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Sneaky Snake Cake
Give a round cake real bite with our snake template and black nonpareils ($4.31 for 4 oz.; amazon.com). Print the template; place your printout beneath a sheet of parchment and trace the snake design. Cut parchment as indicated on the template to create a stencil.
Step 1: Prepare one box of cake mix (any flavor) per the package instructions; divide the batter between two 9-inch round cake pans, and bake as directed. Let cool.
Step 2: Level the tops of both cakes. Frost the top of one cake with white buttercream, either store-bought or our recipe. Place the second cake atop it. Frost the entire two-layered cake.
Step 3: Center the snake stencil atop the cake and gently smooth flat. Fill in the stencil with nonpareils, pressing them softly into the icing with the back of a spoon. Chill the cake in your freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, then carefully remove the stencil. Use a toothpick to clean up any stray nonpareils.
How to level a cake: Set the cake atop a cake stand; then carefully slice away the rounded top with a serrated knife, turning the stand as you go