I baked this cake yesterday. I was feeling lazy, so I used a box mix and added things to it to use up a bunch of leftovers, which made the result even better!
Ingredients for Cake:
1 boxed cake mix, vanilla flavored
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water, part juice from pineapple
3 ripe bananas
1 cup or half a can crushed pineapple
Blueberries, about a handful
Add the cake mix, eggs, oil, and water/juice and mix. The eggs, oil, and water were to make the mix per package directions on the box I used. Use juice from the pineapple and top with water to make 1 cup of liquid.
After mixing the above ingredients for about a minute, add the bananas, mashed if using fresh.
Also add the pineapple now. Mix for another minute.
Fold in the blueberries by hand. If you add them to the mixer, you will end up with blue batter that turns grey as it bakes.
Split the batter among two greased 9″ cake pans. Bake per package directions. (Usually, 350 degrees in a pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes.) You will have to add another 5-10 minutes to the baking time because of all the additions to the batter. Start checking with a toothpick at the listed time and check in 5-minute increments thereafter.
When done, remove from oven and cool in pans for 15 minutes. Loosen and remove from pans, or you can put them back in the pans to finish cooling. Let the cake layers cool completely before icing.
Ingredients for Icing:
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 1/2-3 cups Confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1-2 Tablespoons milk, or almond milk
Beat butter, cream cheese, and vanilla with a mixer.
Add Confectioner’s sugar by half cups, until incorporated.
Add 1 Tablespoon milk. Add as much milk as needed to reach desired consistency.
Assemble the cake with frosting in between the two layers. I spread some melted orange marmalade onto the surface of the bottom cake before adding the frosting, for some extra pizzazz. Ice the rest of the cake and voila!
I used a vanilla cake mix, but you could also use white, yellow, or even spice cake mix. Any flavor that tastes good with your extra add-ins will work.
My add-ins were bananas, pineapple, and blueberries. Use whatever you have available. Applesauce, apple slices, and pecans. Oranges, bananas, coconut. Zucchini, walnuts, and cranberries. You get the idea. I work with whatever is in my freezer and pantry.
I always freeze my bananas just before they get too ripe, so I have some for baking when I need them. I keep them in a large Ziploc bag and take however many I need out. I microwave them and they are pretty soupy by the time I use them. If yours aren’t frozen, you will want to mash them before adding to the batter. This allows me to bake whenever I want to, and have the time to, rather than having my schedule dictated by the state of my bananas!
I always put the cake layers back in the pans to cool, so I can move them around the kitchen. This is helpful because our kitchen is small, and we cook a lot. It also makes it easier to move the cakes to hide them from counter surfing dogs and cats!
Bonus tip-I find it much easier to frost a layer cake if you can put it on a lazy-Susan, or rotating cake platter for frosting. The icing comes out nice and smooth with this method. I also get smoother results with a metal butter knife vs. a silicon spatula.
I would love to hear what kind of goodies you add into your cakes! Feel free to share them in the comments. Also, you can sign up to get notifications of new blog posts at the top of the page.
This blog post is for my niece Kara. It is her very favorite dessert, except for possibly cassata cake. Come to think of it, the desserts have essentially the same ingredients. She always requests this dessert and even asked for us to make it together when she spent the day here. She can eat more trifle than should be able to fit into a 50 lb. body! Must run in the family. This recipe is an original concocted by me.
1 boxed white cake mix, prepared
1 lb. fresh strawberries, save a large one for garnish
1 1/2 tubs Cool Whip, regular or light, thawed
2 boxes instant vanilla pudding, 1.85 oz. each (4 serving size)
3 cups milk
chocolate for garnish (optional)
Make boxed cake mix as per package directions. Bake it in a 9″ x 13″ pan. Allow to cool. Cut the cake into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes.
Prepare the pudding. Empty both boxes of the pudding into mixer bowl. Add 3 cups of milk and mix. The pudding will be a little thicker than usual. Chill for a few minutes.
Wash and hull the strawberries. Cut them into bite size pieces.
The trifle should be assembled in a clear glass trifle bowl for visual effect. I use the plastic bowl from my salad spinner since my trifle bowl cracked. The bowl is clear so works fine. It is used in the pictures here.
Spread a thin layer of Cool Whip to cover the bottom of the bowl.
Place a layer of cake cubes over the Cool Whip spread in the bowl.
Add a layer of the strawberries.
Spoon a layer of pudding over the strawberries.
Add a layer of Cool Whip.
Repeat until all ingredients are used up, making sure your top layer is Cool Whip. I always do the layers in this order. This allows any strawberry juice to soak into the cake and the pudding to run in the strawberry crannies.
I take the large, reserved strawberry and make slices, leaving it attached to the hull. Push the attached sliced so they spiral and place in the middle of the top dessert layer for garnish. (See photo above.)
Optional: Take a fine grater and grate chocolate directly on to the top of the dessert. You can use a Hershey bar or other chocolate. I used a Malley’s chocolate Santa left over from Christmas on this one. Use good quality chocolate.
Refrigerate until serving. I would say this serves about 10-12 people. Unless one of them is a trifle-loving niece, then it serves about 4!
Feel free to make substitutions! You can use any flavor cake. I like strawberry as pictured below. I have also used chocolate or brownies. Use different fruits as well. It will work with raspberries, blueberries, or peaches. I would avoid bananas because they might turn brown. You can also use different flavors of pudding. Mix and match ingredients as per your taste.
I did make a few alterations to the gluten free recipe. Of course. I used chopped cranberries for the fruit and added the maple icing. I also used regular sugar and butter. The texture was a little on the crumbly side but the flavor was good.
I have been experimenting with various gluten free recipes so you may be hearing more about this from me. Baking is my forte and it appears that there is nothing that reacts the same way as wheat gluten. There are substitutions but they don’t work in the same way, so the results are different. This usually means a different texture and in my experience a flatter product. Gluten appears to be necessary for the rise.
When I make some other gluten free baked goods that I am happy with, I will share the process with you!
I posted a picture of these scones and had several requests for the recipe. I had to type it up to include my alterations as I never prepare a recipe without making some changes. I figure, I know what I like so why not adjust the recipe accordingly?
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons butter, chilled
1/3 cup cranberries, finely chopped
1/2 cup buttermilk (I substitute regular milk or almond milk with a splash of white vinegar)
1 Tablespoon orange zest, freshly grated
1teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda. Use a pastry cutter to cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. The butter melts during baking and allows air spaces for a soft interior texture. Stir in the chopped cranberries. The dough may require a bit of kneading to come together. Knead as little as possible, so you don’t melt the butter and lose the air spaces.
Pat dough into an 8 or 9 inch diameter circle on a greased cookie sheet. Score the circle into 8 wedges with a serrated knife, or adjust the size and number of wedges as desired.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes and move to a serving dish. Frost (or not!) when mostly cool.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon butter, melted and slightly cooled so it doesn’t melt the sugar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
Mix above ingredients together. Add more sugar to thicken, or more syrup to thin. The ratio may need to be changed slightly, depending on the temperature. Spoon mixture evenly over scones and frost with a butter knife.
I love this cookie recipe! I got it from Pinterest, the source of most of my new recipes. Click on the following link for it. Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies Without Butter Recipe – The Frugal South Note that the recipe is not mine. The original recipe at the link above, is for snickerdoodles, but anyone who knows me, knows that I like to alter things.
I first found this recipe during the beginning of our state’s first stay at home order during the pandemic. I was looking for dessert recipes without butter because I was running low on it. This recipe uses oil instead of butter. The other great thing is, the recipe is easy! Always a plus. As the pandemic has dragged on, I have made many variations of this cookie and all have been delicious. One special note, which is pointed out on the link, do NOT over bake these cookies or they will get hard.
Some variations I have made on the original recipe follow. Add the ingredients in addition to those in the original recipe:
1 box lemon jello, 1 teaspoon ginger, and 1 Tablespoon milk (or almond milk), add almond slice on top
I was looking for a coffee cake recipe that didn’t require butter. I couldn’t find one so I adapted my old standby muffin recipe. The cake turned out to be exactly what I had in mind.
Muffin recipe transformed to cake follows. Double the recipe above so there is sufficient volume for a Bundt pan. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. (I made adjustments to the time and temperature to accommodate a cake. )
First, combine the wet ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup liquid-I used vanilla almond milk
2/3 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
Whisk the above ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Sift together the dry ingredients.
2 1/3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add to wet ingredients and stir just until mixed. Then I greased a Bundt pan and added chopped walnuts to the bottom of the pan. Approximately 1/2 cup.
Then I folded the following into the batter.
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Pour the batter into the pan. Place in oven for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven when toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5-10 minutes. Turn cake out onto a large plate. Allow cake to cool completely.
You could consider the cake done at this point. I decided to add an orange glaze. To do this I mixed together the following:
Juice of 1/2 an orange
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Blend these three ingredients to desired consistency. Add more juice if you want to thin the glaze. Add more sugar to thicken.
Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake.
And you are done! Enjoy the cake with a scoop of ice cream on the side, or just with a warm cup of tea.
Today was a baking day. We were out of dessert, so I decided to rectify the situation. We never did get pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving since we didn’t have a big family gathering this year. So I baked this pie right before dinner.
The oven was already on so I whipped up a batch of brownies from scratch and put those in to bake at the same time. Turns out, it’s a good thing I did. The pie wasn’t cool enough to have after supper. We had the brownies with ice cream instead.
The Christmas spirit has arrived at our house. It began to snow late this morning. It was a calm, light fluffy snow. The kind that invokes thoughts of good cheer and peace.
So I got out our little tree and decorated it. All of our animals love the tree, but especially the cats. They take up residence underneath and you can find one or the other of them there for the season. After a few squirts of Bitter Apple chew deterrent, they stop chewing it for the rest of the season.
After lunch, I made a couple batches of cookies we traditionally have around the holidays. First, I baked the thumbprint cookies and filled them.
Then I made molasses crinkles from a recipe handed down from my mother’s Aunt Clara. Mine are never as good as Aunt Clara’s but they are delicious nonetheless. I suspect Aunt Clara used lard in her’s.
Now I am ready to relax for the evening with a couple of cookies and a good book.
Our stove had been on its last legs for a while and finally died right before Thanksgiving. In this wonderful (sometimes!) age of being able to order things on-line, I was able to have another one here within a couple days without ever leaving the safety of home. And free delivery! I did have to adjust the temperature on the oven. It seemed to run a little low, but all is fine now.
Today I made the first pie in the new oven. I wanted to make a shoo fly pie and for some reason I got a recipe from Pinterest rather than using my usual one. In the mood for something different I guess. The recipe I went with is quite different. The crust has flour, butter, egg yolk, olive oil, and white wine. Yes, you read that right, white wine. And in addition to the molasses, the filling has black coffee.
While the pie is good, I think I prefer my old standby recipe, clipped from the newspaper years ago.