Sunday, November 20, 2011

Homemade Cake Mix

I sometimes wish I were born in 18th century. I would have missed the internet and technology for sure, but there was a very nice balance for a family at that time. Men went outside and worked and brought home the money and women managed the house and raised the kids. At least in a perfect family situation.
Now that everyone (well, almost) is running to make a living, there is 'rushing' everywhere. Someone made big bucks out of this situation and started the trend of ready mixes. Name it and you have a ready mix for that. Betty crocker sure made a ton of money by starting this concept though. This is at least one step better than 'heat and eat' concept. Don't you agree?
People prefer to bake cakes using cake mixes for a reason. It is very hard to fail when you use them. Reason? Perfect proportions and good leavening agents. They are bad for one reason. Usage of shortening. They do use shortening that has quite a bit of transfat in them. But they rank high in moistness. It is because they combine shortening and oil. All oil based cakes are moist whereas the butter based cakes aren't.
I usually don't bake cakes using mixes. But, my pantry always has one yellow cake mix, one chocolate cake mix. That is because I make blondies and brownies out of them when I am pressed for time and I need them. This post has been long due. One of the readers asked about what to do when a recipe calls for a cake mix and she cannot get cake mixes where she lives. That prompted me to write this post. You will have to come back later in the week when I make a cake out of this mix.
One year back - Coconut Chocolate Rolls/Buns
Two years back - Mango Mini Muffins
Ingredients for the Yellow cake mix:
All purpose flour - 2 1/2 cups (11 Oz) - lightly spooned and measured
Sugar - 1 2/3 cups (12.2 Oz)
Baking Powder - 1 TBSP
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Shortening - 1/2 cup (3.5 Oz) or Cold butter (1 stick - 4 Oz)

To mix the batter:
All of the above cake mix
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup milk or buttermilk or yogurt
2 tsp Vanilla extract (Or 1 tsp vanilla + 1 tsp almond extract)


Method:
Take all the ingredients mentioned in the 'ingredients for the cake mix' in a large food processor bowl. Run the machine until the mixture resembles coarse meal and all the shortening or butter has been worked in. You could try and use a pastry blender, but you really have to work the butter or shortening well so that this recipe works. Store in an air tight container and use within 3 months. You can store it in freezer or refrigerator to keep it fresh.
If using butter instead of shortening, you will have to store it in refrigerator or freezer.

To bake the cake:
Grease and flour two 8" round pans or one 13 X 9 " pan. Preheat the oven to 350 F (325 in case of dark non stick pan or glass pans). Beat the cake mix that you have made, oil, milk or yogurt for one minute using an electric mixer or beat about 100 strokes if doing by hand. Add eggs one at a time and continue to beat at least 30 seconds after each addition. Add the extracts and continue beating for 10 seconds. Pour into the prepared pan and tap the pan to remove air bubbles. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Variations:

Chocolate Cake mix:
All purpose flour - 1 3/4 cups  - lightly spooned and measured
Unsweetened natural Cocoa - 3/4 cup
Sugar - 1 2/3 cups (12.2 Oz)
Baking Powder - 1 TBSP
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Shortening - 1/2 cup (3.5 Oz) or Cold butter (1 stick - 4 Oz)

To make the batter:
All of the cake mix
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup Vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups milk or buttermilk (Or replace part of the liquid with brewed coffee)

Spice Cake Mix:
Use the yellow cake mix recipe and add 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/8 tsp nutmeg to the dry mix.

White Cake Mix:
Same as yellow cake mix but while making the cake, instead of 3 large eggs, use 4 large egg whites.


Enjoy.
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18 comments:

  1. very usefull post...thanks for sharing :)

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  2. Thanks a lot for sharing with us this wonderfully made cake mix.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

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  3. This is very useful one!! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Excellent cake mix,thanks for sharing.

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  5. Very informative......thanks for sharing.

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  6. Hi there - first time commenting on your blogs. I do enjoy reading your recipes, thanks! Wondering if you had a good recipe for the base that can be used to bake without eggs. I usually bake with cake mix off the shelves and substitute a tablespoon of ground flax seed for every egg. And it's hit or miss on well it might hold. What's the secret?

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  7. Hi - thanks for blogging, I love to read your recipes. I'm wondering how this cake mix would do for an eggless cake - I usually add one tbsp ground flax seed per egg. Whether it will hold well or crumble and fall apart is hit or miss with store bought cake mixes. Any ideas for it to hold well without eggs?

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  8. Wonderful post Champa, will come back next week for the cake..:)

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  9. your ready mixes - muffin/pancake/ brownie and now this - have all been very useful. having come across your blog recently, i do read your posts with a lot of interest and excitement. cant say my kitchen results are as great but nice to read anyway!
    thanks a lot!

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  10. Mala,
    Thanks for the comment. Flax egg should work very well in almost any cake recipe. It gives that nutty taste though. Refer to the vanilla cake recipe on the blog which uses just some yogurt or sourcream. Ener-G egg replacer works well too if you are replacing 3 or less number of eggs.

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  11. Excellent post..!! waiting for a slice..until next week..:)

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  12. Hello Champa,

    Wonderful Post! Even I wish that we were in a perfect old world where we could focus on one thing rather than getting stretched across multiple directions! Have you tried baking cakes with whole grain flour? You are a baking scientist!

    Take care
    Raji.

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  13. wow! excellent post..

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  14. What kind of cake will these be? a simple sponge cake, ready to be frosted or like pound cake?
    thanks for sharing.

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  15. Anonymous,
    It will be more like sponge cake, but frosting is not entirely required. It definitely will not be as dense as pound cakes. Please visit back to see the cake sometime soon.

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If you have a question and you leave it as a comment, I'll surely answer the question to the best of my knowledge. Thanks for visiting.