Drummer Boy Cake
Looking for an impressive finale to your holiday dinner? This spectacular dessert, drummed up by our test kitchen, features a sweet-tart cranberry topping paired with a tangy orange cake and filling.
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup red currant jelly
- 1 medium navel orange, unpeeled and quartered
- 1 package (18 1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
- 1 1/2 cups water, divided
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 5 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
- Yellow liquid food coloring
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- 4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- Yellow and red liquid food coloring
- 28 fresh or frozen cranberries
How to make topping
Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a microwave-safe bowl; let stand for 1 minute. Microwave on high for 40 seconds; stir. Let stand until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 1 minute; set aside.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, cook cranberries and sugar, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Cool slightly. Stir in jelly and gelatin mixture. Cover and chill for 5 hours or overnight.
How to make cake
Process orange in a blender or food processor until finely chopped; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cake mix, 1 cup water, oil, and eggs on low speed until moistened. Add 1/3 cup chopped orange; beat for 2 minutes on medium. Set remaining orange aside for filling.
Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans. Bake at 350°F until a toothpick comes out clean, 28-31 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks.
How to make filling
Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and remaining water in a saucepan until smooth. Add butter and 1/3 cup chopped orange (discard any remaining orange or save for another use). Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in a few drops yellow food coloring; cool.
Split each cooled cake into two horizontal layers. Place bottom layer on serving plate; spread with a third of the filling. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread the cranberry topping over top to within 1/2 inch of edges.
How to frost
In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and extracts. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, alternately with milk, beating until frosting is light and fluffy.
Using 2/3 cup of frosting, frost cake sides. Tint remaining frosting gold with yellow and red food coloring. Cut a hole in a pastry or plastic bag; insert round tip #8. Fill with gold frosting. Pipe connecting diagonal stripes around side of cake; add cranberries at end points. With star tip #21, pipe a shell border around top and bottom of cake.
*Editor’s Note: This recipe was prepared with Duncan Hines yellow cake mix. Use of a coupler ring will allow you to easily change pastry tips for different designs.