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This week’s obsession: Valentine’s Day Cake

I've got another confession to make:

I cheated.

On Valentine’s Day, of all days.

It wasn’t my fault, really. The temptation was right there in front of me. Right there in my house! The allure was irresistible. My desire was undeniable. The tantalizing need to just do it couldn’t be stopped. I knew it would be quick and easy... so I did it.

I… used a box cake mix.

I know! I know! It’s just that I was strapped for time. And honestly I don’t know where the box mix came from, but it was there, and I just... used it. #PLEASEFORGIVEME

If it makes you feel any better, I didn’t follow the directions ;) #RebelChef

Chocolate and cherry cake.

Ooooh no, I took matters into my own hands to make this cake great. First I decided that the batter needed an extra egg. Chefs tend to use more eggs in their baking because it keeps things moist, which is all anyone ever really wants out of a cake anyway. Also eggs are typically the binding agents in the recipe (read: it holds all the yummy stuff together as it undergoes the heating process), so they provide a stronger structure - something to consider doing if you want to build a multi-tiered wedding cake or some other edifice of that nature. Next I replaced the entire amount of water with milk to make it richer. Milk also is rumored to give cakes a longer shelf life (so I’ve heard - I’ll have to do some research on that one because I have no idea how it works), which is always good. And lastly, I absolutely did not use oil in my cake like the box mix instructs. Who uses oil in cakes, anyway?? (Oh that’s right, people who make red velvet cake ::vom:: Read my thoughts about that here.) I used melted butter instead because I am a southern belle, and that’s how I cook. And you know what… it came out quite nicely!

And I didn’t even get to talk to you about the frosting yet! It’s my simple American buttercream frosting but I poured maraschino cherry juice into it to get a nice cherry flavor. The pink color is an added bonus that I was not upset about since it was for Valentine’s Day. Look how pretty!

I used a decorating technique that I've wanted to try for quite some time, and it actually made the cake process go by even faster. I didn't cover the outside with frosting, but instead I piped individual stars with my piping tip in between each layer of cake for what I think is quite an appealing pattern. I repeated the pattern on the top layer of the whole cake tower and dusted it with some sprinkles and garnished the whole thing with bright red maraschino cherries. It was done in no time!

Ok, while I'll admit that this wasn't my finest moment as far as baking cakes goes, it definitely saved me a ton of time and was still extremely well received by my guests who didn't even bat and eye when I told them that the cake was from a box mix. Plus if you're in a pinch and need to save some time, doctoring up a box mix can actually be a good (and tasty) method for doing so.

Happy eating, y'all!



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