BE PREPARED: If you plan to serve our kitchen staff's confection for a youngster's birthday party, you might be in for a land rush. Why? With this sweet treat on the table, you're bound to have lots of little "settlers" on your hands...claiming their territory around the birthday cake! The CT home economists started out simply—by using a purchased cake mix—then added sunbonnets and flowers with brightly tinted frosting. The decorating how-tos and hints are all in the directions here. What's more, this dessert is made of ingredients you likely already have on your homestead. So you'll find you can sweeten your special social with little fuss.
- 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 cups confectioners' sugar
- 6 tablespoons milk
- Pink, yellow, green and purple or blue paste food coloring
- Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a greased and floured 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes; invert onto the rack to cool completely. Transfer cake to a 15-in. x 12-in. covered board.
- In a bowl, cream shortening, butter and vanilla. Gradually beat in sugar and milk until light and fluffy.
- Place 1 cup frosting in a bowl; tint pink. Place 1/2 cup frosting each in two bowls; tint one yellow and one purple or blue. Place 1/4 cup frosting in another bowl; tint green. Cover and set bowls aside. Set 1/2 cup white frosting aside. Frost cake with remaining white frosting.
- With a knife, score a straight line lengthwise down the center of the cake; score two lines widthwise, creating six sections. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert star tip. Fill bag with reserved white frosting. Pipe rows of white shells over the scored lines
- Prepare another bag; insert star tip and fill with pink frosting. Pipe shells on each side of the rows of white shells, being careful not to cross over the lines. Pipe a row of pink shells around top and bottom edges of the cake.
- Trace a sunbonnet pattern onto waxed paper and cut out. With a sharp knife, trace pattern in top left, bottom middle and to right squares.
- Prepare another bag; insert round tip and fill with pink frosting. Outline and fill in the bonnet and form a bow in the top left square. In the center of each of the empty squares, pipe two pink flowers.
- Prepare another bag; insert round tip and fill with purple or blue frosting. Outline and fill in the bonnet in the middle bottom square and form a bow. Pipe two purple or blue flowers in the squares with the pink flowers. Place a small dot of purple or blue frosting in the center of pink flowers.
- Prepare another bag; insert round tip and fill with yellow frosting. Outline and fill in the bottom in the top right square and form a bow. Pipe two yellow flowers in squares with the other flowers, forming a bouquet. Place a small dot of the yellow frosting in the center of purple or blue flowers.
- Prepare another bag; insert round tip and fill with green frosting. Pipe stems and leaves on bouquets. Place a small dot of green frosting in the center of yellow flowers. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Prairie Birthday Cake in Country Woman March/April 1999, p42
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