Why decorate a plain cake with apples when you can make the entire cake into an apple shape? An apple-shaped cake can be a decorative treat for an education-themed party or a birthday cake for someone who really loves apples. Building this cake requires care, patience and layers of several rounded cakes. The apple-shaped cake is covered with marshmallow fondant; you can use food coloring to tint the fondant red, green or yellow.

Things You'll Need

Baking the Cakes

Spray the two 9-inch round baking pans and bowl with nonstick spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour each box of cake mix into a different mixing bowl if you are using different flavors of cake. If you are making all the cakes the same flavor you can use one large mixing bowl. Add the ingredients asked for on the boxes; this is usually 1 to 2 eggs per box and around 1/3 cup of vegetable oil per box. Mix vigorously.

Pour the cake mix into the two baking pans and the oven safe bowl. Place the pans and bowl in the oven and follow the baking instructions on the cake mix boxes. Many cakes cook for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Take the cakes out of the oven. Stick a toothpick into the middle of each cake and pull it out to test if the cake is fully cooked. If batter sticks to the toothpick when you pull it out put the cake back in the oven for about 5 minutes and repeat the test until the toothpick comes out clean.

Set the cakes aside and let them cool.

Making the Fondant

Pour the marshmallows and water into the microwave safe bowl and put the bowl in the microwave for about 5 minutes.

Coat a large wooden spoon with shortening to keep the fondant from sticking to the spoon while you mix it.

Add the corn syrup, lemon extract and food coloring to the marshmallows and stir it in with the greased spoon.

Slowly pour in 2/3 the bag of powdered sugar while continuing to stir the mixture. Stop adding sugar when it becomes very difficult to stir.

Grease a flat surface with shortening. Carefully dump the fondant onto the greased surface and knead in more powdered sugar with your hands. Stop adding powdered sugar when the fondant seems to have stopped absorbing it. Be careful because the fondant may be hot from the microwave.

Grease the outer layer of fondant with shortening so it will stay moist and put it in a gallon resealable bag. Let it sit for several hours until it has cooled.

Forming the Apple

On a large serving dish, layer the two cakes from the rounded pans on top of each other. You can layer icing between the layers of cake if you would like.

Carefully tip the bowl with the cake in it upside-down over the two layered cakes and gently tap the bottom of the bowl until the cake comes out on top of the other cakes. You will now have a large, round looking layered cake.

Using a knife, carefully carve out a small dent in the center to make the top of the apple where the stem is.

Re-grease your flat surface with shortening and take your fondant out of the bag. If it is too hard to roll with a rolling pin, microwave it in 5 second increments until it is slightly pliable but not melted.

Roll the fondant out flat with a rolling pin. It should be about 1/2 to 1/4 an inch thick. Pull the fondant off of the surface. You can use a spatula for help if you need to.

Center the fondant over the cake and lay it on top. Use the fondant smoother to smooth and curve the fondant into the rounded apple shape.

Stick a large pretzel rod in the center to look the apple stem.