March 17, 2012

Pin It Leprechaun Trap Cake

Taken From Not Martha

Week 11
In celebration of not being at all Irish and my little sister's visit in from Boston, we decided to think of a fun baking activity to do with my nephew on St. Patty's day.  We found this cake and thought it seemed like it had the right amount of rainbows and involvment to create with my 4 ½ year old nephew. Also, it was prefect because he was all about leprechauns and trying to trap them as they are such a nuisance (and apparently make a mess of your cupboards plus they never put away your toys).  He also insisted that whenever we discussed the cake, we couldn’t say the word “trap,” we had to spell it, because we didn’t want the leprechauns getting wise to our plan, and of course leprechauns can’t spell.

We followed the instructions from the Not Martha site, although, I would definitely recommend a few changes if I ever did this again.  

First, I would skip the white cake part completely.  It’s unnecessary and I think you would get a much better rainbow result in the end if each color was thicker (i.e. more batter was dedicated to each color). Based on the math from my Rainbow Doodle Cake, I would say there are ~3 ¾ cups of batter in a box of cake mix, which is around 30 fluid ounces. So, if you want 7 colors in your rainbow (as my nephew insisted that indigo be in the mix), then I would recommend the following for your leprechaun T-R-A-P cake:
  • 7 ounces – red
  • 6 ounces – orange
  • 5 ounces – yellow
  • 4 ounces – green
  • 3 ounces – blue
  • 2 ounces – indigo
  • 1 ounce – violet

This brings your total to 28 ounces, which should be fine.

Second, I would recommend a rounded bunt pan over the angel food pan.  The only downside to the bundt pan was that the diameter of the hole in the center was a little larger than the length of a small stick pretzel, so we were not able to reach the edges of the cake to wedge in our pretzel trap.  We had to get a little creative and make a pretzel grid, glued together by frosting, to balance our gold coins on.  In the end, I think it worked out pretty well.

Other than that, the recipe worked out nicely.  The addition of each layer required a steady hand, but using the Ziploc bags helped and made for an easier clean-up (although using 6 sandwhich Ziplocs did feel a little wasteful).

So the basic gist of this cake (if you don’t want to read the whole Not Martha site) is this:

1.   Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour your bunt pan.
2.   Make 1 box of white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines) according to the directions on the box.
3.   Divide batter into 7 different bowls as listed above.
4.   Dye each bowl of batter the according color.  The more dye, the more vibrant the color which equals more fun!
5.   Scoop each color of batter into a separate small Ziploc bag (you don't need to do this for the red) and cut the corner to create a makeshift pastry bag.  This makes it easier to control where the batter is going when you are adding each layer.
6.   Pour the red batter in your bunt pan. Then pour the orange over that, making it a wide ring of batter, but keeping it inside the red.
Red (I followed the site's directions so there is a layer of white as the base of my cake)
7.    Pour in each color, creating narrower and narrower rings. As you go along, snip smaller corners off the bags, it will help you control the narrower shape you are trying to make.
8.    Bake at 325 for ~40 minutes (or according to directions on the box). I tested mine at 33 minutes and it was done.
9.   After cake has cooled for about 15 min, turn it out of your bundt pan onto a cooling rack. While cake continues to cool, you can create your pretzel ladder using melted chocolate as your glue.
Since our purple was such a small layer (less than 1 oz.) it didn't make it in the final product, as most was cut off during the leveling step.
10. Cool for another 30 minutes and level off what will be the bottom of your cake.  This will also help shape the base of the rainbow arch.
11. Add green dye to a one pound container of canned frosting and put a base layer of frosting on your cake.
12. Use a pastry bag and starred tip to create “grass” on the outside of your cake.
13. Create your pretzel trap over the hole in your cake and place gold coins on top.
14. Finish off with your pretzel ladder and luring sign and you’ve got yourself a certified, gen-u-ine, leprechaun trap!
Those sneaky leprechauns managed to snatch some of our gold without getting trapped! Left quite the mess behind too.
They didn't get our rainbow though.
Maybe we'll get them next year J


  1. A-M-AAAA-ZING! You are so great at attempting the challenging and did a wonderful job on this cake! What a way to make your nephew so so happy. The "grass" on the outside looked great. Way to go, Leah! And the inside just left me speechless......well, not quite speechless as I am writing this comment, but nearly so. Extra points for the Aunties!

  2. The cake is lovely, but even funnier is the discription of spelling the word "T-R-A-P" so the leprechauns wouldn't get wise to the plan- We are so going to do this next St Patty's day!

  3. Such a fun and yummy project. Adored by all, the legend of the Leprechauns continues. Nice work Auntie!!!