Cake Fail (x2)

I am a failure at baking boxed cake mixes.  A total, utter and complete failure.

In my defense, being a vegan ups the ante on the boxed cake a bit.  But not as much as my two attempts would indicate.

Many boxed  cake mixes are vegan, comprised of a whole lot of impossible to pronounce ingredients, but not of milk or eggs or butter.  The two mixes I picked left it up to the baker to add the eggs and the oil or butter (or Earth’s Balance, in my case).  Doesn’t sound too difficult, right?  Right.

The first cake I tried on Christmas night, after everything had wound down; my parents, Amy and I were kicking around, and a quick cake and coffee treat seemed in order.  The chocolate cake mix called for 3 eggs.  I decided on applesauce as my egg substitute, and dumped 3/4 of a cup into the mix.  Fast forward through the cake’s allotted bake time–it is still like batter in the center.  I left it in until the edges teetered on the threshold of overdone.  The result?  Molten cake.  Not like the cute little molten cakes that are actually baked properly and then surprise the delighted diner with a warm chocolate filling.  Nope.  The whole dang cake was the consistency of pudding.  And we ate it anyway.  My dad kept saying, “Well, it doesn’t TASTE bad…”

I approached cake #2 with grim determination (the cake mixes had been by one get one at Publix).  I mentally sorted through my limited knowledge of baking.  None of the recipes that I had baked successfully had ever used over 1/3 cup of applesauce.  And, to make pancakes, I use one teaspoon apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of baking powder to sub for the egg.  So, since the cake called for 3 eggs, I used 1/4 cup of applesauce and 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and 2 teaspoons of baking powder.  Sounds like a plan, right?  I KNOW.

I can’t tell you exactly how the cake turned out, because the consistency depended on where the cake was cut.  Oh, wait… you are confused?  Me, too!  One corner was moist, but crumbly.  The other corner had a consistency like brownies.  The middle was sunken in a bit and almost molten (but not quite).  Totally edible.  But totally weird.

I give up.  I will make cakes from scratch (using a recipe, of course!).  And one day my daughter will say to me, “Why don’t you ever bake cakes out of the box like Nana does?”

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