Cakes & Cupcakes

Southern Living Gift Box Cake

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Prep Time: 2 hrs, 30 min

Cook Time: 35 min

Total Time: About 8 hours

Yield: Serves 9 to 12

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White Frosting for Gift Box Cake

Makes about 6 cups
ACTIVE 10 min. TOTAL 10 min.
Prepare the frosting in two batches if using a handheld mixer.

  • 2 cups Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 tsp. fine salt
  • 1 tsp. Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp. Spice Islands® Pure Almond Extract
  • 2 lb. powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. whole milk, as needed

 

Beat together Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening, salt, and extracts in a large bowl until light, about 1 minute. Add half of the sugar and 3 tablespoons milk; beat on low speed until combined. Add remaining sugar, and beat on low until no dry patches remain. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, as needed, until frosting is spreadable.

Make Ahead and Store: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature and beat vigorously before using.

Ingredients

CAKE

  • Baker’s Joy® No-Stick Baking Spray, for pans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Clabber Girl® Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. fine salt
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp. Spice Islands® Pure Almond Extract
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening

FONDANT BOW/DECORATIONS

  • Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening, for surface
  • 8 oz. red fondant
  • 2 tsp. edible red luster dust
  • 1 to 2 tsp. Spice Islands® Pure Lemon Extract
  • 1 batch White Frosting for Gift Box Cake (recipe follows)
  • Gingerbread cookie gift tag (see tip)

 

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in center position. Coat 3 (6- x 2-inch) square baking pans with Baker’s Joy® No-Stick Baking Spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Combine milk, water, and extracts in a measuring cup with spout.
  2. Beat egg whites in a large bowl on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high, and gradually add ½ cup of the sugar. Beat on high until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes. Beat together Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening with remaining 1 ½ cups sugar in another large bowl, on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl; reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
  3. Stir about one-quarter of the egg whites into batter; fold in remaining egg whites in 3 additions. Divide batter among pans, filling about halfway; smooth tops with a spatula.
  4. Bake cakes until golden brown on edges and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool in pans for 5 minutes; turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  5. Assemble the Fondant Bow: Lightly grease a work surface with Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening. Working with a third of the fondant at a time, roll to ⅛ inch thick. Cut into strips 1 ¼ x 5 inches. Gather scraps to reroll. Stir together luster dust and lemon extract in a small bowl until consistency of watercolor paint; brush over strips with a soft brush. Fold strips into loops, and pinch ends closed. Stand loops on edge on a paper towel-lined baking sheet in a cool, dry spot until firm, preferably overnight. Repeat with remaining fondant. See Step 7 for assembly.
  6. Using a serrated knife, trim the dome from each cake layer. Place one layer on a rotating cake stand or platter, and spread with ⅔ cup frosting. Top with a second cake layer and ⅔ cup frosting. Top with third layer, bottom-side up. Coat cake thinly with frosting. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes. Reserve 1 ¼ cups frosting; add the remaining frosting in a smooth layer using an offset spatula. Refrigerate cake until firm, 2 hours or overnight. Use spatula to perfect the edges, adding frosting to corners as needed.
  7. Transfer remaining frosting to a piping bag fitted with a ¼-inch round tip. For “wrapping paper,” pipe 2 overlapping trapezoids on 2 opposite sides of cake. Fill trapezoids with frosting; smooth with a spatula. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Just before serving, pipe a 2-tablespoon dollop of frosting on top of cake. Assemble the fondant loops into a bow, pressing ends into the dollop and adding frosting as needed to secure. Place the “gift tag” alongside the bow.

 

Make Ahead and Store:

The frosted cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before decorating. The fondant bow can be stored in a cool, dry spot, for up to 1 week. Do not refrigerate bow.

Tips

Why Shortening? Shortening makes baked goods fluffier and flakier, while oils provide a denser and heavier texture.

To make the gift tag, roll out gingerbread cookie dough to ¼ inch and use a sharp knife to cut around the template. Use a skewer to punch a hole in the tag while cookie is still warm. Download the template here

Check out this recipe for Gingersnap Cookies

Southern Living Gift Box Cake

0103_r2_

Prep Time: 2 hrs, 30 min

Cook Time: 35 min

Total Time: About 8 hours

Yield: Serves 9 to 12

Ingredients

CAKE

  • Baker’s Joy® No-Stick Baking Spray, for pans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Clabber Girl® Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. fine salt
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp. Spice Islands® Pure Almond Extract
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening

FONDANT BOW/DECORATIONS

  • Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening, for surface
  • 8 oz. red fondant
  • 2 tsp. edible red luster dust
  • 1 to 2 tsp. Spice Islands® Pure Lemon Extract
  • 1 batch White Frosting for Gift Box Cake (recipe follows)
  • Gingerbread cookie gift tag (see tip)

 

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in center position. Coat 3 (6- x 2-inch) square baking pans with Baker’s Joy® No-Stick Baking Spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Combine milk, water, and extracts in a measuring cup with spout.
  2. Beat egg whites in a large bowl on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high, and gradually add ½ cup of the sugar. Beat on high until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes. Beat together Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening with remaining 1 ½ cups sugar in another large bowl, on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl; reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
  3. Stir about one-quarter of the egg whites into batter; fold in remaining egg whites in 3 additions. Divide batter among pans, filling about halfway; smooth tops with a spatula.
  4. Bake cakes until golden brown on edges and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool in pans for 5 minutes; turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  5. Assemble the Fondant Bow: Lightly grease a work surface with Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening. Working with a third of the fondant at a time, roll to ⅛ inch thick. Cut into strips 1 ¼ x 5 inches. Gather scraps to reroll. Stir together luster dust and lemon extract in a small bowl until consistency of watercolor paint; brush over strips with a soft brush. Fold strips into loops, and pinch ends closed. Stand loops on edge on a paper towel-lined baking sheet in a cool, dry spot until firm, preferably overnight. Repeat with remaining fondant. See Step 7 for assembly.
  6. Using a serrated knife, trim the dome from each cake layer. Place one layer on a rotating cake stand or platter, and spread with ⅔ cup frosting. Top with a second cake layer and ⅔ cup frosting. Top with third layer, bottom-side up. Coat cake thinly with frosting. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes. Reserve 1 ¼ cups frosting; add the remaining frosting in a smooth layer using an offset spatula. Refrigerate cake until firm, 2 hours or overnight. Use spatula to perfect the edges, adding frosting to corners as needed.
  7. Transfer remaining frosting to a piping bag fitted with a ¼-inch round tip. For “wrapping paper,” pipe 2 overlapping trapezoids on 2 opposite sides of cake. Fill trapezoids with frosting; smooth with a spatula. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Just before serving, pipe a 2-tablespoon dollop of frosting on top of cake. Assemble the fondant loops into a bow, pressing ends into the dollop and adding frosting as needed to secure. Place the “gift tag” alongside the bow.

 

Make Ahead and Store:

The frosted cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before decorating. The fondant bow can be stored in a cool, dry spot, for up to 1 week. Do not refrigerate bow.

Tips

Why Shortening? Shortening makes baked goods fluffier and flakier, while oils provide a denser and heavier texture.

To make the gift tag, roll out gingerbread cookie dough to ¼ inch and use a sharp knife to cut around the template. Use a skewer to punch a hole in the tag while cookie is still warm. Download the template here

Check out this recipe for Gingersnap Cookies

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