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Firecracker Cakes

Seeing all the ideas readers shared for this feature lit up our home economists' imaginations—and this appropriately bright dessert, made from rolled sponge cake, is the result!
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons blue and red jimmies
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jelly or jam
  • ICING:
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Blue and red paste or liquid food coloring


  • In a bowl, beat egg yolks and lemon extract on high speed until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating on high until sugar is nearly dissolved. Combine flour and baking powder; sprinkle over egg yolk mixture and gently fold in just until combined. In another bowl, beat egg whites on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in egg yolk mixture. Line a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan with waxed paper; grease and flour the paper. Spread batter evenly into pan; sprinkle with jimmies. Bake at 375° for 12-15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Invert onto a linen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Peel off paper and roll up cake in towel, starting with the long end. Place seam side down on a wire rack; cool completely. Unroll cake; spread jelly to within 1 in. of edges. Roll up cake without the towel. Cut cake roll into three longs measuring 3 in., 5 in. and 7 in. Stand cakes vertically on a serving plate. Combine the first four icing ingredients; mix well. Divide icing into thirds; color a third blue and another third red. Spread white icing on top of 3-in. cake, blue on 5-in. cake and red on 7-in. cake, allowing icing to run down side. Insert a candle in the top of each.

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