Red, White & Blue Checkerboard Cake
• 3 boxes (15.25-18.25 oz. each) white cake mix
water, oil, eggs
In advance, make stars. Combine 4 oz. of fondant with 1/2 teaspoon of Gum-Tex. Roll out fondant 1/8 in. thick. Use largest star from set to cut seven stars. Brush with piping gel and sprinkle with white sparkling sugar. Let dry for four hours.
Prepare royal icing. Attach lollipop sticks to back of stars with tip 3 and royal icing. Let dry overnight.
Individually prepare 3 boxes white cake mix following package instructions; divide in thirds. In one portion of batter, gently stir Royal Blue Icing Color to desired shade. (Use clean toothpicks to transfer color from jar to batter.) Repeat with No-Taste Red Icing Color and reserve a portion of white batter.
For bottom layer of cake, place Batter Dividing Ring in the first prepared pan. Pour white batter in outer section. Add blue-colored batter in middle section and red-colored batter in center section. Fill sections 2/3 full. Remove ring from pan by carefully lifting straight up on handles. Rinse and completely dry ring.
For top layer, place clean dividing ring in second prepared pan. Pour red-colored batter in outer section. Add white batter in middle section and blue-colored batter in center section. Fill sections 2/3 full. Remove ring from pan by carefully lifting straight up on handles. Rinse and completely dry ring.
For middle layer, place clean and dry ring in third prepared pan. Pour blue-colored batter in outer circle section. Add red-colored batter in middle section and white batter in center section. Fill sections 2/3 full. Remove ring from pan by carefully lifting straight up on handles. DO NOT PUT RING IN OVEN.
Bake and cool cakes following package directions. Prepare buttercream icing and tint blue. Stack cakes on foil-wrapped cake circle and ice with blue buttercream icing and spatula.
Cut out an additional 10 fondant stars, brush with piping gel and sprinkle with white sparkling sugar. Attach to cake with piping gel.
Trim sticks on stars to various heights and insert in cake top. Use tip 18 and blue buttercream icing to pipe shell bottom border.
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