Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yes. You can use a cake mix and still call it "from scratch"

Since the invention of the cake mix in whatever year that was, our palates have become accustomed to the taste and texture of "Party in a Box!" Who has not been confronted at least once, nay a zillion times, by this:


I guarantee you that a cake mix came into play for this cake. I'm not sure what came into play for the icing and as for the decorating, here was the inner monologue: "Hey! After scrawling 'Happy Birthday', I have enough red stuff in this little tube to make dots!"

Cake decorators use mixes all the time. Especially wedding cake bakers. They will tell you it's from scratch, but most of the time it's not. It's a doctored cake mix. But since most cake decorators are jolly, rotund Midwestern women with impeccable morals, they simply add the scratch ingredients to the mix and tell themselves and Jesus that they're not lying to you.

Cake decorators call it "WASC", which stands for White Almond Sour Cream. The "WASC Method" can also be used for every cake mix flavor, not only to pump up the moistness and flavor, but also to pump up the volume. All are good, but the white cake is amazing. A regular cake mix will yield about 24 cupcakes. A WASC cake will yield 36+.

WHITE ALMOND SOUR CREAM CAKE

1 white cake mix (without pudding)
1 C. flour
1 C. sugar
3/4 t. salt
2 T. vegetable oil
1 1/3 C. water
2 t. vanilla
2 t. almond extract
1 C. sour cream
4 lg. egg whites

Throw everything into your Kitchen Aid in the order given and beat until well blended. Ha ha! You just think it's well blended. Stop everything and scrape the bottom because dollars to doughnuts, there's dry junk in the bottom of the bowl.

But Linda, why can't I just use the plain old white cake mix, call it day and go watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta? Because sloth is a sin and that's a stupid, stupid show.


These women have never baked a cake, although I'm sure the lady in the purple dress has eaten a few. Today.




COMING UP: MAKING YOUR OWN CAKE MIX.

14 comments:

ajrfman said...

Looks delicious!

musicmom37 said...

You know that cake in the picture? I think I made that cake. I probably have that very picture somewhere. Surely I have made many very similar. Oh, the shame...
Cake Boss and all those midwestern farm wives are not going to be happy with you for spilling their secret about the mix, but I'm delighted to have the recipe. If you're not an almond fan, can you add something else besides almond extract? Liquor, maybe?

Not only have I made the cake in the picture, I think I AM the woman in the purple dress....Hooray for cake!

Linda said...

You do not have to use the almond extract. You can use anything you like! Including liquor. Just be careful not to use a liquor that will change the color if you wish to keep with the white.

Debbie said...

On October 12, 2008 a cake very similar to the one in the picture found its way into my kitchen to celebrate youngest child's birthday...It was prepared lovingly-without any poisons or things inside-by her older sister. She chose pink icing and did dots as well as hearts. A week or so later I prepared a birthday cake for said child mine was a black forest cherry cheesecake that I forgot to put the flour in...We had fudge with cherries on top...ate it with spoons...

Linda said...

Fudge with cherries sounds like a happy accident. Unlike the time I put flour in the frosting instead of powdered sugar. Oh come on. They're right next to each other and the same color and I was in a hurry.*

*Frosting was never served to anyone. Fortunately I make it a practice to taste everything, including batter.

Laura said...

Gotta try this "homemade" recipe, and can't wait to see what you do next!

onlinepastrychef said...

And....she's off!!! Hilarious. I will now go promote this on Twitter:)

Tangled Noodle said...

With Online Pastry Chef's enthusiastic tweet, I came by to say hello, welcome and can't wait to read more of your posts! I'm not waiting for anyone to get married before I make a WASC . . .

Danny said...

Yummy... can't wait to try it... you sound like an amazing cook?

Danny said...

I ran home at noon to try this... I only had two eggs so I found four Robin's eggs in the tree outside my window. I washed them off and stirred them into my mix... When I took them out of the oven, I had to put a brink on them to keep them from flying to the ceiling, but that was solved when I put the icing on the cake... the little dots really helped to hold things together and I think this is a start of a new baking craze (you are brilliant!). The cake tasted funny and I couldn't keep my cat off of it... so I scraped all the icing off of it and tied a rope around it. I brought it to my neighbor and gave it to her as a present. She does not talk to me anymore. I just want to say thank you and I hope you put something new up soon for me to bake... I see four more eggs in that nest... thank you Accidental Pastry Chef... you are wonderful.

Susan said...

Thanks for letting me know how to make a boxed cake my own. Now, how do I do the same with canned icing or perhaps you have a quick, easy, and delicious recipe. Will you be telling us how to decorate in future blogs? I want to be just like the Cake Boss (without the screaming sisters)

Linda said...

Susan - my next post deals with the frosting issue. I will show you how to make the BEST chocolate frosting ever and it's so easy you will never buy that wretched can again! I will be glad to give you some easy decorating tips. Not sure I can turn you into Cake Boss, but you should be able to make a respectable special occasion cake. Thanks for posting and stay tuned!

Kitty said...

Bah! Dear APC, see the look of stress on my face? Firstly, I can't GET Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker cake mixes where I live and secondly, I WANT to make a WASC from scratch, meaning, 100% from scratch. Do YOU know of a recipe where you get the same texture and structure of WASC but DON'T use a mix to start with? Please? If not I guess I'll just have to toy around with recipes until I find one then re-comment when I find a winner. Stay tuned...

Joanne said...

Thank you! I was short on time and while I had a box of white cake mix, I wanted something more from scratch. This is a great recipe! The cupcakes were fantastic! I loved the flavor, they were dense but light at the same time. I will use this again.