Disclaimer: this cereal treat layer cake is not healthy. By any standards. It is made entirely of processed ingredients and there is nothing natural about it. But it’s fun and tasty, so you might want to give it a try anyway. If you plan to make it, also plan to chase it with a salad. A big salad.
When I was a kid, I remember making Rice Krispy treats on the stove in a big pot, with the sticky strings of marshmallow stretching from all around the pan to the handle of the wooden spoon while I stirred. Then the day came that I learned about making Rice Krispy treats in the microwave. A revelation! I still feel a little like I’m cheating, but it’s just so easy. And then came the realization that I could use other cereal. I mean, there’s nothing like the original, but the neon colors of Trix make cereal treats something truly spectacular.
I have a friend who loves cereal treats and had a birthday recently and I figured that this delicacy monstrosity sugar-bomb special cake would be just the thing. The whole project is relatively quick and easy, as long as you have all the ingredients, cake pans, and a microwave. I left the sides un-frosted for a more rustic look, but you could just as easily frost the sides and make the interior of the cake a surprise.
- 18 cups cereal (see note)
- 30 ounces large marshmallows (about three bags or 120 marshmallows)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
- 2 cans prepared frosting, approximately 16 ounces each
- Assorted sprinkles
- 1. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans by coating with cooking spray.
- 2. In a microwave-proof bowl, place 15 ounces of marshmallows (about 1 1/2 bags or 60 marshmallows) and 1/4 cup butter. Microwave for one minute, stir, then microwave for another minute or until mostly melted. Stir the marshmallows until they are fully melted and incorporated with the melted butter.
- 3. Pour 9 cups of cereal into the marshmallow mixture and mix until the cereal is fully and uniformly coated.
- 4. Divide the cereal mixture equally between the two pans and press into an even layer with a spatula. If the cereal sticks to the spatula, try coating it first with cooking spray.
- 5. Top each pan with a square of parchment paper, then stack one pan on top of the other and press down. Switch the pans and press down again. Let the cereal treats cool to room temperature, about ten minutes, and then turn the treats out onto pieces of parchment. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make two more cake layers.
- 6. To assemble the cake, place one cereal treat layer on a serving plate. Top with half of one can of frosting and spread in an even layer to the edges. Repeat with remaining layers, alternating cereals if you made different layers. For a fully frosted cake, just get more frosting and frost once the cake is assembled. Add sprinkles to the top of the cake and serve.
Most “small” boxes of cereal contain about 9 cups, so you should be able to get by with just two boxes of cereal. Try two different flavor or shaped cereals for the best flavor and visual interest, i.e. Kix with Cocoa Puffs, Reese’s Puffs with P.B. Cap’n Crunch, Froot Loops with Frosted Flakes. This recipe makes a very marshmallow-y treat, so add an extra cup or two of cereal if you prefer.
I didn’t actually enjoy a slice of the cereal treat cake, but I picked off a few marshmallow-coated Cocoa Puffs and they were pretty good. My boys did partake in several sticky, over-stuffed mouthfuls and they said it was the best thing I had ever made. That week.
Do you have a processed-food guilty pleasure? I, for one, am a lover of Twinkies and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. What’s yours?
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