Sunday, March 16, 2014

Luck Charms Party Cake


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When I was a kid, the ditty went “pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers, blue diamonds and purple horseshoes.” The Lucky Charms marshmallow shapes have changed a bit through the years (I especially loved the addition of red balloons in the late ‘80s) but the quirky mascot Lucky the Leprechaun is still the same. And 50 years later, we’re still after his delicious Lucky Charms! 

In honor of Lucky’s 50th birthday, I created a cake with him in mind. It starts with a 10-inch round layer of Lucky Charms cereal treats (clearly, this will be his favorite part) which makes a sturdy base for the many colorful 8-inch cake layers that get stacked on top. This stacking creates a unique shape that, when covered in green frosting, looks much like a leprechaun hat. It’d be so party perfect for St. Paddy’s day, too, and there’s plenty to share. 
Here’s how to make it.
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STEP 1

First, you’ll need to make the cereal treats layer, which simply consists of marshmallows, a little butter and Lucky Charms cereal.

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STEP 2

Line a 10-inch round cake pan with sheets of plastic wrap. Lightly coat the plastic wrap with cooking spray.

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STEP 3

Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed stock pot over low heat.

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STEP 4

Add the marshmallows and continue to cook over low heat.

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STEP 5

Stir occasionally until the marshmallows and melted and well incorporated with the butter.

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STEP 6

Stir in the cereal with a large rubber spatula. Giving your spatula a good coating of cooking spray will help a little, if you find it too difficult to stir.

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STEP 7

Pour the cereal mixture into the prepared pan. Press the mixture into the pan with buttered fingers. Cover and place in the refrigerator until solid, about two hours.

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STEP 8

For the rainbow cake layers, heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans – if you have three pans – even better! In a large mixing bowl beat together the cake mix, water, oil and eggs with an electric hand mixer on low speed. Scrape down the bowl and beat again on medium speed until well combined and no streaks of powdered cake mix remain.

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STEP 9

Divide batter evenly between six bowls, about 1 1/3 cups each.

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STEP 10

Using the food color, tint one bowl red, one orange, one yellow, one green, one blue and one violet. Pour two of the colors in each of the prepared pans. Cover and refrigerate remaining bowls of batter until needed.

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STEP 11

Bake the cakes 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for five minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Wash cake pans and bake two more colors, repeating the above steps.

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STEP 12

Repeat process until all cakes are baked and cooled.

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STEP 13

Remove cereal treat from refrigerator and unwrap.

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STEP 14

Place on a serving platter upside-down so the flattest part of the cake is turned upright. Spread a small amount of vanilla frosting in the center of the cereal treat layer and stack on the violet cake layer. Lightly frost the top of the violet layer and place the blue layer on top of the violet layer. Continue in this manner with the green, yellow orange layers. Place the red layer on top but do not frost.

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STEP 15

Place remaining frosting in a large mixing bowl and add green food color.

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STEP 16

Mix with an electric mixer on medium until a vibrant green shade is achieved.

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STEP 17

Frost the entire cake with the green frosting. This is a big cake, so I recommend using a large off-set spatula with which to spread the frosting.

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STEP 18

Using the chocolate cupcake frosting fitted with the plain round tip (provided) draw lines of frosting around the base of the cake creating a “hatband.”

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STEP 19

Fill in the lines with more chocolate frosting and smooth with an off-set spatula.

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STEP 20

Press four pretzel sticks into the chocolate frosting to create a square buckle. It may be necessary to break the pretzels to make them fit inside the chocolate hatband. Break the last pretzel in half and place one half, horizontally, to the right center of the buckle to create the buckle latch.
  
This cake looks cute when surrounded with foil-covered chocolate coins. Store the cake loosely covered in plastic wrap.Lucky-Charms-Leprechaun-Hat-Cake_21
Prep Time:
1 hr 30 min

Total Time:
3 hr 0 min

Servings:
12

Ingredients

  • Cereal Treats

    • 1/4cup unsalted butter
    • 1bag (10 oz) large marshmallows
    • 6cups Lucky Charms® cereal
  • Cake

    • 2boxes Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
    • 2cups water
    • 1cup vegetable oil
    • 6eggs
    • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet food color
    • 2 1/2containers Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
    • 1container Betty Crocker® chocolate decorating cupcake icing
    • 5pretzel sticks

Directions

  • 1Line 10-inch round cake pan with sheets of plastic wrap. Lightly coat plastic wrap with cooking spray.
  • 2In large heavy-bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows; cook, stir occasionally, until marshmallows are melted and well mixed with butter. Stir in cereal with large rubber spatula. Pour cereal mixture into pan; press in pan with buttered fingers. Cover; refrigerate until solid, about 2 hours.
  • 3Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; lightly flour pans.
  • 4In very large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs with electric hand mixer on low speed until combined. Scrape down side of bowl; beat again on medium speed until well combined and no streaks of dry cake mix remain.
  • 5Divide batter evenly among 6 bowls, about 1 1/3 cups each. Using food color, tint 1 bowl of batter red, 1 orange, 1 yellow, 1 green, 1 blue and 1 violet. Pour 1 color of batter in each pan. Cover remaining 4 bowls of batter; refrigerate until needed.
  • 6Bake cake layers 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans 5 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely.
  • 7Wash and dry cake pans. Bake 2 more colors of batter, repeating above steps. Repeat process until all 6 cake layers are baked and cooled.
  • 8Remove Cereal Treat from refrigerator; unwrap. Place upside-down on serving platter so flattest part of cereal treat is turned upright. Spread small amount of vanilla frosting in center of cereal treat layer. Top with violet cake layer; lightly frost top of violet layer. Place blue cake layer on top of violet layer; lightly frost top. Continue in this manner with green, yellow and orange layers. Place red cake layer on top but do not frost.
  • 9Place remaining frosting in large bowl. Add green food color; mix with electric hand mixer on medium speed until a vibrant green shade is achieved. Frost entire cake with green frosting.
  • 10Using chocolate cupcake icing fitted with plain round tip, draw lines of frosting around base of cake to create “hatband.” Fill in lines with more chocolate icing; smooth with off-set metal spatula. Press 4 pretzels into chocolate icing to create “square buckle.” Break last pretzel in half; place 1 half horizontally to right of center of buckle to create “buckle latch.” (Eat remaining half of pretzel!) Store cake loosely covered with plastic wrap at room temperature.

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