TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour Bake: 1 hour + cooling
MAKES: 24 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 packages devil's food cake mix (regular size)
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) classic fudge frosting
  • White pearl dragees
  • COOKIES:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ROYAL ICING:
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • Sky blue gel liquid food coloring
  • Chocolate curls

Directions

  1. Grease and flour three 9-in. x 1-in. round baking pans and one 8-in. x 2-in. round baking pan; set aside. Prepare cake mixes in separate bowls according to package directions.
  2. Spoon batter from one cake mix into two of the 9-in. pans. From the second cake mix, pour enough batter into the 8-in. pan so it is three-fourths full. Pour the remaining batter into the remaining 9-in. pan.
  3. Bake cakes according to package directions until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. Set aside 1 cup frosting. Place one 9-in. cake on a serving plate; frost. Repeat. Top with the third cake layer; frost. Add 8-in. cake. Spread frosting over the top and sides of cake. Add pearl dragees.
  5. For cookies, in a bowl, cream the butter, sugar and extract. Add flour; mix well. Divide dough in half; flatten each portion. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
  6. Roll out one portion between two pieces of waxed paper to 1/8-in. thickness. With a floured 1-1/2-in. snowflake cookie cutter, cut out 12 shapes. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 15-20 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Repeat, using remaining dough and a floured 3-1/2-in. Christmas tree cookie cutter.
  7. For icing, sift confectioners' sugar and meringue powder into a large bowl. Add water; beat on low speed until blended. Beat on high for 5-6 minutes or until soft peaks form. Tint half blue. Leave remaining icing white. Place a damp towel over the bowls and cover tightly until ready to use.
  8. With blue icing and a round tip, outline snowflake cookies; fill in centers with thinned blue icing and let dry completely. With blue or white icing and pearl dragees, create varied designs. Let dry completely. For Christmas tree cookies, repeat process using white icing; add decorations.
  9. To assemble, spread a small amount of reserved chocolate frosting on the back of each cookie. Position trees and snowflakes around cake. Garnish with chocolate curls. Yield: 24 servings.
Originally published as Holiday Cookie Cutout Cake in Taste of Home Cooking School Collection Winter 2009, p86

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