This extraordinary cake is comprised of two layers: one, a cinnamon-spiced carrot-and-walnut cake; the other, a zucchini cake flavored with ground ginger. Cream-cheese icing creates a snowy landscape with marzipan vegetable plots.

Martha Stewart Living, April 2000

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Recipe Summary

Yield:
Makes one 10-inch layer cake
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare carrot and zucchini cakes as directed, and cool to room temperature. If necessary, use a serrated knife to trim cake tops level. Each cake should be about 1 1/4 inches high.

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  • Prepare cream cheese frosting. Place zucchini cake on a 10-inch cake round, and spread top of cake with 1 1/4 cups cream cheese frosting. Place a carrot cake on top of the frosted zucchini cake. Chill until icing is set, about 15 minutes. Ice entire cake with remaining frosting. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. This can be done up to 1 day in advance.

  • Sprinkle top of cake with 1/2 cup cookie crumbs, leaving a 1/4-inch border around perimeter of cake. Using a paring knife, lightly mark cake top, dividing into quarters or four "plots." Rake the plots with the tines of a fork. Place green sprinkles on the perimeter of cake. Arrange marzipan fruits and vegetables on the plots. Carefully press pastillage fence posts onto the side of the cake, about 1/4 inch apart, and place candy pebbles around the base of the fence. Serve cake at room temperature.

Cook's Notes

You can also use 9-by-13-inch baking pans to make this cake.

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Reviews (6)

25 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 9
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
04/10/2018
I've made this version, and the Secret Garden flower garden version, of this cake several times over the past eighteen years. Every time, they're hits. You should be aware that it takes a significant amount of time to create the marzipan (you can also use sugarpaste, fondant or white modeling chocolate) elements, so start a few days before you plan to serve the cake. I am a professional pastry chef, and I begin my vegetables and flowers five days before delivering the cake, to give myself enough time to shape and shade the garden elements, and to let them dry and become easy to handle. It is a heavy cake, so make sure the cake board you use is the thick variety, and not the thin cake round/square type you find under a typical simple layer cake.
Rating: Unrated
09/14/2010
I used to have this the April 2000 issue of Living and , in fact, I made the big sheet version of the cake. I want to create it again, but gave the magazine away years ago. Now I can't find the instructions for making the vegetables anywhere. Can someone help me please? I want to make it for a community festival this weekend. Thanks!
Rating: Unrated
03/31/2009
This is an adorable idea but where does one get the vegetables and the fence? All I have near me is I Party and they don't sell such things I don't believe.
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Rating: Unrated
03/23/2008
This cake was so much fun to make for Easter. Everyone in my family was able to help mold the vegetables, cute the fencing and assemble the cake. Once placed on the dinner table, everyone was in love and had lots of questions about the edibility of the vegetables, fence, and rocks. We made the rocks also out of marzipan and added a couple of darling spotted rabbits in the garden! So beautiful.
Rating: Unrated
03/23/2008
This cake was so much fun to make for Easter. Everyone in my family was able to help mold the vegetables, cute the fencing and assemble the cake. Once placed on the dinner table, everyone was in love and had lots of questions about the edibility of the vegetables, fence, and rocks. We made the rocks also out of marzipan and added a couple of darling spotted rabbits in the garden! So beautiful.
Rating: Unrated
12/28/2007
I won first prize at our office bake-off with a variation on this cake. Instead of a spring garden, I made a pumpkin patch. The entire family enjoyed fashioning pumpkins out of marzipan for the top of the cake.
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