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Martha by Mail ~ Snowman Cake Mold

A cheerful snowman cake covered in delicious buttercream and decorated with sweetened flaked coconut, candies and more makes a wonderful holiday dessert.  I can't think of a better way to enjoy a familiar, iconic winter image than with a sweet cake made in the shape of such a jolly fellow.  The last in a series of American-made cake molds offered through the former Martha by Mail catalog was this two-part cast aluminum mold.  Now a collector's item for those who enjoy baking, the pan is ever so useful in creating a memorable dessert which can sit so happily on a cake stand for all to admire.

Unlike the outdoor variety meant to stand at attention on someone's lawn for days or weeks, depending on the weather, this little fellow will not last the night once your guests realize it's a cake.  The recipe provided by the catalog makes a delicious vanilla cake meant to be decorated with many sweet edibles.  Follow the instructions and create your very own jolly snowman cake for your holiday party.  Scrumptious, tasty, sweet and delicious in every which way, the eye-catching dessert is going to be loved by all.  Bake one this year and serve it alongside other festive desserts & cookies.  You may even want to save a slice for Santa to have with his glass of milk.

Happy Holidays! 

The last catalog.

Decorating Card

Snowman Cake
serves 12 to 14
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for mold
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for mold
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons milk
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Place rack in lower third of oven.  Using a pastry brush, generously coat both sides of the mold with butter, making sure to cover all areas.  Dust mold with flour; tap out excess, and place mold in freezer until ready to fill.

2.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-low speed until lightened in color, 2-3 minutes.  Gradually add sugar, and beat until fully incorporated, 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of bowl twice.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until batter is fluffy, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary, for about 5 minutes.  Beat in vanilla until combined.  With mixer on low speed, add flour in three batches, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

3.  Divide batter evenly between the molds.  Using an offset spatula, spread the batter flush to the top edges of the head and hat, then slope the batter down toward the bottom of snowman, leaving 1 inch of space between the batter and the op edge of the mold.  This will prevent the batter from overflowing during baking.

4.  Transfer molds to a baking sheet, and place in oven.  When tops of cakes have turned golden brown (about halfway through), rotate pan and loosely cover the molds with aluminum foil.  Reduce oven temperature to 325° F, and continue baking until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 70 minutes total baking time.  Transfer cake molds to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes.  Using a serrated knife, trim top of cakes flush with top edges of molds and turn out onto cooling rack, flat side down, until completely cool.  Refrigerate for about 1 hour before decorating.
Snowman Cake Mold

 Swiss Meringue Buttercream
makes 3 cups

The buttercream can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Before using, bring to room temperature and beat on low speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 10 minutes.

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • pinch table salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened
1.  Combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer, and set over a pot of gently simmering water (bowl should not touch water).  Whisk until warm to the touch and sugar has completely dissolved, about 3 minutes.  Return bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on high speed until fluffy and cooled, about 10 minutes.

2.  Switch to the paddle attachment; on low speed, add butter, several pieces at a time, beating after each addition.  After all the butter has been added, continue to beat on low speed, 3 to 5 minutes more, until mixture is smooth.  Set aside at room temperature if using immediately, no longer than 2 hours.

Decorating Instructions

What You'll Need
1/4 cup melted semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon dark cocoa
1/8 ounce marzipan
orange gel paste food coloring
3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
two 11 by 18 inch pieces red sour fruit roll
2 blue jelly beans
1 thin black licorice string cut to 1 3/4 inches long
3 red gum drops
2 candy cane sticks
1 regular candy cane
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut powder
waxed paper
offset spatula
paring knife
serrated knife
cake stand, serving platter or cardboard cake round

1. To assemble the cake, first make sure that the flat sides of the chilled cake halves are level, trimming with a serrated knife as necessary.  Align the halves to make sure they are flush with each other, and trim the bottom of each cake so that it stands upright.  Spread a think layer of buttercream on each flat side.  Gently press halves together, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Using a small amount of buttercream, adhere cake to cake stand, serving platter or cardboard cake round to secure it as you work.

2.  Add melted chocolate and cocoa to 1/3 cup buttercream, and mix thoroughly; set aside.  Tint marzipan orange, and roll into an elongated "carrot" shape.  Holding a paring knife perpendicular to the carrot, score the outside for a realistic look; set aside.

3. Carefully slip strips of waxed paper beneath the cake's edges to keep surface clean.  Using a small offset spatula, coat the snowman's hat with a thin layer of chocolate buttercream.  Chill cake until buttercream is firm, about 15 minutes.  Starting at the top, near the snowman's hat, coat remainder of cake with a thin layer of white buttercream.  Chill cake again until buttercream is firm, about 15 minutes.  Remove cake from refrigerator.  With remaining chocolate buttercream, coat the hat again using smooth strokes.  Coat the remainder of snowman again with white buttercream and refrigerate for 10 minutes.  Remove cake from refrigerator and, using hands, press shredded coconut into white buttercream, starting at the snowman's head and working toward the bottom.  Wrap one piece of fruit roll around the hat as a band, trimming if necessary.  On head, place jelly beans for eyes, marzipan carrot for nose, and black licorice for smile.  Press gum drops for buttons and insert candy cane sticks for arms.  Hook one arm with regular candy cane.  Carefully wrap a fruit roll scarf around snowman's neck.  Chill cake until buttercream is firm, about 1 hour.  Carefully remove waxed paper.  Garnish with remaining shredded coconut as "snow drifts", and add a dusting of coconut powder of the top of snowman.

Snowman Cake Duo


  1. So funny that you posted this as I JUST found that exact catalog while going through some boxes. I miss that catalog so much, and when I look at the prices I realize I must have just been young thinking the items were expensive, as I would snatch up almost anything I see in an instant with my "older" eyes. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  2. I know what you mean. So much of that merchandise was one-of-a-kind and not terribly expensive... Sigh.

    Cheers Matt!


  3. You know, I own this cake mold and love it - However, I've yet to use it to bake the Snowman! One of these days when life slows down and I have the time, perhaps then!

  4. That little mold is adorable! I'm sure one of these days you'll put it to good use. Make a post about it when you do!

  5. David

    Thank you for posting this recipe. I had purchased this mold from Martha By MAil and have made the snowman once --but some how I have lost the recipe booklet that came with it .For the last several years I have tried to get this recipe . Someone was selling there mold on ebay and i asked if they could email me the recipe they replied I would have to by the mold. I also wrote martha stewart with no response.
    Every year I look at this mold and keep searching the internet to see if the recipe would appear, and Yeah today I found it
    Thank You For Sharing
    Angie B

  6. I'm glad I was able to help you with this and how nice that you own the beautiful mold. Enjoy creating another snowman this Christmas!!


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