Ancient-Egyptian Treasure Hunt

Desert-Oasis Cake

By Jacqueline Plant

Your little archaeologists will really dig a slice of this tasty treat. The edible glitters used to decorate the cake are available at party or craft stores.

desert_oasis_cake

Prep and decorating time: 1 hour

Bake time: 35 to 45 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

  • 1 box (18.25 oz.) yellow-cake mix 12"x18" cake board
  • 2 cans (16 oz. each) vanilla frosting
  • Brown, yellow, and white edible glitters (each in .25 oz. container)
  • 2 cups ground vanilla wafers
  • Plastic palm trees
  • Dots candy
  • Gold candles

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8"x8" square baking pans. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using pound-cake variation (add instant pudding and an extra egg). Pour into pans and spread evenly; bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack, and cool 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack and cool completely.

2. To decorate: Place a cake layer on sheet of waxed paper, and frost with ½ cup frosting. Place second cake layer on top, centered. With a large serrated knife, score top of second layer 1¾" from edge to form a square. Position cake flush to counter edge. Cut off wedge-shaped edges, using score marks on top and counter edge as guides.

pym_step1

Repeat on remaining 3 sides. (You should have a flat-topped, slope-sided shape).

pym_step2

Take 2 cut wedge shapes, and sandwich the flat, uncut sides together with frosting. Place on top of cake, centered. With serrated knife, cut 2 unsloped sides off the top piece to form a pyramid. (If desired, cut remaining pieces into a triangle and sandwich together for a smaller pyramid cake).

pym_step3

3. Transfer pyramids to cake board. Frost both pyramids with vanilla frosting. Using the dull side of a knife, score cakes to make block pattern and doorway for pyramid. In a small bowl, combine brown, yellow, and white sparkles. Using your fingertips, grind sparkles into fine powder. Place sparkles, a little at a time, on a spoon. Gently blow sparkles onto sides of cake to cover frosting. (Be careful not to inhale). Place ground wafers around pyramids for sand. Use Dot candies to secure palm trees and candles to board, and cover with wafer crumbs.

Copyright© 2004. Reprinted with permission from the April 2002 issue of Parents magazine.

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