Sunday, October 25, 2009

One Cake, Three Ways (For Ashlee)

Most of the cake I truly love tends to fall into the non-traditional camp. I like rich flourless cakes (more of a brownie feel) or banana bread-type loaf cakes more than I do the layers-with-frosting kind of thing. That said, there are times when only a traditional cake will do. When those occasions arise, I immediately reach for this recipe. It was given to me by my best friend’s mom, who is a bona fide domestic diva and a second mother to me in many ways.

Yes, this cake is ridiculously fattening. Yes, it uses ultra-processed ingredients. Both of these things might have stopped me from making it had I not tasted the finished product first, but I’m glad I did because this cake is delicious. Moist, flavorful, and everything a cake should be; none of that dry, crumbly texture that so many cakes fall prey to.

This recipe started life as a chocolate cake, but the method outlined in it can be used to create many different flavors and types of cake. I’ve listed 2 variations below the chocolate one, and I’m sure there are many more that you could try.

DeAnn’s Chocolate Cake

1 Devil’s Food cake mix (Duncan Hines brand is best)
1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup water

1. Using either a stand or hand-held electric mixer, mix all ingredients on medium speed for 3 minutes
2. Pour batter into two 8'' or 9” greased pans
3. Bake at 350 for about 27 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
4. When completely cooled, frost with chocolate frosting (recipe below)

4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 stick butter, at room temperature
enough milk or cream to make spreading consistency

Beat all ingredients except milk on low speed until combined, then keep beating and add milk slowly until desired spreading consistency is achieved.

Almond Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

Same ingredients as chocolate cake except:
-Use yellow cake mix instead of devil’s food
-Use french vanilla pudding instead of chocolate
-Add 2 tablespoons each of poppy seeds and pure almond extract to the batter.

1) Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes
2) Pour into a well-greased bundt pan
3) Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
4) When completely cooled, glaze with the following:

2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1-2 teaspoons pure almond extract

1) Whisk powdered sugar and milk together until smooth and of pouring consistency.
2) Add 1 tsp. almond extract and mix well.
3) If glaze is too thick, thin using small amounts of milk until correct consistency is achieved.
4) Taste and add more almond extract if needed for flavor.

Red Velvet Cake
-Same ingredients and directions as chocolate cake except instead of devil’s food use red velvet cake mix
-I have made this both as a layer cake and a bundt cake, so follow the baking times for whichever method you like to use.
-If making a bundt, I like to stir a handful or two of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter
-I always frost this cake with cream cheese frosting:

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 stick butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2-4 cups sifted powdered sugar (depending on how sweet and thick you want the frosting to be- taste as you go)
2 tsp. vanilla

1) Beat butter and cream cheese together
2) Add sugar and vanilla and beat until of spreading consistency

If you are making a layer cake, frost as usual, but if you are making a bundt I suggest putting the frosting in a ziploc bag (or legit pastry bag if you have one) and letting it firm up in the fridge for a while, then cutting the tip off the ziploc bag and piping the frosting on the sides of the bundt.

1 comment:

  1. I remember when you made that delish red velvet cake for my birthday.. it was to die for. My family ate the entire thing in like 3 minutes :)