This cleverly decorated cake with its "pool" of cool blue gelatin will steal the show at any gathering! We dipped into our imaginations to come up with the whimsical party cake that doubles as an eye-catching centerpiece. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
- 1 package (3 ounces) berry blue gelatin
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup cold water
- Ice cubes
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 piece red shoestring licorice
- 14 Swedish Fish candies
- 5 Peachie-O's candies
- 5 Necco wafer candies, divided
- 2 Air Head candies
- 8 Runts candies
- 1 lollipop stick
- 2 Now and Later candies
- 1 stick spearmint chewing gum
- 1 Life Savers Gummy
- 98 Smarties candies
- 1 Sour Brite Octopus candy
- Grease two 9-in. round baking pans and line with waxed paper; grease and flour the paper. Prepare cake batter according to package directions. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 21-26 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Pour cold water into a 2-cup measuring cup; add enough ice cubes to measure 1-1/4 cups. Add to gelatin; stir until slightly thickened. Discard any remaining ice. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until soft-set.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and salt. Beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth and fluffy. Set aside 2 tablespoons frosting for decorating. Place one cake on a glass or plastic board. Frost top of cake with 2/3 cup frosting.
- For pool, cut a 5-in. circle (1 in. deep) in the center of second cake (save removed cake for another use). Place over frosted cake. Slowly pour gelatin into circle. Frost top and sides of cake.
- For ladder, cut licorice into two 4-in. pieces; gently press 1-1/4 in. apart into frosting, looping top ends for handles. Cut three 1-1/4-in. pieces of licorice for ladder steps; press into frosting. Decorate sides of cake with Swedish Fish and Peachie-O's.
- For pool steps, use a small amount of reserved frosting to attach four wafer candies to board. Trim two Air Head candies and bend into chair shapes; with frosting, attach Runts to chairs for legs. For table, attach remaining wafer candy to a lollipop stick; push into cake. Place chairs on cake and board.
- For diving board, spread frosting between two Now and Later candies; attach gum to top of candies with frosting. Cut Life Savers Gummy in half; attach to sides of gum. Place on cake.
- Arrange Smarties on cake for pool tile. Place a line of Smarties on gelatin to form a buoy rope. Place octopus candy in pool. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until gelatin is set. Yield: 12-16 servings.
Originally published as Pool Party Cake in Simple & Delicious May/June 2007, p11
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