When Margaret detailed how she garnishes her deliciously different cake with slices of citrus from the trees around her Southwestern home, our crafty cooks were hooked.—Margaret Pache, Mesa, Arizona
Recommended: 30 Creative Birthday Cakes
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) lemon cake mix
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel, divided
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant coconut cream or lemon pudding mix
- 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
- Red, yellow, green and blue liquid food coloring
- 9 slices fresh lemon
- 2 black jelly beans
- 2 cups flaked coconut
- In a mixing bowl, mix cake mix according to package directions, replacing 1/2 cup liquid with milk. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon peel and coconut extract. Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-in round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 28-30 minutes or until cakes test done. Cool in pans for 15 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- Prepare pudding according to package directions; add remaining lemon peel. Cut cakes into large and small fish according to Fig. 1. Cut each fish in half horizontally; spread pudding on bottom layers and replace tops.
- Place fish on a 16-in. x 22-in. or larger covered board.
- Combine the whipped topping and confectioners' sugar; set 1 tablespoon aside. Use remaining frosting to frost top and sides of each fish.
- On each large fish, place three separate drops of red food coloring on the top third, three drops of yellow on the middle third and three drops of green on the bottom third. Starting from the top edge of fish, use the tip of a spoon to form scales and blend colors into frosting.
- For eyes, form a 1-in. oval on each large fish with reserved frosting. Place a jelly bean in the center of oval.
- For small fish, blend one color of food coloring into frosting to make solid-colored fish.
- Cut four lemon slices in half; place two halves in the center of each large fish for fins. Push rounded edges of one slice into the back of small fish for tails. Cut remaining slices into quarters; place one or two on the bottom of each large fish for fins and two slices on each side of small fish for fins.
- In a bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine coconut with 3-4 drops blue food coloring. Sprinkle coconut around fish to resemble water. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Fish-Shaped Cakes in Country Woman July/August 1997, p40