SHELLEY'S FIVE LAYER BIRTHDAY CAKE RECIPE
When my niece, Shelley, turned 11, (since we
share a love of sweet things), I decided to bake her a
layer cake and include all of the flavors we love.
With a multitude of fillings, frostings and candies,
the cake inspired passionate debates among the
children at her party. They argued about which parts
of the cake tasted good and which bad, which flavors
worked together and which did not, which colors
matched and which clashed, and, most importantly, how
each error should be corrected using different
After hearing their complaints I challenged them to
make a better cake. As a group, they voted on the
best ingredients and the best order of arrangement.
We listed the foods and tools we needed and marched to
the store to buy our supplies. Back in the kitchen,
we separated into five teams: one to bake the cake
layers and four others to make the fillings.
We worked in our separate groups all afternoon until
it came time to assemble the cake. Each team directed
the assembly of their section. The cake bakers laid
out the first bare layer and the first filling team
spread their filling. The cake bakers added the
second bare layer and the second filling team spread
their filling and so on. I spread the final layer of
frosting, and since Shelley was the birthday girl she
helped me to add the final candy garnishes. By the
time we finished everyone was ready for a second round
of birthday cake, and the reaction was unanimous: it
was a hit!
The recipe that resulted that day follows. I call it Shelley's
Five-Layer Birthday Cake. I hope that other groups
(regardless of age or setting) will enjoy the act of
formulating, mixing, assembling and eating this
wonderful treat as much as we did. They too will come
to understand that the real treat lies in the process
of creating something special together.
What You Need:
- 2 boxes Betty Crocker Moist DeluxeTM Devil's Food Cake mix
- 2 2/3 cups water
- 1 c. vegetable oil
- 6 eggs
Frosting and Garnish Ingredients:
- 1 package Jell-O No BakeTM Peanut Butter Cup Dessert mix
- 1 pckg. Jell-O No BakeTM Chocolate Dessert mix
- 1 bag caramel cream candies
- 1 tube almond paste
- 1 1/3 c. skim milk
- 1 c. water
- 1/4 c. water
- 1/3 c. skim milk
What You Do:
- 2 containers Betty Crocker Soft WhippedTM Fluffy White frosting
- 6 to 8 maraschino cherries without stems
- 6 to 8 Hershey's KissesTM
- 10 to 12 red peanut M&MsTM
- 1 small tub of red cake writing gel
Peanut Butter Cup Dessert Mix
- Blend Filling packet and Peanut Butter packet from package with 1 1/3 c. skim milk for three full minutes on high speed. Cover and refrigerate one hour.
Chocolate Dessert Mix
- Blend Topping packet with 1 c. water for three minutes on high speed. Cover and refrigerate one hour.
(For both Jell-O No BakeTM fillings, follow Filling and Topping directions on Peanut Butter Cup and Chocolate Dessert packages, respectively).
- In a food processor, puree almond paste with 1/3 c. skim milk until soft and spreadable. Cover and remove to refrigerator.
- In a small saucepan, combine caramel candies with 1/4 c. water. Simmer on low heat stirring constantly until the consistency is smooth. Cover and refrigerate.
- Following the directions on the box, beat cake mix from first package with 1 1/3 c. water, 1/2 c. vegetable oil and 3 eggs.
- Spread batter evenly among 3 well greased round cake pans.
- Bake in 350 ° oven for 20 min. Cool for 5 minutes in pans then remove to cooling racks.
- Repeat for second cake mix package.
- Using a long, sharp, serrated knife, slice the rounded tops off the 6 fully cooled cakes to make flat.
- Invert Layer 1 on cake serving dish so that sliced side faces down and cooked bottom faces up. (Repeat this for remaining layers so that the tougher cooked bottom is always frosted rather than the more delicate sliced side.)
- Spread Peanut Butter Cup filling in a ½ inch thick layer from the center to the edges of the top of the cake. (Do not frost sides.)
- Place Layer 2 on Peanut Butter Cup filling, inverting as above.
- Spread Chocolate Dessert filling as above.
- Add Layer 3.
- Spread Almond Paste mixture.
- Add Layer 4 and place cake in refrigerator.
- Heat caramel mixture on low heat until spreadable but still stiff.
- QUICKLY spread caramel on Layer 4, add Layer 5 and place cake in freezer for one hour to prevent caramel from oozing onto sides.
Final Frosting and Garnish:
- Now that the layers and fillings have stiffened, generously spread the packaged frosting around the sides and on the top of the cake with a spatula.
- Alternate Hershey's KissesTM, cherries and M&MsTM around the perimeter of the cake
- Write a birthday message with the red cake writing gel
- Serve and enjoy!
by: Time-Life Books
Scrumptious Recipes for Cooks Ages 9 to 13
Kid's Party Cookbook
by: Penny Warner
Recipes for all sorts of foods that kids like and can fix themselves or with minimal help from parents.
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