Furry friends from Julie Todd's party set inspired our home economists to bake a "purrfect" complementary cake. Wait and see—guests are sure to be drawn to this dessert...quicker than a cat to a mouse. Using a standard cake mix to keep their creation on the quick-and-easy side, our kitchen staff simply shaped felines and mittens using Julie's fun patters Then food coloring brightened up old-fashioned frosting to form spots, hearts whiskers and other details. For a final flavorful twist, licorice added scarves for both Mama and baby. It's kittenish treat folks won't be able to keep their "paws" off of. So don't count on these critters lasting nine lives!
- 1 package cake mix of your choice (regular size)
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 6 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- Red, blue, brown and black paste food coloring
- 1 piece red pull-apart licorice twist (9 inches)
- Mix cake according to package directions; pour batter into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan lined with waxed paper. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes; invert onto a wire rack. Remove pan and waxed paper; cool completely.
- For frosting, combine butter, shortening and confectioners' sugar in a bowl. Beat on high for 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; blend in cream and extract.
- Place 1/2 cup frosting each in two small bowls. Add red food coloring to one bowl and blue to the other. Place 2 tablespoons white frosting each into five custard cups. With brown food coloring, tint one cup cream, one tan and one brown. With black food coloring, tint one gray and one black.
- Trace patterns (except small mitten) onto waxed paper and cut out. Set heart, spot and muzzle patterns aside. Arrange patterns for cat, kitten, tails and large mitten on cake. Using a sharp knife, cut out according to quantities noted on patterns; remove paper. Place cat with tail and kitten with tail on a 22-in. x 20-in. covered board, trimming tails to fit bodies as needed. Frost with white icing.
- For muzzles, gently trace patterns on cat and kitten using a toothpick; frost with cream-colored frosting. Trace and frost kitten's brown, tan and gray spots. Fill a small bag with black frosting; cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. On cat and kitten, pipe dots for eyes, an upside-down triangle for nose and a line from the nose to the bottom of the muzzle. Pipe whiskers on muzzle.
- Place mittens on board near cat and kitten. Frost one mitten blue and the other red. Trace a heart on cat and kitten; frost with red frosting. Trace a heart on each mitten. Fill a small bag with white frosting; pipe mitten heart outlines and a crisscross design on hearts. Pipe "x's" and stitching around edges of mittens. Add a dot with white frosting in the center of cat's and kitten's eyes.
- For scarves, separate licorice twist into three strips with three strands each. For kitten, cut one strip 8 in. long; form a loop near one end of strip. bend and place strip around kitten's neck, with loop ending at edge of neck. Cut a 2-in. piece from another strip; bend and secure from loop down side of kitten's neck. Repeat, using a 9-in. strip to make scarf for cat. Yield: 12-15 servings.
Originally published as Kittens N Mittens Cake in Country Woman January/February 1999, p46
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Reviewed Oct. 26, 2012
"I made this several years ago for my daughters birthday. I loved it and had lots of fun making everything...still have the cute kittens somewhere in our kids' toy box. Cute, cute, cute!!!"