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Carousel Cake

Total Time

Prep: 1-1/2 hours + chilling Bake: 40 min. + cooling


15-18 servings

YOUNGSTERS are sure to circle this merry-go-round in a hurry...and form long lines to get a piece! CT's kitchen staff created the carousel's top and base with cakes. For the pretty ponies, they shaped cookies using Philip's flavorful recipe. Best of all, putting the confection together doesn't require any unusual materials—just wood dowels, ribbon and other easy-to-find supplies.
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  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each ground cloves, nutmeg and allspice
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • ICING:
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons meringue powder
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons warm water
  • Purple and pink gel food coloring
  • 8 miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • CAKE:
  • 1-1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups applesauce
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) whipped vanilla frosting
  • Purple and pink gel food coloring


  1. In a large bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Add egg; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  2. Roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Trace body and tail patterns onto waxed paper and cut out. Position patterns on dough; cut out four horses and four tails. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. (Bake remaining dough for additional cookies to serve on the side or refrigerate dough for another use.)
  3. For icing, in a small bowl, beat meringue powder, confectioners' sugar and water on high speed for 5-7 minutes or until smooth and thickened. If too stiff, add more sugar. Place 1/4 cup frosting each in two bowls; tint one purple and the other pink. Leave the other remaining icing white.
  4. Wrap the 15-in. ribbon around the 3/4-in. dowel, leaving 2-1/2 in. at end of dowel unwrapped. Use icing to attach ends of ribbon. In same way, wrap each 13-in. ribbon around a 1/4-in. dowel.
  5. Attach tails to horses with white icing. Spread white icing over one side of horses. Use pink icing for manes, forelocks, tails and saddles of two horses; use purple icing for the other two horses. Attach chocolate chips for eyes. With icing, attach each horse 2-1/2 in. from the top of a 1/4-in. dowel. Let dry, about 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate remaining icing.
  6. When icing on horses is dry, decorate other side in the same way; let dry.
  7. For cake, in a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with applesauce. Spoon into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  8. Place 1 cup whipped frosting in a bowl; tint purple. Place 1/2 cup frosting in another bowl; tint pink. Leave the remaining frosting white. Place one cake on a 10-in. serving plate. Frost top of cake white; top with a second layer. Frost top white and sides purple. Place remaining cake on a thin lightweight plate or 9-in. round piece of cardboard; frost cake top white and sides pink.
  9. Cut a hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag. Insert star tip #21; fill with white frosting. Pipe evenly spaced vertical stripes on sides of cakes. Using pink frosting and star tip, pipe rosettes between each strip on pink cake.
  10. Insert large dowel in the center of purple cake. Insert remaining dowels evenly spaced around cake. Place pink cake on top of dowels. For more stability, attach top cake to dowels with cookie icing if desired.
<b>Editor's Note:</B> In addition to standard baking supplies and the ingredients listed in this recipe, this cake requires four 10-inch lengths of 1/4-inch wooden dowel, two 13-inch pieces of 1/8-inch wide purple ribbon, a 10-inch serving plate, a thin lightweight plate or 9-inch-round piece of cardboard, a star #21 pastry tip, pastry or plastic bags and the patterns on page 19. Meringue powder is available from Wilton Industries. Call 1-800/794-5866 or visit <i></i>.

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