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Play Ball Cake

 Play Ball Cake
You won't need any fancy pans for this sporting dessert. The kids always want the pieces that have the red licorice "lacing!" I have found that fresh, pliable licorice works the best for forming the laces on the curved ball cake. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
8-10 ServingsPrep: 30 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • FROSTING:
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Dash salt
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • Shoestring red licorice

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add alternately with milk
  • to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Pour 1-1/2
  • cups batter into a greased and floured 3-cup ovenproof bowl.

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Play Ball Cake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • Pour remaining batter into a greased and floured 9-in. round baking
  • pan. Bake both cakes at 325° for 40-45 minutes or until a
  • toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10
  • minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, beat the shortening, butter and
  • confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in 3 tablespoons milk,
  • extracts and salt until smooth. Set aside 1 cup.
  • To remaining frosting, beat in cocoa and remaining milk. Cut a 3-in.
  • x 1-in. oval for the thumb opening from an edge of the 9-in. cake.
  • Place cake on a 11-in. covered board. Frost with chocolate frosting.
  • With four pieces of licorice, form two crosses over thumb opening for
  • laces in mitt. Frost the rounded cake with white frosting. Use
  • licorice pieces to form laces of ball. Place on mitt cake opposite
  • the thumb opening. Yield: 8-10 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 678 calories, 31 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 71 mg cholesterol, 334 mg sodium, 95 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.