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Ugly Sweater Cake

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  • Prep 60 min
  • Total 2 hr 40 min
  • Servings 12
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Ugly Christmas sweaters are best appreciated at parties, so why not try this one on for size? We think it’s the perfect fit for your dessert table. Not only will it feed a crowd, it’s also a whole lot of fun. From its loud design—follow the directions below to recreate this one or let your imagination be your guide!—to the surprise swirl pattern on the inside, this sweater will take the cake in any contest!
Updated May 24, 2022
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  • 1 box Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ White Cake Mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and whole eggs called for on cake mix box
  • 2 teaspoons Betty Crocker™ green gel food color
  • 1 teaspoon Betty Crocker™ red gel food color
  • 2 1/2 cups from 2 tubs (16 oz) Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting
  • 4 soft peppermint candies, unwrapped
  • Betty Crocker™ black cookie icing
  • 14 green, 5 yellow, 2 blue, 2 red, 2 orange, 2 brown M&M’s® candy-coated milk chocolate candies
  • 2 miniature candy canes, unwrapped
  • 6 red spice-flavored gumdrops, cut in half
  • 4 Betty Crocker™ Candy Shoppe eyeballs
  • 1 red cinnamon candy
  • 1 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, unwrapped
  • 1 Hershey’s Kisses Brand milk chocolate, unwrapped
  • 1 mini pretzel twist, broken in half


  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • 2
    In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. In small bowl, place 1 1/4 cups of the batter; stir in 1/2 teaspoon of the green food color. In another small bowl, place 1 1/4 cups of the batter; stir in 1/2 teaspoon of the red food color. Pour remaining cake batter in bottom of pan. Drop tablespoonfuls of each colored batter in random pattern over top; pull table knife through batter to make swirls.
  • 3
    Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around side of pan to loosen cake. Place cooling rack upside down over cake. Turn upside down carefully so cake is on rack, and remove pan. Turn upside down onto another rack, and flip cake right side up. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • 4
    In medium bowl, place 1 1/2 cups of the frosting; tint with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons green food color. In small bowl, place 1/3 cup of the frosting; tint with remaining 1/2 teaspoon red food color. Spoon into small resealable freezer plastic bag; partially seal bag. Cut off small corner of bag; set aside. Spoon 2/3 cup untinted frosting into another small resealable freezer plastic bag; partially seal bag. Cut off small corner of bag; set aside.
  • 5
    Place cake, top side up, on serving platter. Spread green frosting on top and sides of cake. Using untinted frosting, pipe an upside-down triangle for the V-neck of the sweater in center of cake. Pipe 2 thick lines of untinted frosting lengthwise in center of cake. Pipe 2 red lines horizontally on either side of center line.
  • 6
    Using photo as a guide, decorate as directed below: Buttons: Place 4 peppermint candies on center line for buttons. String of Lights: Pipe a line using cookie icing, place 2 of each color (blue, red, orange and yellow) chocolate candies on line. Candy Canes: Place 2 miniature candy canes crossed in center into frosting. Gumdrop Flowers: For each flower, place 6 halved pieces in a circle with 1 yellow chocolate candy placed in center. Santa Claus: Pipe a circle of untinted frosting for face, beard and brim of hat. Using red frosting, pipe a triangle for hat, and top with a small dab of untinted frosting for pom pom. Place 2 candy eyes in center of circle. Add a red cinnamon candy for a nose. Christmas Tree: Place 14 green chocolate candies to make a triangle, place 1 yellow chocolate candy on top of triangle for star, place 2 brown chocolate candies for trunk. Reindeer: Place Peanut Butter Cup top side down into frosting. Squeeze small amount of untinted frosting to attach 2 candy eyes and milk chocolate for nose, place halved pretzel for antlers.
  • 7
    Cut cake in 4 rows by 3 rows. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    Of course, this cake can also be made per package directions, if you want to skip the swirl, but it definitely adds some pizzazz to your ugly sweater.
  • tip 2
    This cake is all about the decoration, which means it needs to be removed from the pan. Tipping the cake out of the pan is actually quite easy when you use 2 cooling racks. Place one beneath the cake pan and the other upside down over the top of the cake. Invert cake carefully onto the upside-down rack. Remove cake pan. Then, use second rack to flip cake right side up again. It might sound complicated, but it’s intuitive once you’re in motion.
  • tip 3
    Once cake has been removed from the pan, we recommend decorating directly on the serving platter. Keep your platter clean by placing strips of waxed paper around the edge of the plate and removing after decorating.
  • tip 4
    Frost cake with the background color you want your sweater to have—whether red, green or other, have fun! Piping down the front helps define the v-neckline, and dividing each side of the sweater into three panels will give you a place to create your designs. If you want to decorate with sprinkles, add them immediately after frosting top of cake to ensure they stick.


Nutrition Facts are not available for this recipe
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