By Vanessa Greaves
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Go big or go home

If you're the kind of football fan who goes all out to create the ultimate football party experience, this is the cake you need to make for your next tailgate party.

Photo by Allrecipes

Smart Cookie's Epic Football Cake

Created by MasterChef alum, Elise Mayfield — aka Smart Cookie — this triple-layer cake is a centerpiece-worthy confection topped with a fourth layer in the shape of a football. Spoiler alert: It's actually a whole lot easier to make than you might think.

I'll share Smart Cookie's top tips to bake and decorate the cake — including amping up boxed cake mix and creating that clever football-shaped cake topper.

Get the recipe: Smart Cookie Football Cake

"End your Super Bowl® party on a bang with this touchdown in dessert form. Layers of yellow cake are painted with buttercream 'grass' and topped with a scrumptious football." — Smart Cookie

Smart Cookie's Top Tips:

  • 1. Although boxed cake mix is a super-convenient shortcut to making this cake, you canmake boxed cake mix taste homemadeby using milk and melted butter instead of water and oil. You'll also add vanilla extract and an extra pinch of salt to amp up the flavor.
  • 2. Be sure to line your cake pans with parchment paper and spray the insides of the pans with cooking spray to ensure the layers release cleanly.
  • 3. Cool the finished cake layers completely before trimming, frosting, and decorating.
  • 4. Chill the layered cake after applying a white frosting crumb coat, then apply the green frosting. You'll tap the frosted cake with your spatula to make the buttercream "grass" stand up.
  • 5. After forming and frosting the "football" layer (you definitely should watch the video to see her cool trick), use a wide spatula to lift the football widthwise and transfer it to the top of the cake.
  • 6. Finish decorating the football after it's safely atop the cake.

Watch the video to see it all come together: