Surprise! This Fourth of July Cake Is Stuffed With Doughnut Holes

07/01/2015 at 11:49 AM ET

Doughnut Cake
Hector Sanchez; Inset: Courtesy Houghton Mifflin

This cake may just appear to be an ordinary red, white and blue dessert on the outside—but its inner workings tell a different story.

Dreamt up by Cake My Day! authors Alan Richardson and Karen Tack, this vanilla frosted, red velvet cake was created with Fourth of July in mind. And, oh yeah, the cake is stuffed with doughnut holes—which look like polka dots when you slice into it. (Surprise!)

“This cake says ‘wow’ twice,” Richardson tells PEOPLE.

Make a version for your Fourth of July party with the recipe and step-by-step guide below—or vary the colors and flavors for an surprise dessert any time of the year.

Patriotic Polka-Dot Cake

Makes: 12 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus cooling
Cook time: 55 minutes

1 box (16.25 oz) red velvet cake mix
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
16 plain doughnut holes
1 can (16 oz.) vanilla frosting
3 tbsp. each red and blue decorating sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line the bottom of an 8-in. springform pan with parchment paper and spray sides and bottom with vegetable cooking spray. Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions except replacing the water with the buttermilk.

2. (See the step-by-step below) Spread 1/3 of the red batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange 8 doughnut holes on top of the batter. Spread 1/2 of the remaining batter on top to cover the doughnuts. Add the 8 remaining doughnuts to the pan pressing them between the doughnut holes in the first layer. Top with the remaining batter, making sure to cover the doughnuts, and smooth.

3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.

4. Place the cooled cake, flat side down, on a serving plate. Cover with the vanilla frosting. While the frosting is still wet, sprinkle with the colored sugars, using a 1½-in. round cookie cutter as a stencil, to make alternating red and blue polka dots all over the cake.

Your 4-Step Guide

Doughnut Cake

1. Spread a layer of batter in the pan, and place several doughnut holes on top.

Doughnut Cake

2. Cover the doughtnut holes with a second layer of batter, avoiding any air pockets.

Doughnut Cake

3. Place a second batch of doughnut holes between the first layer you placed earlier.

Doughnut Cake

4. Cover with a final layer of batter so no doughnut holes are visible. Then bake.

—Grace Gavilanes, additional reporting by Ana Calderone

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FILED UNDER: Cake , Dessert , Expert Tips , Food , Recipes

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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