Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It starts with a cake mix

I’ve heard all kinds of stories in the last few weeks about my readers searching for an angel food cake mix to make the two-ingredient pineapple cake! I’ve also heard how much everyone likes that recipe and even a variation. Co-worker Sonja Hayes made a cake using mandarin oranges instead of pineapple and said it was delicious.

So I decided to go searching for some more fun and easy recipes that use only a few ingredients. I’ve found two I want to share today. Both omit the oil and eggs but use a boxed cake mix.

The first recipe came from reader Susan Langston, who made the pineapple cake and took it to work where it went over very well. She also shared her quick cake recipe that has just two ingredients: a lemon cake mix and a 20-ounce bottle of Sprite Zero.

Apparently the soda cake is a popular one with cooks and comes in many varieties. You basically choose a cake mix flavor and a diet soda flavor that would complement it. For instance, devil’s food cake mix and a diet cherry cola; yellow cake mix with orange diet soda; strawberry cake mix with a lemony soda, such as Sprite or 7-Up; white cake mix with diet strawberry soda.

Susan’s recipe calls for a 20-ounce bottle of diet soda, but I’ve seen many other recipes that use a can of soda, which is 12 ounces. I made the cake with 20 ounces of diet 7-Up. I chose 7-Up because I couldn’t find a Sprite Zero in the two stores I checked.

The cake mixes up in a few minutes and sort of fizzes as it rises in the bowl. I loved that! It was almost like a science experiment.

Susan described the cake as having the consistency of a lemon bar, especially if you sprinkle powdered sugar on top. I think that’s a good description. It’s more spongy than a cake made with eggs and oil.

In my online research, I found that some people make a glaze for their cake, using the soda as the liquid. Others use whipped topping.

I made the second two-ingredient recipe last night. I had heard people talk about an easy pumpkin muffin, and boy is this easy. In about an hour, I stopped at the grocery store, bought a spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin, went home and made the muffins, cooked and ate one. They are yummy. So flavorful and very moist and perfect for a mid-morning snack.

The recipe, which I found at the Duncan Hines website, suggested adding a few tablespoons of milk if the batter was too stiff. I did that, but it probably would have been fine without it. I also sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on top of my muffins before baking, just for a little added taste and visual appeal.

I will make these muffins again and might add some chopped pecans the next time.

I’m also including the chocolate covered cherry cake from last May. I mentioned it in that same Feb. 15 column, and a number of readers said they had missed it.

If you ever need to find one of my recipes, and you have internet access, go to www.wilsontimes.com. Click Life, then Lisa’s Blog. Or go straight to lisabatts.blogspot.com. Along the side of the blog page is an archive of recipes, arranged by when they appeared in the paper.

I’m hoping I’ve given you enough variety this week so no one has to go searching in vain for a sold-out cake mix!

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake
  • 1 18.25 oz. box devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 21 oz. can cherry pie filling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
With a mixer, combine all ingredients in a bowl for 2 minutes until combined.

Pour into a 13X9-inch pan prepared with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Chocolate Glaze
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pour chocolate chips and butter into microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir until chips are blended. Mix in honey and vanilla extract. Frost cake or cupcakes.

Pumpkin Muffins
  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of pure pumpkin
These are the only two ingredients you need. You do not follow the cake instructions on the box. Mix the can of pumpkin and cake mix together. You may add a few tablespoons of milk to help moisten the batter. Put batter in mini muffin pan or regular sized muffin pan sprayed with baking spray.

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or when toothpick comes out clean.

Duncan Hines

Soda Cake
  • 1 box cake mix
  • 20-ounces soda*
Mix these ingredients only. Do not follow ingredient list on cake mix box.

Choose cake size, temperature and cooking time from the cake box. Pour into prepared pan.

You can use any combination of cake and soda you prefer. I used a lemon cake mix and 20 ounces of Diet 7-Up. I cooked my cake in a prepared 9X13 pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Once the cake was cooled, I sprinkled powdered sugar on top.

*Many online recipes call for a can of soda, which is 12 ounces. I used the equivalent of a 20-ounce bottle as did Susan Langston, who shared the recipe.


  1. Do you know of a recipe where you mix dry cake mixes where one of them is angel food cake? Use the newly created mix with 3T of water in a mug, then microwave for so many minutes. I don't know how much mix is used or how many minutes in the microwave. Can you help?? Thanks.

    1. 3tablespoons mix to 2tablespoons water in mug ..mix well. Microwave for one minute and let cool 3-5 minutes. Hope this helps you :)

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