- 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
- 1 cup flaked coconut, divided
- Yellow, blue, green and red food coloring
- 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting, divided
- Assorted candies (red shoestring licorice, mini peanut butter cups and Skittles)
- Miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- Prepare cake batter according to package directions. Fill 12 foil or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Pour remaining batter into a greased 9-in. round baking pan. Bake cake and cupcakes according to package directions. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
- Place 1/2 cup coconut in a plastic bag; sprinkle five to six drops of yellow food coloring into bag. Shake until color is distributed evenly. Repeat with 1/4 cup coconut and blue coloring, then with remaining coconut and green coloring.
- In a small bowl, tint 2 tablespoons frosting red; set aside. Frost round cake and 11 cupcakes with remaining frosting; place round cake on a large platter or covered board (about 22 in. x 15 in.). Form a face and hair using peanut butter cups for eyes and licorice for mouth, eyebrows and hair.
- Remove liner from remaining cupcake and cut off the top. Cut the top in half and press into sides of cake for ears. Frost the bottom portion of cupcake with reserved red frosting and press in place for nose. Decorate three cupcakes with Skittles; arrange on platter in the shape of a bow tie. Add chocolate chip freckles.
- Remove liners from three cupcakes if desired and cut in half; sprinkle with green coconut. Press flat sides against top of cake to form brim of hat. Sprinkle four cupcakes with yellow coconut and one with blue coconut; stack in a pyramid on top of brim to form the hat. Yield: 16-20 servings.
Originally published as Happy Clown Cake in Country Woman March/April 1996, p49
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