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White Almond Sour Cream Cake

This is the best “doctored” cake mix ever. It is incredibly versatile, suitable for all occasions, themes and tastes. I use it at every single birthday and absolutely love it. This cake is sturdy enough to stack a few high, but also has a light texture and deliciously rich taste.

I’ve used this cake for everything. Including, a racetrack…

Cars Cake [Read more…]

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Pumpkin Crunch Cake

If you are familiar with dump cake, you’ll see the genius of this recipe immediately. My mom used to make dump cake when I was a kid. I’ll have to post that “recipe” sometime soon. It’s essentially canned fruit, topped with dry cake mix and smothered with butter. Not really a cake in the traditional sense, but delicious. I saw this pumpkin version and knew it would be ah-mazing. And it was. This is two delightful desserts combined into one. Pumpkin pie on the bottom and pecan pie on top. Custardy spiced goodness covered with crunchy buttery caramelized nut topping. I’m telling you, it’s far too easy for how gorgeous it turns out.

[Read more…]

Lazy Heath Bars

I’ve been cleaning my house like a crazy person for two days. If you know me, you know this is NOT normal behavior. Usually I’m perfectly content for my house not to resemble a museum or some kind of scientific lab. I prefer to spend my time on the floor doing puzzles or coloring rather than scrubbing. Things are clean enough. Or, as my father-in-law used to say “good enough for government work”. He was allowed to say things like that. Jeff worked for the IRS for 20+ years. When houseguests are coming however, I become a short freckled version of Adrian Monk. Ok. Not quite that obsessive. Close though.

[Read more…]

Scratch Cake Mixes & Strawberry Cream

I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m taking a cake decorating class. I’m enjoying it tremendously and learning all sorts of fun things. Don’t judge my decorating skills too harshly, I’m still learning. I found this cake mix recipe years ago and it has never failed me. Perfect if you don’t want to make a boxed cake mix, or thought you had one in the cupboard but (horrors!) you’ve used your last one! This recipe gives you the perfectly light texture of a boxed mix with homemade ingredients and taste.

For my recent class, I filled a basic yellow cake with some strawberry mascarpone cream. It was absolutely delicious.

I just used one of the 8 inch rounds the recipe makes. I torted it (still learning the art of doing that evenly too!) and stuffed it with sweet creamy strawberry deliciousness. The other cake went in my freezer to use for another class.

I have tried all these cake mix varieties and they are simply delightful. Enjoy!

Scratch Cake Mixes
from Allrecipes.com

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

For a Yellow Cake: Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in shortening until fine crumbs are formed. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat at low speed for 1 minute, then high for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl frequently.
Pour batter into greased and floured 9×13 inch pan (or the cake pan of your choice). Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.
Variation for a White Cake: Prepare as for the basic cake except use 3 egg whites for the 2 whole eggs. Whites may be beaten separately and added for a lighter cake.
Variation for a Chocolate Cake: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the basic cake mix prior to adding the milk.
Variation for a Spice Cake: Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice to the basic cake mix.

 

Strawberry Mascarpone Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
2/3 cup Mascarpone Cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup strawberry jam

Directions

Place the heavy whipping cream, mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and strawberry jam in a large bowl.  Whip until soft peaks form.

Rolo Cake Bars

My favorite combination is caramel and chocolate. Rich sweet chocolate and gooey caramel is pretty darn close to a slice of heaven in my book.  When I saw this recipe for Rolo Cake Bars, I knew there was a batch in my very near future. But, I couldn’t just make a pan of them to have around given my addiction to all things caramel and chocolate. Lucky for me, I had some trees removed today and had three burly lumberjack type men around to help me plow thru these bars.

This recipe has one tricky part. It comes when you are at the store (or in your pantry) getting your ingredients. All cake mixes are not the same. I know these look like they’d both work, but they wont.

Check the ounces on the box. You want the big one. 18.25oz. Accept no other.

The dry mix, melted butter and evaporated milk get combined together and half is pressed into a pan. My dough was very sticky so I used an offset spatula to get it mostly flattened into the pan. Don’t worry if your dough isn’t completely firm. They still bake up beautifully.

While the crust cooks up a bit – we get to hang with some Rolos.

Mmmmmm. Caramel. Cut them in half.

When the crust comes out of the oven, place the Rolos caramel side down on top. Can I just say that the smell of warm cake batter hitting the chocolate was almost too much for me. I was tempted to just scoop it out of the pan and shovel it into my mouth.

Then dollup the remaining batter on top.

Bake until golden. Attempt to keep your mitts off it and let it cool. Then cut into squares.

Sweet light cake mixed with decadent rich caramel and chocolate. Oh baby.

Seriously. Oozing Rolo goodness. A riot of amazingness.

I don’t think four ingredients could get better than this.

Rolo Cake Bars
adapted from Cookies and Cups

  • 1 box (18.25 oz) yellow, vanilla or white cake mix, dry
  • 5 oz evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 40 Rolo Candies, unwrapped and cut in half

How to Make

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  3. With your mixer, beat cake mix, evaporated milk and butter until combined. Mixture will be thick and sticky.
  4. Divide batter in half and press 1 half into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Bake until just set, approximately 8-9 minutes.
  6. Remove base from oven and place Rolo candies, caramel-side down on top.
  7. Drop remaining batter on top of Rolos in teaspoon sized amounts.
  8. Bake for 24-26 minutes longer until top begins to golden.
  9. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
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