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.
2 cups sugar (white or brown or a combination)
1 cup oil
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”)
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!
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?
1 cup icing sugar
4 teaspoons of milk or liquid (I use rice milk, but lemon juice also works)
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:
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!