Tag Archives: baking

Making Cake Mix Your Own: A Guide to Baking With Two Ingredients

cake

-Rache’ll Brown

I’ll admit it, I am a lazy baker. I always try to find recipes with the least amount of ingredients, and my online search history is mainly, “how to make cookies/cupcakes/brownies without eggs/butter” (I don’t keep a lot of necessary baking items on hand—sorry).

A few weeks ago I was searching Pinterest for an easy recipe, as per usual. Suddenly, I stumbled upon something groundbreaking: two-ingredient cake. All that’s needed is a can of crushed pineapple and boxed Angel Food cake mix. Then I remembered that when I was younger, my mom used to make pumpkin muffins with boxed yellow cake mix and a can of pumpkin puree. This made me wonder: how many modified boxed cake recipes are there? So I did my research, and now I am going to share it with the masses. You’re welcome.

Out of everything I found, one recipe in particular was screaming my name. One box of Funfetti cake mix, some Greek yogurt, water, and that’s it! I’ve never had a bad experience while subbing yogurt for oil; my baked goods are usually moist and delicious after using this technique, so I decided to give it a try. I did my own variation, one with a box of Devil’s Food cake mix, one cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt, and one cup of water. I baked according to box directions, and it was delicious. Other options? Combine a box of Angel Food Cake with a can of pie filling—cherry, blueberry, lemon, etc. Also, dark cake mix with a can of coke, or light cake mix with a can of 7-Up apparently creates an airy treat. Regard the Internet for more inquiries.

So next time you’re in need of a cake, skip the eggs and oil for a more minimalistic approach. There really is no way to mess up a two-ingredient cake, so go forth and prosper—cake mix awaits you!

Rita’s Super Moist Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

cake

-Rache’ll Brown

I love going home. Not because I get to see my two beautiful Boxers and my loving parents—although that is a plus—but because I have free reign over a fully stocked kitchen to make anything I can dream of. And of course the only thing I ever want to make is, well, cake (which I can attribute to the strange amount of cake-themed music I listen to). So while I was home for spring break, I grabbed my mom’s cookbook and found her friend Rita’s cake recipe, which is a family favorite, and got to work.

Rita’s Super Moist Chocolate Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
½ tsp salt
1 stick of unsalted butter
½ cup of vegetable oil
1 cup Water
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup of buttermilk
1 tsp of baking soda

Peanut Butter Frosting

6 tbsp of unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ cup of peanut butter
1 cup of confectioners’ sugar

#1 First, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and set it aside. Next, put the butter, vegetable oil, and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, and then add in the cocoa powder and mix until dissolved. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir until combined.

#2 Next, mix the buttermilk and baking soda in a separate container, then add it in with the rest of the ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth. This batter will be extremely wet and runny, so don’t worry about it—it seems like it’s all wrong, but the result is a super moist cake that is out of this world.

#3 Put the mixture into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan, and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched, and the cake has started to pull away from the sides of the pan.

#4 Once the cake has finished baking, let it cool for at least 30 minutes before frosting. And when the cake is cooling, it is the perfect time to whip together the most mouth watering and simple peanut butter frosting. In a medium bowl, cream together room temperature butter and peanut butter (hint: while measuring peanut butter, spray the measuring cup with a little Pam first to prevent it from sticking).

#5 Once the wet ingredients are light and fluffy, slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar. It might seem clumpy and thick at first, but the longer it is beaten, the creamier it gets. Stick the frosting in the fridge until the cake is completely cooled, and then smooth it on in a thick layer.

This cake is so unbelievably moist, delicious, and easy to make that I will literally never make a boxed cake again. The peanut butter frosting is a perfect compliment to the chocolate cake (which isn’t too rich. The cake has a subtle flavor with an out-of-this-world texture), and I can guarantee there isn’t a human on this planet that would dislike this delicious recipe.

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Five Ways to Celebrate YOU on Valentine’s Day

-Rache’ll Brown

Valentine’s Day is here, and for those of us without a significant other, it can be a bit of a bummer. Everywhere you turn, couples are looking longingly into each others’ eyes and being adorable. The affection overload may remind you of how alone you are, but this year, instead of feeling sorry for yourself, do something just for you! Celebrate your awesomeness by relaxing and having a good time doing things you enjoy. Here are some ideas to get you started.

#5 Hike

Grab your North Face and head out for a solo hike. The fresh air and exercise will make you feel great, and a beautiful trek will help you clear your head. I love Spencer’s Butte (shown above)—the hike isn’t too grueling and the view is unbelievable.

#4 Shop

The endorphins you feel while shopping will help you forget about everything else in the world. If you really can’t afford to buy anything, head to Gateway and amuse yourself at one of the tacky dress shops. You won’t regret it.

#3 Spa Day

Break out all of your best beauty tools and spend some time just pampering yourself. Paint your nails, exfoliate your skin, light some candles, and blast some Lana Del Rey and Frank Ocean.

#2 Bake

Cookies, cupcakes, brownies, whatever; get your Laura Vitale on, and dirty up your kitchen. Baking is a fun way to relax, and there’s no more enjoyable way to celebrate yourself than with a giant cake in honor of YOU.

#1 Movie Marathon in Bed

Cuddle up in your comfiest clothes and enter a committed relationship with your bed. Break out all of your favorite movies, turn off your phone, and spend the day in total relaxation.

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Frosted Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

-Whitney Menefee

What better way to celebrate the passing of Halloween than with a warm and delicious batch of my mom’s homemade pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with brown sugar frosting? At my house, there’s never an October that goes by without my mom’s frosted pumpkin cookies. End your Halloween season right, and try these yummy treats!

The recipe calls for:

1-cup butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1-cup pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of salt
1-cup of chocolate chips

First, set the oven to 350°F. Then, use a medium size bowl to beat the butter, then add sugar and brown sugar and mix them together. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Then, slowly add flour mixture to the butter. Once all of the flour is mixed into the butter mixture, add the vanilla, egg, and pumpkin mixture until all of the ingredients are blended together. Next, stir in the chocolate chips. Then, form dough balls and space them 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

While the cookies are in the oven, start making the frosting.

Frosting:

In a small saucepan on low heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter.

Then, add ½ a cup of brown sugar to the saucepan

Then, add 1 1/2 – 2 cups of powered sugar and ¼ cup of milk. Stir, then take off the heat. Stir until it thickens.

My favorite thing about these cookies is topping them off with the brown sugar frosting; it truly completes them.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!