Save on Pinterest

Play Ball Cake

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling


8-10 servings

You won't need any fancy pans for this sporty dessert. The kids always want the pieces that have the red licorice "lacing!" I have found that fresh, pliable licorice works the best for forming the laces on the curved ball cake. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Play Ball Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Dash salt
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • Shoestring red licorice


  1. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add alternately with milk to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Pour 1-1/2 cups batter into a greased and floured 3-cup ovenproof bowl.
  2. Pour remaining batter into a greased and floured 9-in. round baking pan. Bake both cakes at 325° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat the shortening, butter and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in 3 tablespoons milk, extracts and salt until smooth. Set aside 1 cup.
  4. To remaining frosting, beat in cocoa and remaining milk. Cut a 3x1-in. oval for the thumb opening from an edge of the 9-in. cake. Place cake on a 11-in. covered board. Frost with chocolate frosting.
  5. With four pieces of licorice, form two crosses over thumb opening for laces in mitt. Frost the rounded cake with white frosting. Use licorice pieces to form laces of ball. Place on mitt cake opposite the thumb opening.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 678 calories, 31g fat (11g saturated fat), 71mg cholesterol, 334mg sodium, 95g carbohydrate (65g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

Recommended Video

More from Taste of Home