Monday, April 9, 2018

Busy Day Kind Of Cake


Seriously. I am meeting myself coming and going up and down the interstate lately. I'm in a season of life that is a busy one. But like all seasons, it will fade and pass into the next one. A slower one, I think. The wedding is less than a month away. Last minute details need attention. Truly, I'm not the one in charge, but I do have a few duties.

Before we left last week for a final look at the venue, I finally unpacked from the TWO previous trips. Those two were so close together that I dropped a suitcase and picked up a smaller bag and went again. For three days this week, I have the luxury of being at home—if luxury means doing laundry and catching up on neglected chores. And today I'm completely happy to be doing that.

And I wanted to spend a little time in the kitchen. Notice I said "little time." Supper tonight is just a bowl of soup. Perfect since it's been cold enough for us to have a fire going for the last two days. And because Daddy-O will be here by himself for a few days at the end of the week, I wanted to bake him a treat to enjoy while I'm gone. An easy treat.

I bake a pretty good lemon pound cake. But some days, like today, don't have enough hours to get everything done. There was certainly no time for baking a homemade pound cake. That's when I want easy. I want quick. I want convenience.

One of the earliest convenience foods was boxed cake mix. I think cake mix is better when you doctor it up, so I tried a recipe from my friend Duncan...Duncan Hines. I made a recipe straight off the side of the box because I also had a box of pudding mix in the pantry. I figured that was a sign that this was the right recipe to bake.

Homemade pound cake it is not. Not pound cake that is dense and fine-grained smooth textured like a good homemade pound cake should be. (I can't even call this one pound cake, although that's what the recipe on the box says.) But it was surprisingly good. Good enough for a church dinner. Good enough to take to a neighbor. Good enough that I'm putting the recipe here so that I can find it again. (Who knows what recipe will be on the next box of cake mix I buy?) Then I added the finishing touch—a homemade lemon glaze that is just stirred together.

EASY LEMON CAKE

1 box Duncan Hines Signature Lemon Supreme cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) box instant lemon pudding & pie filling mix
4 large eggs
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt cake pan. (I used Baker's Joy spray.)
Put cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water and oil in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until well blended. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack placed over waxed paper. While cake is cooling, make the glaze. Use a toothpick or a fork and poke holes in the cake to let the glaze soak in. Spoon lemon glaze over warm cake.

     Lemon Glaze:

     1-3/4 cup powdered sugar
     juice of one large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
     1 tablespoon melted butter*
     1 tablespoon water or so, if needed to thin it

     Mix all together with a whisk until smooth and you can drizzle it over the cake.
     If the glaze it too thick, add water a teaspoon at a time until the property
     consistency is reached.

     *If your butter is unsalted, add the tiniest pinch of salt.

In the interest of full disclosure here, I didn't measure anything for the glaze. I just eyeballed the amounts. You can get it to the right consistency by adding a little more water if it's too thick. Or add a little more sugar if it's too thin. And then taste it to see if you need to squeeze the last drops of juice out of that lemon and add that. That's all there is to it!





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