The iconic colored squares will lead happy tasters past a lollipop forest and gumdrop mountains to the ice-cream-cone castle on this candy covered cake.
2 boxes cake mix (any flavor)
3 16-oz. cans vanilla frosting
Colorful fruit chews (such as Starburst and Jolly Rancher)
Twizzler's Pull 'n' Peel red licorice
Gingerbread men (we used Pepperidge Farm Gingermen)
Round peppermint candies
6 or 7 lollipops, varied sized and colors
3 ice-cream cones
Red food coloring (optional)
Cocoa powder (optional)
1. Grease and flour one 9-inch and one 7-inch round cake pan. Prepare the first cake mix according to package directions and divide the batter between the pans, about 2/3 in the larger pan and the rest in the smaller pan. Bake according to the package directions and place on a rack to cool. Prepare the second cake mix and bake in the two pans the same way. Let the cake layers cool completely. Holding a serrated knife parallel to the cakes, carefully level the tops until even.
2. Set one 9-inch round on a large platter or cake stand and cover with a thin layer of frosting (a crumb coat that will keep crumbs out of the final frosting layer). Position the second 9-inch round on top of the first and cover with a crumb coat. Using the remaining frosting from the first can, add a second coat of frosting over the two 9-inch cake layers. Repeat, setting the 7-inch layers on top of the 9-inch ones and using a second can of frosting.
3. To make the path, unwrap 3 or 4 fruit chews and microwave them for 5 seconds to soften. On a clean surface, roll each one flat with a rolling pin. Cut them into 1-inch squares. Press squares into the side of the cake to make a path that starts at the base and curls up to the top. Repeat the process until satisfied. Pull off a few strands of Twizzler's Pull 'n' Peel and use to outline the sides of the path to finish it. Coil a strand into a bull's-eye and place at the end of the path.
4. Outline the edges of the gingerbread-man cookies with frosting and dip in colored sprinkles. Press cookies into the base of the cake, then add the candy around the cake. Cluster a group of lollipops in one area of the top layer.
5. Crumble a few cookies into each ice-cream cone to fill the base. Spoon a dollop of frosting on top to look like ice cream. If you like, tint some of the frosting pink to look like strawberry ice cream and add cocoa to some to make it look like chocolate. Press the cones into the top of the cake at different heights. Scatter sprinkles over the "ice cream" for color. Makes 24 servings.