It’s the time of year when families come together to celebrate cherished holiday traditions. Kwanzaa is a beloved holiday celebrated by many African American families, but we’re pretty sure none of those families will be making the “Kwanzaa cake” made infamous by Sandra Lee. The pasty monstrosity which Lee clumsily tied to Kwanzaa is made of angel food cake, chocolate cinnamon frosting, apple pie filling, and topped with corn nuts, of all things. There’s a reason this cake haunts people every year around this time.
The Origins Of The Infamous Kwanzaa Cake
Sandra Lee probably never expected her take on a “Kwanzaa cake” to go viral, especially since the average response was derision and mockery. Lee called the finished product a “harvest” cake, and we can see why. There’s a little bit of everything in the recipe, which doesn’t translate well when it comes to the final presentation.
Even the corn nut garnishes do very little to make the cake visibly appetizing. To make a tie to Kwanzaa, since there’s not much connection to the holiday in question, Lee placed five tapered candles, in black, green, and red, on top. There are so many ways this cake is a mess that it’s hard to know where to start. Good thing we’ve had a year to prepare for this very moment.
So Many Problems, So Little Time
Our first pet peeve with the video, which was scrubbed from the Food Network but still exists in YouTube clips, is the fact that Lee constantly calls the corn nuts “acorns.” They are absolutely not acorns, but the far more common, and non-poisonous to humans, corn nuts. Acorns are technically edible, but they have to go through special preparations in order to remove toxins that can be toxic and cause a bitter taste.
The cinnamon, chocolate frosting sounds delicious, honestly, especially because Lee adds a teaspoon of vanilla extract to it. The angel food cake, likewise, is perfectly appetizing on its own. It’s only when Lee added the corn nuts and sprinkled, of all things, pumpkin seeds on top of the cake that the baked confection began to take a twisted turn.
Sandra Lee, Why Add Candles?
The candles, while a legitimate part of the Kwanzaa celebration, look out of place and way too large for the cake. Lee conspiratorially suggested making small holes in the cake with your knife to make sure to give the candles a sturdy place to sit. One YouTube commenter said the candles looked like “missiles” sticking out of the cake and we can’t help but agree.
Perhaps this cake’s biggest sin is the apple pie filling. Since it’s shaped vaguely like a bundt cake, Lee dumped an entire can of apple pie filling in the center and placed another dollop on top after icing the monstrosity. At the end of the video, Lee cuts herself a slice and the camera clearly shows that she gets zero apple pie filling with it. That just begs the question: what even is the point of those apples?
Check Out The Video Below
This recipe seems like it was just smashed together without much thought, and that’s clear when you see the finished project. It’s a mess that’s hard to forget, that’s for sure. No wonder it comes back up year after year. Hopefully, it will continue to live on in infamy for many years to come.