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Tailgating Cooler Cake

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  • Prep 3 hr 0 min
  • Total 6 hr 0 min
  • Servings 16
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A four-layer cake decorated to look like a real cooler and filled with modeling chocolate beer bottles and candy ice.
Updated May 24, 2022
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  • 2 boxes (16 oz) Betty Crocker™ Pound Cake Mix
  • Eggs, butter and water/milk according to package instructions (alternately, use coconut milk in place of water/milk and add 1/2 cup finely chopped coconut)
  • 4 tubs (12 oz) Betty Crocker™ Whipped Fluffy White Frosting
  • 24 oz red fondant
  • 4 oz white fondant
  • 12 oz modeling chocolate made from milk chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon vodka plus 1/2 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon silver luster dust
  • 10 oz Isomalt nibs


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 9x13-inch baking pans with nonstick foil or grease and flour the pans.
  • 2
    Make cake mixes according to package instructions. Pour one cake mix into each pan.
  • 3
    Bake for 32 to 36 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cakes completely, then level cakes by cutting off the domed tops.
  • 4
    Cut each cake in half and cut the ends so they're nice and straight and you have 4 pieces that are about 9-inch by 6-inch. Stack three cakes with frosting in between each layer.
  • 5
    Cut a rectangle out of the fourth piece of cake, leaving a 1 1/2 to 2 inch border. Remove the inner rectangle.
  • 6
    Stack the final cake on top of the three cakes. Frost the outside of the cake.
  • 7
    Freeze the cake for several hours until firm.
  • 8
    Dust counter top lightly with cornstarch. Roll red fondant out and cut to a 30-inch by 5-1/4 inch strip (or the dimensions needed to wrap around the cake).
  • 9
    Flip the fondant over and set the frozen cake on one end. Wrap the fondant around the cake.
  • 10
    Set cake upright and cut a piece of white fondant to go on the inside of the cut out rectangle. Cut white strips of fondant to cover the top edges of the cake, draping over the red fondant by a little bit and into the rectangle well. You'll need to bevel the edges to fit the strips together.
  • 11
    Sculpt beer bottle tops out of modeling chocolate.
  • 12
    Mix 1 teaspoon vodka with 1 teaspoon corn syrup and brush over beer bottles.
  • 13
    Create bottle caps out of modeling chocolate. Start by rolling out a small amount of modeling chocolate the thickness of a bottle cap. Use a small round cutter to cut two circles. Then use a fondant ball tool to press indentations all around the edge of modeling chocolate circles.
  • 14
    Mix 1/2 teaspoon vodka with silver luster dust. Brush the luster dust over the bottle caps. Allow to dry completely. Add one bottle cap to each beer bottle.
  • 15
    Pipe some frosting into two mounds in the inside of rectangle cake well.Place one beer bottle top on each. Add the finishing touch by creating grooved lines around the bottom of your cooler. If you want, you can add handles, a lid and even a logo.
  • 16
    Sprinkle Isomalt nib "ice cubes" around the bottles and serve.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Be the star player at your next tailgating party with this cooler cake! This cooler-shaped cake comes stocked with "beer" and even "ice" that won't melt! This past weekend we were invited to a tailgating party and I was asked to bring a dessert. Since my friends are getting used to my over-the-top cakes, I thought it would be fun to make a cake shaped like a cooler! I figured, what tailgating party is complete without a cooler filled with frosty beverages? It was a small party, so I didn't want to make a huge cake. I made a personal-sized cooler instead of a family sized one. Because I needed the cake to be pretty sturdy I used two Betty Crocker Pound Cake mixes and decided to doctor it up by using coconut milk and some finely chopped coconut. The cake had the structure that I wanted but also had a lovely coconut flavor. The best part is that I could fill my cooler with “ice” and “beer.” The beer bottles were handcrafted from modeling chocolate with a realistic shine and each bottle was topped off with a silver bottle cap, also made from modeling chocolate. I then sprinkled in some isomalt nibs which looked just like ice cubes! The cake was a hit and our team even won the game. Score! When it comes time to frost your cake make sure to get the frosting very smooth so the sides of your cooler aren't bumpy once they're covered in fondant. I find it easiest to pop the cake in the freezer for a while and then take a damp paper towel to smooth out any lumps and bumps. It will be much easier to wrap the cake in fondant if the cake is frozen solid, so chill it for several hours. For really cool way to serve your cake, buy a piece of fake grass or AstroTurf, set it on a board, and then set your cake on top. The perfect cake for any tailgating or game day party!
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