Drunken Spice Cake

I opened up my cupboard last weekend and saw that I had yellow cake mix. I am starting to think that I have short term memory loss, as I cannot remember why I bought it. Anyway, it was the base for this week’s experiment that ended up going to work in a waft of cinnamon-scented goodness.
Even after all of the pins that are on my “Cakes and Pies” board on Pinterest, I still found this new recipe here: http://itsthelittlethingsblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/monogram-monday-crack-cake.html

What You Need
For the Cake:
1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 small box vanilla pudding instant mix
2 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup white wine

For the glaze:
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup white wine

And Here’s What You Do
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix all above ingredients together
3. Pour into a Bundt pan
4. Bake for one hour

When the cake comes out of the oven, melt 1 stick of butter into 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of white wine. Pour directly into the pan on top of the still-hot cake. Let cool completely before removing.

photo 1

Comments
Let’s talk a minute on Bundt pans. I’m not sure why I have two, or even where they came from, but I have them. I think my mom had four or five, all pretty much the same size and shape. I’ve seen some gorgeous pans out there that make beautiful cakes. And I do like the way they turn out. However, I have yet to master the art of getting a cake out of one of these without somehow damaging the cake. They’ve stuck to the bottom, they’ve left their entire top level inside the pan, etc. When I am successful, it is because I’ve oiled and floured the thing to within an inch of it’s usefulness, and end up with uncooked flour bits all over my finished cake (which I end up brushing off with a pastry brush). If anyone has the secret to this, can you let me know?

Anyway, back to the cake. The recipe says to bake for an hour. However, I kept an eye on my oven, and my cake was done at about 40 minutes. Now, the oven had been cleaned the day before, so I suppose that it is possible that the extra-super-clean insides make the cake bake faster. However, I haven’t seen this phenomena repeated in the past week, so it’s tough to say.

I mixed all of this by hand – Just me, the bowl, and a big old spoon. Since I had to mix everything by hand in the days before my hand mixer and the stand mixer, it makes me appreciate the appliance that make our lives just a little easier. And sometimes I just don’t want to haul the stand mixer in from the garage (teeny kitchen does not make for lots of counter space).

However, even if this cake did lose a little bit of it’s top to the bottom of the pan, it still turned out quite delicious. I took this in last Monday, the same day that we welcomed a new coworker. After eating a piece, he asked me what new thing I had made for him every day. Great, I’ve created a monster…

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Chess Squares

I came across this recipe on Pinterest, and since Scott gave me the blessing to make other things for him beside cookies to take work, I thought I would go with a nice and easy bar cookie.  The recipe that follows seemed easy enough.

Original recipe is here: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dessert/chess-squares.html Apparently they are very close to the Gooey Butter Cake recipe from Paula Deen as well.

What You Need

1 box yellow cake mix

3 eggs

1 stick butter (melted)

8 oz cream cheese, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

 

And Here’s What You Do

Preheat oven to 300.  Grease a 9×13 pan.  Mix the cake mix, butter, and 1 egg together until combined.  Press the soft dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.

Please excuse my fingerprints!

Mix together the cream cheese, the powdered sugar, and the remaining two eggs.  Pour evenly on top of the crust in the pan.

Lovely and creamy!

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top is golden.

 

What I Did

I was about halfway through pushing the crust into the pan when I realized that this recipe is almost identical to Scott’s recipe for “Chewy Cheese Cookies”.  Really the only thing that is missing is the nuts.  So, I made him the same cookies that he makes for people all of the time.  So much for trying something completely new!

 

Reaction

They didn’t look identical to the chewy cheese cookies in that they resembled cheesecake just a little bit more.  Scott says they are really good, but a bit sweeter than the cookies that he makes.  He also doesn’t use as much sugar as his recipe calls for.  They are also a bit gooier than his cookies.  But really, they are both fantastic!

Oh yum!

He said that he would also like to wait until they cool completely and see if they set up a bit more.  I guess we’ll see if they last that long!

 

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Pumpkin Muffins – Fall is Here!

Okay, so fall is sorta here.  In Florida, fall means the evenings are mostly nice, and you won’t feel like you need a shower the minute you step outside.  I sometimes miss the week of fall weather that I used to have in Alaska…

Maybe I just need to move.

Anyway, the arrival of fall kicks off the season of my favorite flavors – pumpkin, spice, caramel, peppermint, cranberry etc.  I love pumpkin in pretty much anything, and I’ve seen this recipe kicked around a few times in Weight Watchers cookbooks, in Hungry Girl emails, and I decided it was time to give them a try.

Here’s What You Need:

1 18.25 oz yellow cake mix

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

And Here’s What You Do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix ingredients together (hand mixer will do, or a spoon and elbow grease).  Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.  Divide the batter equally amongst the 12 liners.  Bake 20-25 minutes.
What I Did:

Not one to just stick with one idea, I decided to make three (yes, three) different versions of this recipe.  I bought yellow, chocolate, and spice cake mixes (Oh, and for those of you who read my post about the chocolate toffee cookies a few weeks ago, yes, they do make cake mixes that big.  But Walmart does not carry them.  Publix does.)  and three cans of pumpkin.

Mix, mix, mix…

I also bought myself a cookie scoop.  It looks like a small ice cream scoop, but it’s bigger than a melon baller.  It’s awesome. As you can see by the picture, It makes lovely round balls of batter.

It also makes for more uniform portions.  It’s my new best friend!

Anyway, these little beauties came out of the oven and filled our humble abode with the delightful smells of fall.  We dug into them (because we have to test for quality!) and immediately fell in love!  I think the best part is that they are pretty much GUILT FREE!!!  No eggs, no oil, and you can make them gluten free because I saw gluten free cake mixes (how seriously cool is that?)

Scott allowed me to take some to work.  I think I took 24 to work with me.   They were gone in 30 minutes.
Reaction:

Three people at work told me today that they too had made the muffins over the weekend, and marveled at how easy they are to make.  Yayy!!!  I love hearing people trying out recipes that I’ve shared with them!!!

I will definitely hang on to this recipe.  It’s crazy easy, and you can’t really mess it up, unless you burn them, and that’s not great.  Burned pumpkin is not a fantastic smell.

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes