December 1, 2013

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix ~ #SundaySupper


I've found I have a problem communicating about foodie things with non-foodies. I mean conversations with them sort of go like this:

Them: These cookies are really good, where did you get the recipe?
Me: No where. I made it up.
Them: Really? How do you do that?
Me: I dunno, I just kind of... do.

Or they go like:

G: Kim makes marshmallows.
Co-worker: You make marshmallows?
Me: I make marshmallows.
Co-worker: How do you make marshmallows?
Me: Oh, it's easy. You just cook some sugar to the soft-ball stage, add it to the softened gelatin, then whip it until it's nice and airy.
Co-worker: ... Right.

Or like recently:

Co-worker: And you make everything from scratch? You don't use mixes?
Me: I actually make my own mixes.
Co-worker: To sell?
Me: No, just... cause. It's fun.

You can't beat a mix for convenience when baking, I will freely admit to that. But a boxed mix tastes like a boxed mix. You can't beat homemade for taste.
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That's right: the convenience of a mix plus the taste of homemade. And it's so easy to make your own mix; it only takes a few minutes, and then you can whip up an entirely homemade cake easy-peasy next time you need it. Seriously, there's no downsides here. Plus, in the cake batter All THE THINGS era we live in at the moment, you can use homemade mix instead of the preservative-laden, pricey boxed alternatives.
Now, I use butter-flavored shortening in my mixes because it's shelf-stable. I know a lot of people are weirded out by shortening, and I've already been over the reasons that you shouldn't be (non-hydrogenated shortening is available if you're worried about trans fat, and shortening actually contains less saturated (bad) fat and more unsaturated (good) fat per serving than butter.), but you're not likely to change your minds on my say-so, so you can use cold butter, you just have to store the mix in the freezer.

(And please, do not suggest coconut oil to me. That is a pet peeve of mine when people assume something is healthy just because they use it. It's great for cooking, but I've done the research and it's most certainly not health food. Although, if you want coconut cake, that might work as a substitution)
That's Cupcake 'Bot, the cupcake-inspired robot I designed and got 3D printed. Isn't he sweet? (I may or may not have been completely at a loss as to how to photograph cake mix and so broke out the toy robots)

Anyway, yellow cake is one of the most basic staples in any baker's repertoire, and the best for getting that real cake batter flavor. I based this mix off of my favorite yellow cake recipe (bet you can't guess from where), and doesn't have any weirdy powdered ingredients like powdered peanut butter or powdered food coloring. (Although I did see powdered vanilla at Candyland today, and I was tempted to buy it)(I seriously may have a cake mix making problem). So take 5 minutes out of your day and make this mix. Next time you need to bake a cake, you'll be so glad that you did.
Yellow Cake Mix
Yield: Approx. 5½ cups dry mix

Ingredients
2¼ cups flour
1½ cups sugar
½ cup powdered milk (optional)
2½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
¾ cup butter flavored shortening

Directions
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the shortening. Using a pastry cutter (or pulse in a food processor) cut in the shortening until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place up to 6 months.

To bake: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease and flour, or line with parchment paper, two 9-inch round cake tins. Combine the mix with 3 eggs, ¾ water (or milk, if not using powdered), 1 tsp. almond extract, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Mix well until no lumps remain. Divide the batter equally between the 2 prepared pans, and bake 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks.

Based on the Yellow Cake recipe from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook
This week's #SundaySupper, hosted by DB of Crazy Foodie Stunts, has got you covered, both literally and figuratively. I've got you covered with the convenience of a mix but without having to go boxed. The rest of the group has got your back with the recipes below.

Covered Appetizers and Entre├ęs
Covered Desserts
Not Sure What To Do? We Got You Covered
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.