Saturday, July 5, 2014

Patriotic NOT Tie-Dye Cake

Alright, I know I'm not alone in being the kind of person who becomes a bit frustrated or annoyed when the cake picture she has in her head is DIFFERENT from the cake that comes out of the oven. In the kitchen (oh, who am I kidding?) IN LIFE, I tend to get annoyed when the real thing doesn't measure up to the perfect picture in my head. Can you relate?

Sally from Sally's Baking Addiction is partially to blame for always making such GORGEOUS desserts! I had the picture of HER tie-dye cake in my head when I set out to make MY tie-dye layer cake. It was going to be beautiful! Stunning! Moist! Swirly! YES!!

And then...I forgot to add butter to the cake batter. Oh, I melted it, alright--and left it in the microwave, where I found it about an hour later, solidified, abandoned, and forgotten. Fantastic. So while the batter was indeed vibrant, thick, and beautiful, it didn't quite run together and form the magical tie-dye vision that I had imagined.
So. I had to compromise. "I can't call it TIE-DYE," I reasoned, "Because it's NOT! It's blobs of highly pigmented cake batter that baked together in the exact formation as they went into the pan." (I'm not very lenient when it comes to the use of terms like "tie-dye", apparently). I was annoyed--and slightly worried that the cake might not be as moist without the butter in there (once I figured out that I forgot to use it!)
Anyway, I had to let it go. But WHATEVER it's called, it really turned out to be absolutely delicious. It WAS moist, very soft, and one of the stars of the party--especially with the Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting I used to cover the NOT tie-dye cakes. Maybe that made it healthier? Eh.
  • 1 box white cake mix, with ingredients to make it
  • 1 box vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Red and blue food colors (I used Wilton Gel Colors)
  • Sprinkles for decoration
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, or grease and flour. Set aside.

Prepare cake batter according directions on the box; add vanilla pudding mix and vanilla extract. (Don't forget to add the butter/oil that the recipe calls for!) Divide the white batter into three separate bowls.
Use your gel colors or food coloring to dye batter; leave one bowl plain if you want. Scoop large spoonfuls of each batter and layer them into prepared baking pan. The colors should create a tie-dye effect.

Bake as directed, and cool--then frost and decorate with sprinkles! You can use this for cupcakes as well!

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