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Elegant Cakes – A Kwanzaa Tradition*
Life Should Be Cake

A Kwanzaa Tradition*

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*Is it still a tradition if we’ve forgotten to talk about it for the past four years?

I tell you what, let’s just go with it.

[clearing throat]

It’s time again for everyone’s favorite Kwanzaa tradition: making fun of Sandra Lee’s Kwanzaa cake!

For those who’ve somehow managed to miss it in previous years: that is an angel food cake, covered in chocolate cinnamon frosting, filled with canned apple pie filling, and “garnished” with pumpkin seeds and corn nuts.

Yes, CORN NUTS.

The giant taper candles jammed in the cake are presumably there for “culture.”

And if you missed any of that, kindly refer to this handy diagram:

(Available as a t-shirt for your next First Fruits Festival!)

This ill-concieved creation has spawned a veritable plethora of ironic baking adventures over the years, as people first recreate it in their own kitchens and then dare each other to eat it. Do a search and you’ll find plenty of videos and photos – and the reaction shots of people tasting it are pretty priceless.

Why, Elizabeth in Georgia even made this miniature version for one of our book tour stops:

You must admit, using popcorn kernels in place of corn nuts is pretty inspired.

However, no replica can ever really compete with the original, so gather ’round, my friends, while Aunt Sandra tells us a tale of family, first fruits, and cultural sensitivity:

Also, Corn Nuts are called “acorns.” Did you know?

As a side note: I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen this video over the past four years, but somehow it still unleashes fresh horrors with every viewing. Just looking at that icing makes my teeth hurt, and when you throw in angel food cake – which should never have icing on it to begin with – topped with pumpkins seeds and corn nuts, I’m pretty sure I’d rather gnaw on one of the taper candles.

Oh, and here’s an interesting nugget: the person Sandra Lee hired to write this “recipe” later confessed, and her only defense? “The candles were her [Lee's] idea.” (I know; I’m still reeling over the fact that Lee paid someone to come up with Corn Nuts and cinnamon icing, too.)

Say, do you think Lee would be in the market for my new St. Patrick’s Day recipe? It’s a store-bought pie shell filled with frozen orange soda, chopped Circus Peanuts, and Cool Whip. For garnish I have Andes Mints and Doritos crumbs, and for decoration, a can of Guiness jammed “festively” in the middle. I’ll be rich, I tell you, RICH!! MWUAH-HA-HAAA!

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