Cakes – small bouts of creativity

I am not much of a cook – I readily admit that.  But I’ve recently started to experiment a bit, and I’ve actually made a few things I am quite proud of.  Those who know me well will not be surprised to learn that these are all in the dessert category.  I really need to experiment with actual meals.  Maybe that will come later.  :)

But for now, here are my latest successes:

 

Chocolate Pudding Cake (sorry, no picture of this one – I didn’t think to take one)

This came from mixing a Tiramisu recipe (minus the coffee) with a cherry chocolate cake (Bryan loves cherries and I love chocolate cake – especially devil’s food cake).  This is probably the most “creative” of the three cakes.

1 pkg chocolate cake mix
at least 8oz whipped topping (thawed), divided
2 4oz boxes instant vanilla pudding mix (I accidently got the “cook and serve” kind the first time I made the Tiramisu recipe and it was not fun to correct)
3 c milk
8 oz cream cheese, slightly softened (optional – we didn’t have this when I made the cake, though)
Fruit of choice, drained (can use 1 cup as a guideline, but really put on as much as you want):
        Marachino Cherries
        Fresh or frozen blueberries
        Fresh or frozen raspberries

Divide the cake mix between two large pans (I used one 11×15 and one 9×13 and divided the batter such that they’d be about the same depth).  Bake until cooked thoroughly.  Cool in pans.

Mix the pudding mix and milk (stir for two minutes, refrigerate for five).  Add the cream cheese and half of the whipped cream.  Mix thoroughly.  Pour onto one of the cakes (the larger one if you have different sizes).  Crumble the other cake on top (and you can press down a bit, if desired).  Spread on the rest of the whipped topping.  Top with fruit of choice.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Stars and Stripes Cake (mostly taken from Kraft Kitchens)

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Making this cake made me feel creative, though all I can take credit for is the addition of pudding.  I’d never baked a cake with pudding in it, so this was an experiment – and luckily it turned out really good.  :)  I must admit feeling proud of how cute it looked, too.  I can’t take credit for the flag idea, but I can take credit for placing the fruit.  :)

1 pkg white cake mix (prepare batter as directed)
1 small pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
2 c milk
8 oz whipped topping (thawed)
Fresh Strawberries (cut in half)
Fresh Blueberries

Mix the cake according to box instructions.  Using a rectangular pan (I used 11×15), start baking.  Immediately mix the vanilla pudding mix and milk (stir for 2 minutes, then refrigerate in bowl for 5 minutes).  When the cake has baked for 1/3 to 1/2 the time, remove it from the oven and add the pudding, making about 12 “drops” of pudding on top of the partially-baked cake.  Put back in oven and finish baking (make sure cake is fully baked around the pudding!).  Let cool completely – I recommend refrigerating.  “Frost” with the whipped topping once the cake is cool (so it doesn’t melt – I started a little too early and had to deal with that).  Add the blueberries and strawberries to resemble a flag.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Emma’s Birthday Cake

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OK, so I really can’t take credit for any of the recipe/baking on this one.  It’s extremely simple.  But I was still proud of the “creative” way I decorated the cake.  And it was heart-warming to hear Emma tell random people the next day that “Mommy made my birthday cake” and then talk about how it had strawberries, blueberries, and letters on it.  :)

 

If anyone really wants this “recipe,” here it is in all its glory:

1 pkg white cake mix (prepare as directed)
8 oz whipped topping (thawed)
Fresh Strawberries (cut in half)
Fresh Blueberries
Decorating gel

Make and bake cake according to box directions.  Cool completely (this time I did put it in the fridge and it worked much better).  “Frost” with whipped topping.  Decorate.  :)

Jonathan declared this was a “good cake.”  But he had wanted to add a little decoration, too.  So here is the cake after Jonathan finished helping:

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I don’t remember what the blobs were (though I know at least one – the biggest – was an attempt to make the “H”), but he wanted to write on her cake, so he gave us an extra “T” (below “Happy”) and “H” (right after “Emma”).  I was impressed that he did that with the cake gel – it’s not easy to write with that stuff!  :)  He felt really proud to have helped with her cake.  :)

 

So, yes.  There is definitely a theme in these cakes.  I like whipped topping and pudding.  :)  It’s not much, but I’m just proud that I did something a little creative with food.  :)

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