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Twinkling Star Cake Recipe

3/4 C. butter, softened

1 (3-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 C. sugar

3 large eggs

2 C. cake flour

1 t. baking powder

1/4 t. salt

1/4 C. coconut milk (not cream of coconut)

1 (6-oz.) pkg. frozen coconut, thawed

1/2 t. coconut extract

Nutty Cranberry Filling (recipe follows)

White Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)

White sparkling sugar

Edible white glitter

Edible gold luster dust

White Chocolate Stars (recipe follows)

Crushed rock candy, optional

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with coconut milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.

Stir in coconut and coconut extract. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured (8 x 1 3/4-inch) round cake pans.

Bake at 350 F. for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze 2 hours. (Freezing makes layers easier to cut.)

Cut domed top off each cake layer, using a serrated knife.

Cut each layer into 8 wedges. Arrange 5 wedges, point side out, in a star shape on a 10-inch cake plate. There will be a hole in the middle.

Place about 1 1/2 cups Nutty Cranberry Filling inside center opening of cake wedges. Spread a thin layer of filling over cake wedges. Adjust wedges to maintain star shape, pressing them into filling in center. Repeat procedure to form a second layer.

Top each section with a cake wedge to form a third layer. (One wedge will remain; enjoy it while completing cake.) Fill center with about 1 1/2 cups filling. Filling should be level with cake wedges. Adjust wedges to maintain star shape, pressing them into filling.

Spread a thin layer of White Chocolate Frosting evenly over top and sides of cake, smoothing with a wet metal spatula. Chill 30 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup frosting. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake, smoothing with a wet metal spatula.

Sprinkle with white sparkling sugar and edible white glitter. Spoon 1/2 cup frosting into a small heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal. Snip a tiny hole in 1 corner of bag; outline top edge of cake.

Brush edible gold luster dust onto piped edge, using a small paintbrush. Garnish with White Chocolate Stars and, if desired, rock candy. Store cake in refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

Makes 1 (3-layer) cake.

NUTTY CRANBERRY FILLING

1 (12-oz.) pkg. white chocolate morsels

1 C. butter, softened

1 (14-oz.) pkg. flake coconut

2/3 C. coconut milk (not cream of coconut)

1 (3.5-oz.) jar macadamia nuts, chopped

2 (6-oz.) pkgs. sweetened dried cranberries, chopped

Microwave white chocolate morsels in a glass bowl on High for 1 minute or until melted, stirring once; cool.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; add melted white chocolate, beating until blended.

Stir together coconut and coconut milk; add nuts and berries. Stir in chocolate mixture until blended.

Makes 5 cups.

WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING

1 1/2 C. whipping cream.

3 (12-oz.) pkgs. White chocolate morsels

4 (2-oz.) vanilla candy coating squares, chopped

Cook whipping cream in a large saucepan over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes. (Do not boil.) Remove from heat; add white chocolate and candy coating, stirring until melted. Cool 11/2 hours. (Mixture should reach room temperature.)

Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 4 to 5 minutes or until spreading consistency. (Do not overbeat.)

Makes 4 1/2 cups.

Note: If frosting separates, reheat mixture and proceed as directed.

WHITE CHOCOLATE STARS

8 (2-oz.) vanilla candy coating squares

Clear vanilla extract

Edible gold luster dust or pearl luster dust

White sparkling sugar

Edible white glitter

Microwave candy coating in a glass bowl on High for 1 1/2 minutes or until melted, stirring twice. Pour candy coating into a wax paper-lined (8-inch) square pan, spreading evenly. Cool at room temperature until firm to the touch (25 to 30 minutes).

Cut into star shapes with lightly greased graduated star-shaped cutters. (Gently press each point of star, working around star until it can be removed from cutter.) Brush tops of stars with clear vanilla. Using a small, dry paintbrush, brush gold or pearl luster dust over stars. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar and edible glitter.
Makes 1 (5-inch), 1 (31/2-inch), 5 (2-inch) and 15 (1-inch) stars.

Note: Sparkling sugar, edible glitter, luster dust and clear vanilla extract can be found at gourmet grocery stores, cake decorating supply stores and kitchen shops. Vanilla candy coating is sold near baking chocolate in the supermarket. It is often referred to as almond bark, and it comes in vanilla and chocolate. Canned coconut milk can be found in the ethnic foods section of the supermarket.

ANOTHER OPTION:

GATHERING OF STARS PARTY CAKE: Double layer cake layer recipe. Pour half of batter evenly into 2 greased and floured (9 x 1 3/4-inch) round cake pans. Pour remaining batter into 2 greased and floured (6 x 1 3/4-inch) round cake pans.

Bake at 350 F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
 
Halve the Nutty Cranberry Filling recipe and spread between 9-inch layers and 6-inch layers. Place 6-inch stack on top of 9-inch stack. Frost with White Chocolate Frosting. Garnish, if desired, with sparkling sugar, glitter and White Chocolate Stars.

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