Monday, December 21, 2009

The Ultimate “Gag” Gift: Sandra Lee’s Kwanzaa Cake

Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa Cake I originally witnessed this monstrosity of a cake on a Food Network episode of Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade a few years ago. Since then, the now infamous Kwanzaa Cake has taken on a life of its own on the web. Everyone wants to bad mouth this thing. But who can blame them?

There are some things that shouldn't be mixed. She begins with a store bought angel food cake and adds cinnamon and chocolate to white icing from a can. She then coats the angel food cake (which is already sweet) with the icing. If that's not enough, Sandra Lee then dumps a whole can of apple pie filling in the middle of the angel food cake. But wait, there’s more. The crazy looking cake is then sprinkled with pumpkin seeds, and get this, corn nuts.

So what makes this crazy, unappetizing and sickly sweet cake a Kwanzaa cake? None other than red and green candles that look like they belong in a candlestick. So what have we learned? Just because someone on TV says "do it", doesn't mean you should.

Watch the horror below. And obviously Sandra is confused, as she calls the corn nuts, “acorns.” The original video I witnessed, and the original recipe also calls for popcorn, yet it seems to have been edited out. And the recipe is now missing from the Food Network website. Hmmm.

Here’s the recipe if you want to give someone a “gag” gift.

1 (10 to 12-ounce) purchased angel food cake
1 container (16 ounce) vanilla frosting
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (21-ounce) container apple filling or topping
1 (1.7-ounce) package corn nuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/2 cup popped popcorn

Special Equipment:
Kwanzaa candles

Using a serrated knife, cut cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place bottom cake layer, cut side up, on a serving platter. Mix frosting, cocoa powder, vanilla, and cinnamon in large bowl until combined. Spread about 1/4 of the frosting over top of cake layer on platter. Top with second cake layer, cut side down. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake to coat completely. Spoon apple pie filling into hole in center of cake. Place candles atop cake. Sprinkle top of cake with some corn nuts, pumpkin seeds, and popcorn. Sprinkle remaining corn nuts and pumpkin seeds around base of cake.

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