Football Cake

No special cake pan required: This adorable game day football is made from two cleverly cut cake rounds. Nothing goes to waste-- the trimmings become edible dirt, topped with coconut grass. Touchdown.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 10 servings
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Ingredients

One 15.25-ounce box chocolate cake mix (plus required ingredients)

4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature 

8 cups confectioners' sugar (one 1-pound box)  

1/4 teaspoon fine salt  

1 tablespoon vanilla extract  

6 tablespoons milk 

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups sweetened coconut flakes

Green food coloring

Directions

  1. Bake two 9-inch round cakes according to package instructions. Let cool completely.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar and salt on low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl if using a handheld electric mixer) until mostly combined. Add the vanilla, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until smooth. Adjust the consistency of the frosting with milk as desired, adding 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove 3 cups of the frosting and transfer into a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag. Add the cocoa powder to the remaining frosting in the bowl and beat on low until mostly incorporated. Then beat on medium-high until completely smooth. Set both frostings aside at room temperature until ready to use. 
  3. Use a ruler to measure a 2-inch-wide strip across the entire center of one cake. Cut the strip out and remove (the cake will now be 2 half circles). Repeat with the other cake. Transfer the cutout strips to a medium bowl. 
  4. Transfer the halves of one cake to a cake round or parchment-lined work surface. Push the two halves together snuggly to form a football shape. Trim and level the domed top and transfer the trimmings to the bowl along with the cake strips. 
  5. Snip the tip off of the pastry bag and pipe three-quarters of the white frosting all over the bottom cake layer (the remaining frosting will be used for the laces and stripes). Top the frosting with the remaining two cake halves, domed-side up, pressing them together to create another football shape. Remove 1/4 cup of the chocolate frosting and set aside. Use the remaining chocolate frosting to frost the top and sides of the football. Chill the cake for a least 30 minutes.
  6. While cake is chilling, crumble all the cake trimmings into tiny crumbs. Add the reserved 1/4 cup chocolate frosting to crumbs and mix until completely combined. Add coconut to a resealable bag with a few drops of green food coloring. Shake and knead the bag until the coconut looks like grass (add more coloring as needed). 
  7. Press the cake and frosting mixture directly onto a cake stand or serving platter into a 9-inch circle about 1/4-inch-thick (this is the "dirt"). Press the coconut grass into the chocolate dirt so that it adheres. Chill while you finish the cake. 
  8. Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Use the remaining quarter white frosting to pipe laces and stripes onto the top and sides of the cake. Carefully remove the cake from the cake round or parchment transfer to the center of the coconut-covered stand or platter.