This cake will be sure to delight all of your guests at your shower. Everything can be made ahead and assembled the day of.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1-1/3 cups poppy seeds, divided
- 4 packages (18-1/4 ounces each) white cake mix
- 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant lemon pudding mix
- 1-1/2 cups butter (no substitutes), softened
- 15 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup half-and-half cream
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 pastry bags or heavy-duty resealable plastic bags
- Round pastry tips #3 and #5
- Pink liquid or paste food coloring
- 4 covered cardboard bases (10 x 8, 8 x 8, 7 x 6 and 4 x 4 inches)
- Dowel rods (1/4-inch diameter)
- Ribbons and silk flowers, optional
- In four bowls, soak 1/3 cup poppy seeds in water required for each cake mix for 1 hour. Mix each cake according to package directions, using poppy seed water. Bake in three greased and floured 13-in. x 9-in. baking pans and two 8-in. square pans; cool. Prepared pudding according to package directions; chill.
- For frosting, cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl on low speed for 1 minute. Add cream, vanilla and salt; mix on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (Frosting may need to be made in batches.) Add food coloring to 4-1/2 cups frosting.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of two plastic or pastry bags; insert #3 pastry tip in one bag and #5 pastry tip in the other. Place 1/2 cup white frosting in bag with #3 tip and 1/2 cup pink frosting in the other. Cover remaining frosting with a damp cloth until ready to use.
- Trim two 13-in. x 9-in. cakes into 12-in. x 8-in. rectangles as in Fig. 1a; level tops. Cut an 8-in. x 2-in. strip off each, leaving two pieces (A). Cut each strip in half, forming four 4-in. x 2-in. pieces. As in Fig. 1b, attach two 4-in. x 2-in. pieces together lengthwise with white frosting to form a 4-in. x 4-in. pieces (B); repeat with two remaining pieces and set aside.
- Trim remaining 13-in. x 9-in. cake into a 12-in. x 7-in. rectangle as in Fig. 2; level top. Cut cake in half to form two 7-in. x 6-in. pieces (C); set aside.
- Level tops of 8-in. square cakes.
- Each frosted layer of the cake consists of two cake pieces with a lemon pudding filling in between. Place one piece A on the largest covered board; spread with pudding to with 1/2 in. of edge. Place second piece A on top; set aside. Repeat filling procedure for remaining layers (pieces B, C and 8-in. squares) and place on covered boards.
- For bottom layer, frost piece A with 3-1/2 cups white frosting. If desired, attach a ribbon across the corners of piece A (as shown in photo).
- For second layer, frost 8-in. cake with 2-1/2 cups pink frosting. With prepared bag of white frosting, pipe a continuous string, curving up, down and around so strings never touch or cross on cake.
- For third layer, frost piece C with 2 cups white frosting. With prepared bag of pink frosting, pipe dots 1/2 in. apart over entire cake.
- Frost piece B with remaining pink frosting. Add bow on top.
- For bottom three layers, cut a dowel into five pieces the height of each layer. Insert dowels 1 to 2 in. apart in center of each cake to support the next layer. Carefully stack layers on a serving platter, working from largest cake to smallest. Decorate with ribbon and silk flowers as desired. Remove dowels before cutting each layer. Yield: 50 servings.
Originally published as Gift Box Wedding Cake in Country Woman May/June 1997, p42