The breezy treat we've featured here is no pie in the sky—but it is a sensationally tasty cake! The CT home economists had a high old time making it, thanks to Mildred's recipes and the playful crafts shared by Paula Del Favero. Our kitchen staff started by baking Mildred's delectable dessert that's full of yummy banana flavor. To top the confection off, they tinted and shaped her creamy frosting to resemble puffy clouds and Paula's bright kites. Using everyday ingredients, you can raise this sweet idea, too. Your birthday guests will be on cloud nine!
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium)
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cake flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 6 tablespoons shortening
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pink, yellow, purple and blue gel or paste food coloring
- In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and bananas.
- Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto rack to cool completely. Transfer cake to a large platter or covered board. (15-in. x 12-in.).
- In a saucepan, combine cake flour and milk until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, cream butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla. Add flour mixture; beat until sugar is dissolved and frosting is fluffy.
- Place 2 tablespoons frosting each in three bowls; tint one pink, one yellow and one purple. Place 3/4 cup frosting in a bowl; tint blue. Frost top of cake blue and sides white. Form three clouds with some of the white frosting (see photo); set remaining white frosting aside.
- With the point of a toothpick draw two small kites and two large kites on the blue frosting (see photo). Fill in kites with some of the purple, pink and yellow frosting.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; insert round tip #3 (or pipe directly from bag). Fill bag with remaining purple frosting; pipe kite strings on the two small kites. Repeat with yellow and pink frosting on medium kites. Pipe colored bows on the top of kite strings.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of another pastry or plastic bag; insert round tip #3. Fill bag with remaining white frosting; pipe crossbars and an outline around each kite. Using round tip #7, pipe a border around top edge of cake. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Kite Birthday Cake in Country Woman March/April 2000, p49
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