Total Time
3hrs 20mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 3 hrs

This is more of a method of decorating rather than a recipe, sort of. You could certainly make your angel food cake from scratch (and of course, they are MUCH better), but when you're getting ready for a party, any short-cut is appreciated, as is keeping costs down. Idea is from a children's party cookbook from the library. The passive time includes cooling and baking times and the cake can even be made the day ahead.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (18 ounce) angel food cake mix
  • 1 14 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest or 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 6 -8 drops food coloring (you will need 3 colors)
  • 1 cup canned rich and creamy vanilla frosting
  • 12 -15 square fruit decorative candies (I used Starburst)


  1. Move the oven rack to the lowest position. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. (Do not grease or flour your tube pan and do not substitute a fluted Bundt pan).
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, water, and lemon/orange peel on low for 30 seconds and medium for 1 minute.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among three small bowls.
  4. Gently fold in 6-8 drops of food coloring in each, being careful not to deflate mix.
  5. Layer the batters in a 10-inch tube pan (anything smaller will overflow).
  6. Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke a few holes around the cake to "tie-dye" it. (The best way I found to do this is to stick the spoon handle straight down and pull it straight up.).
  7. Bake 37-47 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cracks feel dry.
  8. Don't underbake.
  9. Immediately turn the pan upside down on a bottle (something glass, like a soy sauce bottle or a wine bottle) to cool.
  10. Leave to cool for 2 hours.
  11. Run a knife around the edges to release and place on the serving platter.
  12. Spoon 1/2 the frosting into a microwavable bowl and microwave for about 15 seconds or until frosting can be drizzled.
  13. Drizzle over cake.
  14. Place remaining frosting in a sandwich baggie and snip just enough of the corner (or use a writing tip) to make a VERY VERY thin line.
  15. Pipe a ribbon and bow on each candy square to look like a present.
  16. Arrange on top of the cake.
  17. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
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