Friday, February 3, 2012

How I Broke A Cardinal Rule But Didn't Get Excommunicated

 You might have read about my aversion to boxed cake mixes.  In fact, I've probably touted my faith  in the made from scratch cake in about 80 of my posts.  I just don't like cake mixes and I feel like it's a failure to make one.   Yes, I judge you that harshly if you  buy a cake mix, a brownie mix, or GOD HELP ME, those cookie mixes in a a tube that you just slice.  I can still be friends with you, but I can't get past that little flaw.  Sorry.   It doesn't take much more time to make a cake from scratch than it does to buy the mix, get the eggs, oil and water, mix them and put them in baking pans.  It's the same mess either way.

But, I also explained in this post, that I am bad yellow/white cake maker when I make them from scratch.  I can't explain my issue other than they are heavy and not great.  I've tried a variety of recipes and a variety of oils and still, they just suck.  I can make a chocolate cake like it's my job, but not yellow or white from scratch.

Enter my brilliant idea to make a cake to celebrate 5 years of my French group, Table Fran├žaise.  I didn't want to buy a store bought cake because those from the grocery store are even more foul tasting to me than what I can make.  I find them very salty.  Anyone else?  I didn't want to spend crazy money on professional cakes, so I decided to make my own.

So I did this dirty deed.  The giggling little bastard was on sale for $1 per box.  So I had to choose this one.  And there was PUDDING IN THE MIX!  A whole CUP!  Gag.

But I had a reason that I needed to make a white or yellow cake.  Recently, I saw this recipe for making a rainbow cake and I realized I simply had to do it in the colors of the French flag for our celebration.  

You take boxed cake mix, you spoon some out into bowls and add the food coloring of your choice to each bowl.  Get a bundt pan (mine is of questionable teflon or a substance like it and I need to replace it) and start putting in your colors beside each other.  They will run together a little bit but they don't all merge into one big mess.  If you look here, you'll see many more colors than I did.

When you bake it, it looks kind of gross on the outside, but as you slice it, it has lovely colors.  I don't love the outside of the cake, seen here, but it wasn't about me, it was about our 5 year anniversary, right?

I broke so many rules that night, I think they cancelled each other out and it's a draw but I could not completely cave and buy canned frosting, so I made a lard/powdered sugar delight with a touch of mint.  Sadly, no amount of red dye would give me actual red, so as I look at it now, it looks more like a baby shower cake with pinks and blues.

Given that the average age of this group is about 75, they probably had no clue that I was trying to be cute and do red, white and blue for the French flag.  They probably thought i thought it was pretty to do pink and blue.  I think they find me to be a little on the bizarre side anyway.  No wait, I find THEM to be the bizarre ones.  Anyway...

It tasted... like a boxed cake, but it fit the need and all were pleased.  The pictures I took of what the slices looked like didn't come out, so this is all I have.

The slices were red or blue or white or a swirl of any of the three.  It looks pretty.  I would do it again.  But I really need to make it from scratch next time.


  1. I cannot believe you actually used box mix. Ugh. Next it'll be those crescent roll things.
    I made a rainbow layers cake for s-ster one year and it came out awesome. But it was each layer a different color. I wouldn't have thought if this bundt pan idea. I'll have to try that next. Oh and the key to light white cakes is whipping the egg whites and not having too much flour. It's a pain, but it works.

    1. Oh, it will never be the crescent rolls, but I have used the cinnamon rolls in a tube when I buy a new piece of Pampered Chef stoneware because it seasons them nicely with all of the FAT. But those are salty too. What's my salt thing???

  2. Such strong opinions you have about boxed cake mixes! I have to agree as far as Gernan Chocolate goes. My grandmother makes THE BEST German Chocolate cake from scratch. I could eat the whole thing. The box kind? I hardly want a piece. BTW, love how you decorated your French cake & made it white, blue & red. Cute idea!!

  3. Yum! That looks so cool and so fun. I have to confess that I am a box cake kind of girl. I come form a long line of out of the box bakers and never learned to truly bake. I salute you. From scratch seems to be a long and involved process that I do not have the patience for. Also, it would probably taste like crap if I were to bake a cake from scratch.

    Love the look of your blog, btw!


I love comments almost as much as I love summer. I reply to all comments except those ridiculous anonymous comments offering me dirty deeds and real estate. When you leave your comment, please make sure your own settings will allow me to reply to you. Nothing makes me sadder than replying to your comments and then realizing it’s going to the no-reply@blogger address!