Centerpiece-worthy cakes: Whip up a creative home-baked dessert with ease

August 1, 2013 

Culinary experts at the Betty Crocker test kitchen have created some impressive but simple-to-make cakes that would be perfect for end-of-summer celebrations, birthday parties and Labor Day gatherings. Here are three party-worthy cakes.

Ice Cream Cone Cakes

A creative twist on the traditional birthday cake. Kids will love eating their cake in a cone instead of on a plate.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist party

rainbow chip cake mix

Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on

cake-mix box

24 flat-bottom ice cream cones

1 to 2 containers Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy

frosting (any flavor)

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Make cake batter as directed on box. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (two-thirds full). Place ice cream cone upside down on batter in each cup.

Bake 16 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean (cones may tilt on batter). Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Remove paper baking cups. Generously frost cake with frosting, and decorate as desired. Store loosely covered. Makes 24 cones.

Tips:

• After frosting, enjoy a downpour! Sprinkle frosted cone cakes with any of the following: breakfast cereal, animal crackers, dried fruit, candy sprinkles, crushed hard candies, graham cracker crumbs, granola, mini chocolate chips or nuts.

• Help steady Ice Cream Cone Cakes on a serving plate by putting a small amount of frosting on the cone bottom; lightly press cone onto plate.

Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (1 Cone Cake): Calories, 250; Calories from Fat, 90; Total Fat, 10g; Saturated Fat, 2g; Trans Fat, 1 1/2g; Cholesterol, 25mg; Sodium, 210mg; Total Carbohydrate, 37g; Dietary Fiber, 0g; Sugars, 24g; Protein, 1g.

Watermelon Cake

Savor the sweetest slice of watermelon you'll ever eat! The chocolate seeds are a melt-in-your-mouth prize.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons miniature

semisweet chocolate chips

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white

cake mix

Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called

for on cake-mix box

1 package (.13 ounce) cherry-flavored or

other red-colored unsweetened soft drink mix

1 container Betty Crocker Whipped

fluffy white frosting

Green and red food colors

2/3 cup green jelly beans

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease or spray two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans. In small bowl, toss 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of the cake mix. In large bowl, beat remaining cake mix, the water, oil, egg whites and drink mix with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in the 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Pour into pans.

Bake and cool as directed on box for 8- or 9-inch rounds.

In small bowl, stir 1 cup of the frosting with 10 to 12 drops green food color. Stir 10 to 12 drops red food color into remaining frosting. Frost sides of cakes with green frosting; press green jelly beans into frosting. Frost tops of cakes with red frosting; press remaining 2 tablespoons chocolate chips into frosting for seeds. If desired, cut cakes crosswise in half and arrange "slices" randomly on tray. To serve, cut into wedges. Store loosely covered. Serves 16.

Tips:

• Use mini chips, and toss in a small amount of cake mix to make sure there are lots of chips and that they stay distributed in the cake.

• Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy creamy white frosting can be used for the Whipped frosting.

Nutrition Information per serving: Calories, 320; Calories from Fat, 110; Total Fat, 12g; Saturated Fat, 4g; Trans Fat, 1 1/2g; Cholesterol, 0mg; Sodium, 240mg; Total Carbohydrate, 50g; Dietary Fiber, 0g; Sugars, 32g; Protein, 2g.

Frog Cupcakes

Have everyone green with envy at the next bake sale when you present these "toad"ally cute cupcakes.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix

Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box

2 containers Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy creamy white frosting

Betty Crocker green gel food color

48 miniature vanilla wafer cookies

48 Betty Crocker red cinnamon decors

Betty Crocker red decorating icing (from 4.25-oz tube)

Large red gumdrops

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Make, bake and cool cake as directed on box for 24 cupcakes.

Reserve 2 tablespoons frosting. Tint remaining frosting with food color to make green; frost cupcakes.

For eyes, place 2 cookies near top edge of each cupcake, inserting on end so they stand up. Attach 1 cinnamon candy to each cookie with reserved white frosting. Add dots of white frosting for nostrils.

For mouth, pipe on red icing. Slice gumdrops; add slice to each cupcake for tongue. Store loosely covered.

Tips:

• For a touch of whimsy, cut small pieces of black gumdrops and place one on each "tongue" to resemble a fly.

• If you have only one pan and a recipe calls for more cupcakes than your pan will make, cover and refrigerate the rest of the batter while baking the first batch. Cool the pan about 15 minutes, then bake the rest of the batter, adding 1 to 2 minutes to the bake time.

Nutrition Information per serving (1 cupcake with cake and frosting only: Calories, 250; Calories from Fat 80; Total Fat, 9g; Saturated Fat, 2g; Trans Fat, 2g; Cholesterol, 0mg; Sodium, 220mg; Total Carbohydrate, 40g; Dietary Fiber, 0g; Sugars, 30g; Protein 1g.

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