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DIY Cake Mix

In our quest to find the perfect egg replacement for a cake, we’ve started to experiment with making our own cake mix.  The first reason was to have a mix that no longer had all that extra crap that cake mixes do (just read the ingredients, it will make you cringe).  The second reason was that cake mixes are just getting so expensive.  It’s insane.

Thankfully, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  This recipe from Treats and Trinkets was a perfect starting point.  I’ve only started with the yellow cake mix because I felt that it was less loss if it didn’t work out.

While I was working on that, we got the best idea.  Someone shared on facebook a graphic that showed how to mix cake mixes with soda to make various flavored cakes.  We don’t drink soda but keep a steady supply of cans of seltzer water.  Would it be possible to make a cake mix with seltzer?

The result was amazing.  The cakes are firm, tender and wonderful.  You may not be egg free but want a treat with a little less sugar/calories/fat.  This is perfect.  Just a cake mix and a can of seltzer water – stir until the mix is wet (might still be lumpy), put in a greased cake pan and bake as you would normally.

So, would this work with homemade cake mix?  See my cake above?  That was homemade cake mix and a can of seltzer.  I did underbake it so that’s why it looks funky.  I should have listened to my instinct and put it back in the oven for a few minutes.

The making is easy – dry ingredients went into a ziplock bag.  I did omit the shortening because I just wasn’t sure if it was necessary (and we don’t use shortening).  The dry mix will store indefinitely.  Once I was ready, I added coconut oil in place of the shortening and then a can of seltzer.  The batter was really lumpy but I had most of the seltzer blended in (there will be a slight layer of bubbles when finished but no liquid pooling on top).  Poured into my 9×13 pan which I greased with more coconut oil and baked for 25 minutes.  I think it needed 30-35 minutes.

When you take the cake out, it should have some browning around the edges, be firm in the middle (and not super sticky) and a toothpick inserted should come out clean.  Even slightly undercooked, this cake is awesome.  It has a nice coconut vanilla flavor.

DIY Cake Mix (ala Sara)

2 1/4 cups flour (use all purpose white or white wheat)

1 1/4 cups vanilla sugar*

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix all ingredients in a large ziplock bag for storage.

When ready to make the cake add 3/4 cup fat (coconut oil, softened butter, shortening, oil).  Blend well.  Add 1 12 oz can of seltzer water.  Mix until all of the dry ingredients are wet and there is no liquid pooling.

Pour into a 9×13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes until the cake is done.

Adjust time for cupcakes (check at 15 minutes) and smaller cake pans, such as 2 round pans.

Let cool and frost as desired or eat as is.

*Vanilla sugar – you need 6-8 cups sugar and a vanilla bean.  Add 3 cups sugar and vanilla bean to blender or food processor.  Blend until sugar is fine and vanilla bean is mostly pulverized.  Add more sugar.  Taste periodically and stop adding sugar when the vanilla flavor is muted (or you reach 8 cups of sugar).  Store in glass jar.  Sift through fine sieve when using to remove large pieces of vanilla (return to jar to continue to flavor sugar).

Vanilla bits can be added to the next batch with a new vanilla bean.