How-to Assemble a Nutcracker Cake

Gather the craft materials needed for the Nutcracker Cake and cake stand, including (shown at right) nine wood dowel pieces, one round wood plaque, one rectangular wood plaque, two cardboard circles, four screws, a screwdriver and a Forstner drill bit. Drill holes in the wood plaques and 1-inch dowels as directed in the Cake Stand Directions on page 73.

Slip each partially finished leg over a 1-inch dowel screwed onto the rectangular base plaque. Then screw the round plaque on the top of the 1-inch dowels.

After forming the two arm/hand pieces, let them dry. Support each hand on a turkey baster, the handle of a whisk or another kitchen utensil.

After baking the four 6-inch round cakes and one cake in a 1-quart bowl, cool the cakes for 10 minutes before removing them from the pans and bowl to wire racks to cool completely.

If necessary, use a serrated knife to level the tops of the round cakes. On top of the round wood plaque, layer the following: dabs of frosting, one cardboard circle, one 6-inch cake with four 1-1/2-inch dowels inserted in it, frosting, the remaining cardboard circle, a second 6-inch cake, frosting and a third 6-inch cake. Insert the 5-inch dowels into the top.