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Solar System Birthday Cake

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  • Prep 20 min
  • Total 3 hr 0 min
  • Servings 18
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Make a colorful, fudgy dessert that is out of this world with an impressive solar system-inspired layered cake.
By Heather Baird
Updated Jun 16, 2023
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  • 2 boxes Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ White Cake Mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and egg whites or eggs called for on cake mix boxes
  • 1/4 teaspoon blue gel food color
  • 1/4 teaspoon violet gel food color
  • 2 tubs (16 oz) Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy Dark Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black gel food color
  • 1/2 tub (16 oz) Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting
  • 8 green string licorice
  • Betty Crocker™ Decorating Decors™ galaxy nonpareils
  • Betty Crocker™ Decorating Decors™ 4-color nonpareils (container with blue, yellow, orange and lime green)
  • 2 tablespoons Betty Crocker™ Decorating Decors™ chocolate decors
  • 1/4 cup Betty Crocker™ red sugar
  • 1/4 cup gold sugar sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup Betty Crocker™ blue sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar sprinkles
  • 1 piece purple fruit chew
  • 1 piece yellow fruit chew


  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 3 (9-inch) round cake pans and 1 (9x5-inch) loaf pan with shortening or spray with cooking spray.
  • 2
    Separately make cake batters as directed on cake mix box. Tint 1 batter with blue food color and other with violet food color. Divide violet cake batter between 2 round pans; divide blue batter between remaining 9-inch pan and loaf pan. Bake cakes 2 pans at a time as directed on box for 2 (9-inch) round pans. Cool cakes completely.
  • 3
    Place 1 violet cake layer on serving plate; frost with half of the chocolate fudge chip frosting. Add round blue layer; frost with remaining half of chocolate frosting. Top with second violet cake layer. Place contents of second container of chocolate frosting in medium bowl. Add black gel food color; beat with electric mixer on low speed until well combined. Frost outside of cake with black frosting.
  • 4
    Using a drinking tumbler that is 3 1/2 inches in diameter, make a circular impression in frosting, letting part of glass overhang edge of cake, so that only 3/4 of circle is impressed onto cake. Place string licorice into impression; cut off excess licorice with kitchen scissors. Use remaining string licorice to create lines that radiate away from first circle; cut off excess licorice.
  • 5
    Crumble baked loaf cake into bowl. Add vanilla frosting; stir well. Scoop out generous tablespoon portion of mixture; roll into ball with hands. Make 7 more balls in descending sizes; set aside.
  • 6
    Sprinkle galaxy nonpareils over frosted cake. Place each of the 4-color nonpareils in separate shallow bowls, as well as the chocolate decors and remaining sugar sprinkles. Roll largest cake ball in yellow nonpareils; place in center of first circle on cake to create the Sun.
  • 7
    For planet Mercury, roll small cake ball in chocolate decors; place on green licorice lace that encircles the Sun. For Venus, roll small cake ball in orange nonpareils; place on the green licorice lace below Mercury. For Earth, lightly dip one side of medium cake ball into green nonpareils but do not coat. Place on third licorice lace. For Mars, roll small cake ball in red sugar; place on fourth licorice lace. For Jupiter, roll large cake ball in gold sugar sprinkles; place on fifth licorice lace. For Saturn, roll large cake ball in blue sugar; place on sixth licorice lace. Cut small half circle from purple fruit chew; place around "Saturn" to create ring. For Uranus, dip small cake ball into white sugar sprinkles; place on seventh licorice lace. For Neptune, place medium cake ball (without sprinkles) on eighth and final licorice lace.
  • 8
    Cut yellow fruit chew into triangles with kitchen scissors; place around yellow "Sun".
  • 9
    Roll remaining cake and frosting mixture into balls; dip into remaining nonpareils. Serve extra "planets"on side of cake or add lollipop sticks to make planet cake pops. Store cake loosely covered with plastic wrap.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    If you can't find green licorice laces, red and black are readily available at most bulk candy stores or use a 6.4-oz can of Betty Crocker™ Easy Flow decorating icing fitted with a plain tip (provided) to draw lines.
  • tip 2
    Use a pair of food service gloves before rolling the cake balls, if you have them. This will help keep your hands from becoming sticky.
  • tip 3
    Re-roll the cake balls between the palms of your hands just before dipping them in the sprinkles. This will warm the frosting and make the nonpareils, decors and sugar sprinkles adhere better.


Nutrition Facts are not available for this recipe
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