Southern Living
Prep Time
45 Mins
Bake Time
20 Mins
Stand Time
15 Mins
Yield
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake

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.

How to Make It

Step 1

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

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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

Step 4

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.

Step 5

Reserve 2 cups Powdered Sugar Frosting.

Step 6

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

Step 7

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

Step 8

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

Step 9

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.

Step 10

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

Step 11

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.

Step 12

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.

Step 13

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.

Also appeared in: Southern Living, October, 2007,Home for the Holidays

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Ratings & Reviews

dianelizabeth's Review

susan4palmer
December 24, 2013
This is truly a 5 star cake! Perfect for my 2 Christmas babies (not babies anymore). The icing is phenomenal and plentiful. I added less powdered sugar, just stopped adding when it reached the desired consistency. Plus, I added 1/8 teaspoon of pure almond extract. I made my own gingerbread men at the family cookie decorating party Sunday. All in a win win cake. Check out the chocolate éclair cake and homemade cinnamon rolls. Your family will look at you in awe!

LisaHeffner's Review

LisaHeffner
May 21, 2013
N/A

susan4palmer's Review

dianelizabeth
April 23, 2013
N/A

Dianeestelle's Review

Dianeestelle
December 10, 2012
I've made this cake a couple of times and it is absolutely eye-catching. the cake is moist, the frosting good. It took a little effort to make those bows but it was worth it. The cake looked just like the picture, and people were very impressed. Not a crumb left.