The Only Cake Recipe You Will Ever Need: The 1-2-3-4 Anything Cake & Optional Glaze

The Only Cake Recipe You Will Ever Need: The 1-2-3-4 Anything Cake

The road to parenthood was not simple one for us. So, when we granted the blessing of children, I was eager to celebrate their birthdays with a homemade cake, decorated with roses.

Just before their first birthday, with great excitement, I enrolled in a local cake decorating class.

The class was definitely a learning experience. But, not in the way one might expect.

I learned that cake decorating is really sugar art. The cake functions similar to the canvas of a painting.

The greatest lesson I learned, however, was that I do not like decorating cakes. I found it very time consuming and very labor intensive.

So, my days of cake decorating came quickly to an end. I have not touched an icing tip since.

This was the cake recipe that I used for my class. It is the perfect cake for the time challenged cook. It is fast and easy, only uses one bowl, and it is easily adaptable.

I have included all the multiple variations, so you see how this is really the only cake recipe that you will ever need.

The marble cake I just posted is also one of the many variations.

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar (white or brown or a combination)

1 cup oil

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla, almond, lemon, etc.

1 cup liquid (water, juice, milk, coffee, etc.)

3 cups flour — I used spelt, but you can use a gluten-free flour blend, almond flour, corn meal or any other flour too. The texture, however, may be slightly altered.

3 tsp. baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt (a “pinch”)

Optional Variations:

Chocolate Chip Cake: stir in 1 cup chocolate chips when mixed

As You Like It Cake: stir in 1 cup chopped nuts, dried fruit, etc.

Chocolate Cake: 1/2 cup cocoa for 1/2 cup flour for a chocolate cake

Spice Cake: add 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg, dash white pepper to dry ingredients

Lemon Spice Cake: add 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, dash white pepper to dry ingredients and, add 1 lemon zested to the wet ingredients. Do not add lemon juice for the liquid because then the baking powder will work differently. You could try adding baking soda instead, but I have never personally tried that.

Almond Spice Cake: add 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, dash white pepper and 1/4 cup ground almonds when adding flour.

Lemon Poppy Cake: Add 1 lemon zested to the wet ingredients and ¼ cup of poppy seeds to the dry ingredients.

Marble Cake: Pour ¾ of batter into the pan. Then, with the remaining batter, add 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Pour over vanilla batter in stripes. Gently swirl with a knife. Do not over mix!

Instructions:

By hand: beat eggs, and sugar. Add oil and vanilla. Alternate adding the liquid and the dry ingredients until blended.

With a food processor: Mix eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in food process for 1 minute. Slowly add liquid until well blended. Add flour, salt and baking powder and pulse until just blended.

Stir in nuts, chocolate chips or dried fruit if using.

Pour batter into a greased, sprayed or parchment lined pan.

This can be made in a greased and lightly floured Bundt pan, or two 9″ layers, one 9″x 13″ rectangular cake or 24 cupcakes.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until done and when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Although I didn’t intent to add a glaze, Raizel made a special request. How could I say no?

Optional Glaze

Ingredients:

1 cup icing sugar

4 teaspoons of milk or liquid (I use rice milk, but lemon juice also works)

Instructions:

Pour icing sugar in a bowl. Add the liquid 1 teaspoon at a time and stir until desired consistency.

Drizzle over cake, while slightly warm.

This cake also freezes well, with or without a glaze.

Here are the pictures:

 

Yaffa decided to help take pictures and took this one all by herself.

This is my picture, attempting to avoid shadows.

 

Fresh out of the oven, ready to frost😉

 

Raizel REALLY wanted it frosted.

Raizel approved!

 

Raizel, as you can see loved it. I gave her a piece fresh out of the oven.

After not baking a cake for quite a while, Raizel has come to the realization that homemade, from scratch cakes are REALLY yummy!

Raizel said, “I really missed homemade cakes.”

I am also very grateful for my trusty oven thermometer. It is making such a big difference!

Hurrah!

Enjoy!

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50 thoughts on “The Only Cake Recipe You Will Ever Need: The 1-2-3-4 Anything Cake & Optional Glaze

  1. jennymarie4 November 30, 2016 at 8:16 PM Reply

    Yum! That really does sound like the perfect cake, and I like how you can add ingredients to change it up a bit. Wish I could cut a slice right now and eat it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kewrites December 1, 2016 at 5:29 AM Reply

    This is just perfect! You make it sound very easy:-) Now I feel like baking some cake or better still just eating

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cooking For The Time Challenged December 1, 2016 at 5:41 AM Reply

      I promise you, this was VERY easy. I made it before going to work. It takes about 15 minutes to put it together, assuming you use a parchment lined pan. Also, very little clean up. The trick is to wash the food processor right away. Enjoy this is a virtual cake — no calories. 🍰

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ann Coleman December 1, 2016 at 10:55 AM Reply

    That looks good and easy! I think I’ll try it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. mrpipponders December 2, 2016 at 5:39 AM Reply

    Thank you so much for this lovely recipe! So useful and so yummy! Lucky children (yes, they really are blessings, aren’t they?) Pip

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cooking For The Time Challenged December 2, 2016 at 2:22 PM Reply

      Everything I bake is more or less an adaptation of this. I am very grateful to have children. It is not something that I take for granted. 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lynne hoareau December 3, 2016 at 12:48 PM Reply

    This really sounds perfect. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. sportsattitudes December 4, 2016 at 11:10 AM Reply

    No fail baking gets a passing grade for me. Cakes, pies and cookies will be rolling off the Holiday assembly line soon. Hope you are having a good one Carol!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. koolkosherkitchen December 4, 2016 at 9:42 PM Reply

    Great post – one recipe adaptable to anything! I am glad to see that Yaffa is also participating; that’s wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sumith December 5, 2016 at 7:59 AM Reply

    This sounds absolutely delicious!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lynz Real Cooking December 6, 2016 at 10:14 AM Reply

    This looks so yummy

    Liked by 2 people

  10. munchkinontheroad December 7, 2016 at 5:35 PM Reply

    Bake Sale Approved! There was a woman who baked only 1,2,3,4 cakes for every annual bake sale in three different flavors; vanilla, chocolate, and lemon. While they aren’t my favorite cake, they do taste tons better than even the best box cakes and were usually the first cakes to go every year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cooking For The Time Challenged December 7, 2016 at 6:21 PM Reply

      I am so happy to hear that someone else did the same thing and that this recipe is bake sale approved too! Of course, now I want to know what your favorite cake is, so please post. I made a variation of your plum torte, that I am hoping to post soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • munchkinontheroad December 7, 2016 at 7:55 PM

        There are so many yummy cakes its hard to choose just one. Chocolate fudge cakes with chocolate ganache frosting is always tops with me. But once a year my mother used to buy me this time consuming cake for my birthday. It Is Truly Cake Nirvana….

        ITALIAN RUM CAKE

        Ingredients:
        5 egg yolks
        5 egg whites
        1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
        1 1/4 cups pastry flour, sifted
        1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind (optional)

        Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8 or 9-inch cake pans. Set aside.
        Place egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until lemon colored. Add flour, a little at a time, blending it in well. Add vanilla and lemon rind (if using it).
        Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into cake mixture.
        Pour cake batter into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cakes from oven and turn out of pans onto wire racks to cool completely.

        (2) ITALIAN PASTRY CREAM

        Ingredients:
        3 tablespoons granulated sugar
        3 egg yolks
        3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
        1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
        2 cups whole milk
        1 tablespoon butter
        Place sugar, egg yolks, flour, lemon rind (if using), and vanilla in a saucepan and mix together well.
        In a separate saucepan, scald milk. Very slowly pour milk over egg yolk mixture, in a thin stream, beating constantly with rotary beater. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture reaches the boiling point. Cook 4 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat, add butter and mix well. Pour into bowl and let cool, stir occasionally to prevent skin from forming over the top.
        Chill (with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming) until very thick (about 3-4 hours).

        (4) CHOCOLATE PASTRY CREAM

        Ingredients:
        3 tablespoons granulated sugar
        3 egg yolks
        3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
        1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
        2 cups whole milk
        2 ounces baking chocolate, grated
        1 tablespoon butter
        Place sugar, egg yolks flour, and vanilla in a saucepan and mix together well.
        In a separate saucepan, scald milk. Very slowly pour milk over egg yolk mixture, in a thin stream, beating constantly with rotary beater. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture reaches the boiling point. Cook 4 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Add chocolate and while stirring, cook 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat, add butter and mix well. Pour into bowl and let cool, stir occasionally to prevent skin from forming over the top.
        Chill (with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming) until very thick (about 3-4 hours).

        (5) STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM

        Ingredients:
        2 cups heavy cream
        1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        2 teaspoons light corn syrup
        In a large chilled bowl, with chilled beaters, beat cold cream until it just starts to thicken. Add corn syrup and vanilla from the side of the bowl, and beat until stiff peaks form.

        (6) THE ASSEMBLY

        Additional Ingredients:
        Rum
        Sliced blanched almonds

        Combine 1/3 cup of rum with 1/3 cup of water.
        Slice sponge cakes in half (horizontally) to form two layers. Using a long, thin bladed knife, cut/split each layer in half lengthwise making four thin layers.
        Place bottom sponge layer on platter cut side up, sprinkle/brush with about 1/4 of the rum (be careful not to get the cake too wet, or layers will become soggy). Allow sprinkled/brushed rum to soak into the cake for about 5 minutes.
        Sprinkle/brush remaining sponge layers (on the cut side) evenly with remaining rum.
        Spread a layer of vanilla pastry cream on the first sponge layer.
        Top the vanilla cream layer with another layer of rum sprinkled sponge cake.
        Spread a layer of stabilized whipped cream on the second sponge layer.
        Top the whipped cream layer with another layer of rum sprinkled sponge cake.
        Spread a layer of chocolate pastry cream on the third sponge layer.
        Top the chocolate layer with the last layer of sponge cake.
        Frost the top sponge cake layer and sides of cake with remaining stabilized whipped cream. Cover sides of cake with sliced almonds, or decorate as desired. Place cake in refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cooking For The Time Challenged December 7, 2016 at 8:02 PM

        Oh my gosh! That is a labor of love!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cooking For The Time Challenged December 7, 2016 at 9:26 PM

        You are a true cook with a discriminating palate. This cake is truly cake nirvana!🎂 wow! I can’t believe your mother made this for you every year. Very loving!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Sheryl December 7, 2016 at 11:02 PM Reply

    The recipe looks wonderful. I like how it has so many variations.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Elizabeth December 12, 2016 at 1:47 PM Reply

    Friends usually expect me to show up with a treat but sometimes I just don’t feel up to a lot of labor-intensive baking. This is fabulous! Thank you so much!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Joëlle December 20, 2016 at 9:36 AM Reply

    Still learning to bake gluten-free after four years, I now try to simplify my recipes. This one sounds so easy, thank you for sharing it!
    Like you, I have not had much luck at decorating cakes. As an excuse, I tell myself that no one needs the extra sugar !

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cooking For The Time Challenged December 20, 2016 at 9:25 PM Reply

      Enjoy! The texture is different when baking GF. It is tricky. I usually use spelt. But now, there are so many choices.

      To me, cake decorating is really art, using the medium of sugar. Unless it’s fun, what’s the point?

      Liked by 2 people

  14. susanpots December 20, 2016 at 12:06 PM Reply

    I made a from-scratch cake very recently, which only got a B grade. Will try this recipe next time. May have to try it soon, so family has great memories of my home-made, from-scratch cakes!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Steph McCoy December 21, 2016 at 3:48 PM Reply

    Your cake looks so good!! Too bad I gave up sweets because this is one recipe that would become my go-to. The versatility is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cooking For The Time Challenged December 21, 2016 at 10:12 PM Reply

      Thank you! It really is. But, truthfully, it really is healthier to not eat sugar. So, your body will thank you in the long run.😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Steph McCoy December 22, 2016 at 12:16 PM

        I know you’re right and to some degree I do feel better without sugar but I still have cravings from time to time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cooking For The Time Challenged December 22, 2016 at 2:38 PM

        I think that’s normal but, I have seen such miracles with my patients and their moods when they go off sugar and flour and exercise more. It’s incredible!

        Like

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