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Dessert: Gumball Machine Cake -

Gumball Machine Cake
Decorative cake designed to resemble a gumball machine.

Recipe Ingredients:

4box(16 oz ea.) poundcake mix
5container(16 oz ea.) white frosting
red gel or paste food color
4lbs(about 6 cups) gumballs
confectioners sugar
1pkg(4.4 oz) yellow fondant from a 1.1-lb box of
ready-to-use primary colors multipack rolled fondant
6(8-in. or longer) wooden skewers
1 1/2gal(7 1/2-in. diam x 7-in. high) plastic fish bowl
16-in. diam circle of cardboard
5cherry-flavor AirHeads candies
1pkg(14 oz) cherry-flavor Twizzlers Pull-n-Peel licorice

Recipe Instructions:

1.   Preheat oven to 350F. You'll need two 8 x 2-in. round cake pans and two 9 x 3-in. springform pans coated with nonstick spray, bottoms lined with wax paper and sprayed. You'll also need a sturdy round (or square) serving surface about 12 inch in diam.
2.   Prepare 2 cake mixes at a time as directed, using 1 1/2 cups water and 4 eggs. Pour 2 1/2 cups batter into each 8-in. pan (cover remaining batter and let stand at room temperature). Bake 30 to 35 minutes until pick inserted into centers comes out clean. Meanwhile, prepare remaining 2 cake mixes using remaining water and eggs, then stir in reserved batter from first 2 mixes. Divide batter between 9-in. pans. Bake 45 to 50 minutes until pick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool all cakes 10 minutes on wire racks. Remove from pans, peel off paper and cool completely.
3.   Tint frosting red. With a long serrated knife, trim tops from 9-in. cakes to make them level. Cut a 6-in. diam round from one of the top trimmings. Place a 9-in. layer on serving plate. Spread top thinly with frosting; top with remaining 9-in. layer and spread thinly with frosting. Continue with 8-in. layers and some frosting.
4.   With toothpick, score a 6-in. diam circle onto top of cake. With serrated knife, trim cake on a slant from circle about halfway down sides to make gumball machine shape. Spread top of cake with thin layer of frosting.
5.   Cut a 1"h x 2"w x 3/4"d hole in cake about 2 in. up from bottom. Cut top edge of hole on a diagonal. Reserve 1 cup frosting. Spread sides of cake (including hole) with remaining frosting. Place 3 gumballs in hole.
6.   On surface lightly dusted with confectioners sugar, roll out fondant to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut out a 4 x 3 1/2-in. rectangle and a 2-in. square. Cut a 1 1/4-in.-diam hole for the coin slot near top center of rectangle. Cut notch at center of bottom edge and round off bottom corners. With toothpick, score a border around edges, a circle under coin slot, and swirls at each corner. Lightly brush edges of square with water; attach to back of rectangle behind coin slot. Shape a tsp of fondant into knob; brush back with water and attach over circle. Attach fondant panel on side of cake above the 3 gumballs, spreading small amount of frosting on back if necessary.
7.   Insert skewers straight down into top of cake all the way to the bottom, cutting them if necessary so that they are flush with top of cake. Arrange them in a circular pattern to support the weight of the fish bowl and gumballs.
8.   Fill fish bowl with remaining gumballs. Attach 6-in. cardboard circle to top of bowl with small amount of frosting; top with 6-in. cake round. Spread cake with 2/3 cup reserved frosting. Place fish bowl on top of cake. Lay AirHeads candies end to end; press edges together to attach. Wrap around cake at base of fish bowl, using frosting to attach if necessary.
9.   Peel strands from one bundle of licorice in groups of 3 attached strands. Wrap around base of cake, trimming to fit and using frosting to attach if necessary. Peel strands from second bundle of licorice in groups of 2 attached strands. Wrap around top of fish bowl, using frosting to attach.
10.   To serve: Lift top from fish bowl and fish bowl from cake base. Remove skewers before slicing. Serve a few gumballs along with cake.

Serves 32

(Note: For plastic fish bowl, go to, or visit crafts or pet supply stores.)
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