Posts filed under ‘Main’

4 Experiments with Veganizing Boxed Cake Mixes

Here are three of the four cakes. The 4th cake is IN the trash. It was awful. Read the post to see which one was the worst tasting experiment.

Have you cooked a vegan cake before? If not, is it because it seems too difficult? Or that you need too many ingredients you are not familiar with?

Gillian and I are part of a group that bakes birthday cakes for at risk and foster kiddos. Our demographic is asked to provide a lot of vegan cakes. So we decided to see how to veganize boxed cake mixes with only one “alternative” ingredient per recipe.

We experimented with two boxed cake mixes (a chocolate and a vanilla). In the end, would the changes we made add up to a tasty cake?

This brand is sold at Bel Air. It might be sold other places, too. It was on sale for about $5 a box.

First, we divided each box mix into halves. That way we could run two experiments on each box mix.

VANILLA CAKE MIX. It requires egg, butter, and milk. We made the following changes.

Experiment 1 – Use half box of vanilla cake dry mix

  • Egg – replaced by ¼ cup of applesauce
  • Butter – replaced by 2 Tbsp Melt (a vegan butter substitute)
  • Milk – replaced by ¼ cup almond milk
  • Added ¼ tsp baking powder
  • Put clip on this pan so we knew which recipe is which

Experiment 2 – Use half box of vanilla cake dry mix

  • Egg – replaced by ¼ cup of applesauce
  • Butter – replaced by 2 Tbsp oil
  • Milk – replaced by ¼ cup almond milk

We put each of these into a parchment-lined, 8-inch pan. Be sure to use vegan spread or vegan baking spray to coat the pans. We cooked the cakes for about 25 minutes.

Taste Results. Neither cake was exceptionally good nor did they rise. They were dense, sticky and overly sweet.

However, the one made with the oil (instead of Melt) was noticeably better tasting, although still not great. It appears the baking powder did not make a difference as both rose the same. Gillian and I decided we would not make either cake again. We considered both tweeks to be a FAIL.

zcxcxzczcz

CHOCOLATE CAKE MIX. It requires egg, oil, and water. We made the following changes.

Experiment 3 – half box of chocolate cake dry mix

  • Egg – replaced by ½ cup of applesauce
  • Oil – stayed with 1/3 cup oil
  • Water – stayed with 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • Added ¼ tsp baking powder
  • Put clip on this pan so we knew which recipe is which.

Experiment 4 – half box of chocolate cake dry mix

  • Egg – replaced by ½ cup of applesauce
  • Oil – stayed with 1/3 cup oil
  • Water – replaced by 1/3 Cup almond milk

We put each of these into a parchment-lined, 8-inch pan. Be sure to use vegan spread or vegan baking spray to coat the pans.. We cooked the cakes for about 25 minutes.

Taste Results. Both cakes rose well, were moist, had a good crumb, and were tasty. We would make either one again. It appears the baking powder did not make a difference as both rose the same.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

We used unsweetened applesauce. The cake didn’t take on the flavour of the apples.

Replacing eggs. Sources say to use ¼ cup of applesauce for each egg. So we made a “mistake” by doubling the amount for the chocolate cake recipes. However, the end result was a tasty cake. Perhaps the vanilla cake would have turned out better had we used 1/2 cup for each experiment.

Applesauce tip. We don’t normally eat applesauce in our home. So I bought a four pack of individuals serving applesauce. Each individual serving is ½ cup. It is easy to keep this on hand to make up a vegan cake.

Baking powder. Sources say to add 1/4 tsp for each one egg replacement. We won’t do this again as it didn’t seem to make any difference at all in how the cakes rose.

Cake mix brand. We used an organic cake mix called Organics. If you do these same experiments with a different brand, let us know your results.

8″ versus 9″ rounds. Each box mix made up two 8” round cakes. If you want to make 9” round cakes, we suggest you use two boxes. One box per pan.

You got this. The next time you have to make a vegan cake, grab a box of chocolate Organics cake mix, oil and some applesauce. If you don’t have a dairy-free milk, use water. It won’t affect the taste.

Your Turn . . . Try this experiment and report back. . . . What additional tips do you have to veganize a boxed cake mix?

Related Posts . . . 

. at . 2 comments

Cake Baking Resolutions 2019

This is one of my practice cakes when I was working on ruffles.

In 2018 I became a part of Cake4Kids. It is a non-profit organization that bakes birthday cakes for at risk kiddos. Baking cakes is something I am comfortable with. My children are now in their mid-thirties and so I’ve made a lot of birthday cakes. I thought baking for Cake4Kids would be easy.

Turns out, it is harder than I expected.

  1. I am worried about how my cake will look. I want the recipient to be pleased with the cake and I am not sure they will be.
  2. A lot of the requests have been for vegan cakes. I am not a vegan cake baker. So I have been worried about how the cake will taste.

Benjamin Franklin has an idea I can follow, though.

He said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

I can plan and act my way into not being so intimidated by the look and taste of vegan and non-vegan cakes.

I won’t fail in my baking attempts in 2019, instead, I’ll make baking resolutions. I signed up for an online school, Bluprint. I’ve gone through their course list. I have four things I want to try over the next three months.

  • Two decorating ideas. Sprinkle cake and a Rosette cake. These look fancy and yet I think they will be easy techniques to master. I will use a box mix when I make these practice cakes since a box mix is so inexpensive. And I have a couple of places these cakes will be delivered to so that all this cake is not at my home.
  • Two vegan cakes. Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes and Cinnamon Swirl Cake. The idea of baking a vegan cake has been intimidating. So when I saw that Bluprint has 5 vegan cake recipes, I was thrilled. I have a couple of vegan friends who will gladly be my taste-testers.

I will make all of the above until I become an expert or ditch the recipe because it failed to deliver. Or I failed to master them. Then I will pick two more decorating techniques and two more vegan cakes to try.

Related Posts . . . Kindness is Baking a Birthday Cake for Someone You Don’t Know

Your Turn . . . Please share your baking resolutions for 2019. , , , Also share any tips you have for me.

. at . 2 comments

Thanksgiving Bucket List

“Thanksgiving is more than eating .  . we should just be thankful for being together.” (A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving)

I want to mix it up and try some new things for Thanksgiving. It is such a family day and I’d like to make new memories in that area.

Volunteer – where can you volunteer on this day besides the normal serve the homeless?

  • fun run
  • animal shelter
  • kind deed for a neighbor

Craft something thankful related – this is appropriate no matter what your religious or non-religious affiliations.

Thankful

  • Prayer
  • Letter
  • Poster

Activities – spending time doing something is a great use of the day. That way you don’t get into more food than you ought and it has help digesting.

  • Read about Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
  • Design and put on your own parade.
  • Scavenger hunt.
  • Go to the zoo.
  • Family photo shoot
  • Make a Christmas ornament
  • Play football – touch, paper, etc?
  • Watch a movie
  • napkin fold
  • Pull the wish bone – what is your wish?
  • Make a centerpiece
  • Make leaf roses. Here is a tutorial

Movies

History – read up on Thanksgiving

  • Write a poem about what you learn
  • Read a book with a TDay theme?
  • Read a kid’s book or two about it.

It’s all about the pumpkin, cranberry, and turkey – what new recipes can you can up with

  • playdough
  • playmat
  • pies

Do something around the house (that you’ve been putting off) to make it more comfortable for your guests or to make you happier?

  • Clean carpets

things to do before TDAY is over

14 things bucket list

pinterest board

50 ideas

Thanksgiving songs to learn

http://www.sharefaith.com/blog/2013/10/10-worship-songs-thanksgiving-service/

http://www.praisecharts.com/top-40-thanksgiving-worship-songs/

Andrea Hayworth I searched the SongSelect database under Gratitude and found these hymns: The Wonderful Cross, For The Beauty Of The Earth, Now Thank We All Our God, God Whose Giving Knows No Ending, O That I Had A Thousand Voices, For All Thy Saints O Lord, This Is My Father’s World, Ah Holy Jesus, Come Sing A Song Of Harvest, Abundance.

PAM: Count Your Blessings.

Janelle Deas Doxology

Top 26 Songs of Thanksgiving – check out

  1. New Doxology (Gateway Church)
  2. Made Me Glad (Hillsong Church)
  3. O Worship The King (Chris Tomlin)
  4. Because Of Your Love (Paul Baloche)
  5. Worthy Is the Lamb (with In the Cross and Crown Him With Many Crowns) (Travis Cottrell)
  6. For All You’ve Done (Hillsong Church)
  7. Praise To The Lord The Almighty (Travis Cottrell)
  8. You Are Good (Gateway Church)
  9. You Are Good (Lincoln Brewster)
  10. How Great Thou Art (Newsong)
  11. What the Lord Has Done in Me (Hillsong Church)
  12. For Who You Are (Hillsong Church)
  13. Give Thanks (Don Moen)
  14. How Great Thou Art (Stuart Hine)
  15. Thank You Lord (Dennis Jernigan)
  16. Doxology (David Crowder)
  17. Thank You Lord (Don Moen)
  18. Better Than Life (Travis Cottrell)
  19. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (Bob Fitts)
  20. It is Well With My Soul
  21. Thank You Lord (Paul Baloche)
  22. When It’s All Been Said And Done (Robin Mark)
  23. Forever (Chris Tomlin) (HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER)
  24. When It’s All Been Said And Done (Don Moen)
  25. Grateful Heart (Don Chapman)
  26. Love You So Much (Hillsong Church)
  27. Thank You For Saving Me (Delirious)

. at . Leave a comment

Friday’s Fave Five – October 27, 2018

“In our world of greed, people measure success by accumulation. Christians [should] measure it by appreciations. We’re thankful for what we have, understanding that ‘a merry heart has a continual feast,’ Proverbs 15:15.”

Having a conditional feast sounds like a great way to live; so here are five appreciations from my last week. If you want to join this Friday meme. go to Susanne’s place. There is plenty of room.

ONE. Pizza and Pictionary. Once a year or so, the women at my church gather for a game night. This time we added pizza. YUMMY! I am a terrible drawer, and I do mean terrible. And I am not so hot at guessing, either. So I wasn’t expecting to really enjoy myself that much. BOY, was I WRONG! There were many times of laughter, deep belly laughter. Endorphins flowed all night long.

TWO. Pumpkin Patch. My daughter and I joined my daughter-in-law and her three kiddos at a pumpkin patch in Petaluma (1hr, 45mins away). On the way up I listened to my audio book. My son joined us later in the afternoon. We stayed there 4 hours, playing in a corn kernel pit, running through the hay maze, taking a tractor ride, eating lunch, milking cows and climbing tall stacks of hay bales. Then we went to a local brewery for dinner. Their nachos were so TASTY! There were many photo ops, lots of hugs, and many smiles.

THREE. Reverse Trick-or-Treating. I want to get to know my neighbors, so I spent two evenings going to their doors giving THEM treats. Although I was extremely nervous and my first night didn’t work out so well, I did persevere. Read this post to see what happened.

This is a sample of what I left by the door, when no-one answered.

FOUR. Audio Books. I listen to audio books when I drive a lot or when I get fed up with getting in my daily steps. Last week I was in the “fed up” stage and so listened to Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Talk about plot twists! This is not the normal kind of book I read. It was on Reese Witherspoon’s book club choice for September.

FIVE. #Write31Days. I wrote 6/7 posts for my series on Acts of Kindness. I hope to get caught up this weekend. What I wrote last week . . .

. at . 3 comments

Kindness is Feeding People

Food is at the center of American activities. Food is a necessity and a luxury. It is a joy and it bonds people. Denise, a woman who oversaw the kitchen at our church felt that when food was served at an event, people felt welcomed and at ease.

There are many ways we can share food as an act of kindness. Be sure to add your ideas to this list.

  • Invite someone over for dinner.
  • Take an extra portion of your sack lunch contents to give to a co-worker.
  • Make cookies for a neighbor or the school crossing guard.
  • Make an acceptable goodie for someone who has food allergies. Getting a treat like this is rare and makes the recipient feel noticed.
  • Take a meal to someone who needs help (a new mom, someone just home from the hospital, someone who is grieving). I think a just-because meal would be gratefully accepted, too.
  • Buy gift cards to fast food restaurants to give to a teenager or homeless person.
  • Donate food to the food pantry or to a program like Neighborhood Meals (NM).

NM is a free community meal served at my church (near Sacramento, CA) the last Friday of every month. If you are hungry, come and eat; if you’re not, come and serve. We have room for people to help in the following positions: set-up, clean-up, serve food, help our guests take food to the table, and visit with the guests while you both eat. We also take food and clothing.

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

When someone is hungry and doesn’t have easy access to food because of homelessness, pain, depression, or recuperation, that is a vulnerable state to be in.

Kindness is noticing that food is a necessity and brings comfort and acceptance. Kindness is feeding people.

Your Turn . . . When was the last time you performed this act of kindness? . . .  When was the last time someone gave you food? . . . How did either/both situations make you feel.? . . . Who can you gift food to this week? 

Related Posts . . . 

Go here for yesterday’s post . . . Kindness is Trick-or-Treating

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

_____________________________________________

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

This post is part of #Write31Days where bloggers write every day in October on one topic. I am writing about Acts of Kindness, random and otherwise. It will be interesting to note how I am different and/or how my community is different.

. at . 1 comment

Kindness is Being a Friendly Driver

Road rage is on the rise. People are stressed, tired, and have too much to do to arrive places on time.  Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves. As a result we have driving expectations that are often not met.

We want  . . .  the traffic to be lighter … all the lights to be green . . .  and for people to get OUT of our way right NOW.

I want my own personal lane. Or at least for native CA drivers to have a dedicated lane for us. Shouldn’t there be some perk for living in California?

This is selfish thinking. This is entitled thinking. This is dangerous thinking which can lead to us arriving at our destination frustrated at the last and full of road rage at the most.

Calm down. Notice the needs of others. We all have some place to go. Share nicely. These words need to replace our rage-enduing ones.

Let’s change our mindset that WE are the most important drivers on the road. Kindness is being a friendly driver.

  • Let people merge even when they do so incorrectly.
  • Leave an appropriate space between you and the car in front.
  • Don’t speed trying to push the car in front to go faster.
  • Use your blinkers.
  • Allow more time to get to your destinations.
  • Give grace when people drive like an idiot.

Remember that sometimes we are the idiot and want their grace. So be a kind driver.

Your Turn . .  .  What is one way you can be a kind driver? . . . What do you most appreciate from others when you drive like an (accidental) idiot?

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

This post is part of #Write31Days where bloggers write every day in October on one topic. I am writing about Acts of Kindness, random and otherwise. It will be interesting to note how I am different and/or how my community is different.

__________________

Go here for yesterday’s post: Kindness is Going to the Funeral

Previous #Write31Days Topics

Thanks go to Elizabeth Symington for making my #Write31Days button and basic graphic for the kindness quotes. Elizabeth is writing a 31 days series on Summer of Service in Yosemite.

. at . 8 comments

Kindness is Going to the Funeral

But I don’t like going to funerals. I feel awkward, don’t know what to say, and I didn’t even know Julie’s dad,” I said to an elderly mentor.

“Is Julie your friend? Is she hurting?”

I answered both questions with a “Yes.”

“Often times,” my mentor said, “we go to a funeral to support our grieving friend. It has nothing to do with us. It makes a difference that we attend.”

I found out at the funerals of my parents, that it did make a difference. Some people who attended didn’t even know my parents. I felt supported, loved, and understood because these friends were with me during a HARD time.

Besides going to the funeral, send a card. And find the most meaningful card you can. My grandpa Carol, a very unsentimental dude, told me about a card he received after his wife, Ruby, died. “It was the prettiest card and the words were so comforting. I put it on the TV for months.” This card was a little gesture, a kind gesture, that meant so much.

Kindness notices the needs of others. It meets those needs. Kindness is going to the funeral. It is sending a card.

Your Turn . . . Do you attend funerals or do you skip them whenever you can? . . . Have you ever thought about how significant a card can be? . . . What is something else we can do to support a grieving friend?

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

This post is part of #Write31Days where bloggers write every day in October on one topic. I am writing about Acts of Kindness, random and otherwise. It will be interesting to note how I am different and/or how my community is different

________________

Go here for yesterday’s post: Kindness is Putting Away Shopping Carts

Related Posts . . . 

Previous #Write31Days Topics

Thanks go to Elizabeth Symington for making my #Write31Days button and basic graphic for the kindness quotes. Elizabeth is writing a 31 days series on Summer of Service in Yosemite.

. at . 5 comments

Older Posts


60 Acts of Kindness, Intentional & Random to do my 60th year

The Finish DateMarch 1st, 2019
41 days to go.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 790 other followers

Stuff I’ve Written and When

Categories


%d bloggers like this: