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Pastel Four-Layer Cake

Bryan Anderson of Granite Falls, Minnesota recalls, "My mother made this special birthday cake for me and my sister as we were growing up. It looks as good as it tastes and it easier to make than you would think."
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • Yellow, red and green liquid food coloring
  • 1/4 teaspoon each lemon, peppermint, almond and vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa


  • Prepare and bake cake according to the package directions, using two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In small saucepan, combine flour and salt. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cover and refrigerate until cooled completely.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add milk mixture; beat until light and fluffy.
  • Divide frosting equally among four bowls, with 1-1/4 cups in each. To the first bowl, add 2-3 drops yellow food coloring and lemon extract until blended. To second bowl, add 2-3 drops red food coloring and peppermint extract. To third bowl, add 2-3 drops green food coloring and almond extract. To the last bowl, add the cocoa and vanilla.
  • Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with green frosting. Top with the second layer; spread with yellow frosting. Top with the third layer; spread with pink frosting. Top with remaining cake layer; spread with cocoa frosting. Do not frost sides of cake.

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Average Rating:
  • Sue Zappa
    Mar 10, 2014

    A family favorite at house since it first appeared in TOH! Everything about the recipe is delicious. I have to admit, though, that there's a chocolate cake recipe in the Premier Edition of TOH (1993) that everyone thinks is even better, so I tend to use that one, but add the flavorings & food colors from this recipe. I also 1 1/2x the frosting part of the 1993 recipe. But, again, this cake has gotten rave reviews from our family, too!

  • kujo99
    Apr 6, 2013

    I lost the recipe and just found it again. The best cake I ever made. Everyone absolutely loves it

  • jmarie34
    Mar 31, 2012

    I first made this cake in 1997, when I first saw it in the magazine to RAVE reviews!!! Then I lost this recipe and someone on the forum found it for me. I made it a couple more times and then we moved, and I lost the recipe again. I thought this cake would be lovely at my Daughter's wedding Shower. so pleased to be able to find it again!!! 5+ stars if you ask me!

  • mrsgi2
    Apr 11, 2011

    Forgot to give it stars!

  • mrsgi2
    Apr 11, 2011

    We just love this cake! I've been making this for about 11 years and never had anyone say they didn't like it. I like to refrigerate it before I serve it. This is a family favorite!

  • dolcevita
    Mar 15, 2010

    This cake is sooo delicious! I have made it for family, friends, and coworkers and it always gets rave reviews. I make a double batch of frosting because what the recipe calls for just isn't enough. I use left over frosting for cupcakes.Try this recipe, you won't be disappointed.

  • schoen
    Apr 5, 2009

    No comment left

  • mrsgi
    Mar 18, 2007

    No comment left