The story behind this patchwork birthday dessert is a sweet one. It all started when subscriber Sue Anne Busby of Hermitage, Tennessee shared a cake she'd made special by frosting it with fruit preserves. Inspired by Sue Anne's innovative icing, the CT kitchen crew got cookin'—and whipped together this easy quilt-block confection, complete with jam-filled squares. It's a treat your quilting guests are sure to relish!
- 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
- 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant banana pudding mix
- 1 cup water
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 cup shortening
- 6 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- Pinch salt
- 5 to 6 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- Ruler and string or dental floss
- 2 pastry bags or heavy-duty resealable plastic bags
- Round pastry tip #5, optional
- Star pastry tip #20
- In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, water, eggs and oil; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
- Pour into two greased 9-in. square baking pans. Bake at 350° for 27-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, cream the shortening until fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, salt and enough milk to achieve desired spreading consistency; set aside 2/3 cup. Using remaining frosting, spread between layers and over top and sides of cake.
- To make quilt design, divide the top into nine equal squares, using a ruler and making a gentle imprint in frosting with string or dental floss. Referring to Fig. 1, use a toothpick to gently draw each block design. Fill in design with preserves as shown in photo.
- Cut a small hole in the bottom corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert round tip if desired (or pipe directly from bag). Fill the bag with 1/3 cup reserved frosting and pipe an outline around each square. Prepare another plastic or pastry bag, inserting the star tip. Fill bag with remaining frosting; pipe around outer edge of top and bottom of cake. Holding the bag straight up and down, form stars on the corners of cake and squares. Yield: 9 servings.
Originally published as Quilter's Cake in Country Woman September/October 1996, p40
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