In need of a quick sugar fix to add to your picnic table this Friday? Strawberry shortcakes and ice cream sandwiches are perennial favorites for the holiday, but for another tasty alternative, try these mini cakes, or “cakelettes,” courtesy of Style Me Pretty Living (the spinoff of the super successful wedding blog). This stunning, yet easy to assemble dessert is sure to liven up the party. The lightweight treats combine red, white, and blue layers of cake that are then stacked on top of one another in between layers of frosting. For a celebratory surprise, cakes are infused and then garnished with Pop Rocks. What a better way to top it off than a star-shaped sparkler for the Fourth?
Read on for the recipe!
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 26 minutes
3 boxes white cake mix
1lb confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
Red & blue food coloring
Pop rocks in strawberry & tropical flavors
White rock candy
3 (13" x 9") cake pans
3” circle cookie cutter
1” circle cookie cutter
Star shaped mini sparklers
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix one package of cake batter according to the box instructions and pour into greased 13”x9” pan. Repeat with remaining two packages, adding red food coloring to one batch and blue food coloring to the other.
2. Bake cakes for 23-27 minutes and let cool for several minutes before turning out onto cooling racks. Let cool completely.
3. Slice the uneven tops off of each cake layer so that each layer is the same thickness and completely flat. Slice a thin layer off the bottom of each layer to remove the browned edge.
4. Cut out 3” circles from each cake layer and discard the excess cake. Cut 1” circles out of the center of the red and white circles and set the centers aside.
5. Mix a buttercream frosting from confectioner’s sugar and butter, then add milk by the tablespoon until you reach a spreadable consistency. Scoop frosting into a piping bag with a circle tip, or just cut the corner off of a plastic sandwich bag in a pinch.
6. Frost a circle around the top edge of the blue cake circles. You want enough frosting to secure the next layer, but not so much that it will squeeze out the sides or into the center of the cake holes as they stack. Attach the white circles and repeat to attach the red circles.
7. Fill the center hole of the cake with pop rocks, then insert the red circle centers on top to “plug” up the cake. You may want to slice the circle centers to be thinner to so they match the level of the cake.
8. Frost the top of the cakelette completely. Sprinkle with white rock candy.
9. Immediately before serving, sprinkle some pop rocks in the center of the cake top and pop in a star shaped sparkler. Light and watch the sparks fly!