Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Week: Birthday Book Cake

I’m so excited about the release tomorrow of the wonderful author Chris Grabenstein’s, new book, Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.  To celebrate this week, we will be featuring lemon recipes.

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library features Kyle Keeley, who loves games of all kinds. He will do anything to win, including breaking a window to beat his brothers at a scavenger hunt. He and several friends are locked inside an amazing Willy Wonka type library and have to puzzle their way out in this adventure. As usual Chris fills this book with load of humor, from farting storytime geese to a holographic librarian that gives some clues, but the mystery and the game is twisted and complicated enough to keep all readers turning pages. This one is getting starred reviews all over. Also, I’m mentioned in it, which is always a good recommendation for a book!

Today’s lemon recipe is Birthday Book Cake from the 1960′s gem The Amazing Magical Jello Desserts, a favorite in my collection for its surreal little puzzles, magic tricks and wacky 60′s art.


Birthday Book Cake

1 package (2-layer size)

lemon cake mix

1 package (4 serving size) Jello brand lemon flavor instant pudding and pie filling (vanilla works too)

4 eggs

1 cup water

1/4 cup oil


Yellow, red and green

food coloring

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water and oil in large mixer bowl. Blend, then beat at medium speed of electric mixer for 4 minutes. Pour into greased and floured 13×9 pan. Bake at 350F for 45 to 50 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool in pan about 15 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling on rack. Place cake top side down on large tray. Make a cut, about 3/4 inch deep down center of cake, cut and remove 2 wedge-shaped pieces. Round off the short edges of cake to resemble an open book. Tint 1 1/4 cups of the frosting with yellow food coloring. Frost cake, and draw fork tines around edges to resemble pages of book.

The recipe wants cooks to tint green and red frosting, but I would get tubes of decorator gel.

Tune in the rest of this week for more lemon recipes!

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