Thursday, May 6, 2010

An Experimental Cake gone Right!

Enter my $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE Giveaway
from French Country 1908 Teacup Designs
My  kids frequently ask these deeply profound and thought provoking questions like,  "What's for dinner"? and  "Are we having dessert tonight"?  and sometimes I give them an answer in kind, "an experiment"  I say.  

This recipe is a result of one of those evenings when my kids asked about dessert and my daughter, Ashton,  told me she wanted to make a cake for a friends birthday.  She wanted to surprise her and bring it to school the next day.  I had in mind a lemon cake with cream cheese frosting.  Unfortunately, as we began gathering ingredients we realized we did not have all of them needed for a made from scratch cake and no powdered sugar which I'd need to make a homemade frosting.  

I usually keep boxed cake mixes on hand so we decided it was experiment time.  We decided to make two small cakes, one for the fam to sample first,  and one for Ashton to take to school for her friend...assuming it turned out ok.  We decided that if our experiment failed we'd pop by the bakery before school in the morning and pick up a cupcake or some baked treat for her friend.

Our first experiment was the lemon version.  We all liked it so much, and so did Asthon's friend, that
 I made a Tropical version the next night, and a Mocha version a few nights later. 


1  pineapple cake mix
1 small box coconut cream instant pudding
1 tsp banana extract
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/3 cup water

Mix above and bake in 9 x 13 pan for about 25 minutes at 325

Pourable topping:

1 bag marshmallows
1 stick butter
1 cup Mountain Dew
1 tsp orange extract
1 tsp banana extract
1 tblsp lemon juice

Melt butter and marshmallows in saucepan over low heat, add other ingredients and stir to mix well.  Remove from heat.  While warm, pour over cake that you've poked holes in.

Top with pecan crumble mix (recipe below) and whipped cream.

While still warm, poke holes in the cake with a fork.
Pour warm liquid mixture on top allowing it to absorb into the cake.


1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp grated lemon peel (optional, I used dried)
1/4 stick butter
1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar
Melt butter and mix with other ingredients.  Toast in over for 10-15 minutes until pecans are crunchy.
* On tropical version I added 1 tsp grated orange peel and 1 tsp grated lemon peel

I set up a little dessert table the 2nd time I made this.

I used a red gingham check tablecloth and a striped ticking napkin layered over it, and at an angle to one side.  I tucked greenery in here and there and accented with red transferware
I used more of the ticking striped napkins doubled up with some solid napkins and these adorable, floral napkin rings made from Ralph Lauren fabric.  I found these at an Ebay store called Custom Cottage Creations for less than $5 shipped!!!  Yes, you read correctly...under $5 for a set of 8 custom napkin rings.  Carol, the shop owner makes these darling napkin rings with several different fabrics ranging from toiles to florals.  

These napkin rings would be so cute holding a little floral spray too, don't you think?

 I served the dessert with this great set of hand beaded serving pieces from Weaves Beads.  Aren't they so pretty?  I fell in love with this set when I saw it.  
Joy, the Weaves Beads shop owner, makes these serving pieces and sells them individually and in sets.  She's got some really cool tongs too!

I placed the flatware in a Masons Vista tea the handles on this.

Each cake version was really good, and have all been given the 'my kids approve' citation as evidenced in the pictures of Jonah and Trevor below....and yes, I am aware that they both are in dire need of wig trims...coming soon, much to their dismay. 
The initial phase was entrancement by the overwhelming thought of getting to eat a bowl of this...this, experimental dessert....
 followed by a bit of overwhelming delight...Trev still looks like he's in phase 1
to sheer giddiness


1 lemon cake mix
1 small box lemon or vanilla instant pudding
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/3 cup water

Pourable topping:

1 package mini marshmallows
1 stick butter
1 cup Fresca, Mountain Dew or lemon-lime soda
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla


1 box devil's food or chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/3 cup water

Pourable topping:
1 package mini marshmallows
1 stick butter
11/2 cups brewed coffee
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
(cook over low heat stirring constantly until blended, otherwise it will begin to thicken is good this way too though, just don't let it overcook as it will become scorched)

 I'm linking up to

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Hodge Podge Friday at It's a Hodge Podge Life
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Ultimate Recipe Swaps, hosted by Life as Mom
Food On Fridays, hosted by Ann Kroeker
Four Foods On Friday, hosted by Fun, Crafts and Recipes
Tasty Tuesday, hosted by Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, hosted by Blessed with Grace
Simply Sweet Home


  1. Oh Nancy! I LOVE those teenage faces- it looks like my house! Allie is going to want to try these out this weekend and I'm thinking I'll let her!
    xoxo Pattie

  2. Nancy, YOur boys certain seem to be absolutely wild over this cake! They are... can I say... adorable! (I'm sure at their age adorable is not the adjective they would want used)
    And this cake just became my very favorite cake. Easy, boxed, and sounds so yummy! I am putting it on a recipe card right now!

  3. lol Cute teenagers. The cake looks wonderful - especially the topping! Such pretty dishes. Dropping by from BNOTP, link #1.


  4. The cakes look great! The setting is gorgeous, and the kids are adorable! Mine are only 4,8 and 10 so this next phase is coming!

  5. hmmm looks good in your nice platters... i love experimenting too and it all turned out well!
    have a nice weekend Nancy!

  6. Nancy, These cakes sound so yummy and you have set a beautiful table! Your boys are so cute..I know they hear that from girls all the time! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  7. Wow...what a super gorgeous the red dishes etc...gorgeous!! Wonderfully inspiring..and fab recipes! yay! That was fun!
    Have a beautiful night

  8. I love all your transferware, and the napkins are great! Good-lookin dessert too.

  9. All versions sound wonderful to me!! Love that cake!

  10. Nancy, we're laughing at each other, today! I'm laughing at your boys (and because the sudden hunger attack that I'm experiencing is making me giddy!) and you're laughing at my girls' fuzzy posteriors! Ahhhh, life! Pretty flatware! (Everything else is very pretty, too, but, somehow, I already knew that I loved those things!=])

    Oh, dear! I've just had a vision of me in 4 years. Oi!

    Love, Katy

  11. Those faces say it all — YUMMY! All the versions sound great, but the tropical one will be a sure-fire hit at the Tiki Hut this summer!

  12. Hahaha the boys are craking me up! Their hair makes me think of my little brother - he's almost 16 and completely loses his mind when my dad reminds him that he needs it cut. He's counting down the days til school is over so since the rule is that he doesn't have to get it cut during the summer if he doesn't want to.

    Great job with the experimental cake - looks like it went over well! :-)

    Thanks for sharing @ Foodie Friday!

  13. hi nancy, nice to meet you!

    i wish i could have a piece of that
    for breakfast! it looks so yummy.

    and your table is gorgeous!! i do
    not have a knack for that at all.

    don't tell anyone, but we live in the
    same town. :)

  14. Hi Nancy!
    Wow that looks good. You need to Google Lemonade Cake it's a vintage recipe from the 40-50's, but still used today.

  15. Hi Nance,
    You rock, lady? I'm drooling with your wonderful experimental cake. I don't care, if it's just an experiment as long it's sweet & yummy.

    TY a mill with your recipe. Sure, I try it, soon. I have to check if we have those ingredients in Sweden §;-)

    Happy TT & day...

  16. ewwwwwwww! YUMMY! How on earth did you think that up!? And of course! The table is beautiful as always!! :)


  17. Hi my fellow Nancy....I don't usually read recipes or cooking blogs but this was just fascinating! I've got to try it. Your blog is sooo pretty and I love seeing the pics of your kids hamming it up! Beautiful transferware and that sheer overcloth in your next post down - just gorgeous. xoxo Nancy

  18. Kids~ ~What fun! Thanks for sharing your recipe.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  19. Hello! I just got your message about "Friday Pretties" and just added you! Sorry so late.
    Your blog, table settings and food all are certainly very Pretty!

    Thanks for playing along,

  20. Happy Mother's Day, Nancy! Your boys faces say it all. This experiment looks very cool and I want to try it!

  21. Oh my, your cakes look delicious, and your table setting is so fabulous.
    I went over to that etsy shop- she's got beautiful stuff, definitely on my list for birthday presents!

  22. What a wonderful family. I love your transferware, too. A fun post!

  23. Nancy, I love the napkin rings, the flatware and of course the transferware! The cake looks awesome and great to see your boys goofing around!
    :-) Beth

  24. Table looks great and cakes sound delicious! Those teenage boys bring back memories of my son at that age---gotta' love 'em!

  25. Love the pictures of your boys. Too funny! And your cakes sound wonderful! Thanks for linking up with me for Friday Favorites!

  26. Michèle from Laval,

    I had another version of that kind of cake.

    1 Betty crocker pecane, without the oil,when the cake is ready,and you do the same thing,you include one can of eagle brand when the cake stell hot. When the cake is cold you put on top
    1 bowl of cool whip cream, and put on the top of the cream, l Crispy Cruch chocolat bar that you crumble first.

    I hope my english is ok

    Have a nice day

  27. Still love the sound of this! And I love all the different versions!

    Thank you for joining me for Sweet Thursday!


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