Star-Spangled Kite Cake

Star-Spangled Kite Cake
Servings: 12 to 16 Prep 15 mins Bake 350°F 50 mins to 1 hr Stand 15 mins

Ingredients

Cake:
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk, divided
Decorations
  • 3 tablespoons blue sugar sprinkles
  • White taffy
  • Red taffy
  • Blue taffy
  • Red candy sticks
  • White candy sticks
  • Blue candy sticks
  • Red sour strips or fruit leather
  • Red licorice Pull-n-Peel
  • Red licorice rope

Make It

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 9 x 13-inch baking pan with wax paper. Grease and flour pan; set aside. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and cloves. In large bowl, beat together eggs, vegetable oil, sugars, and vanilla until blended and thick, about 3 minutes. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until smooth. Stir in zucchini, lemon peel, and walnuts, if using. Pour batter into pan, and spread evenly with spatula. Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to wire rack, and let cool 15 minutes. Invert cake on rack and cool completely.

Prepare frosting:

2. In large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until fluffy and smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon milk, and beat to combine. If frosting feels too stiff, add some of the remaining milk, a little at a time. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

3. Place cake on clean work surface with short side facing you. Mark the middle of the short side with a toothpick. Cut from the corners of the opposite short side to the toothpick, creating a V shape. Place cut pieces together along short side, and trim to kite shape. Place on serving plate and use some of the frosting to hold pieces together. Spread remaining frosting over cake.

4. Trim a piece of wax paper to the exact shape of the cake. Cut triangle out of the upper left corner of the wax paper. Place paper over cake, and sprinkle blue sugar sprinkles over left corner. Carefully remove wax paper. Roll taffy pieces to 1/8-inch thickness (microwave taffy 10 seconds to soften, if necessary). Cut out seven 1-inch stars with small cookie cutter. Place stars on top of blue sugar. Place red sour strips 1 inch apart on cake for stripes. Trim edges of strips. Trim candy sticks into four 3-inch pieces, and push into corners of cake. Attach licorice (Pull-n-Peel) for kite string by pressing into top two corners. Insert the licorice rope into the bottom corner of kite for tail. Shape blue and red taffies into bows and place on tail.