The One About Cake

This week Penny and Jude are away for Thanksgiving and so I sadly will not be seeing them, therefore no craft for the week. Even though the kids aren’t around I will still be posting this week, and today it is about cake! Busy Day Cake to be exact. I know I mentioned this cake in my post when the kids and I made pumpkin butter, and now I want to tell you more about it.

Busy Day Cake, by the wonderful Betty Crocker, is a life saver. Plus it is super inexpensive to make! I cannot tell you how many times I have used the recipe. I finally had to find it online and pin it so that I could have the recipe wherever I go. I’ve made it when I have simply had a craving for cake, with the kids for fun, in a pinch when I realized I needed to make a cake for someone, and every other excuse I have ever come up with to make a cake.

The recipe itself is super simple, and you can add pretty much anything to it to liven it up. In the past I have added cocoa powder to turn it into a chocolate cake, chocolate chips for much the same reason, apples and cinnamon for a fall flair, and berries for a sweet summery taste. I have also baked the original recipe many times and gotten compliments on the flavor.

Now that you know how much I love this recipe I am going to tell you about one of my successes with it and the only failure I have ever had with it. First off, the success. Now sadly I don’t have any pictures of my successful cakes other than the one my friend Hannah and I made for the pumpkin butter so I’ll tell you about that one. We went with the original recipe because we thought it would go well with the flavors ing the butter. Even with the kids running around wild we were able to throw the cake to together no problem. It is honestly the easiest homemade cake recipe, it rivals box mix in ease. The cake came out beautiful and when paired with the pumpkin butter it was divine! My mouth is actually watering thinking about it… 20141009_155733

I have now shown you how easy it is to make, even with kids. I’ve really set myself up badly for this next story. It was the weekend so I didn’t have the kids, I had had a craving for apple cake all week, and I was supposed to go over my friend’s house in the afternoon to hangout with him and one of his friends I had never met. I decided that with all those things combined it was the perfect time to bake a quick apple cake. I prep the apples, cutting them up, and added cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of sugar. I then whipped up the batter. I put a nice layer of the apples at the bottom of the pan so that when I flipped it onto the plate when it was cool it would look pretty, and added the rest throughout. I turned on the timer and went about my business. The apples were so juicy that the cake took an extra 30-40 minutes to bake. My friend was texting me because I was supposed to be over his house and I’m never late. The cake finally came out of the over and I put it in a bigger baking pan to transport it, wanting to get to my friend’s house as soon as possible. There are two doors in the front of my house, a glass one and a wooden one. My mom held the wooden one open for me and I pushed the glass one open. The glass door swung back and grazed the corner of the larger baking pan… the pan and cake went flying!wpid-20141018_143401.jpg

I stood in utter shock in my front yard looking down on the mess that was just a second before my beautiful apple cake. My mom came to my rescue. She got spatulas from kitchen and helped me put the cake back in the pan and pick the grass and leaves out. We ended up eating the cake and it was delious! But my friends still ask me if I remember the time I  destroyed the cake, as if I could forget! Well there you have it, I hope you too have enjoyed my cake disaster. Have a happy Thanksgiving, and I will be back on Friday with another story about my time with the kids.


Pumpkin Butter and Cake

The pumpkin butter was a success! I am so happy to report that yesterday I made pumpkin butter with the kids without a hitch. Ok maybe almost without a hitch is a better way to put it. As I was setting up all the stuff to make the butter the kids went a little crazy. We were at my house yesterday and my mom was taking care of two kids herself. Usually Penny and Jude get along famously with the kids my mom watches, let’s call them James (5 years old) and Amy (2 years old), but yesterday was different. I was in the kitchen pulling out all the ingredients when BAM pandemonium! Amy pushed Jude, Jude took Amy’s toy, James desperately wanted a hug from Penny,Penny didn’t want to give James a hug, and EVERYONE was screaming! I ended up having to discipline Jude and deal with all the screaming before I was able to start the pumpkin butter. 20141009_100929

Once the madness was over I got back to the task at hand, making the pumpkin butter. Just before all the drama I had set all the ingredients out so I called James and Penny over to help me measure and put the pumpkin and the white sugar in. Then I had Jude come over and help me with the brown sugar. And finally I had little Amy help me stir it all together. I held off putting the spices in until 30 minutes from the end of the cook time because I had seen in another recipe that by doing that the spices came through better. And so with the pumpkin and sugars mixed in the crock pot I let it cook on high for the 3 hours, stirring occasionally to stop it from burning.  Every time I took the lid off to stir it I was hit with the pungent smell of pumpkin, it was a good way to spend a few hours. As I said in my prediction, I almost forgot about stirring it at one point because I was doing homework luckily my best friend, Hannah, was down stairs and stirred it for me.



The end result was delicious. Hannah having a sweet tooth craving decided to bake a little Busy Day Cake while the kids were napping and I was doing homework. By the way Busy Day Cake is a great easy recipe for when you need a quick no fuss cake. And so after the kids got up from nap I cut up slices of cake and served it with the pumpkin butter on top. Let me tell you YUM! There is nothing like fresh cake with fresh pumpkin butter on top! Needless to say the kids were happy, not only did we get to make something in the morning but we got to eat it over cake in the afternoon. I think this recipe is great and would encourage all those who don’t want to go through roasting their own pumpkin to try out this recipe. The kids were pleased and so am I, I mean how could you not just look at the end result!20141009_155733

Pumpkin Butter in Theory

DSC_1814-copyOctober has arrived and with it all things fall. Through my pinning I was able to find four activities that fit the theme of the month, fall and Halloween. In this first week of October I have chosen to make pumpkin butter with the kids. They love toast and so anything to put on top of it is sure to be a hit. The pin led me to a blog post by the blogger Recipes that Crock. A funny name I must admit.

The recipe appealed to me because it is made in a crock pot, which means the kids and I will do a little work in the morning and then we can go play while our pumpkin butter cooks. Crock pots are ideal to use when with kids, you can throw all the ingredients in and then practically forget about it until it is done. Like I said ideal! Crock pot cooking is also ideal when you have a lot to do and just don’t want to have think about cooking. Just don’t completely forget about what you have in the crock pot! Anyway back to pumpkin butter and the kids. Other than the recipe using a crock pot the ingredients and directions are really simple! In the morning the kids and I have to put all the ingredients into the crock pot and 3 hours later we will have a tasty treat. Now I have found a bunch of a bunch of pumpkin butter recipes that use an actual pumpkin to make the butter and as much as my little hipster heart would love to say I was going to use a fresh fall squash and not a can I can’t lie… I don’t have time for real pumpkin! When making butter from a fresh pumpkin you have to roast the pumpkin first and then cook it with the seasonings for on average 5 hours. That is between 3-4 hours of extra work that I just don’t have time for! And so this time I’m using canned pumpkin, judge me is you must.

Alright so here is the part of the post that I imagine what could go wrong while making this, hopefully, yummy fall themed spread. Can pumpkin is well stocked at my local food store so I don’t have to worry about another borax fiasco, thank God! However there are other things that could go awry. The kids could dump too much of any of the seasonings into the pot making it taste overly spiced or just plain gross. They could get in a fit that comes to shoving and then there goes the canned pumpkin flying across the kitchen and then SPLAT! on the ground. I could forget to turn off the crock pot after 3 hours and burn the what would have been tasty afternoon snack. I hope none of these things happen, cause I really want to eat some pumpkin butter!

So the stage is set; in 2 days I will arm myself with a mixing spoon and apron and attempt to flawlessly make pumpkin butter with Penny and Jude. Will it work? We don’t know but come Friday afternoon I will tell you. Stay tuned this adventure has just begun!