Friday, April 21, 2017


Cake is one of the best things to come out of a home kitchen. There's something soothing and satisfying as well as fun about freshly baked layers with or without icing. It's fun using a mix but also fun attempting an old fashioned scratch cake. The end result is always delicious.

As soon as my new oven was installed I bought mixes, from brownie to cake ones. I love Duncan Hines and have had nothing but luck with them, knock wood. As everyone knows last week was the Easter Cupcake Extravaganza. I baked twenty-two devil's food cupcakes, topped with that yummy, creamy cream cheese frosting, the recipe coming from the All Recipes site. To be honest it was a bit too much with the topping along with the candy bunny sprinkles I bought at Target. Devil's food is elegant and should not be gaudied up . I realized that as I took the first bite. The next time the cupcakes (or cake) will be just left alone , save for a light dusting of confectioner's sugar. My next foray will be lemon cake with  - what else a lemon infused cream cheese frosting. Will I ever try Pillsbury and Betty Crocker cake mixes? Pillsbury has pineapple and strawberry flavored mixes that look intriguing. As for Betty Crocker, I may try their cherry chip and Red Velvet. Their flavors aren't that much different from Duncan Hines, though. Duncan Hines has a wider variety such as marble cake along with blue and pink velvet cake mixes.They also have an orange supreme cake which looks way too tempting.

Scratch cakes are also on my baking horizon. There's always been a controversy regarding them. Of course scratch cakes don;t have that chemical cocktail of preservatives and flavors. They do
 taste better, Butter and chocolate ones are richer tasting,making the cake eater crave another piece right away. You do need to add baking powder and granulated sugar as well as milk , salt and vanilla.Scratch cakes can also allow home bakers to be a bit more creative, subbing in almond extract for vanilla or adding fruit to the batter. I would love to try a marble scratch cake that was popular in the Eighties.My Mom and I used to bake it a lot and it was wonderful. The marble veins were dense and gooey with chocolate. The recipe itself came from the New York Daily News and unfortunately, despite the vastness of the Internet, the recipe isn't found anywhere.There is a Martha Stewart recipe which also calls for buttermilk. It's more of a pound cake, which is still good and to me, a perfect cake for summer.I may try my hand at it , just for the sake of trying it.

Cake baking is surprisingly a personal matter. Many home bakers, like myself, have definite favorites and will always stick with them. Cake is not just cake. What it is depends on the mix and brand along with how the baker makes it.

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