Monday, March 10

Cake Mix is for more than cakes!

Looking for a new twist on dessert tonight? Have last minute company coming? Have cake mix, but don't really want to bake a cake? Then welcome to my new obsession and use cake mix as an ingredient not a finally product.

These days we are all looking for something fun to do in the kitchen. Often we want to try something new without having to buy a bunch of ingredients. I find that substituting cake mix in several different recipes allows me to be creative and cost efficient.

Cake mix is usually a well balanced blend of your essential baking needs: flavor, flour, sugar, rising agent. By using cake mix as base ingredient you can create several flavor combinations, just by using different cake mixes. I like making my own from scratch and keeping a few in the pantry. But you can easily buy a few on sale and keep them for just this occasion!

I usually keep at least my four "basic" flavors on hand, vanilla, devil's food, white, and golden yellow. Use vanilla for any citrus or savory flavor such as orange or lemon. Use devil's food for anything you want to have a strong chocolate flavor (chocolate cake mix actually dulls in flavor a little). Use white for any fruit or spice flavor such as raspberry or cinnamon. Use golden yellow when you want a base which does not over shadow the final flavors.

Getting to know your way around using cake mix as a base ingredient is actually quick and easy. You can always start by blending different flavors into cupcakes. Try dividing one cake mix into three equal parts and flavoring each part individually. If you want to try something completely different, try baking Cake Cookies, Whoopee pies, Dessert Bars, Breakfast muffins, or even bread pudding.

Once you get the basic flavors down you can easily experiment with others! Try Carrot or Lemon poppy for fancy fall holiday party treats. Try Lemon chiffon or Gingerbread for winter holiday celebrations. Try Strawberry or Angel food for your spring and summer parties. Remember your cake mix is just a blank canvas for you creativity!