Raiding the larder of ideas.

What one family eats, plans to eat, dreams of eating. Plus, other food and kitchen-related stuff from the home of steak-and-potatoes, pie and fresh green beans from the garden.

Monday, August 24, 2015

So I Bake with a Sody-Pop, or, A Simple Cake Made Somewhat Complicated

I decided to run an experiment, today. For the past couple of years, the thing that's been all over the internet is the cake made from one box of cake mix and one can of pop (soda, to you on the coasts, and for my friends & family south of the Mason-Dixon, whatever flavor of Coke you have).

Well, I have gluten-free cake mixes, and they require a slightly different treatment from the regular mixes: where the usual Duncan Hines and such call for water, oil and eggs, the Aldi yellow cake mix ups the ante and calls for milk instead of the water.  And, so, to the powdered milk box I went, and added 1/3 cup of dry Carnation brand. Plus, I put in some powdered egg equivalent to three actual eggs sans liquid, two tablespoons of butter powder, and a trace of cinnamon. Because.

My choice for pop was one which, around here, is only occasionally to be found at the Big Lots stores, and I like drinking it so much I was reluctant to risk it in such a manner, but, nothing ventured...

And, of course, I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I plumped and tenderized some dried cranberries in hot water (okay, I plunked them into water and nuked them for 90 seconds, until they started to boil), then drained them and tossed them in brown sugar and cinnamon, to be strewn throughout and more on top.

Sometimes I could probably use a supervisor to tell me when I'm making things unnecessarily complicated, especially as involves the brainless cake. After all, the point of this was supposed to be to see if I could make a tasty cake with just a box of gluten free mix and a bottle of pop. 

But I think I can safely say that it is possible. Just not by me.

Simple cake made complicated (sort of)


1 box gluten-free yellow cake mix
1 (12-ounce) bottle of your zippiest ginger brew or ginger ale
1/3 cup powdered milk
6 Tablespoons powdered egg
2 Tablespoons powdered butter
3 teaspoons cinnamon, separated
1/2 cup dried cranberries, plumped in hot water and then drained
2 Tablespoons brown sugar or brown sugar substitute, plus a little more for decoration


With the rack in the center of the oven, preheat oven to 350º F.

Grease the bottom of an 8"x8" cake pan, then line bottom of pan with parchment, and lightly grease that (you can trim off the flaps, if you want, but I like to leave them there, to help with removing cake from pan later on, as well as removing parchment from cake).

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk or sift together all the dry ingredients except the brown sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon, until they are completely mixed.

In a small bowl, mix together the cranberries, brown sugar, and remaining 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

Fold in the soda pop with a rubber (or silicone) mixing spatula.

Pour half the batter into the pan. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the cranberry mixture across the surface, then pour the remaining cake batter over that, and sprinkle the rest of the cranberry mixture on top. If desired, top with a light sprinkling of more brown sugar, to create a sparkly crust (it gets a little bit that way on its own – it's the nature of this mix already to be faintly crisp-topped).

Bake at 350º F for 41-45 minutes, or, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely in pan on cooling rack.

Serve with cinnamon/ginger whipped cream or a small scoop of ice cream and some cinnamon sugar.

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