Baking cakes is rarely a fast process. I prefer to make them from scratch. And that takes a while. That isn’t a snobby thing. I don’t turn my nose down at cake mixes. Nope. I use those, too. If given the opportunity of time, I just like the process of measuring out each of the many ingredients a scratch cake requires. But, this blog post isn’t about a scratch cake. It’s about one made from a mix. I had picked up a few boxed mixes when my Publix had them on sale for $1. I mean, you almost can’t beat that (get it? beat it? like, with a whisk?). I used the Devil’s Food mix for the donuts I made earlier this month. And then I had a yellow cake mix left. What to do, what to do! In keeping up with my trying to use cookbook recipes out of my cookbook collection, I ran across one that would work with the ingredients I had, including the cake mix. Sure, the recipe actually called for white cake mix, but that really isn’t me, using or having the “real” ingredients, now is it? 🙂 The recipe, titled “Aunt Ruth’s Favorite White Cake”, also came with a frosting recipe from scratch.
I had a Great-Aunt Ruth, myself. She was a ridiculously fun, eclectic woman. She had really long gray hair that she coiled into a bun on the very top of her head. She lived on her own little (huge) plot of land with my Great-Uncle after they moved back home from living on an oil rig in Cuba. She cursed (a no-no, but always a funny-at-the-time situation for my big brother and me – we’d giggle nervously), she kept marshmallows in crystal bowls on all the end tables, she would give my brother and I those little Lifesavers books (remember those? you’d open them and there would be a few rows of Lifesavers) every time we’d visit, she had a dog named Shasta that I only ever saw through the pressed cardboard barricading him in the laundry room (we used to think he was a Cujo-type dog because all he did was bark really loudly and slam his huge body against the barricade. We always felt he’d eat us, if given the chance). She had a brick chimney sitting in her yard, from her house that had previously burned down, and she kept it, as she re-built right next to the old plot. Near the yard chimney, was a koi pond, with huge koi fish swimming in it, that my brother and I thought were at least 400 years old (they seemed it, to our little selves back then).
Ahhh, yes, a cake by the name of “Aunt Ruth” was sure to be a delicious, exciting one for me.
Aunt Ruth’s Favorite White Cake
(I’d like to think my Aunt Ruth wouldn’t have the right ingredients all the time, too.)
1 package white cake mix (I used yellow and it turned out great)
1 1/4 C water
2 T vegetable oil
1 t vanilla
1/2 t almond extract
Mix all together, follow the directions on the box. Bake in two 8 or 9 inch greased/floured pans for 30 minutes (mine were done before then, but my oven runs hot).
The frosting intrigued me. I have always been interested in trying a flour-based frosting.
Creamy White Frosting
1 C milk
3 T APF
1 C (2 sticks) US butter, softened
1 C powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
*I also added almond extract to the frosting*
Combine milk and flour in a saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until thickened. Cool.
Beat butter in a large bowl until cream. Add the powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Blend in vanilla (and almond, if you are doing that). Add flour mixture and beat until thick and smooth.
The cake came out like a bakery cake. It was moist and fluffy (albeit a little crumbly), and the taste was wonderful. I must admit, however, that the icing was not my favorite. It had a funny texture to me, almost as soft as a Crisco-based frosting, but even more so. It was weird. But I am happy I tried it. I gave almost half the cake to my sweet neighbors and she said it was fantastic.
Recipe taken from: The Cake Mix Bible
Give it a whirl! Or not!