Recipe

Jack in the box birthday cake

Pop this one on the party table for an eye-catching cake. From The Australian Women's Weekly's famous 'Children's Birthday Cake Book' cookbook, it's sure to be a hit with younger children.

  • 50 mins cooking
  • Makes 1
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Ingredients

Jack in the box
  • 1 x 470g (15-ounce) packet butter cake mix
  • 125 gram (4 ounces) softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cup (240g) icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • 2 tablespoon milk
  • red and blue food colouring
  • 1 ice-cream cone
  • hundreds and thousands
  • coloured paper
  • 1 black licorice strap
  • 2 brown mini m&m's
  • 1 yellow mini m&m's
  • 1 red licorice strap
  • 2 ice-cream wafers
  • 8 green fruit sticks
  • 300 gram (9½-ounce) packet raspberry lollies, halved
  • 2 tablespoon apricot jam, warmed, strained

Method

Jack in the box
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease 14cm x 22cm (5½-inch x 9-inch) loaf pan; line base and sides with baking paper, extending paper 5cm (2 inches) above sides.
  • 2
    Make cake according to directions on packet. Spread mixture pan; bake about 50 minutes. Stand cake in pan 5 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.
  • 3
    Trim cake until all sides are straight; stand cake on one end. Press 4cm round cutter down through centre of cake as far as it will go; with a sharp knife, cut away cake from around outside of cutter, remove cutter, leaving a small round attached to top of loaf cake. Press 5cm round cutter further down into cake, cut away cake from around outside of cutter to make second round.
  • 4
    To make butter cream, beat the butter (and any flavouring, if using) in a small narrow bowl with an electric mixer until the butter is as white as possible (this will result in a whiter butter cream which will give you better results if colouring it). Gradually beat in half the sifted icing sugar then the milk, then the remaining icing sugar. Beat until the butter cream is smooth and spreadable. Keep scraping down the side of the bowl during beating.
  • 5
    Trim rounds into rounded shapes to make head and shoulders, leave top flat. Secure cake to cake board with a little butter cream.
  • 6
    Reserve ¼ cup butter cream. Tint half the remaining butter cream red; tint remaining half blue.
  • 7
    Spread plain butter cream over head and shoulders. Spread front, top and back of box with red butter cream; spread remaining two sides of box with blue butter cream.
  • 8
    Spread pointed end of ice-cream cone with plain butter cream; coat with hundreds and thousands, position on top of clown's head. Cut coloured paper to make collar, press into position. Wrap thin strip of licorice strap around bottom of clown's shoulders. Position brown mini M&M's for eyes; position yellow mini M&M's for nose, and a thin strip of red licorice for mouth.
  • 9
    Press wafers upright into top back edge of cake to form lid. Split Fruit Sticks in half lengthways; secure to all edges of box and lid with butter cream.
  • 10
    Brush raspberry lolly halves with a little jam, coat in hundreds and thousands; position on cake, as pictured, to decorate sides of box.

Notes

14cm x 22cm (5½-inch x 9-inch) loaf pan; 4cm (1½-inch) round cutter; 5cm (2-inch) round cutter; 25cm (10-inch) square cake board.

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