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Kids love this (as do their parents!)
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) Baker's Special or granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks, 12 ounces) room-temperature unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or Princess Cake Flavor
5 large eggs
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour
3/4 cup (6 ounces) milk
2 boxes (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups (16 ounces, 1 pint) heavy or whipping cream
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
1 can (21-ounce) strawberry pie filling
1 can (21-ounce) pineapple pie filling
2 medium bananas, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped nuts
chocolate sauce or hot fudge sauce
10 to 12 maraschino cherries with stems on
Cake: Grease and flour two 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pans or two 9 x 13-inch pans. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, butter and flavoring for 2 to 3 minutes, until no lumps of butter remain. Continue beating, adding the eggs one at time, and scraping the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl to make sure everything is evenly mixed. Beat until the batter is light-colored and fluffy. Add the flour alternately with the milk, mixing to form a smooth batter. Scoop the thick batter into the prepared pans, and level the top with an offset spatula.
Bake the cakes for 14 to 16 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to finish cooling.
Filling: Combine the instant pudding mix, cream and milk, whisking for about 2 minutes, till the pudding begins to thicken. Set it aside.
Assembly: Slice each cake in half the long way to make four layers, each about 4 or 5 inches wide and 13 to 15 inches long. Place one of the layers on a serving platter and spread it with the strawberry filling. Top that with a second piece of cake. Spread about one-third of the pudding mixture across that cake layer, followed by the pineapple filling.
Next, add the third layer of cake. Spread one-third of the pudding over the top of that layer, followed by the sliced bananas. Add the final layer and top it with the remaining pudding. Sprinkle the pudding with chopped nuts, then drizzle it with chocolate sauce. Finally, arrange the cherries on top. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. Yield: 1 cake, about 10 servings.
This recipe reprinted from The Baker's Catalogue, Spring through Summer 2001.