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This is a fun cake for the whole family—perfect not only for the holidays, but for year-round celebrations. It's an impressively moist three-layered white cake with a fine crumb texture.

Recipe by Southern Living December 1996

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Credit: Southern Living

Recipe Summary test

prep:
45 mins
bake:
20 mins
stand:
15 mins
total:
80 mins
Yield:
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well.

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  • Combine 2/3 cup water and milk. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to sugar mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.

  • Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour into 3 greased and floured 8-inch square baking pans.

  • Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

  • Reserve 2 cups Powdered Sugar Frosting.

  • Spread 1/2 cup frosting into an 8-inch square on cake plate.

  • Spread remaining frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

  • Unroll fruit rolls (do not remove paper backing), and brush with water. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar; let stand 15 minutes.

  • Cut four (12-inch-long) strips from fruit rolls. Remove paper backing, and arrange on top and sides of cake, pressing gently into frosting, to resemble a ribbon.

  • Spoon 1/2 cup reserved frosting onto center of cake, forming a 3-inch mound.

  • Cut remaining fruit rolls into 4-inch pieces; remove paper backing. Fold each piece in half, resembling the loop of a bow; press cut ends into frosting mound, creating a large bow on top of cake. Place 2 gingerbread men cookies on each side of cake.

  • Spoon 1 1/2 cups reserved frosting into a decorating bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe a border around bottom edge of cake.

  • Note: You can also make this cake with 2 (25-oz.) packages white cake mix and 4 (16-oz.) containers ready-to-spread frosting. Make the gingerbread men using your favorite recipe or a gingerbread mix, or buy the cookies from your local bakery.

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