The powdery softness of confectioners' sugar gives this cake an especially velvety crumb. For an especially interesting design, use a variety of open- and closed-star tips when piping the trees on top of the cake. For a how-to, go to marthastewart.com/coconut-cake-buttercream.
Apples caramelized in butter and an array of fall spices lend a unique character to this exceptionally moist cake, which lies hidden beneath a mantle of brown-sugar buttercream. Marzipan garnishes -- tinted gold -- make a festive finish.
You will need thirty-six cups (multiply following batter ingredients by 4 1/2) of batter to complete the entire cake.
Batter Amounts and Baking Times for 2-Inch Deep Square Pans: Each 6-inch: 3 cups batter, 35 minutes baking time; each 8-inch: 5 cups batter, 45 minutes; each 10-inch: 10 cups batter, 70 minutes.
Five pastel layers form this colorful creation. You can also use the batter to make four dozen cupcakes or a two- or three-layer cake (bake each layer a few minutes longer than instructed). Use our Seven-Minute Frosting if you'd prefer a bright-white, swoopy finish.