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Ambrosia Cake (D/P, TNT)
Source: Adapted by me from "The Cake Doctor Book," by Anne Byrne
Serves: 12

1 box white cake mix with pudding (I used an orange cake mix without pudding and added a small box of instant vanilla pudding)
1/3 cup oil
4 eggs
1 6-oz. package of frozen, unsweetened shredded coconut (secret ingredient) defrosted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Move shelf to middle of the oven. Grease and flour three 9" cake pans (I only have 2 so I baked 2 layers, emptied a pan and then baked the third layer).

Mix cake mix, pudding mix (if needed), and oil in mixer on medium speed. Add eggs, one at a time , until incorporated. Don't overmix. Fold in the coconut.

Distribute 1/3 of the batter in each pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until top is firm to touch and toothpick comes out clean. Don't overbake; you're using less batter in each pan.

Turn out on racks to cool completely.

At this point, the author gives directions for making a pineapple filling which is a nuisance and not worth the trouble.

My Filling: Either use a can of Solo pineapple or apricot filling. If it is too thick, add a few tablespoons of crushed pineapple, drained, to thin. Alternately, take a 4 oz. jar of any type of light colored fruit jam (I used something called apricot fruit blossom) and add 2 tablespoons of crushed, drained pineapple to it. Heat lightly in microwave and mix thoroughly. Cool slightly before using.

Frosting: Any canned or homemade frosting will do. Cream cheese should be very good with this.

The author suggests using a marshmallow frosting. She combines 2 egg whites in a heavy bottomed pan with 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to boil and immediately lower heat to simmer. Beat on high with portable mixer until until mixture is very thick and foamy - actually it looks like marshmallow creme. Then add a 7 oz. jar of marshmallow creme to the pan and continue mixing until completely frothy and mixed together.

This was OK, but also a real pain to make. I think that heating the jar of marshmallow creme in the micro until melted would be easier. Then thin it with a bit of the leftover pineapple juice if necessary.

When cake is completely cooled, spread filling between each layer. Then pour marshmallow mixture over all and allow to drip down the sides. Smooth frosting to cover all if desired. You can decorate with another package of coconut sprinkled over the top. I just arranged pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges alternately around the bottom of the cake. It looked beautiful and was incredibly moist. No one guessed that there was coconut in the cake itself. It was the first time I ever saw my granddaughter eat the entire piece of cake and not just the icing.

Poster's Notes:
If you can believe it, my middle son won't eat anything chocolate! I am always looking for new, easy to make non-chocolate desserts. I tried one that is a real winner called Ambrosia Cake which I adapted from "The Cake Doctor Book," by Anne Byrne. Every recipe in the book starts with a ready to use mix and adds creativity. I made several changes to the original to make it even easier.

Posted by Judith Sobel

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A