It’s the official beginning of the summer season around about these parts, so break out those white shoes and belts and stuff secure in the knowledge that even Serial Mom will leave you be.
Well, until just after Labor Day.
So, since you’re gonna be spending a whole lotta time shining up all those bright, white accessories, how’s about we toss together a cake that is almost too stoopid to be real, bit is, in fact, quite good.
So good, in fact, that I have four other versions posted to this here web blog thing-y! One was the Root Beer Float Cake, made with chocolate cake mix and root beer. Then, for a little sumpin’ sumpin’ fruity, there was the Strawberry Cream Cake, made with a strawberry mix and cream soda. The Orange Cream Cake tastes pretty much exactly how it sounds, and the Pineapple Upside Down Cake, made with spicy ginger beer, was also very good, tho’ it kinda fell apart as I turned it out of the bundt pan. Whether that was a function of the pan I used (ceramic, I’ve since replaced it, but haven’t yet tried the cake again with the new pan), or if it is a vagary of the whole “cake mix and soda” thing, I cannot say. All the other versions I’ve made so far, as is, indeed, this one, have been sheet cakes designed for ease of transport. I will note, tho, that the pineapple upside down cake was the only time my (almost) never fail cake pan coating actually, ermmm, failed.
So, all that said, go ahead and try this as a layer cake if you like; but then… you probably have a ‘do to go to anyway, why not bring an easily transportable, delicious, cake in a pan and call it a day?
Yeh, I thought you might could see it that way.
Cake Pan Coating:
•1 tbsp solid shortening
•1 tbsp flour
•1 tbsp canola oil
•1 box super moist chocolate cake mix
•12 oz Dr. Pepper
•5 cups confectioners’ sugar
•6 tablespoons cocoa
•1/2 cup butter
•1/4 cup heavy cream
•2 tsp vanilla
•3 or 4 tbsp hot coffee/espresso
•A bit of freshly ground black pepper*
Note: you can skip the cake pan coating if you’re gonna do a sheet cake, tho it wouldn’t hurt to use it.
To make the cake pan coating, mix the shortening together in a small bowl with the flour and the oil using a fork, then paint your pan of choice with the coating until well covered.
To make the cake, open the mix and place in a large mixing bowl.
Pour in the Dr. Pepper – my market sells the olde timey all sugar, no corn sweeteners version, so that’s what I used. Do not try to use diet.
There is nothing else you need to add to the cake mix. Just the soda.
Mix according to instructions on the back of the box, again, no eggs, no oil, no nothing else needed, just the method, mixing at what speed(s) for how many minutes.
Turn the batter into your cake pan(s) of choice and bake, again, according to the instructions on the back of the box.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Now, sure, you could just open a can of frosting and call it a job well done, but…
The cake was pretty simple, so why not make a most excellent frosting?
Cream the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and butter together in a large mixing bowl with the whisk attachment. Beat in heavy cream and vanilla. Add small amounts hot espresso (instant is fine) until desired spreading consistency is reached.
*Oh, about that bit of black pepper? I learned this trick from a chef at his restaurant in Baltimore. He added a bit of freshly ground black pepper into a citrus sorbet and it added a surprising level of complexity to a simple palate cleanser. I’ve since gone on to try it in both chocolate and regular buttercream and cream cheese frostings, and really like the hint of a “zip” it adds to them.
Frost the cake and serve as you will…
fine as it is, I am fairly certain no one would so no to a bit of good quality vanilla (or even tequila coffee liqueur) ice cream on the side.