The Perfect Summer Cake - a Flip Flop!

As we rang in the new year 1996 I gave birth to my third baby and prepared to move to Minnesota, being relocated with my husbands job. It was then, as we moved into a new home, that I discovered a new magazine... a cooking magazine, called Taste of Home. For the next decade I enjoyed not only their regular magazine, but two 'off-shoots' they started to publish. For many different reasons I stopped receiving their magazines (all magazines actually) but once in a great while I still head to the library and either print or copy down recipes from their magazines or even their website.

While everyone has probably seen or made the sandbox or beach pail cakes by now with pudding and crushed graham crackers, here is another version I found, similar but different. Perfect for a beach themed party, a summer cook out or if you are lucky enough to live near the ocean... any time!

Make it a Flip Flop Cake!

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) white cake mix
3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon meringue powder
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
Pink, blue, yellow and green paste food coloring
Candy buttons
4 pieces red rope licorice
Graham cracker crumbs

Line a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake according to package directions. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Trace flip-flop pattern onto waxed paper; cut out. Arrange pattern over cake; with a sharp knife, cut out. Flip pattern and cut out a second flip-flop. Discard scraps. Transfer cakes to a covered cake board.

For frosting, in a large bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and meringue powder. In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, combine the shortening, butter, milk and vanilla. Beat in sugar mixture.
Tint 1 cup frosting pink; frost tops of cakes. Tint 1 cup frosting blue; frost sides of cakes. Insert licorice ends into cakes to form straps of flip-flops.

Tint 1/4 cup frosting yellow. Using a #4 round tip, pipe decorative lines on top of shoes. Using a #17 star tip, pipe rosettes where straps meet. Tint remaining frosting green. Using a #352 leaf tip, pipe leaves around rosettes.

To finish, press candy buttons into sides of cakes; sprinkle cracker crumbs on board to form sand. Store in the refrigerator.
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