I hope your Thanksgiving was amazing and filled with love and I hope you got some laugh lines in the process. I know I did and I’m so thankful for all that God has blessed me with. Both my heart and belly were full and I got to kiss my nephew’s sweet cheeks for three days in a row.
During the holidays I love for my home to smell like baking. Most of the time I accomplish this by simply burning a candle or by using my oil burner. But when I’m on break, I bake to achieve that warm sweet smell that reminds me of love and family and all things happy. I typically bake my brownies or pies and sometimes cupcakes. I’ve strayed away from making cakes in the past because they have never turned out how I wanted them to. I love cakes to be super moist and I like them more dense than fluffy. Over the years I’ve done things to try to achieve the moisture and texture that I wanted but it was never up to par in my eyes. But this break I decided that I was going to become a cake master. By my third attempt in two days, I think I reached my goal. The first cake was not that great, and it is actually the only one still sadly left in my kitchen. Turns out, I was trying to reinvent the wheel when all I really needed to do was turn to Rachel Ray. A simple Google search for “how to make a dense cake” immediately pointed me to this page where I found some awesome tips.
I personally like yellow cake. I wasn’t trying to make it from scratch so I got boxed cake. I got two boxes of the Duncan Hines Butter Golden and 2 boxed of Betty Crocker SuperMoist Butter Yellow cake mix. I will say that with the reject cake I used the Betty Crocker Box. But the fact that it was a reject cake was my fault. I used Duncan Hines the next two times because I have had so much luck with them with my brownies.
For yellow cake Rachel recommends adding extra egg yolks, substituting water with milk, and adding vanilla extract as well. She also recommends adding sugar to the top right before putting it in the over so that it won’t rise as much (this was awesome advice that I followed as well). The results were amazing the second time and even better the third time.
The third time I wanted to see if using margarine instead of real butter would make a difference and I also wanted to reduce the time even more the third try to see if I could hold even more moisture. The second time I let the cake bake for 25 min. The third time I reduced it to 22 min. I was using two 8 inch pans each time by the way. And I want to throw in that I actually liked it more with margarine than I did with the real butter. Adding the vanilla also really gave the cake an amazing taste. All in all my third cake was my favorite although I only got one slice of it. That was probably for the best anyways.
The link to the article can be found here: http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/18513_cake_over_how_to_make_boxed_cake_mix_better/
PS-For Icing I mixed Duncan Hines Buttercream and Pillsbury Funfetti Vanilla (I think the pastel sprinkles are pretty.)
I hope this may help someone else out who may have the same issue. There’s nothing worse than having a cake that looks pretty but is as dry as crackers. If anyone has any more tips feel free to comment and share the wealth!