In the last few months I’ve needed to bake a cake for the following:
A “welcome the baby” luncheon.
A friend recovering from surgery.
A friend who had a baby.
A friend who had two babies.
Our school principal’s retirement lunch.
Our high school graduation reception.
A college graduation party.
A Father’s Day barbeque.
And that was just May and June.
If you are a reader here you know how much I love to bake. And I consider myself to be a confident and experienced baker.
But sometimes it comes down to time. As in, I don’t have enough of it.
Years and years ago I attended a dinner party hosted by my friend Nancy. Nancy is a trained chef who – in addition to making delicious food – has a way of putting together a party that feels relaxed and effortless, yet thoughtful and beautifully executed.
And as I was navigating my way around the dessert buffet, this cake caught my eye.
It was the plainest, simplest looking dessert on the table – yet I was compelled to try a piece. I don’t know why; I never even go for the chocolate dessert.
And it was the perfect slice of chocolate cake.
Moist, yet firm. Not too rich. Delicious. Nancy gave me the recipe, and I was shocked to see that it included boxed cake mix. I pride myself on being able to detect cake mix on the first bite, yet this one had me completely fooled. In a good way.
And since then you can be pretty sure that there is at least one of these in my freezer at all times.
Yet I’ve been
scared reluctant to share this recipe with you, for all of the obvious reasons. I’ve read the food blogger rants about cake mix. I know all of the things that are wrong with it. And what would you think of me if you knew that I used it? Would you be shocked? Angry? Lose all respect for me and never read this blog again???
But then I thought, maybe some of you are not “bakers”. And even if you are, maybe there are occasions where you too, are simply strapped for time.
And therein lies the beauty of this cake. In 10 minutes, with one bowl, I can knock out two loaf-sized cakes (or one large tube cake). It slices beautifully (perfect for situations where you need to serve finger food). It freezes forever (well, not literally – but for a really, really long time). It needs no decoration or frosting, just a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.
And it is undeniably delicious.
In fact, it’s the favorite cake of many of the people I bake for – including Mike – which I find hilarious, and totally ironic.
So here you go – I hope I haven’t lost any of you over this, and would love to know your stand on cake mix. If you have one.
1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 package 4-serving instant chocolate pudding
1/2 c. each water, vegetable oil
1 c. sour cream
12 oz. mini chocolate chips
Beat all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, on high for 3 minutes.
Fold in the chips.
Pour batter in pans; bake till a toothpick or cake tester tests clean (about 60 minutes for the tube cake, 45 minutes for the loaves).
Cool in pans on rack (25 minutes for the tube cake, 10 for the loaves) – remove from pans and cool completely on rack.
Dust with confectioner’s sugar prior to serving.
* I always double this recipe. If you don’t have a heavy duty stand mixer, you’ll need to make one batch at a time. Just wipe out the mixer bowl between batches.
This delicious recipe brought to you by Donuts, Dresses and Dirt