My previous posts about the applesauce spice and chocolate mix-in-the-pan cakes continue to generate a LOT of mail. I receive the same two questions over and over… “Are these cakes really that easy to make?” and “Are they as good as a cake from a mix?” The answer to both questions is a resounding yes.
With just three easy steps, anyone… even someone who has never made a cake before… can make these delicious, preservative-free cakes from start to finish in about as much time as it would take to use a commercial cake mix. And for anyone dealing with allergies, both of these cakes are milk, egg, and soy-free.
Step One: Measure out all of the ingredients. Put all the dry ingredients directly into the ungreased 8-inch square pan. The photograph shows the ingredients for the applesauce spice cake, but the procedure is exactly the same for the chocolate cake… all the dry ingredients go directly into the baking pan.
Step Two: Mix all the dry ingredients together in the pan before adding any of the wet ingredients. I like to use a metal whisk to mix the dry ingredients, but a large spoon works too.
Step Three: Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients in the pan and use the whisk or spoon to mix everything together. Be sure to mix into the corners… and don’t overmix or beat. Just mix enough to achieve a smooth batter that has all of the wet and dry ingredients incorporated.
Bake the cake in a preheated 350°F oven for thirty-five to forty minutes. In my oven, these cakes are always “ready” at the end of thirty-five minutes, but you can easily test for doneness by inserting a knife or toothpick into the center of the cake. When the cake is done, the knife or toothpick will come out clean.
Put the cake, still in its pan, on a rack to cool. Both of these cakes should come out of the pan easily if you let them cool and then run a knife around the edge of the cake. My family likes both of these cakes just as they come out of the pan, without icing. The applesauce cake in this photograph had an even shorter life than usual… this one never even got a chance to cool!
I added raisins to the cake I made for this tutorial… about half a cup… and mixed them into the dry ingredients. While I had all the ingredients out, I also measured out the dry ingredients for a second cake and put them into a plastic bag with an “applesauce spice cake mix” label. The next time I want to make this cake, all I will have to do is to measure out the wet ingredients and the applesauce, so the next cake will be even faster and easier to make! Make a mix for the chocolate cake the same way, by packaging only the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients when you make the cake.