Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Let Them Eat Egg Free Cake

I promise to start posting some everyday type recipes soon, but since baking is such a pain in the egg and dairy free world, I thought I would impart some thoughts on cake. :P

Before I found out that many Duncan Hines cake mixes were egg and dairy free, I experimented a bit trying a Crazy Cake recipe. Crazy cake was supposedly invented during the Great Depression Era when milk and eggs were hard to come by.

The recipe (from recipeezaar) is as follows:
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cold water


In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Make three wells in the flour mixture. In one put vanilla; in another the vinegar, and in the third the oil. Pour the cold water over the mixture and stir until moistened. Pour into 8 x 8-inch pan. Bake at 350°F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it springs back when touched lightly.

Verdict: Meh. I am probably not one to ask because I don't love chocolate cake. Blasphemy, I am aware. However, it got a passing grade from my husband. I looks like cake. It tastes like a bland cake. It has a slight texture issue. My parents didn't care for it, I don't think, because when I mentioned using it for my daughter's 1st birthday party I was met with some resistance. From what I have read of other reviews, some people enjoy it so maybe it suffered from chef's error. Maybe I am not perfect after all? That would suck.

So crazy cake is not a great substitute for our family. Maybe cake is one of those foods, like pizza, that you just have to give up on or eat a really poor alternative for. Nope! Duncan Hines has saved the day. Please note that not all variety of Duncan Hines are dairy free. Also note that most other brands DO contain dairy. Also, like any processed food, ingredients can change at any given time. Please remember to read labels!

Of course you cannot just make a cake from a mix according to the directions on the box. Let me help you out:

Egg/Dairy Free Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake

1 Box Moist Deluxe Classic Yellow Cake
1 1/3 Cups of Water
1/3 Cup Veg oil
4 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 7 tbsp warm water (mix together in a separate cup)

1. Preheat Oven to 350
2. Spray your cake pan with veg oil (I use one with flour mixed in.)
3. Mix all ingredients for 2 minutes.
4. Pour into pan
5. If using a standard 13x9 bake for 30-35 minutes. Cupcakes take 18-22.
6. Cool and frost.

Verdict: It tastes like cake. It looks like cake. It has almost the same texture as cake. Let's call it cake.

Happily, Pillsbury makes a couple dairy free frostings. If you are feeling ambitious, however, you are certainly able to make a butter cream using soy milk, powdered sugar, and a non dairy margarine such as Fleischmann's unsalted.

This cake was just frosted with canned frosting while I was experimenting for my daughter's birthday. (My son begged me to put candles on it, so we had an impromptu very merry unbirthday party one afternoon.)


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