- 1 cup butter, cubed
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
- Ready-to-use white and primary colors rolled fondant (about 1 pound)
- 1 new small paintbrush
- Line a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with parchment paper and grease the paper; set aside.
- In a large saucepan, bring butter and water just to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda; add to butter mixture. Stir in the sour cream, eggs and extract until smooth.
- Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Invert cake onto a large cutting board or work surface. Gently peel off parchment paper. Cut cake into squares of varying sizes. Frost top and sides of each square.
- For each present, roll out a small amount of fondant into 1/16-in. thickness. Cut a fondant square that is about 2 in. larger than the top of the present. (Wrap remaining fondant in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.) Drape fondant over present, smoothing the top and sides. Trim excess. Let stand until set.
- For ribbon trim, roll out a small amount of fondant to 1/16-in. thickness; cut into thin strips. Dip paintbrush in water; attach strips around bases of presents as desired. Let stand until set.
- Stack presents if desired, securing with a small amount of frosting between each. Shape additional fondant strips into ribbons and bows; attach with wet paintbrush. Let stand until set. Yield: 15-20 servings.
Originally published as Present Cakes in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2008, p75
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