Tag Archives: cake

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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A Solitary Snack: Cake For One


-Rache’ll Brown

I have a massive sweet tooth. Honestly, it’s a problem. I am constantly craving sugar, and sometimes exercising self-control can be hard, but I’ve discovered the perfect solution: Cake in a Cup! While browsing Pinterest, I discovered Chocolate-Covered Katie and her Single Lady Cupcakes, which inspired me to create a healthier, single-serving dessert for myself.

Cake in a Cup
3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
1 packet of sugar-free hot chocolate (or normal hot chocolate!)
¼ teaspoon of baking powder
Splash of vanilla (I never measure!)
1 tablespoon of sugar-free applesauce (or vegetable oil, if you aren’t trying to be fat-free)
Water (Just add enough to make the batter wet – the constancy shouldn’t be super thick and pasty, but it shouldn’t be really runny and thin!)

Mix all of the ingredients together directly in your mug, and then microwave for one minute. Sometimes I add colorful sprinkles on top, but usually the plain old cake is good enough for me! Of course you can substitute different ingredients to tailor the dessert to match your taste – you could omit the hot chocolate mix for a more plain cake, or add chocolate chips, sugar or nuts for more flavor. You could also use pumpkin or banana instead of applesauce for a more autumnal feel.

The best thing about this recipe is how easy it is to alter it to create a dessert that fits whatever you are craving, and since it is only one serving, you don’t have to worry about the leftovers haunting you from the kitchen! So, the next time you are craving a little something sweet, reach for a mug and create a cake in a cup. It’s simple and delicious, and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand anyway.

My 5 Favorite Dessert Places in Eugene

-Whitney Menefee

Ever since I moved to Eugene last fall I have been to more dessert places than I’m willing to admit. From ice cream parlors to pastry shops, I have eaten at them all. It is truly amazing how many quality handmade dessert spots there are in Eugene. I have found that the new trending theme for Eugene dessert shops is making their desserts healthier as well as providing organic, vegan, and gluten-free options for their customers. After over a year of adventuring through many different dessert spots, I have finally come up with a list of my top five favorite dessert shops in Eugene. Are you ready?

Here they are:

#1 Vanilla Jill’s Frozen Yogurt

Vanilla Jill’s is a locally owned dessert shop known for its handmade organic frozen yogurt. The organic froyo shop has vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free options. My personal favorite is the Vegan Vanilla flavor with dairy-free chocolate chips. If you are not a chocolate chip fan, don’t worry! They also have a variety of local fruit toppings! Vanilla Jill’s has three Eugene locations. For UO students, their most convenient location is on East 24th Avenue and Hilyard Street, next to Sundance Natural Foods.

#2 Sweet Life Patisserie

Located on 755 Monroe Street, Sweet Life Patisserie is an organic pastry shop with a wide range of handmade baked goods. Sweet Life is known for its locally grown ingredients and allergy-friendly dessert options. They have egg-free, dairy-free, vegan, nut-free, and gluten-free pastries. My favorite Sweet Life dessert is the egg-free, gluten-free pumpkin pie. It will definitely be a dessert option at my house this Thanksgiving!

#3 Goody’s


Goody’s is an ice cream and candy shop that is new to Eugene. All of its candy and ice cream is handmade from scratch at the Goody’s factory in Bend, Oregon. They have over one hundred different types of candy options as well as a wide range of ice cream flavors. I’m from Bend, so I have grown up eating Goody’s ice cream and candy since I was little, and my favorite dessert has always been the chocolate-covered gummy bears. So delicious! Goody’s is located on 296 East 5th Avenue at the 5th Street Public Market.

#4 Prince Puckler’s Gourmet Ice Cream


Conveniently close to the UO campus, Prince Puckler’s is located on East 19th Avenue and Agate Street. Prince Puckler’s is one of my favorite dessert shops in Eugene because their ice cream is the creamiest handmade ice cream I have ever had! My favorite flavor is the Oreo cookie ice cream. It may not be organic or vegan, but it’s delicious!

#5 The Divine Cupcake

The Divine Cupcake has two locations in Eugene. I always go to the cart location on the corner of East 5th Avenue and Pearl Street. All of the baked goods are organic and vegan and can also be made gluten-free, soy-free, or nut-free. One of my favorite treats at The Divine Cupcake is the cake pops because they are beautiful, sparkly, and delicious!