Monday, February 27, 2012

Soda Cake FAIL!

The internet and Pinterest are replete with recipes for soda pop cakes.  The directions are simple.  Take one can of soda (any flavor, diet or regular) and add it to one cake mix.  That's it.  The photos show gorgeous, fluffy cakes that look as if they could melt in your mouth.  Easy enough, right?  Wrong!

Last Wednesday, when my sister and I decided upon an impromptu joint-family dinner before church, I was determined to whip up one of these delightful, two ingredient cakes to lavish on my family.  They would be so impressed and in awe of my culinary abilities that once they found out it was two ingredients, they would rush home to make their own decadent cakes.

I quickly decided that Coke and chocolate cake would be the most palatable concoction so I mixed it together, excited for the outcome.  I followed the directions perfectly.  In a mixing bowl, combine one can of soda pop with one cake mix.  *Do not add egg, oil or water.  Pour soda SLOWLY to avoid too much fizz.  Whisk ingredients together.  And there was a note....."this mix will be thicker than a regular cake mix." That sentence right there should have been the big red flag signaling my embarkation on disaster.   My cake was not only NOT thicker than usual, it was thinner - a lot thinner!  Not to be dissuaded however, I persevered.  I poured the cake mix into my lightly greased 9x13 pan, and slid it into my perfectly, pre-heated 350 degree oven.  I set the timer for 35 minutes, the exact time it should take to bake, and went about my business.

When the timer went off, I returned to the oven, the smell of chocolate cake hanging lightly in the air, and I opened the door to peek in on my masterpiece.  What the?!  Are you kidding me?  My "cake" if you could even call it that, looked more like a giant oil slick at the Indy 500, with bits of rubber floating on the top.  Either that, or a big, brown Earth with sludgy oceans and continents showing no life whatsoever.


I instantly decided, despite the instructions, that I hadn't cooked it long enough, so I returned it to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.  Then 5 more minutes.  Then I quit!

I tipped the pan sideways so you could really see just how liquid it was.  To be honest, I STILL have no idea what I did wrong.  I didn't know you could mess up a TWO ingredient cake.  I figured, even with my limited cooking abilities, I could handle mixing TWO ingredients together to produce a satisfactory product. Ugh!

Ultimately, I scratched the whole thing, whipped up another chocolate cake mix, this time WITH eggs, oil and water and voila!  Whaddya know?!  It produced a gorgeous, chocolate cake that sprang back at the touch and sat majestically in the pan, awaiting my homemade chocolate, buttercream frosting.

Whew!  Crisis averted.  And lesson learned.  The moral of the story is, at least for me anyhow, when baking a cake, don't try to get tricky, cut corners or leave things out.  Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines KNOW what they're doing - don't mess with them!


Clare said...

Is it wrong that I still want to try one? I am bummed that it didn't turn out- I will make sure I use a cheap cake mix if I try. By the way, MUST have recipe for buttercream. You can never have too much frosting... :)

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