Cherry, Lemon & Blue Raspberry Cake ft. Lemonade Frosting + Pop Rocks

The Internet is both inspiring and intimidating. For example, when I first had the idea to make a red-white-and-blue layered cake based on the Firecracker popsicle, I did a cursory Google search (as one does) to see if such a thing had been done (and published online) yet. I couldn't find any record of a cake flavored like that, but I did come across this recipe for another type of Firecracker cake - one involving Pop Rocks.

It was one of those things, like an image burned into your head that you can still see even after you look away - I couldn't pretend I hadn't seen the thing, but I couldn't forget about it either. Pop Rocks on a firecracker cake? Too perfect. Too perfect, in fact, to not incorporate into my own cake, so I cannot claim that idea as my own but that's where proper crediting and the remix come in. Building upon one good thing to bring about more good things.

This cake is relatively simple to make but appropriately flavorful. You basically make the cake according to the box instructions, divide the batter into 3, and add Jello powder to each bowl (blue raspberry, lemon, and cherry). The color will be subtle so I chose to add red and blue food coloring for bolder hues. The flavor is also subtle - you can add more than 1 tablespoon of Jello powder to each bowl of batter but then you risk the final cake being gummy and chewy. Koolaid powder and other drink mixes work just as well and open up the door to even more flavor options.

After cutting each cake layer flat to the same height, I iced and spooned some Pop Rocks between each layer, crumb coated the entire cake, and then topped it off with red sugar crystals and more Pop Rocks for the explosion debris. The concept of FIRECRACKER brought to mind the POW! WHAM! CRASH! graphics found in the Batman comics and animated series, so that's the icing on the cake.

cherry, lemon & blue raspberry cake
1 box white cake mix
4 egg whites
1 c. cold water
1/3 c. oil
1 tbsp. ea. cherry, lemon, and blue raspberry Jello powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and  grease pans with butter or a non-stick spray like PAM. Separate egg yolks and white, and beat egg whites in a small bowl until foamy. In large mixing bowl, beat cake mix, water, and oil for 1 minute on low speed, fold in egg whites and then beat for 1 minute on high speed. Divide batter equally into 3 bowls and add 1 tablespoon of flavored Jello powder (cherry, lemon, and blue raspberry) to each bowl, stirring well (powder will not necessarily dissolve).

Once flavored, the batters will be slightly colored but you can add in more food coloring if bolder colors are desired (I did). Use the same size of cake pan to bake all 3 cakes - pour batter into pans until each is 2/3 of the way  full. Bake according to the times on the back of the mix box, depending on the types of pans you are using.

lemon frosting
1/2 c. shortening or butter
4 c. confectioner's sugar
4-5 tbsp. lemonade or lemon juice
lemon zest (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening and lemonade until blended. Slowly add in sugar and continue to mix on high speed until frosting forms. You can add in grated lemon zest as well, but I would not use this for frosting you are planning to pipe through a tip.