August 24, 2009 by skwishface
It’s been said several times on this here bloggy thing that I’m intimidated by baking. And things that intimidate me kinda piss me off. So it’s been my quest, recently, to square off against the spectre of baking and conquer it. It also helps that I’ve recently been saddled with an excessive amount of eggs. One can only eat so many omelettes before one starts looking for other things to do with eggs.
So I did. Conquer it. And in the process, I discovered that it’s easy. Fun. Way less scary than I thought it would be.
In short, I felt like Bob. Ahoy! I’m a baker! I bake!
Swiss Army Cake
2 cups sugar
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Printable version of this recipe, with less rambling instructions, available here.
Note: this cake has nothing whatsoever to do with the Swiss or their notorious Army. I’m just trying to find a clever way to convey the idea that this cake is super versatile. Trying. Probably failing. But there’s cake, so I don’t feel so bad.
First, let’s talk hardware. See that ingredient list? That’s alot of stuff to try and stir together with a fork (my usual mixing method). A while back, my Mom brought her handy-dandy-never-fail-wonderful hand mixer over during whirlwind weekend of cupcake baking for The Boy’s second birthday. And somehow, the mixer never went home with her.
It’s a Black & Decker Spatula Smart, and I think it’s older than me. I certainly can’t remember my Mom’s kitchen without it. There are gilded holiday childhood memories in my brain, featuring this mixer. Specifically the beaters, covered in some batter or frosting or other sugary goodness, and me waiting breathlessly for the opportunity to lick them clean.
We have history, this mixer and I. It watched me grow up. And now we confront one another as adults. Sunrise, sunset.
Time to test this puppy out. See if it’ll perform for me as well as it did for my Mom all these years.
Eggs and sugar in the bowl!
Moment of truth. Take a deep breath, push the button, and dare to dream…
I (barely) resisted the urge to cackle madly at my own success, and got busy adding the rest of the ingredients.
And hey! Look who came out of hiding!
Vanilla added! Put the mixer to it, and a minute or so later it looks like this:
I greased up a 9×13 pan (a Pyrex-ian piece of art that somehow found its way into my possession) and poured in the batter.
Into the oven at 350 for about 30-40 minutes. Poke it in the middle to check for done-ness (if the knife comes out clean, it’s done). And you WILL NOT BELIEVE what came out.
I resisted the urge to just lay my face down on the cake’s fragrant pillowyness. It’s so sproingy! So spongey! So ready to soak up sauces and juices and yumminess! And it has a faint nutty flavor to go along with the rich vanilla scent. Also, this recipe makes alot of cake. Any leftovers can go in the freezer, where I have no idea how long they’ll keep because we ate them.
So I let the cake cool. And then I did things to it.
Ahoy. I am a baker. I BAKE.