosting. With prepared bag of white frosting, pipe a continuous string, curving up, down and around so strings never touch or cross on cake.
- For third layer, frost piece C with 2 cups white frosting. With prepared bag of pink frosting, pipe dots 1/2 in. apart over entire cake.
- Frost piece B with remaining pink frosting. Add bow on top.
- For bottom three layers, cut a 1/4-in. dowel into five pieces the height of each layer. Insert dowels 1 to 2 in. apart in center of each cake to support the next layer. Carefully stack layers on a serving platter, working from largest cake to smallest. Decorate with ribbon and silk flowers as desired. Remove dowels before cutting each layer. Yield: 50 servings.
Originally published as Gift Box Wedding Cake in Country Woman May/June 1997, p42
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