Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Cake Mix Doctor wins again

[Day 18] 01.18.2010, originally uploaded by ashleytoo.
I was bored. It was spring semester of senior year, I wasn't taking many classes, I had just moved back to campus from the city - and I needed something to do. So, I decided to start cooking something. I headed over to the magnificent Wheaton Public Library and browsed the cooking section. Eventually I came across The Cake Mix Doctor, by Anne Byrn. I fell in love.

Byrn uses a cake mix as her main ingredient, adding things like sour cream, buttermilk, fruit, and pudding to liven up an otherwise plain cake mix. I'll confess - I didn't like cake before I started making the cakes out of this book. But these cakes are moist and delectable.

After I moved away from Wheaton, I couldn't keep checking out that book from the library. And of course I didn't want to spend the money on it. But my sister so wonderfully gave it to me for my birthday.

This one is "Mom's Layer Cake with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting."


Here's the recipe, for any of you interested.

Solid vegetable shortening for greasing the pans
Flour for dusting the pans
*NOTE: I used Wilton's Cake Release, which takes the place of both shortening and flour. Best $4 I ever spent.*
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix
1 cup whole milk
[I used skim and it turned out just fine - though whole milk is probably the better option]
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Fluffy Chocolate Frosting

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease two 9-inch round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pans aside.

2. Place the cake mix, milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look well blended. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven side by side.

3. Bake the cakes until they are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 27 to 29 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert them again onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up. Allow them to cool completely, 30 minutes more.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the Fluffy Chocolate Frosting.

5. Place one cake layer, right side up, on a serving platter. Spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer, right side up, on top of the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with clean, smooth strokes.

Fluffy Chocolate Frosting

2/3 cup cocoa
6 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Place the cocoa in a mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed.
2. Add the butter and beat at low speed until well mixed, about 30 seconds.
3. Add sugar and vanilla and beat in at low speed.
4. Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy.

And, then, most importantly - ENJOY!

Recipe via The Cake Mix Doctor.

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