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Diploma Cake

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling


10 servings

GRADUATION GUESTS are bound to enjoy this sweet "certificate" a high degree! The yummy cake features a layer of creamy filling and fresh strawberries. By rolling up the dessert jelly-roll style, the CT kitchen staff formed an instant diploma shape. To tie it all together, our cooks created a bow and "2002" with red marzipan. If you like, just tint it a different shade to match a school's colors.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 6 tablespoons almond paste
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red liquid food coloring
  • Whole fresh strawberries, optional


  1. Line a 15x10x1-in. baking pan with parchment. Grease and flour the paper and sides of the pan. Set the pan aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and milk on low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat for 5 minutes or until mixture is light and lemon-colored. Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar and mix well.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold into the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold in the flour mixture. Pour into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 375° for 12-15 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Invert the cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Gently peel off the paper. Roll up the cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack.
  6. Filling/frosting: In a bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar. Fold in the whipped cream.
  7. Unroll the cake. Spread 1-1/4 cups of filling evenly over the top of the cake to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Arrange the sliced strawberries on top.
  8. Roll up the cake and place on a serving platter or 13x8-in. covered board. Frost cake with the remaining filling.
  9. Marzipan: crumble the almond paste into a large bowl. Knead in the corn syrup. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar until thoroughly blended, kneading well after each addition. Add the food coloring until combined.
  10. With rolling pin, roll almond paste mixture to a 1/4 inch thickness between two sheets of waxed paper.
  11. To form ribbon, cut a 9x1-in. strip of marzipan. Referring to the photo for position, place the strip across the center of the cake roll.
  12. Cut a 6-1/2x1-in. strip and a 3-1/4x1-in. strip. Join the ends of the longer strip and pinch to seal, creating a loop. Wrap the shorter strip around the center of the loop to form the middle of the bow. Referring to the photo for position, place the bow on the cake.
  13. Cut two 4x1-in. strips. Cut a "V" in one end of each strip. Referring to the photo for position, tuck the straight end of each strip underneath the bow to create the ribbon ends.
  14. Using the numeral cookie cutters, cut out two "2's" and two "0's". Referring to the photo for position, place the cutouts on the cake to form "2002".
  15. If desired, arrange whole fresh strawberries on the platter around the cake.
Finished size: Cake is 10 inches long x 5-1/4 inches wide x 3-1/2 inches high.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 416 calories, 20g fat (11g saturated fat), 164mg cholesterol, 174mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (42g sugars, 1g fiber), 7g protein.

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